Elsewhere on Skye
Below are some of the island's further away highlights.
From the church, there is a 10mile walk along the old 'Marble Line railway, across the limestone pavement to the clearance villages of Boreraig & then Suisnish. On the way, you pass interesting outcrops of weathered limestone & several waterfalls. The ruins are widespread & obvious. All the way the views over Loch Slapin are superb.
Alternatively, Loch Coruisk can also be accessed via a long walk from Sligachan, & from Kilmarie or Elgol via the notorious 'bad step' - a scramble over sloping rock slabs & not for the inexperienced! This magnificent, desolate loch lies at the very heart of the Cuillin, & is often described as the wildest in Britain. Whilst you are very likely to get wet feet from the boggy terrain, this is a small price to pay for the superlative mountain scenery along the way. If walking only one side of the loch, the south side has easier going & the best views.
Fairy Pools are located along the single-track Carbost to Glenbrittle road. There is a small car-park, but it can get busy. A cascade of waterfalls, crystal clear pools & the winding beauty of the rock formations created by falling water, set against the jagged outline of the towering Black Cuillin, give the basins a special magical connotation.
Close to Idrigill Point, at the southern tip of the Duirinish peninsula, stand three very impressive sea stacks in an appropriately dramatic setting. These are the famous MacLeod’s Maidens. The tallest stack - the mother - rises over 70m out of the sea. She is accompanied by her two daughters, standing just off the cliffs at Maidens’ Point (Rubha na Maighdeanan).
MacLeod's Tables are two curious flat-topped hills prominent in views from many parts of Skye. Healabhal Beag (488m) & Healabhal Mor (469m), rise in gentle contrast to the jagged peaks of the Black Cuillin. Their ascent gives a straightforward but exhilarating rough moorland walk. The views from the summit of Healabhal Beag are breath-taking. Although not high, these hills are distinctive because of their steep sides, yet perfectly flat tops & represent the remains of lava flows from the tertiary volcanoes which once erupted to form much of Skye. Steeped in folklore, the hills were said to have been used by MacLeod of Dunvegan to serve a grand feast to visitors.
Neist Point is the most westerly headland on Skye. Located on the Duirinish Peninsula, it is an iconic destination, with stunning cliff scenery, a fine lighthouse & an outlook to the Outer Hebrides. In the summer months this is the best spot on Skye to watch for minke whales, basking sharks, porpoises & dolphins, As the sun sets the air is alive with the cries of roosting gannets, guillemots, razorbills & shags.
Portree is Skye’s largest & liveliest settlement. There are no towns or cities on the island & Portree is known as a village. It has a pretty harbour lined with brightly painted houses, & there are great views of the surrounding hills. Its name in Gaelic is Port Righ which translated means King’s Harbour & commemorates James V, who came here in 1540 to pacify the local clans.
Fringed by high cliffs, Portree harbour continues to be used by fishing boats as well as pleasure craft. It has excellent leisure facilities including a swimming pool, pony-trekking & boat cruises plus plenty of shopping opportunities.
Portree is also the cultural hub for Skye & one of its main attractions, the award-winning Aros Centre, runs regular theatre, concert & film screenings.
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Drawing courtesy of Sean Webb ©
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