Explore the Cuillin Ridge

Aerial view of the Cuillin mountains

Come to Skye and explore the Cuillin Ridge. They dominate the Skyline on Skye, On a clear day, when stood in Dunvegan, and from the top of the croft behind Millburn. you can see them in the distance.

A view across to snow topped Curillin Ridge
View of the Cuillin range from the top of the croft.

Many visitors to Skye come solely to explore the Cuillin Mountain ridge, including the Inaccessible Pinnacle But it is also accessible to those not quite as adventurous too.

The Cuillin Ridge for the accomplished mountaineer

You should only climb the Cuillin Ridge if you are an experienced mountaineer. There are guides who you can hire to escort you, if you need them. Routes can be found on OS Explorer map 411, we have copies for you to borrow in our suites. You can also purchase your own here. It is always best to make sure you have a compass, as well as wearing the correct clothing and footwear. Above all always make sure someone is aware of where you plan to go and which route you are taking.

Explore the Cuillin Ridge for the everyday walker

Route 1

Luckily there are ways of getting close to the Cuillin mountain range if, like me, you would find the ridge too difficult. One way I highly recommend is to walk around Loch Coruisk. You can get a boat trip from Elgol and spend either an hour or all day there exploring. You can find out more about boat trips and getting there here. When you step off the boat, having seen the seals sleeping on the rocks, you will find yourself surrounded by the black rocks as they soar majestically above you. You have two options once you alight from the boat. You can walk up Sgurr na Stri, 494m giving you a panoramic view of the Cuillin range and across the Loch.

Or, like us, you could do the circular route around Loch Coruisk. It is a well worn path over some quite large slabs. Whether you go clockwise or anti clockwise you will have to cross the large boulders that form stepping stones across the Scavaig river. We were advised to check the flow of the river before deciding, to see how wet we would get. We decided to leave it to the end so if we did get wet we could dry off on the boat journey back. I have to admit I was one of the slower ones making my way across them at the end.

Large boulders which form stepping stones on the walk around Loch Coruisk
I will leave the decision up to you!

The walk around the loch, when we visited, was a calm clear day. It is a popular place for people to go wild swimming, and I can see why. As you walk round you get a sense of the size of the mountains, especially when you see the size of some of the boulders that have come down over time. A jaw dropingly good way to see them from a different perspective is to watch Danny MacAskill, renowned mountain biker from Dunvegan, ride down the slabs on his mountain bike. The views are spectacular.

Watch Danny’s descent here.

Even though you come over on the boat with a number of others, the area is so vast you feel as though you are on your own. We sat against an enormous bolder and had a brew and a sandwich and soaked in our surroundings. We will definitely revisit.

Route 2

Another way to get closer to the Cuillin Ridge is to walk to the Fairy Pools from Sligichan, or vice versa. Its approximately 5km so you could do the walk there and back. Or if you are in a party with two cars, have one at each end. It will add a bit of time to your day but reduces the distance you walk. You could rest your tired limbs in Seamus’ Bar at the Sligichan where they have over 300 different types of whiskey (make sure you have a designated driver).

Route 3

If you drive down below the Fairy Pools to Glenbrittle not only do you find a lovely beach and idyllic campsite but a walk into the foothills of the Cuillin’s. There is parking for a few cars just before the entrance to the campsite. If you walk down onto the site there is a footpath that goes up behind the convenience block which will take you up Coire Lagan or around the edges of Sron na Ciche.

Collie & Mackenzie

Finally I want to share with you a bronze sculpture that has been erected beside the river Sligachan. John Mackenzie came from Sconser on Skye and climbed Sgurr nan Gillean at the age of ten. He became the first native Scotsman to become a professional guide. Professor Norman Collie was a frequent visitor to Skye and they became good friends. Together they explored the Cuillin Ridge and established routes across the Range that are used today.

The Collie and Mackenzie Heritage Group raised £117,000 to erect a bronze sculpture to commemorate their achievements. The sculpture was unveiled in September 2020. You can find out more about Collie and Mackenzie on the Heritage Group Site, it is very interesting read more.

When we first moved to Skye we could see the preparation of the site and recently went for a closer look.

If this has inspired you take your own walk within the Cuillin Range why not book a stay and go and explore. We are happy to help you plan your trip.

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Five favourite day walks on Skye


Day walks on Skye are bountiful and for all abilities. Below you will find five of our favourite day walks on Skye with some photographs of what we saw and links to maps you can download.

A day walk on Skye to Rubha Hunish

Our first favourite walk on Skye was on a wet and windy walk to Rhuba Hunish. This was in August 2019, just before we moved here.  We had brought my daughter’s dog, Puka, with us and he thoroughly enjoyed himself.  You can walk down to the headland, however, the path has a steep and scrambly descent which we didn’t do this time. We will come back and explore some more. 

The views from the top, at the former coastguard lookout , overlooking the Little Minch, are spectacular. On a good day you can see across to the mountains on the Isle of Harris.  The lookout is now a bothy maintained by the Mountain Bothy Association.  We took a packed lunch and Ian’s invaluable brewing tackle to make a much needed warming cup of tea. And a much needed piece of Millburn shortbread.

You can find a great map and description by Walk Highlands here
(what three word locator for car park is guides.serve.songbirds )

A walk to Orbost Beach

This is a gentle easy walk for a Sunday morning.  Park at Orbost Farm (take care not to block any access (What three word locator for car park is solved.sized.fidgeted ). Follow the track that goes along side Orbost House’s garden wall and follow this until you come to the beach.  There are rocks to climb, rock pools to explore and you could have a dip in the sea if you are brave.

A walk to Dun Fiadhairt

This walk is just 3 miles up the road from the house. Parking is just over a mile past Dunvegan Castle (what three words – firepower.sorters.coasting), cross over the bridge and follow the sign. You can access a map from Walk Highlands here with a good description of the area. There is a great view across the loch to Dunvegan Castle. You will see the remains of an iron-age broch which you can also explore. Keep a look out in the loch and you may see a common seal colony which is the largest on Skye. Find a comfy rock and watch them play.

A walk to Coral Beach

Coral Beach is just five miles up the road from our house. There is a car park but places can be limited at times (what three words bars.coconuts.brambles) please park responsibly. The foot path is well trod, if you are taking a dog, please keep on a lead as there are farm animals loose. There is a good view across to Colbost, Husabost and when at the beach on a clear day across to the Outer Hebrides.
You can find a great map and description by Walk Highlands here

A circular walk in Dunvegan,
the Two Churches Walk

This is one our favourite walks on Skye as it can be done from the house. You can walk up behind the house, look out for the resident highland cows, past the school and across the croft field running behind us. This takes you to the Kilmuir Road with views across to the Cuillins and the MacLeods Tables. If you walk along this single track road, with the school on your left, you come to the road from Dunvegan toward Portree. Turn left as though going into Dunvegan.

You will see the first church, St Mary’s, on your right and this is where we start the walk. Why not walk into the church where you will see memorial stones to many of the Clan MacLeod. You can walk up to the Duirinish Stone which gives you a fantastic panoramic view. Keep an eye open for the fairy doors on the trees as you come through the wood, and the seesaw seat.

The Walk Highlands do a route but it takes you in the opposite direction

A laminated copy of the route maps are provided in our rooms for you to use during your stay.

Our favourite day walks on Skye are sure to be added to as we find new and exciting places to explore.



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