“Don’t forget,” Andy said to me. “Talisker Bay at low tide.”
Andy was my new friend I met along the West Highland Way in Scotland.
When I told him I was going to the Isle of Skye, he said that to me.
And I didn’t forget.
He gave me a vague idea of where to find this Talisker Bay with its beach.
Steve, my host at Carters Rest Guesthouse, looked up the tide table for me so I would know when to time my visit.
And I Googled Talisker Bay to see where it was and how to get there. There was some great info so I knew exactly where to go and what to expect.
Little did I know that it would be one of the best experiences in Scotland.
I was going to visit the distillery with the Talisker name.
And despite the fact that it’s called Talisker Whisky, the distillery is actually located in the village of Carbost.
But Carbost is just few kilometers from the settlement of Talisker so close enough.
The distillery is easy to find as there is good signage. Just remember that you are going to Carbost.
And be prepared for some single track roads here and there as you leave the main road and head into the village of Carbost.
It’s so worth it though.
The scenery is spectacular.
The Cuillin Mountains are off to the east.
And the distillery sits in a lovely valley along the shores of Loch Harport.
Since my tour wasn’t scheduled until 2pm
And it was only about 12pm, I had some time to kill.
I had heard of this seafood shop and take away — Isle of Skye Oysters. Also known as the Oyster Shed.
Although I wasn’t super hungry, I thought I’d go check it out.
Now some folks were driving up the hill from the distillery parking area to this place.
I DO NOT recommend this.
Walk your ass up there!
First of all, there’s hardly any parking at the shop. It’s a small place. And more of a wholesaler than a restaurant.
Secondly, it’s not that far. It won’t kill you to walk.
And if you’ve had your whisky, it’s a great way to work it off.
I ordered some scallops and some chips.
It wasn’t super cheap nor was it expensive. But it was tasty.
And as I sat outside the weather began to clear and I had some gorgeous views of the mountains.
It was time to walk back down to the distillery for my tour.
The tour of the distillery is really fabulous.
I’ve been on a few tours of distilleries, breweries and wineries and this may be number one on the list.
I had a wonderful guide who really dispensed great information and answered all the questions the group tossed out to him.
After the tour, you get to taste one of the whiskies.
Now I had tried my share of Scottish whiskies as I walked the West Highland Way and I had a couple during my time in the Northwest.
I actually had tried a Talisker whisky back in Fort William, the day I finished the Way.
This one I tried at the end of the tour was a bit smoky for my taste. I believe it was Talisker Skye.
However up in the shop I learned that I could try one of the other whiskies in their line up.
I wanted to try the Port Ruighe which was finished in port casks, thus giving it a slightly sweeter taste.
Another couple, Americans, also wanted to try it.
So one of the workers brought us both a wee dram of the Port Ruighe and one of the other Taliskers — the 10 year.
I really liked the Port Ruighe as it was more “my style” of Scottish whisky.
I was learning what I liked.
So I bought a bottle of the Port Ruighe.
It was going back with me so I could share it with Daddy-o.
While he’s more of a bourbon and Irish whiskey kind of guy, I think he’ll like this one.
And the great thing about buying a bottle after your tour?
Well they gave me this “£5 off” coupon when I bought my tour ticket.
And while that’s not a huge savings, I figured every bit helps!
The bottle is still unopened as of today.
But I think we’ll indulge once the weather turns cool again.
Whisky (and whiskey) is better in cooler weather.
So after my time at Talisker Distillery
It was time to make my way to Talisker Bay.
I was probably going to be a wee bit early for actual low tide, but I knew I would arrive at a good time.
I actually had seen the sign by the Oyster place for Talisker so I knew where I was going.
The drive was so much fun.
I think I enjoyed the drive there as much as the time at the beach.
The weather was gorgeous — so atypically Scottish.
The scenery was stunning.
And the road was a single track roller coaster ride.
I can still picture it in my mind. It really left an impression.
The only issue I had was I kept wanting to stop to take photos but there weren’t many places to do so safely.
Thankfully there wasn’t much traffic — at all.
So I stopped a couple of times in the passing areas to snap a few pics.
Parking is minimal.
And mostly along the road which is where I ended up.
You need to be respectful as there are folks who live in the area.
The beach is well signed so you won’t get lost.
The trail out to Talisker Bay is easy.
And it’s a lovely walk.
Through a bit of trees first then out to the fields where the sheep graze.
There are peaks around you.
And you can see the bay in the distance, sheltered on either side by cliffs.
I took loads of photos and simply enjoyed the views.
Talisker Beach is really beautiful.
And the reason to go at low tide?
So you actually get some sand.
It’s mostly rocks.
But the rocks are really cool.
I really enjoyed photographing the rocks and simply studying them. There are all kinds of them.
Granted, they’re not easy to walk on.
But at low tide the grey sand beach is exposed.
So you can actually walk on that without twisting an ankle.
And to the left is a really cool sea stack.
You can walk out to it by skirting along the left side of the beach.
I walked around, first right then left.
I watched the water roll in.
And I took loads of photos.
I didn’t want to leave.
But I had a good drive back to Carters Rest Guesthouse.
And I knew I would stop along the way to take photos.
On my way to Carbost, the weather wasn’t very good.
But now I had gorgeous light with blue skies, sunshine and fluffy clouds here and there.
There would be loads of stops on the way back to my Isle of Skye home.
Andy was right.
Talisker Bay at low tide.
Definitely an experience to put on your Isle of Skye list.
And to piggy back it with a visit to Talisker Distillery was the way to go.
These are two of the best things to do on the Isle of Skye.
While I wouldn’t necessarily go back to take the distillery tour again, I do recommend it — highly!
But I would definitely go back to Talisker Bay.
The drive, the walk, the beach.
It’s all etched in my mind for sure.