Published: August 14th 2011August 13th 2011
On Saturday morning, there's a bright light shimmering on Loch Long, but a mist descends and we set off in rain. The sky beyond Kyle looks brighter, so we decide to cross to Skye in search of better weather. As it's still overcast, we make first for Dunvegan Castle, home to the 30th Chief of Clan Macleod and one of the oldest inhabited castles in Scotland. Among the exhibits is the framed remnant of the Fairy Flag, said to date back to the 4th to 7th Centuries and to be made from Middle Eastern silk. According to legend, a nursemaid briefly left her charge in a room on an upper floor of the castle and when she returned, the babe was swaddled in the flag and being watched over by a fairy. The visitors' book contains signatures of tourists from Italy, France and the USA, but very few from the UK. As we follow a convoy of Italian motor homes back to Kyle in the teeming rain, we wonder whether it's the weather or the cost that's deterring the British from holidaying in their own islands.