Stein (Gaelic: Steinn) is a small settlement on Waternish, the middle peninsula of the north coast of Skye, in the Scottish Hebrides. It's scenic but tiny.
More visitor facilities can be found a few miles east at Edinbane, which lies along the main road between Portree and Dunvegan.
You need a car. Occasional buses run along the Portree-Dunvegan main road but none come up the lanes of the peninsula. There are two lanes: one follows the west coast of the peninsula, from Fairy Bridge on A850 north via Stein, Dunhallin and Trumpan. Side lanes cross east to Gillen then north to end at Geary. The other lane leaves A850 a mile west of Edinbane and follows the east coast as far as Greshornish. The two lane systems don't join.
A bike maybe, but a car is better. Roads around Waternish peninsula are narrow single track roads with passing points.
- 1 Fairy Bridge. The Fairy Bridge is where the lane to Stein and Waternish Point branches off the main road, which now crosses the stream on a modern bridge. In folklore, the old stone bridge is the location where the fairy wife of a chief of the MacLeods left to return to her people. Free.
- 2 Waternish Point (Rubha Bhatairnis) (Lane runs to within a mile, then walk). Vaternish Lighthouse was built by the Stevensons in the 19th C, but the structure was replaced in 1980. Nearby is the ruined settlement of Unish.
- 3 Trumpan church. Ruins of a medieval church. In the Battle of the Spoiling Dyke in 1578, a raiding party of the MacDonalds of Uist trapped the church congregation within and burned them alive; the local MacLeods killed all the raiders. The churchyard has the grave of Lady Grange (Rachael Chiesley): after one insult too many against her estranged husband, he had her kidnapped and she spent her remaining 13 years in squalid captivity. She was held on St Kilda for six years then, just in time to thwart a rescue party, moved elsewhere, spending her last 3 years on Skye.
- Go To St Kilda, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. In calm weather April-Sept, day trips to St Kilda sail from Stein at 07:00, a 4 hour crossing with 4 hours ashore on Hirta the main island and back for 20:00. Booking essential, and check the website for restrictions eg minimum age. Adult £260.
- 1 Skyeskyns, 17 Lochbay, Waternish (30 min north of A850 road from Fairy Bridge), ☏ , email@example.com. Daily 09:30-17:30. Tannery selling sheepskin rugs and a variety of woolen items. See the free short tour of the tanning process on the first floor; ask the staff in the salesroom. Sheepskin and wool mainly from local Skye sheep, but the store also uses imported sheep hides from elsewhere.
- 1 Loch Bay Restaurant, 1 Macleods Terrace, Stein (at the end of the loch front road near Stein Inn), ☏ . Tu & Sa 17:30-20:45, W-F 12:15-13:00 & 18:15-20:45, Su 12:25-13:00. Top rank food at mid-range prices, majors on seafood but vegetarians well-catered for.
- 2 Edinbane Inn, 2 Edinbane Pottery, Edinbane, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Dinner: Daily 17:30-20:30. Combined inn, bar, and restaurant in a renovated farmhouse. Restaurant serves bistro food with produce sourced from local producers. Listed as a Michelin Plate (2020). Reservations may be needed during high season. Inn has 6 rooms with doubles starting at £100. Mains £15.
- 1 Stein Inn, Macleods Terrace, Stein IV55 8GA, ☏ . Small inn open all year; okay-ish bar food. B&B double £90.
- Four B&Bs in Edinbane along the main road.
- 2 Greshornish House, Edinbane IV51 9PN (leave A850 west of Edinbane, follow lane along loch), ☏ , email@example.com. Cozy upscale hotel, tucked away, but worth searching for. B&B double from £170, min stay 2 nights.
As of June 2022, Stein and Edinbane have a patchy signal from all UK carriers, and there's no signal north on the Waternish peninsula. 5G has not reached Skye.
On round the island via Dunvegan, back to Portree and Broadford to return to the mainland, or to Uig for the ferries to the Outer Hebrides.