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  • Writer's pictureSarah

The Stein Inn - the oldest Inn on the Isle of Skye

Updated: Oct 21, 2023

White buildings facing a loch
Stein from the jetty

Earlier this year we took a huge step and bought a cottage in Stein. Stein was designed by Thomas Telford to be a 'model village', moving crofters from farming to fishing for a living. Constructed around 1790, these are solid buildings, now B listed (Grade 2) and largely returned to their original aesthetic after some horrendous 'modernisations' in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Our cottage is the only one remaining in Telford's original design, all the rest have had dormers added.

We're absolutely in love with the place, our front garden runs down to the loch, and the view from the bedroom windows across Loch Bay is amazing. It's a small hamlet, but does possess both the Stein Inn, and the only Michelin starred restaurant on Skye - Loch Bay by Michael Smith - which is next door to our cottage. If it had small grocery shop it'd be perfect, as it is we have to remember to stop en route for some essentials. It's a small inconvenience for staying somewhere so beautiful though.

When we were here in June one of our friends joked, "How far is the nearest pub though?" So I sent him this photo!

Glass of beer on a post with a view across to a building with INN written on the side
The Stein Inn from our garden

We'd stayed in The Stein Inn about 5 years ago, now run by Charlie who is the hands-on chef owner, and a very visible presence. It's quite a destination on Skye, well known for it's daily excellent sea food. There's a pretty garden facing the sea for summer lunches and drinks, which is the perfect place to sit and let the stresses of modern life fade away. Inside it has a variety of rooms, a lounge, a seated area for the bar, the bar itself, and then the couple of rooms used for dining. They are an eclectic mix of old and new, quirky and charming.

Woman and man siting with a loch behind them
Enjoying the garden at the Stein Inn back in June

The staff are welcoming, and they really work hard to ensure that your visit is pleasurable. It's wise to book though, even in October, as every table was occupied on a Wednesday evening, and a couple of walk-ins couldn't be accommodated.

2 crates of freshly caught lobsters with a fishing boat behind
Lobsters caught by Iain back in June

The sea has been quite wild this week, so the langoustine and lobster weren't available. I've been promised a crab by Iain from Loch Bay Shellfish if the weather permits, (he brings these ashore on the jetty so you really can't get fresher) so still hopeful of getting some, I chose a venison steak instead of seafood. Alex opted for the enormous portion of fish and chips.

Plate of food, venison steak with salad and freis
Delicious haunch of venison

My venison was beautifully cooked and seasoned coming with herd butter, served with crispy fries, a salad with mint and peaches, with a red wine and whisky jus, and kimchee.

a plate of fish and chips with peas and tartare sauce
Classic fish and chips cooked to perfection

Alex's chips were the perfect combination of crisp exterior with fluffy potato interior, the fish flaky inside a golden batter. His came with peas and a home-made tartare sauce. Alex opted for a Skye Red ale to accompany his traditional pub fare, whilst I felt obliged to order a large glass of 'Heilan Coo', a shiraz from Australia to accompany my venison.

We left feeling very full and very happy that we only had to walk 50 yards to home!

Loch Bay Shellfish email:



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