Isle of Skye Textile Experience

Textile tour with workshops, talks, visits and stories all about textile and fibre art & crafts on the Isle of Skye
Dates: 1-9 October 2021
Tutors: Various
Activities: Weaving, spinning, yarn dyeing, knitting, felting & more
Location: Isle of Skye, Scotland
Price: From GBP 2790
Suitable for all creative skill levels

A wonderful treat for lovers of textile and fibre art! Immerse yourself in the pleasures of textile art and crafts whilst exploring one of the most iconic locations in Scotland in the company of like-minded spirits.

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What to expect

This 9-day creative experience combines a series of workshops with local makers, talks and tours of textile studios, with exploring the island and learning about its history and heritage. We’ve also included a luxury boat trip to the nearby Isle of Raasay. 

With its wealth of long established as well as new enterprises the Isle of Skye, the largest of the Inner Hebrides, has grown into a textile destination buzzing with creativity.

This unique textile adventure includes: 

> Full-day weaving workshop using hand-dyed wool/silk yarn at Skye Silks
> Half-day yarn dyeing workshop using local plants at Shilasdair Yarns
> Full day at Island at the Edge croft including introductory workshop to spinning and wool processing; full croft tour (meet the sheep!)
> Full day workshop at The Handspinner Having Fun – choose between felting and peg loom weaving
> Dorset Button making workshop with TJ Frog
> Optional knitting session
> Luxury day tour by boat to the Isle of Raasay, with opportunity to visit Raasay Distillery and Raasay Gallery
> Storytelling session with local storyteller Seoras MacPherson
> Visits to Skye Skyns, Skye Weavers, West Coast Weavers
> Day of touring including visit to Dunvegan Castle

and for your comfort:

> 8 overnight stays at tasteful, high quality accommodation in Portree
> 8 continental style breakfasts
> 3 lunches
> 7 evening meals
> All workshop materials
> All transportation during tours
> Pick up at Kyle of Lochalsh on arrival day
> Drop off at Kyle of Lochalsh on departure day
> Admissions to sites during tours
> Surprise gift bag
> Personalised service and detailed pre-travel information by email
> Support of 2 tour leaders throughout
> Financial protection insurance

Day-by-day itinerary*

Day One – Arrival

You can make your own way to Portree or use our pick-up service from Kyle of Lochalsh. We will advise on the best travel connections for getting there.

We gather in the cosy lounge at the Old Mill for welcome drinks. After the welcome dinner Skye’s best known storyteller, Seoras (George) MacPherson, carries us off to the world of historic stories and legends that have been passed down many generations in Skye.

Skye wool spindles

Day Two – Island at the Edge (croft tour and spinning workshop)

We spend the day on the croft at Island at the Edge in Edinbane, where we get to meet the sheep, highland cows and donkeys. We learn about crofting history, wool processing and much more. The owner Yasmin tells us about the Fisherman’s Ganseys she knits. Lunch will be provided and the afternoon is spent in a workshop session introducing us to the traditional craft of spinning.

Skye sheep and hen

Day Three – Touring Waternish and Duirinish

Our day tour takes us to Waternish in the north and Duirinish in the west of Skye. We visit Skye Skyns for a tour of their tannery. At Skye Weavers we get a tour and talk about how they produce their famous fabrics using a bicycle pedal-powered loom. Another of today’s highlights is a visit to Dunvegan Castle. Weather allowing, we may want to do the Neist Point Lighthouse walk, with a chance to spot dolphins, whales and basking sharks.

Andrea at Skye Weavers

Day Four – Yarn dyeing workshop and tour of Trotternish

We spend the morning at Shilasdair in Culnacnoc where owner Kirsty shares her passion for dyeing with natural colours in a half day workshop session.  After lunch and a visit to the nearby West Coast Weavers studio we head off to explore the Trotternish peninsula some more. Highlights include views of the Fairy Glen and a stop at Kilmuir Cemetery, burial place of Flora MacDonald, whose story is immortalised in the Skye Boat Song. Other places where where we might like to stop include the Old Man of Storr, the Kilt Rock and the ruined Duntulm Castle, viewpoints of the Outer Isles, and opportunities for short walks to the shore.

shilasdair-yarns-isle-of-skye-natural-dye-alder

In a leisurely evening workshop session Tania from TJ Frog teaches us how to make her famous Dorset Buttons.

Days Five & Six – Free time and day of weaving

On Days Five and Six we split our group in half during the day. While one group enjoys a day off to rest and relax or explore Portree in their own time, the other group gets to take a full-day taster weaving course with Jaine Mahon at Skye Silks in Dunvegan. Using table looms, each student will have enough hand dyed wool/silk yarn weft to weave a sample in their chosen weave pattern. For the group that stays “at home” an optional knitting session is on offer.

On one of the evenings we will enjoy a Gaelic culture session with a local.

Day Seven – Felting or Peg loom weaving

Another full-day workshop takes us to the Handspinner Having Fun in Broadford – and fun we will have! Choose between felting or peg loom weaving and let Bev and her colleagues inspire you.

Handspinner Having Fun sign

Day Eight – Boat trip to Raasay

We take a luxury boat trip to the Isle of Raasay on board the MV Seaflower. Wildlife spotting opportunities are abundant and the boat is also fitted with a remotely operated underwater camera (ROV) providing us with a fascinating insight into life beneath the waves.

On arrival in the bay at Raasay we are served a fresh, locally caught seafood lunch with refreshments on board. Once ashore we can explore the natural beauty of the island. The views looking back to Skye’s Cuillin range are magnificent.

There is also the option to visit the newly built Raasay Distillery for a tour which we can arrange in advance.

Back in Portree, we have our farewell dinner since it’s our last night together (oh no!).

Day Nine – Departure

The experience finishes after breakfast when we have to say goodbye. Unless you have arranged alternative onward travel from Portree, we will take you back to Kyle of Lochalsh from where you have good travel connections.

Your tour leaders

Wild at Art director Ute Amann-Seidel and textile maker Lucy MacLeod will be your hosts and accompany the group throughout the experience. We deeply care about your safety and wellbeing – and also very much for your enjoyment! Together with all the local partners involved in the trip we work to ensure everything goes smoothly and that you get as much as possible out of the experience.

*Please note: This is a prospective itinerary. It may be subject to modest modifications. Nearer the time, once local events programmes are available, we may build in items to further enrich the itinerary, such as a folk music and poetry nights.  

Portree Isle of Skye

Our accommodation

Two charming historic buildings in the island capital Portree will be our homes during the trip.

Historic Seafield House, nestled on the shores of Portree Bay is a substantial Georgian House dating from the 1830’s. It is located within its own grounds and walled garden, from where it offers beautiful views across the sea. You may even see an otter in the bay or an eagle flying over Ben Tianavaig!

The other house is the nearby Old Mill. Built over 200 years ago, the house is the main part of Portree’s former grain mill, retaining attractive original features. Above a burn, flanked by beech trees and close to the shore, it commands fine views across to the Isle of Raasay. Over three floors linked by a spiral staircase, the house has high quality, flexible accommodation. The middle floor is an attractive open plan living area with a multi-fuel stove and the original mill stone.

Some of the rooms are available for single occupancy and we recommend you book early if you’d like a room to yourself. These are characterful old properties where no two rooms are the same. Some of the rooms share a bathroom with one other room. Rooms with exclusive bathroom access will be allocated on first come first served basis.

Price & other details

Cost:  GBP 2790 (approx. 3700 USD) per person, based on two guests sharing (plus GBP 300 to have a double room to yourself). Prices are payable in Pounds Sterling (GBP).

Not included: International flights; transportation to and from Kyle of Lochalsh; meals other than those listed above (i.e. 4 lunches and 1 evening meal are not included); gratuities.

Guests are required to take out personal travel insurance.

Group Size: Minimum 6 guests and maximum 10 guests.

We will be happy to advise on travel options within Scotland and recommend the best travel connections from Glasgow and Edinburgh for getting to Portree or the pick-up location in Kyle of Lochalsh. If you’d like to arrive a bit earlier or stay some extra nights after the Wild at Art vacation we can assist you with finding accommodation.

How to book

To reserve your place, please provide some details using the online form (see link below).  We will then send you a welcome email and issue an invoice for the deposit payment. A non-refundable deposit of GBP 500 secures your place and the balance payment will be due 8 weeks before the trip starts. Feel free to contact us anytime if you have questions.

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Isle of Skye landscape