EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ELOPING ON THE ISLE OF SKYE IN 2022
**Updated 12 April 2022**
Are you thinking of eloping on the Isle of Skye in 2022 or 2023? We’ve compiled everything you need to know in our comprehensive guide to planning your Isle of Skye elopement. We’ll tell you the best locations to elope on Skye, how to pick the best time of year and how to plan your adventurous Isle of Skye elopement.
We live here on the Isle of Skye, and eloped ourselves three years ago, so we know how it is to be at the start of your planning journey. It can feel overwhelming to begin planning an elopement, especially in a different country, but we’ve got you. Our local Skye knowledge, combined with experience planning our own and many other elopements means you’re in the right place.
We’ll share our knowledge on the best places to elope on the Isle of Skye, how to legally get married on Skye, recommend places to stay, activities to do, and share some of the best wedding vendors on Skye.
Our aim is to give you confidence in planning your adventurous Isle of Skye elopement.
WHY ELOPE ON THE ISLE OF SKYE?
The Isle of Skye is a magical island; wild, beautiful, with varied landscapes, rugged mountains, stunning white and black sand beaches, castles, peaceful lochs and waterfalls. This is why we believe the Isle of Skye is one of the best places in the world to elope. If you elope on the Isle of Skye you’ll have an experience you can’t get anywhere else on the planet.
Here are a few reasons why we think the Isle of Skye is the best place to get married in Scotland.
YOU CAN EAT WORLD CLASS CUISINE
Despite its low population, the Isle of Skye is punching way above its weight in culinary terms. We have some amazing restaurants on the island (some even with a Michelin star), as well pubs where you can try our local food.
YOU CAN STAY IN A CASTLE OR A CUTE CABIN
The Isle of Skye is not short of accommodation options from traditional thatched blackhouses, to ultra modern glass-walled buildings. Whatever you are looking for, Skye has it.
YOU CAN EXPERIENCE THE OCEAN, MOUNTAINS AND FOREST ALL IN ONE DAY
The Isle of Skye has a range of diverse habitats and options for your elopements. We have white sand and black sand beaches, castles, forests, and mountains. As the island isn’t huge, you can easily incorporate two or three different locations into your day, and have it all!
DESPITE ITS WORLD FAMOUS REPUTATION SKYE HAS MANY LESSER KNOWN LOCATIONS
There is no denying that Skye isn’t a popular tourist destination, and for good reason! However, most tourists visit just a handful of spots on the island, leaving most of the island tourist-free and just calling for exploration. Living on the island has given us plenty of time to explore and create a list of more private, yet stunning locations all over the island, that we are happy to share with our booked couples.
Best places to elope on the isle of skye 2022
Isle of Skye Elopement Locations
The Isle of Skye is undoubtedly one of the best elopement locations in the world. Its magical scenery will make you feel like you’re an extra in the Lord of the Rings or Outlander. If you are thinking of eloping in Scotland you should definitely consider it as your location.
1. The Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye
For the more adventurous couples the Old Man of Storr is a perfect option for your elopement ceremony. It’s a 45-minute to 1 hour hike up the hill, but the views from the top are totally worth it. Get married below the huge stone monoliths (the Old Man) created in an ancient landslide, with views out to sea of the Islands of Raasay and Rona. Top tip: have a sunrise ceremony to avoid crowds and to get the best light, as this is the most popular hike on the Isle of Skye.
2. Quiraing, Isle of Skye
When you think of the Isle of Skye an image of the Quiraing probably comes into your head. Just five minutes’ walk from the Quiraing car park and you’re in an otherworldly landscape of high cliffs, and unusual rock formations. The Quiraing is one of Skye’s iconic locations, perfect for an epic elopement.
Although you can get to a great ceremony spot in a few minutes we recommend planning on spending longer and hiking out to discover everything the Quiraing has to offer. Follow the 4-mile loop walk that is one of our favourite hikes in Scotland.
Top tip: have a sunrise or sunset ceremony to avoid crowds, as this is a popular spot with other visitors, plus it looks incredible in the early/late light.
3. The Fairy Glen, near Uig
The Fairy Glen (or Faerie Glen) is a mountain landscape in miniature – made up of small, curiously rounded hills. For us, it feels like you might see a hobbit at any minute. Yet another magical elopement location on the Isle of Skye. Just a 10-15 minute walk from the road, the Fairy Glen is close to the village of Uig and is in our top three elopement locations on Skye.
Elgol, a tiny fishing village, lies at the end of an hour-long drive from the village of Broadford. It’s one of the most stunning drives on the island passing lochs and mountains on the way. Elgol gives impressive views of the Cuillin mountains and you can get married on the rocky beach with an impressive mountain backdrop. If it’s raining Elgol has the advantage of having shelter under a huge rock that has an unusual honeycomb formation. It’s also the launch point for boat trips across to Loch Coruisk, so you could include both during your elopement day.
5. Loch Coruisk
Across from Elgol lies Loch Coruisk which sits in a valley surrounded by the infamous Cuillin mountains. Loch Coruisk has been described as the most magnificent of all of Scotland’s freshwater lochs, and we have to agree. Accessible only by boat or on foot, it’s an amazing spot to elope. To get there you can charter a boat from Misty Isle Boat Trips or Bella Jane boat trips and they’ll have you over at Loch Coruisk in 30 minutes. On the way, you might even be lucky enough to see the local dolphins and seals. We also offer an option to camp at Loch Coruisk for a 2-day elopement experience and we can hike out or take the boat back the next day.
6. Duntulm Castle
The ruins of Duntulm castle are in the far north of Skye on the Trotternish peninsula. They stand on the top of a cliff overlooking the ocean and have amazing views of the Outer Hebrides on a clear day. Although there is not much left of the castle, it is an amazing spot at sunset, and the beach at the bottom of the cliff makes the perfect spot for a picnic on a dry day.
7. Dunscaith Castle
Dunscaith is a ruined castle built in 1131 on the Sleat peninsula in the south of Skye. We love this location as it’s a quiet spot with views across the water to the Cuillin mountains and looks incredible at sunset. The walk from the parking area is about 20 minutes but the views are worth it!
8. Talisker Beach
Talisker is a black-sand beach in the west of Skye and lies at the end of a 25-minute walk along a farm track. The beach reminds us of Iceland with towering rock cliffs and sea stacks. We recommend visiting at low tide when more of the black-sand is revealed. Close by is the Talisker distillery, so you could combine a ceremony at the beach with a whiskey tour later in your day.
9. Brothers Point
Brothers Point or Rubha nam Brathairean, is a dramatic headline on the Trotternish Peninsula. A quiet spot that doesn’t see many tourists, it takes about 45 minutes to walk out to the point. This is one of our favourite spots on the island, it has dramatic scenery, 170 million year old dinosaur footprints in the rock, and at our last elopement, there was even seals and an otter to witness it.
10. Aird of Sleat
At the very tip of the southwest of Skye is the Point of Sleat. A remote and quiet spot complete with a lighthouse and a stunning white sand beach, Camas Dariach, that wouldn’t look out of place in the Caribbean. It takes at least an hour to walk to the beach from the Aird of Sleat and even further to the lighthouse, but the walk is definitely worth it. Consider eloping at low tide to have the beach at its most beautiful.
11. Neist Point
Neist Point is the most westerly point on Skye and is home to one of the most famous lighthouses in Scotland. The best sunsets on Skye are seen from Neist Point and the high cliffs above the lighthouse make the perfect location to explore on your elopement day. You can walk down to the lighthouse and explore the rocky beaches, but you also get a great view from the cliffs above, meaning that this location doesn’t have to involve too much hiking.
12. Cuillin Mountains
Marrying up in the Cuillin mountains is not for the uninitiated hiker. The Cuillin are the most impressive and challenging mountain range in the UK. We offer a special package for mountain elopements on Skye that include a Mountain Guide to ensure that we all keep safe on your elopement day and that we can just enjoy the epic views. We offer two-day camping elopements in the Cuillins so you can make the most of the effort of climbing to the top of the ridge.
In the centre of Skye is Sligachan which is one of the main points to enter into the Cuillin mountains. You don’t have to hike up into the mountains, there is plenty to see in the area including small waterfalls, a beautiful river and old bridge, and a valley surrounded by mountains. Sligachan is also home to Seamus’s bar, which boasts a collection of 200 whiskeys, so if you want to warm up with a wee dram part way through your day Sligachan is a perfect choice.
14. Eilean Donan Castle
Although it’s not actually on Skye, Eilean Donan Castle deserves to make the list as it is located just off the Isle of Skye. Standing on an island where three sea lochs meet, it is a stunning location, and the best castle to elope to in the Highlands. You can hire the castle just for you and get married inside or out in the castle grounds.
ISLE OF SKYE ELOPEMENT ACCOMMODATION
where to stay for your isle of skye elopement
There are plenty of choices of places to stay for your Isle of Skye wedding, from cute cabins to luxury country hotels. Here are a few that we would recommend checking out first.
Monkstadt 1745 – a luxury lodge in the very north of Skye. Recently renovated from a ruin, and with self-catering cottages also available, Monkstadt is steeped in history. The house itself is perfect if you are bringing a few guests as it can sleep 10 in five 4-poster bed suites.
Skye Red Fox Retreat – a luxury glamping pod for two on the Trotternish Peninsula with an outdoor bathtub for romantic evenings. Nicola and Alex have created a remote slice of paradise up in the hills and offer an amazing service for eloping couples.
Harlosh Black H – located on the West coast is a soft minimalistic space that’s private, contemporary and luxurious, and perfect for an eloping couple. We love the modern design contrasting with the ancient Skye landscape.
Kinloch Lodge – is a luxury family-run hotel and restaurant with world-class food. Located in the South of Skye with views of the Cuillin mountains, it’s perfect for two or for you and your guests.
Cuillin Hills Hotel – is located just outside the capital of Skye, Portree, and offers amazing views over Portree Harbour. With great food and private grounds to explore, the Cuillin Hills Hotel is well located on the island for wherever you want to explore on your elopement day.
Where can I elope ON THE ISLE OF SKYE?
Unlike in the rest of the UK you can elope almost anywhere in Scotland– on a beach, up a mountain, anywhere you wish, as long as on private land you have permission from the landowner. All you need is a registered celebrant and you are good to go.
“The Isle of Skye is one of the best places in the world to elope“
Who can ELOPE ON THE ISLE OF SKYE?
The great news is that anyone can have an Isle of Skye elopement. If you are not from the European Economic area or Switzerland, there are a few extra steps to take including applying for a Marriage Visitor Visa which costs £95 and can be applied for up to 3 months in advance of your wedding. Read more information about preparing your visa paperwork for eloping in Scotland on the UK government’s website.
How to Elope ON THE ISLE OF SKYE
Having an Isle of Skye wedding takes planning, which can be an overwhelming process and you might not know where to start. Let us take the stress out of it with our 13-step guide to eloping on the Isle of Skye, whether you are local, or if you are having a Skye elopement as a foreigner.
1. DECIDE TO HAVE AN ISLE OF SKYE ELOPEMENT
Do you like mountains, beaches, ancient culture, and epic scenery? If yes, then the Isle of Skye could be the elopement location for you.
If you need help narrowing down locations on the Isle of Skye then we can help, we live on Skye and know all of the best and secret spots, and can put together a list of personalised locations just for you. It’s important to choose a location early as you need to specify it for your paperwork.
2. Choose your date/time of year to elope
The Isle of Skye is beautiful at all times of year – but you should consider the day length (in mid-winter there can be less than 7 hours of daylight), the average temperature, and tourism season. If you want the place to yourselves weekdays and off-season is always quieter.
Our favourite seasons for an Isle of Skye elopement are the autumn (for the stunning colour in the forests) and spring (for the warmer days and wildflowers), but every season has its charm, and there is no bad time for an Isle of Skye wedding.
We can advise you on the best time of year to suit your preferred elopement location.
3. Decide what activities you want to enjoy on your elopement day
Eloping means that you don’t have to stick to the timeline of a traditional wedding day. Planning the timeline of your elopement day is one of the exciting things about elopement planning. Eloping means doing what you love best – walking your dogs, sipping cocktails, dancing, hiking, sailing, exploring somewhere new or wild swimming. Whatever makes you happy, the most important thing is that you do you.
4. Find your vendors
Eloping requires far fewer vendors than a traditional wedding but there are still some things that you will want to book. The only vendor you officially need is a celebrant. On the Isle of Skye this can be either a religious or a belief celebrant. We recommend finding a Humanist celebrant through the Humanist Society Scotland to conduct a unique ceremony focused on your love for each other. We can also give our personal recommendations for our favourite Isle of Skye celebrants. We also offer an inclusive Isle of Skye elopement planning package, where we will book your celebrant, hair and make-up artist, plus flowers for two, and it’s all included in your fee.
Other vendors that you should definitely consider are an Isle of Skye elopement photographer (hello!!) – (check out our Scotland elopement packages for more information), a videographer, a florist, and a hair and makeup artist.
“Create a day that’s fun, full of things you love and focused on you.”
5. Book your Accommodation
The Isle of Skye has so many accommodation options, from grand old hunting lodges, to castles, to cool Air BnBs to glamping pods. When eloping on the Isle of Skye you will likely spend more time in your accommodation than if you were having a traditional Scottish wedding so we think it’s important to pick somewhere really special, and remember it’s going to feature in your wedding photos, so you want it to look cool.
It depends what your location is, but these are some of our favourite resources for finding the perfect accommodation for your wedding.
CoolStays – for extraordinary places to stay this is the definitive collection of amazing places to stay.
Huts and Cabins – for cabins on the shore through to luxury huts in the mountains
Air B n B – for loads of options throughout Scotland
We recommend looking for somewhere fairly close to your elopement location to cut down on travel time on your elopement day. Top tip: Driving on Skye is slow, so even if it looks close on the map it may take a long time to travel.
6. Do the legal Paperwork
If you plan to have a legal ceremony during your elopement then there is some paperwork that you will need to complete, but before you start filling out paperwork you need to speak with your celebrant. They will be able to tell you exactly what you need to do, but if you are keen to read more then all the information you need can be found on the National Records of Scotland website, including this handy leaflet snappily called the RM1 leaflet, and also the Marriage Notice Form which needs to be submitted between 3 months and no later than 29 days before your wedding.
7. Finalise timeline with your photographer
Once all the paperwork is organised it’s time to finalise your elopement timeline with us your photographers. The timeline will be completely unique to you as a couple, and we will help you craft an experience that reflects you as a couple, your passions, and interests.
8. Choose your witnesses
In Scotland you are required to have two witnesses to your wedding ceremony. This can be two of your guests, or if you are eloping just the two of you, then we are very happy to act as your witnesses. You need to decide this before your wedding day as you need to specify who your witnesses will be on your paperwork. One of the bonuses as choosing us as your photographers is that you don’t need to find another witness, and have some random person at your wedding.
9. Travel to THE ISLE OF SKYE
All the planning is over and it’s time to travel to your location on the Isle of Skye for your elopement! We can help you with a list of ‘what to bring’ which will be personalised depending on your location and activity choice. Just don’t forget any paperwork and you are set to go! International travel into Scotland is easy as Glasgow, Edinburgh and Inverness all have airports, or you can travel up from London via sleeper train, or normal train. Once in Scotland the best way to get to Skye is by car, so don’t forget your licence if you are going to hire a car.
10. Collect your marriage schedule
Before eloping in Scotland you need to visit the Portree Registrar to collect your marriage schedule. This has to be collected in person by one of the people getting married in the seven days prior to your wedding, and without it your wedding cannot take place. So don’t forget to allow time in your travel schedule to fit this in.
11. Write your vows
One of the joys of eloping is that you don’t have to stick to a set wedding ceremony script, your ceremony and vows can be whatever you want. We recommend starting to write your vows well in advance of your elopement day, but finishing them off on your wedding morning, and writing them into beautiful vow books is a great way to kick off your wedding day.
12. Elope ON THE ISLE OF SKYE!
It’s your elopement day, everything is planned, your elopement vendors have everything under control and the two of you enjoy your magical Isle of Skye elopement.
13. Return your marriage schedule and you’re all done
Before you head home you must return your marriage schedule to the Portree Registrar within three days of your wedding. Your celebrant will be able to help you further with arranging this.
Find out more
We hope that this list of locations and our 13-step guide to eloping in the Isle of Skye has helped give you some ideas. For more information check out our elopement experience page and our Isle of Skye elopement packages page.
We’re Oli and Steph Prince, Isle of Skye elopement photographers. We met in Antarctica in 2015, eloped in Hawaii in 2018 and now we live on the Isle of Skye with our two crazy rescue pups, and photograph eloping couples all over the Scottish Highlands and Islands.
We love nothing more than adventuring with like-minded couples in the mountains, and the forests and the beaches and… you get the idea! If you’re ready to talk more about eloping then get in touch and we can chat about your perfect elopement experience.
LIBBY + KRISTY | QUIRAING ELOPEMENT
Where do we start? Oli and Steph are SUCH a talented photographer duo team and two of the nicest humans we know. From our first zoom session we felt instantly calm, grounded and excited about working together. They went above and beyond with helping curate the BEST wee wedding experience in Scotland –our lodging/venue, welcome dinner location, and vendor dream team is because of their help (they have a great elopement guide too!) We were especially grateful for this as we were planning our wedding from over four thousand miles away in Orlando, Florida. If you are getting married on Skye or in Glencoe – book these two! You will be so happy you did! We felt equally ourselves and like movie stars – and they captured the most beautiful moments! We swear they manifested a rainbow during our ceremony at the Quiraing! We feel so grateful that one of our greatest gifts of our wedding adventure was coming home with two new friends.
LAUREN + BJORN | TALISKER ELOPEMENT
HOLY SHIT! The photos are just incredible, it was so wonderful to relive our day through the photos you guys captured. They are everything we wanted and so much more. Thank you both so bloody much. We are so happy with them. We cannot wait to get back to Skye and come visit you. We meant it when we said we’ve made friends for life!
CLARE + MATT | BROTHERS POINT ELOPEMENT
These guys are just the bees knees! I’ve never known wedding photos like these! Our family say the photos captured not only the beauty of what eloping is all about but also our raw emotions. When you elope it’s key that everyone sharing your day brings positive energy – these two have it in bucket loads. It’s like having two friends by your side – not just for photos, but sorting hair crisis, carrying extra bags, recce’ing locations in advance for you…They really do go above and beyond.