The Fairy Pools – Isle of Skye

”Did you know Kate Winslet was here just a few days ago” said the parking attendant waiting to collect our fee at the Forestry Commission’s gravel car park near Glenbrittle. Well, if Kate Winslet can brave the fairy pools, then so can we!

Our car day trip around the Isle of Skye ended here at the Fairy Pools, in the Western part of the Isle. The short drive in was impressive, with the Black Cuillin mountain range dominating the skyline.

First rule of thumb when holidaying during the British Summer, always pack a wetsuit, especially if you intend to go swimming! And on this overcast day threatening with rain, we donned our wetsuits and water shoes and boots before beginning the trek towards the Fairy Pools.

The initial part of the gravel path is steep descending down, so careful footing is required before the path levels out. As you follow the River Brittle, you eventually come to the first waterfall and the start of the fairy pools.

We wanted to explore all the pools first before deciding which one to take a plunge into, so followed the path towards the mountain range. It was very tempting to continue towards the ranges and see what lay beyond the last pool, but it started to rain and our goal was to swim the pools, not hike the ranges.

We ended up choosing two pools of various sizes at two different locations. The first pool was only ankle deep, and had a waterfall that you could walk up to. It was the perfect pool to start in, with the wonderful backdrop of the mountain ranges.

Our second pool definitely required a full immersion. The water felt freezing cold, even with wet suits on, but we plunged in with the encouragement and support of some people passing by.

What makes the Fairy Pools so special are both the stunning location and the clear waters that showcase all the natural colours below the surface.

It might have been cold, but for a few minutes of discomfort, it was definitely worth the effort and the experience.

A few hints and tips;

  1. I definitely recommend a wet suit and either water shoes or boots (I had my diving boots).
  2. The black garbage bags I had in my backpack came in real handy when it started to rain to keep bags and clothing dry.
  3. Definitely have a dry set of clothes on your return to your vehicle.
  4. There is no toilet block at the car park so be ready to find creative ways to get changed in your car.
  5. Don’t disturb the midges with your bags at the side of the pools or you will be attacked! They especially liked our wetsuit and hair!

Visited August 2019.


Forget about Arabian nights – try scuba diving the Arabian Sea! 

They say some of the best diving in the United Arab Emirates is on it’s East Coast, so naturally I had to arrange 3 open water dives with Al Boom Diving  during my vacation here.

After emailing Al Boom in Fujairah, the booking process was easy, with a deposit or full payment to secure my place on what is usually a very busy weekend. So I definitely recommend booking your place ahead of time.

The organisation of my three recreational dives over two days was excellent, with equipment bags prepared for all the divers on arrival, and a short walk down to the beach and onto the boat. We were provided with water and fruit, with the option of paying for a sandwich from Le Meridien Resort. 

My friend and I dived across three locations, Martini Rock and Hole in the Wall on the first day, and Sharm Rock on the second. With the water temperature at 26 to 27 degrees celcius, I was comfortable in my 5mm long Fourth Element wetsuit, while my friend was comfortable in a short wetsuit. 

The visibility at Martini Rock and Hole in the Wall on Saturday May 19, 2018 was excellent. At a maximum dive depth of 19 metres at Martini Rock, we saw lots of butterfly fish, trigger fish, moray eel, stone fish and trumpet fish.

The second dive at Hole in the Wall was a great experience, with the dive instructor leading us through a tunnel or “hole in the wall”. At this second site, we saw more trigger fish, stingrays, trumpet fish and butterfly and angel fish.

Our third dive on Sunday May 20 was at Sharm Rock. The visibility wasn’t as good as the day before, but we still saw barracuda, trigger fish, butterfly fish, moray eels and clown fish.

Al Boom Diving In Fujairah are based at Le Meridien Al Aqah Resort. As divers at Al Boom, you can also collect a food discount voucher to be spent at the beach bar and hotel restaurant, which I recommend.

Pradeep Fernando, the manager of this 5 Star PADI Dive Centre is friendly, and his staff are professional, helpful and hospitable. My friend couldn’t complete the second dive on the first day, and was offered another opportunity to dive again. The service was excellent and I’d highly recommend diving with Al Boom Diving in Fujairah.

For more info, visit Al Boom Diving