It's the must-see destination struggling to deal with its own record-breaking popularity.

Now locals in Skye have been given the green light to snap up tennis and squash courts in the centre of Portree – and turn them into a car park to ease congestion. 

The Portree and Braes Community Trust (PBCT) secured £88,390 from the Scottish Land Fund to buy the facility, paving the way for 80 new spaces – including motorhome and waste facilities – to open next summer.

And while community groups elsewhere are taking over pubs and planning water sport centres, locals are clear that parking is a top priority. Early plans for the Portree site even included a multi-storey car park, but this was quickly ditched.

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Duncan Brown, a trustee at PBCT, said the situation at the moment is “horrendous”. 

He said: “We’re coming towards the end of the season now, but it’s still very, very busy at the moment. 

“Mid-season – June, July, August – it’s chaotic.”

He added: “We knew how many people were coming into the village itself. We didn’t know how many people were coming into the village, couldn’t get parked and were turning round and going straight back out again. 

“So we didn’t know how much business the actual village was missing. 

“But every time we seem to put parking down there, it fills up. It’s incredible.”

Mr Brown said the new parking spaces would help “future-proof” Portree, allowing it to deal with increased traffic from visitors. 

He said: “I would say maybe three, four years ago a small, mini boom started and it’s growing every year. 

“We’ve done relatively well in a short period to do the car parking we have in these different areas. 

“Obviously, the council sees the importance of it, because it has 
helped us push this through as quickly as we can.

“The councillors have backed us fully and understand how bad it is.”

Skye attracts more than 500,000 visitors a year, but there are increasing fears its infrastructure is struggling under the weight of tourism.

Previously tranquil spots such as the Old Man of Storr and the Fairy Pools 
are experiencing growing throngs of holidaymakers, while accommodation is frequently fully booked over the summer months.

New parking facilities have been created, but Mr Brown said villages can still be a “complete gridlock” at the height of the tourist season. 

The 57-year-old described Skye as a victim of its own success, but insisted its popularity is also good for the local economy

He said: “I had a guest house for years, and come October it was like somebody throwing a switch. The place went dead. 

“Now it runs through to the end of November and starts again in early March – and you still get tourists in the winter, which you never used to get.”

PBCT was previously handed £300,000 from the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund to advance its plans, and is working in partnership with Highland Council and the Portree Tennis and Squash Club.

Mr Brown said the overall vision was to create about 350 extra spaces, as well as toilet and shower facilities, by reclaiming land towards the shore.

Meanwhile, it is hoped the tennis and squash club can use some of the cash to move to another site. 

Mr Brown said the tennis courts had not been played on for years and were being used as a storage facility.

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He added: “From that point of view, the tennis courts were gone. I think, sadly, the squash court just slowly disintegrated and died.

“So there’s not been a lot of kickback.

“There were a few comments about another facility gone in the village, but the facility was already gone by the time we made this approach. It was already closed. It was done. 

“We are buying that facility from them and the money they are getting from that will be the kickstart for a new facility.”

A Highland Council spokesman said the project was a “positive collaboration” between the council, community trust and Portree Tennis and Squash Club.

He added: “We are now preparing for phase two of the project.”