Dunvegan Castle in Isle of Skye, Scotland

Mingling with Seals on the Isle of Skye

While we were out hunting down Heilan Coos, we did a loop around the northern part of the Isle of Skye and found ourselves in the town of Dunvegan on the western coast.

Dunvegan Castle, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Originally, when I was searching for budget hotels in Scotland, I considered staying near Dunvegan in Edinbane. Because the area was so remote, fittingly the bed and breakfasts were much cheaper. But in retrospect, I’m glad we opted to stay in Portree instead, as it was far more central of a base.

Dunvegan isn’t that far away distance-wise, but it took us the better part of the day to get there as we drove slowly around the coast counter-clockwise. When we arrived, we parked at the castle, paid our collective Β£23.50 admission fees (don’t forget, students and seniors get discounts, always) and spent an hour exploring the castle.

Isle of Skye, Scotland

The castle itself wasn’t so impressive, especially compared to all the other castles in Scotland, but I think it’s the sprawling grounds and gardens that are the selling point.

Dunvegan Castle, Isle of Skye, Scotland

After we shot a little footage for our Gangnam Style video, we saw a sign that said “seals, this way.” Curious, we followed, and then promptly paid the Β£5 each to take a boat ride out to see these alleged seals. Now, normally, I wouldn’t fall for such a tourist trap, but this looked fun, we had nothing else to do and, c’mon, seals! When is any sort of wildlife not cute?

Dunvegan Castle in Isle of Skye, Scotland
Dunvegan Castle in Isle of Skye, Scotland

We wound up being the only three, aside from the driver—I don’t think you want any of us navigating the waters of Scotland alone!—in the little motor boat we took out to the island. It was less than a five minute-ride from the Dunvegan pier. I was expecting it would take awhile to wait for these seals to surface, but nope! They were ready for us, and they were everywhere.

Dunvegan Castle in Isle of Skye, Scotland

Silly (sealy?) seals who posed for us.

Dunvegan Castle in Isle of Skye, Scotland

This guy’s body language just emanated: “heeeeeey, laaaaaadies. Come into my lair.” All that was missing was his stogie.

Some of them reminded me of cats, basking in the sun on the rocks.

Dunvegan Castle in Isle of Skye, Scotland

Dunvegan Castle in Isle of Skye, Scotland

We saw big ones, small ones, baby ones, all different sizes and colors.

Dunvegan Castle in Isle of Skye, Scotland

I missed having my massive wildlife lens on this trip, but at least our driver got us close enough to capture them properly.

Dunvegan Castle in Isle of Skye, Scotland
Dunvegan Castle in Isle of Skye, Scotland

When I think Scotland, seals usually don’t come to mind. But I guess even in a place with which you are quite familiar, you still learn something new every visit.

Dunvegan Castle in Isle of Skye, Scotland

So despite the castle itself being only “meh,” I would go back here in a heartbeat for an afternoon with the harbor seals. Dunvegan gets two thumbs up from the Luna girls!
Dunvegan Castle, Isle of Skye, Scotland
COMMENTS
  • November 16, 2012

    I wouldn’t have ever pictured seals in Scotland, and these guys are so “chill”

    • November 17, 2012

      Particularly in comparison to the seals at Pier 39!

  • November 16, 2012

    Oh, I want to go to there.
    Angella recently posted..Getting Recipes Ready For The HolidaysMy Profile

  • November 16, 2012

    You and your sister look so much alike! I voted for you on Chris’s site – good luck! Very cute seal pics, too.
    Sonja recently posted..I Like DonutsMy Profile

    • November 17, 2012

      She’s prettier and blonder—but I’ll take any comparison, ha!

      And I made the top 13, so thanks so much for your vote =)

  • November 16, 2012

    Who would expect seals over castles in Scotland. Gotta’ love the surprises of traveling.
    Gaelyn recently posted..Painting in the cloudsMy Profile

  • November 16, 2012

    I just love your photos. Great tips on Scotland… Thanks!

  • November 16, 2012

    Those seals made me giggle! Too cute!
    Rika | Cubicle Throwdown recently posted..Roatan Month 3 RoundupMy Profile

  • November 17, 2012

    Loved the name of the castle!! And those seals are pretty, everyone of them is looking at you as if trying to communicate something!!!
    Have a nice day πŸ™‚
    Arti recently posted..Of… Love, Lights and Joy: Diwali Diya MemoriesMy Profile

    • November 19, 2012

      I love how chill they are. After living in San Francisco where the seals are aggressive and bark at you, these guys were a nice change of pace!

  • November 18, 2012

    Those seal shots made me crack up. The one lying on the seaweed really does look like he’s trying to seduce you.
    Ashley of Ashley Abroad recently posted..Saturday Snapshot 7My Profile

    • November 19, 2012

      I told him I had a husband and that I was a little out of his league–he should look for a lady more his type… πŸ˜‰

  • November 18, 2012

    I never pictured seals in Scotland! But this looks like such a fun thing to do – that Macho seal is hilarious! πŸ™‚

  • November 18, 2012
    Haidang

    best sister pic ever!

    btw what camera mode are you on for these pics. love the lighting for the skintone

    • November 19, 2012

      I almost always shoot in aperture priority mode with the white balance set to shade or cloudy (unless it’s sunny out, which it rarely is in Scotland!). The coloring is mostly post-processing.

      • November 19, 2012
        Haidang

        Lightroom Lightroom Lightroom…Amen!

  • November 19, 2012

    What 23 GBP entrance fee?! Crazy! But I’d go for the seals love them…
    Sebastian @ Off-The-Path.com recently posted..Hostel Test: SafeStay in LondonMy Profile

  • November 19, 2012

    I had no idea seals were in Scotland, you keep making it look better and better!
    Ayngelina recently posted..A lesson in organicsMy Profile

  • November 19, 2012

    It’s amazing, seals are in Scotland! I didn’t see any of them even in Iceland. Great photos! πŸ™‚
    Juno recently posted..Runaway Photo: The Day I Saw the Northern LightsMy Profile

  • November 19, 2012

    I am so incredibly jealous about your seal experience. Mine was… well, non-existent due to it being so cold. What cute faces they have!
    Erica recently posted..Pretending to be a Gladiator in the Colosseum with Walks of ItalyMy Profile

  • November 20, 2012

    Amazing pics there lady… I’m ashamed to say this is only over the border for me and yet I’ve never once seen a seal in the UK! Another one for my “to do” list… x
    Delia recently posted..Istanbul: The Accidental HolidayMy Profile

  • November 20, 2012
    Mister Sister

    we should have brought one of them suckers home with us… Knox and Ella would have loved having a “sealy” seal brother.

  • November 20, 2012
    Kent @NVR

    That top picture of you 2 is adorable. Far more adorable than the seals!

  • November 20, 2012

    I think I’m in love with the seals!!!! btw, I never found the video that I saw the day after the elction (Obama Gangnam style). I found a similar one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdFn6xzdZCU

  • November 21, 2012

    What stunning pictures!!! I love Scotland but don’t remember seeing seals there!
    Have you heard of the festival tomorrowland? I posted about it, a truly amamzing place to take pictures!
    http://www.heleneinbetween.com/2012/11/the-most-amazing-thing-ever.html
    Helene recently posted..The most amazing thing everMy Profile

  • November 21, 2012

    I am OBSESSED with wildlife of all kinds, seals included. In Iceland I made us drive to some random GPS coordinate where I read on the internet there were dozens of them, sadly we only saw one and even with my 75-300 lens we were too far. But in Hawaii I was much luckier, we saw a great monk seal show at the end of one of our hikes. Amazing!
    Alex recently posted..Five Fantastic Hikes in OahuMy Profile

  • November 21, 2012

    They are so cute, I just want to squeeze them!
    Emily in Chile recently posted..The Botero Museum will make you smileMy Profile

  • November 27, 2012

    Coos & then SEALS!?! So much cute!

  • December 2, 2012

    Your pictures are absolutely stunning! I want to visit Scotland now πŸ™‚
    Sojourner recently posted..Visiting the Alaskan GlaciersMy Profile

  • December 17, 2012

    Scotland is a really beautiful part of the world and very underrated. Natural beauty is almost everywhere as a lot of Scotland has been barely touched.

  • December 24, 2013

    Great post and beautiful shots captured by you ! Scotland is really a lovely destination to explore.

  • December 11, 2015

    OOOOOOOOOOH you have returned to the scene of the crime. On the corenr of that street in the lower center of the picture beer from the cellar next stop the North pole ..ooooohm it was a long night..(hic) The panorama is nice.

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