Sligachen to Elgol

Small Isles from Camusunary

Small Isles from Camusunary

You might remember the Colvend Coast claimed to be the best coastal walk in Britain.  Now it certainly was great, but today’s walk easily beats it.  With a bit of logistic skill the Missus dropped us off at Sligachen on Skye for a walk through the mountains to the coast on the other side and then a coastal section to Elgol. It might have been that we had picked a beautiful day, but this walk was simply stunning.

Sligachen bridge

Sligachen bridge

Sgurr nan Gillean

Sgurr nan Gillean

Loch an Athain

Loch an Athain

Sligachen is a tourist magnet with its picturesque bridge, hotel and place for camper-vans to gather.  There are also lots of good paths into the mountains and so is a favourite with the Munro-baggers.  Our route was basically south on a great path through the mountains that involved almost no climbing.  It was lovely to walk about 200m and leave everyone behind with the whole of Glen Sligachen to ourselves (and the Golden Eagle that passed over us).  All around us were mountains: great big monsters like Sgurr nan Gillean with lots of sharp pointy bits.  Through binoculars I could see small dots of people heading up and felt perfectly happy that I would never be up there in this lifetime.  As if having the Cuillins all around wasn’t pretty enough, the path passed a couple of very attractive lochs that made an excellent lunch spot.

Jazz in Strath na Creitheach

Jazz in Strath na Creitheach

Camusunary

Camusunary

Path to Elgol

Path to Elgol

Having reached the giddy height of 50m, the path starts descending to the sea at Camusunary with a jaw-dropping view over to the Small Isles.  You can see why this bay appears in every Skye coffee-table book: its location is idyllic.  The next section of the walk follows the side of the hill all the way to Elgol.  After the excellent path of the mountain section, the coastal one is a lot more work .  It also treads its way around some steep bits that didn’t help my vertigo.  However, the views all around were gorgeous 1 and I was pleased to take this path rather than the easier track that heads inland.  My camera sounded like it was on sports mode as I kept taking pictures at every bend in the path (and there were a lot!): I’ll only treat you to a few.

Cuillins from Elgol

Cuillins from Elgol

Camasunary from Cladach a Ghlinne

Camasunary from Cladach a Ghlinne

As you have probably picked up, this walk was sublime.  The mountain section was easy; the shorter coastal part was harder 2 and we averaged about one mph.  However, with views like these who is complaining.  It gets one of our Essential ratings.

Notes:

  1. Starting to run out of superlatives!
  2. Take a walking pole.
Distance:19km
Effort:
Scenery:
Do It Again:
Duration:7 hours