The year of Coasts and waters 2020-21 has not been as accessible as many would have liked, due to our current restrictions. But you can still access online. I’d like to share with you some of the fantastic coastline and water activities available on Skye, which will still be here when you can come in person. Think of it as a planning blog.
The coastline of Skye varies dramatically. From the cliff face at Kilt Rock to the sweeping bay at Coral Beach.
With rugged headlands, mountain streams, cascading waterfalls, Skye has it all. There are many walks that take you along the coastal paths. You never know what you might find there. One such walk, we have still to do, is from Glen Brittle to Rubh an Dunain. A peninsula that stretches from Glen Brittle beach in the shadow of the Cuillin. This is an eight mile walk taking you to an old settlement and Viking stronghold. Here you will be able to see a canal dug out, making the loch accessible to their longboats. You can find a walking map and more information on the Walking Highlands website: Rubh’ an Dunain, Glen Brittle
With water all around, the possibilities are endless. There is something for everyone. From a high speed rib boat trip to see the rugged coastline and hidden caves, to a boat trip over to the Isle of Rona whilst enjoying a meal of fresh seafood, sourced locally. You can go canoeing, canyoning or river tubing. And if you enjoy wild swimming, well the island is your oyster. You can find out more about what is on offer on our website page Exploring Skye.
If you enjoy seafood you won’t be disappointed on Skye, with fishing all around the coast. The restaurants on the island serve some of the best seafood dishes around and if you want to take some home, you can regularly buy them straight from the boats on the quayside. Find out more about these restaurants here Restaurants on Skye
There is an abundance of wildlife around the coasts of Skye. There are boat trips taking you out to sea to see Minke whales, seals and sea eagles to name but a few. But you can also see them on foot whilst on your walks. If you are lucky, you may see an otter.
Visit Scotland have done a Year of Coasts and Waters Travel Guide which you might like to look at Year of Coasts and Waters Travel
Skye has featured in four television programmes recently showing the stunning scenery and meeting locals. Why not have a look from the comfort of your arm chair:
Darcey Bussell’s Wild Coasts of Scotland on More4
Sandi Toksvig’s Extraordinary Escapes on More4
Paul Murton’s Grand Tours of Scotland’s Lochs on BBC!
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.
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 ✋
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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.
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.
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
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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