Strathaird – The Isle of Skye’s most enchanting corner
Glasnakille is at the end of a long, winding and exceptionally beautiful road. The B8083, which traverses the Strathaird peninsula, is by far the most breathtaking part of Skye I think. Strathaird has a plethora of attractions, a natural beauty and a fascinating history. Its also one of the most sparsely populated corners of Skye, where you are often outnumbered by the local wildlife. To give you an idea of what awaits; all of the photos on this website have been taken in Strathaird.
Certainly, staying on Strathaird will leave a deep impression on you. Whether your interest lies with the ‘ghost’ or clearance villages, or the natural wildlife which abounds here. Perhaps you’re up for some stunning coastal walks. Or if you prefer to take things easy, you can just take in the breathtaking scenery. Whatever your interest, there’ll be something to captivate you and capture your heart.
Also, you’ll also be in very good company – just round the corner from Glasnakille, Bonnie Prince Charlie spent his last night on the island before being spirited away with the help of Flora Macdonald!
Glasnakille – a traditional highland crofting village
The village of Glasnakille is a traditional working sheep crofting community with views over the small islands (Rhum, Eigg and Muck). It also takes in the Sleat peninsular across the water to the south. Also, on a clear day, you might be able to see all the way to the Ardnamurchan coastline, further to the South West.
This means that 6 Glasnakille is an ideal base to explore Strathaird and the wider environs of Skye.
Probably the biggest draw in Glasnakille is the famous Spar Cave – which is on the door step, almost opposite the house.
Elgol, just over a mile away has plenty of boat trips to various local attractions.
Blaven, often described as Skye’s most impressive mountain is only a short drive away with its fairy pools.
You can explore more Strathaird activities in more detail below:
Around Glasnakille (1 mile or less)
Most recently visited by Bear Grylls and Ben Stiller (him from Hollywood!), the spar cave is world famous and justifiably so. Just remember to go when it’s low tide!
An iron age fort perched on the cliff top it’s tricky to get to and is difficult to located during summer months when its obscured by foliage. Ask the locals to point it out to you.
Prince Charles’ cave
You can easily get to the cave from Elgol. Maybe you’d like to take it in, as part of a coastal walk from Glasnakille to Elgol? Its the place where the Bonny Prince Charlie (heir to the Scottish throne) spent his last night on the island before fleeing Scotland for exile, never to return.
McAlister’s beach and tomb
A very pretty walk through Glasnakille towards Drinan will take you past McAlister’s beach and tomb. McAlister owned the local farm in Glasnakille.
The next village along the coast from Glasnakille is a beautiful stroll and allows you to get your bearings of this part of Strathaird. Just walk up to the T junction in Glasnakille and just carry on! Once at Drinan, you can decide whether to turn back or carry on and complete the loop via Elgol.
Elgol and surrounding area (5 miles or less)
One mile away, has arguably one of the best view in the entire UK. The heart-stopping vista across Loch Coruisk to the majesty of the Cullin ridge.
From here you can take a boat trip (there are several to choose from) to the heart of the Cullin. Or visit Soay or Canna, Eigg and Rhum (The Small Isles). Several boat trips enable you to see seals, dolphins, basking sharks and other amazing wildlife nearby.
Within Elgol, there is a new, critically acclaimed restaurant, Coruisk House. Elgol also boasts two coffee shops and a village store (with wonderful cakes!). Elgol Village Hall is host to several ceilidhs and traditional (and not so traditional) concerts each year.
If you start at Elgol (and do the reverse walk), the view is almost better. You have the advantage of seeing the impressive Cullin peaks advancing towards you as you approach Camasurnary beach. Please note, the path between Camasurmany and Elgol is very tricky and potentially hazardous. Please take extra care.
Clearance villages (Keppoch, Suisish or Boreraig)
I recommend a visit to a ghost village (forcibly emptied during the notorious highland clearances). It can be a profound experience. Suisnish or Boreraig are also both stunning coastal walks.
Kilmarie beach and graveyard
Kilmarie House use to be the home of Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull fame. The beach and graveyard make an interesting visit and Dun Ringill, a small iron age fort (Broch) is nearby, as is a neolithic burial cairn.
Blaven – the mountain Blà Bheinn
Called Scotland’s most magnificent mountain, is one of the most accessible Munroe on Skye and a most worthy monroe to bag on a good clear day. Park at the Blaven car park NG560215, walk back along the road and you’ll see the path on the left running up to the mountain. The path also takes you to the fairy pools
Blaven – the fairy pools
Far superior to the Glenbrittle fairy pools. Slightly less accessible but they are worth it and a great place to cool off during a hot day (we sometimes have these!).