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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