Skye is a special place and it’s easy to see why so many tourists flock there. But as Karen Peattie discovers, there’s much more to this mystical isle than the ‘bucket-list’ sights.

Home to some of Scotland’s most iconic landscapes not to mention miles of dramatic coastline, natural wonders such as the Old Man of Storr, and a history of feuding clans and Jacobite battles, the Isle of Skye is consistently among the most popular parts of the country to visit.

Cue an early spring road trip which, if you’re travelling from the central belt, takes at least four hours – longer if you stop off en route – but provides a chance to see some impressive sights including the Three Sisters in Glencoe valley, arguably one of the finest views in the UK.

Another great stopping-off point is beautiful Eilean Donan Castle, one of Scotland’s most-photographed castles.

However, on this occasion Skye is the main event and there is so much you can do and see and do on the Misty Isle, depending on how active and adventurous you’re feeling. But do remember to factor in the unpredictable Scottish weather.

Country Lifestyle Scotland: Waterfall in the Fairy Pools, Glen BrittleWaterfall in the Fairy Pools, Glen Brittle

With many tourists on a mission to tick of the “big five” sights on their Skye bucket list – the Old Man of Storr, Fairy Glen, The Fairy Pools, Quiraing and Neist Point – there have been concerns of overcrowding in recent years. Even during my visit in early March, the Fairy Pools was quite busy, the single-track road to reach the car park awash with motor homes.

The 2.4km trek follows a rocky path with several large stepping stones to negotiate before you reach the mystical rock pools of crystal-clear water fed by a series of waterfalls. It’s definitely worth it but the walk is quite challenging and I don’t think I would like to join the hordes of visitors on the same mission at the height of summer.

The largest of the Inner Hebrides, Skye is undoubtedly a special place and it’s easy to see why so many tourists – around 650,000 each year – flock there. My advice would be to go off the beaten track, explore castles, seek out deserted beaches, visit a distillery. In other words, don’t feel you have to see all the most-publicised attractions to add to your collection of selfies.

Country Lifestyle Scotland: A view of the Portree HarbourA view of the Portree Harbour

We wondered around colourful Portree, the main town on Skye, we visited Torabhaig Distillery near Sleat, sought out the old Sligachan Bridge where, according to local folklore, you will achieve eternal beauty if you dunk your head in the stream – for the record, I didn’t.

We also experienced Scotland’s “four seasons in one day” weather – gloriously sunshine at time when the sea was bright blue, then snow, rain and howling wind. I loved it!

To get to Skye, either drive to Mallaig and cross the Skye Bridge or get the CalMac Mallaig-Armadale ferry, which takes about 45 minutes.,,