Fasach sheilings and Beehive dwellings.
Grade 2/3, 6.5 miles. 3 hours, ascent 190m, NG179496. Park at Glendale Community Hall.
The walk begins via the Lower Fasach Road following on to a track to the shielings and ancient beehive structures. Continue over rough heath and return by the River Hamara. Almost opposite the Hall is the road to the cemetery where the tombstone of Viking Prince Tiel lies propped against the wall.
Idrigill Point and McLeod's Maidens.
Grade 2, 10.5 miles, 5-6 hours, ascent 160, NG257433
Park at Orbost Farm. Start at the end of the road to Orbost House, follow the track to beautiful sandy Bharcasiag Bay and on through the forestry track to visit a group of impressive sea stacks called McLeod's Maidens. Good path or track most of the way but pathless towards Idrigill Point. Offers excellent views of Canna, Rhum and the Cuillin Hills.
MacLeod's Tables / Healabhal Mhor and Healabhal Bheg
Grade 4,7 miles, 4-6 hrs for both, ascent 970m, NG256444.
Park at the bend in the road on the way to Orbost. Head over the river Ollisdal to MacLeod’s Table North / Healabhal Mhor. Pass over the small hill between the two tables to Macleod’s Table South / Healabhal Bheag. Come back down by the way of the path by Orbost Woods and via a single track road. These are two lovely flat-topped hills, the south Table being slightly higher, prominent in views from many parts of Skye. Their ascent gives a straightforward but rough moorland walk. The Tables themselves have steep grassy slopes and good panoramic views from the tops. The tables can be walked separately or together.
Grade 1, 2.5 miles, 1.5 hours, ascent 10m NG243483
Starting at Uiginish Farm. A short walk around Uiginish taking in the tiny lighthouse and an interesting dun. The small knoll beside the lighthouse offers panoramic views over Loch Dunvegan, McLeod's Tables and Dunvegan Castle.
Milovaig Oisgill Loop
Grade 2, 3-4 miles, ascent 200m, NG154506
Start at Meanish Pier, the way is pathless following high cliffs with sheep tracks and excellent turf for long stretches with some wet sections. Visit Oisgill Bayand return via Druim nan Sgarbh. The views are to the Loch Pooltiel, Western Isles, Loch Mor and Waterstein Head, Neist and Waterstein township.
Grade 2, 2.5m, 1-8 hours (Depending on how long would you like to play among the rocks), ascent 160m, NG132478
Park at the road end to Neist Point. A short walk visiting Neist Point, the dramatic westernmost point of Skye's headlands. Good concrete steps and path to the Lighthouse and a short walk over grass to the interesting rocks that break away into the sea like a collapsed city. Good for scrambling, playing, cliffs for abseiling and good rocks from which to fish or watch the wildlife. 'Ant-Aigeach', the high cliff rearing up out of the Minch midway along thepath, means 'The Horse'. Views are to the Islands of Uist, Benbecula, Canna and Rhum, Moonen Bay and the imposing Western Cliffs of Skye. This is also the site of a 1800C shipwreck hence the building of the Light House.
Ramasaig and Lorgill cleared villages.
Grade3. 6miles, 3-5 hours, ascent 240m, NG164443
Start from end of road to Ramasaig, park carefully to allow farm vehicles to pass. A mixture of track, pathless ground and excellent cliff top walking. Pass the ruins of Ramasaig onto the ruins of Lorgill, and around The Hoe to Hoe Rape, watch for nesting birds, loop back to Ramasaig. Enjoy views over the Minch to the Western Isles, Waterstein Head and Neist Point.
Dunvegan Head, Biod an Athair and Manners Stone
Grade 3, 5.5 miles, 3-4 hours. ascent 320m, NG181546
Park and Galtrigal road end. A rough moorland and cliff tip walk around Dunvegan Head, passing a natural arch and the Biod an Athair cliff, the highest point on Skye's sea cliffs. Pathless walk across rough moorland around Dunvegan Head. Near Galtrigal road end is a ruined village with the Manners Stone, a metre square flat stone resting on boulders. Supposed to improve manners but sit on it and ask a question or make a wish and listen. Please respect gates and fences around this working farm. Nearby, visible from the road through Borreraig, is the Cairn to the MacCrimmons, the famous pipers to the Clan MacLeod.
Image: Coral Beaches, Dunvegan
Our thanks to;
Brian Smith, Andy Taylor, Andy Stables and Cailean MacLean for photos.
Ordinance survey for kind permission to use route maps.
Andy Stables for graphics, advice and his excellent website: www.glendaleskye.com
Also www.walkhighlands.co.uk for information on walks.
Additional places to visit:
- The Glendale Community Hall, with toilet facilities, area map and information board
- The Heritage and Cultural Centre, Café and toilets
- Ceitag's Restaurant and Tea Room
- The Glendale Shop and Post Office – 01470 511266
- Orbost Gallery – 01470 521207
- Raven Press Gallery – 01470 511748
- Red Roof Cafe and Gallery – 01470 511766
- No. 10 Studio and Gallery – 01470 511795
- Colbost Folk Museum – 01470 521296
- Borreraig Park Museum and Shop – 01470 511311
- The Three Chimneys Restaurant and House-over-By – 01470 511258
- Skye Silver Jewellery – 01470 511263
- The Watermill
- The Glendale Martyrs’ Memorial
Image: Craig and Elly raising the roof
at the Red Roof Cafe and Gallery
When to go cetacean watching from the Scottish West Coast
Harbour porpoise – all year
Bottlenose dolphin – all year
Short-beaked common dolphin – Occasional, May – August
Risso’s dolphin – Regular May – October, best August – September
White-beaked dolphin – Regular, July – Otober, best August – September
Atlantic White-sided dolphin – Occasional May – October
Orca - Mainly May – October
Long-finned pilot whale - Rare, April – September
Northern bottlenose whale - Rare, August –September
Minke whale - Rare, Winter, Spring, Autumn, best May – September
Fin whale - Rare, May – October
Humpback whale - Rare, May – October
Sei whale - Very rare, May – August
Information supplied by Sea Watch Foundation.
For a good but challenging shore dive, Meanish Pier/Reef is an excellent choice. A steep wall to around 14m opens into a series of small terraces which descend further still to around 20m. Fairly easily dived from the shore, it's nice to be able to drop out of a boat and glide gradually down the wall. I remember descending through a mass of small jellyfish and looking up through them from the seabed to the brilliant sun beyond.
The ledges at Meanish are home to some particularly large dahlia anemones, velvet and edible crabs. The area is also patrolled by dogfish and pollack, and octopus are occasionally seen too.