This area is particularly suited to those who love the hills, wildlife, bird-life, fishing, canoeing, golf or complete relaxation. It is also a wonderfully romantic place for honeymooners.

The sandy Braes Beach at Balmeanach is a spit of land jutting out into the narrows of Raasay and is only 2 miles from the cottage. From the cottage croft you may well spot porpoise, dolphins and otters, not to mention plover, fulmars and oyster catchers. Also look out for the spotted orchid, sundew and butterwort. If you are lucky, you might even observe a sea eagle soaring high overhead or hear a corncrake, a very rare and endangered bird.  Over 80 different kinds of birds have been spotted on or near the croft.

The Braes area is also steeped in history. In 1882, the crofters in Braes stopped paying rent until their demands for the return of common grazing land were met. Using the force of law, the landlord, Lord Macdonald, tried to evict them. The Sherrif Officer was dispatched from Portree to evict the leading dissidents. He and his assistant were met by a mob of angry Braes folk who forced him to burn the eviction notices. Subsequently a band of 50 Glasgow policemen were sent to Skye to quell the Braes rebellion. The ensuing “Battle of the Braes” was reported in the press and eventually Parliament passed laws giving crofters more security of tenure. It is sometimes argued that the Battle of the Braes was the last battle fought on British soil (rather than Culloden in 1745). The former Jailhouse in which some of the Braes prisoners were held can be seen to the right. In 1883, the government set up a Royal Commission to look into the state of crofting and the grievances of the crofters. It was chaired by Lord Napier, hence the name the Commission is usually known by. The Commission travelled throughout the Highlands and Islands in order to hear evidence from crofters, landowners, estate officials, and local representatives such as ministers and doctors. Their first hearing was in Skye, held in Braes Church which is pictured to the above left.

Copyright Bramble Cottage