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Over the Sea to Skye (Clip 1)

A hiker's visit to the island

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This clip opens with some general views of Skye. The progress of the ferry into harbour at Portree is shown before the upcoming Skye Games are discussed. A pipe band is shown marching through Portree, with crowd following. Footage of the games and spectators follow, with a particular emphasis on different tartans.
Our hiker boards a bus and we see it's journey across Skye by phantom ride. After disembarking, he wanders through the countryside. The film showing us close views of the fauna of Skye. Proceeding by car and boat, the hiker sees some of the animal life including of the island seals and a sandpiper's nest. The clip ends with the hiker's arrival at Loch Coruisk in the Cuillin Mountains. Go to clip 2 of this film.

Questions & Activities


  • What games are being played?
  • What is the Gaelic name for Skye and what does it mean?
  • Who was this film made for and why?
  • How did people get to Portree before the Skye bridge was built?
  • Who owns the Cuillen mountains and why did they come to the media's attention in the 1990s?


Art and Design: Identify the different types of clan Tartan you can see and design your own Tartan.

Health and Wellbeing: The man does not seem to be particularly well dressed for the Highlands for today's standards. Research what essential equipment you would need to with you for a hiking trip in the mountains of Scotland.

Geography: Research the gulf stream and how important it is to the climate, fauna and flora of the West of Scotland.

English: The narrator voices the words of the writer Neil Gunn stating '€˜time here is not the time you go by but the time you remember'€™. Discuss what he means by this and write a story or poem based on this that illustrates this point.

Geography: The film show people getting to Skye by ferry. How are they likely to get to Skye today? Plan a journey from your house to the Isle of Skye today looking at times and costs.

Gaelic: The film mentions McCrimons Piping College. Today 'Sabhai Mor Ostaig' and the music school at Polckton High are best known for promoting Gaelic music and culture. Research how they came to be developed and their importance in promoting Gaelic culture today.

History / English: Research Hebridean myths and legends such as the 'Blue Men of the Minch', 'Senoidh'€™ and '€˜Changelings'€™, 'Selkies'. You might want to look at common themes and similarities and differences with other folk tales from around the world.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-004-017-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 0363
Date 1961
Genre Documentary, Sponsored
School Subject Geography, English, History, Art and Design
Subject Matter Rivers and Coasts
Who Anvil Films (production company), Films of Scotland and skye Tourist Association (sponsor), Hans Neiter (director)
Where Loch Coruisk, Portree, Skye
Attributes Colour, Sound
Clip Length 7:52
Film Length 18:00