Although referred to by the locals as "the village", PORTREE is Skye's only real town, and is one of the most attractive fishing ports in northwest Scotland, its deep, cliff-edged harbour filled with fishing boats and circled by multi-coloured restaurants and guesthouses. Up above the harbour is the spick-and-span town centre, spreading out from Somerled Square, built in the late eighteenth century as the island's administrative and commercial centre, and now housing the bus station and car park. The Royal Hotel on Bank Street occupies the site of McNab's Inn where Bonnie Prince Charlie took leave of Flora MacDonald, and where, 27 years later, Boswell and Johnson had "a very good dinner, porter, port and punch".
A mile or so out of town on the Sligachan road is the ArosCentre (daily 9am–6pm; open later in summer; Web: www.aros.co.uk ), one of Skye's most successful tourist attractions despite the fact that it's little more than an enormous souvenir shop. If it's wet, you can watch a live RSPB webcam centred on sea eagles' nests and an audiovisual roam around the island (£4). Aros also hosts gigs and contains a cinema, an exhibition space, a licensed bar and a popular café, and there's a play area for small kids.