Waternish or Vaternish (Scottish Gaelic: Bhàtairnis)[1] is a peninsula approximately 12 kilometres (7 12 miles) long on the island of Skye, Scotland, situated between Loch Dunvegan and Loch Snizort in the northwest of the island, and traditionally inhabited and owned by Clan MacLeod whose clan seat is at the nearby Dunvegan Castle. The current clan chief is Hugh MacLeod of MacLeod. It contains the hamlets of Stein and Lusta in Loch Bay to the south east, Halistra, Hallin and Trumpan further north and Gillen to the west, all of which are accessed from the A850 road by crossing the Fairy Bridge. The highest point is Ben Geary (284 metres or 932 feet) and the most northerly is Waternish Point. The origin of the name Waternish is controverse.

Map of Skye showing Waternish
Western shore of Loch Bay

The history of the peninsula is a long (and often bloody) one involving clan feuds, massacres, de-population during the Highland Clearances, and eventual re-vitalisation. Originally consisting of small crofting communities, Waternish now has a growing population and is home to various arts and crafts enterprises. Whilst the main industry on Waternish is tourism, there has also been a revival in recent years of crofting or small-scale agriculture. The local school is called Knockbreck. The school has struggled recently due to an ageing population which has resulted in only 4 students currently attending and the school was scheduled for closure in summer 2015.[2] The local pub is the Stein Inn, which dates back to 1790 and is the oldest on Skye.[3]

Trumpan was the site of the skirmish known as the Battle of the Spoiling Dyke[4] and the churchyard is the burial ground of Rachel Chiesley, Lady Grange.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Duwe, Kurt C. "Vol. 11: An t-Eilean Sgitheanach: Trondairnis, Diùirinis & Minginis(Isle of Skye: Trotternish, Duirinish & Minginish)" (PDF).
  2. ^ "Councillors approve plans to close Skye schools". Press and Journal. 15 January 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  3. ^ "Magical places do exist..." steininn.co.uk. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
  4. ^ "The Massacre at Trumpan Church and the subsequent Battle of the Spoiled Dyke". The Hendry Family. Retrieved 25 May 2008.
  5. ^ Macauley (2009) p. 149
  • Macauley, Margaret (2009) The Prisoner of St Kilda: The true story of the unfortunate Lady Grange. Edinburgh; Luath. ISBN 978-1-906817-02-2

External linksEdit

  Media related to Waternish at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 57°32′20″N 6°34′30″W / 57.53889°N 6.57500°W / 57.53889; -6.57500