Bag a Munro

This part of Skye offers a wealth of hill walking and climbing opportunities to visitors. We have the coast, the hills and the high peaks of the Black Cuillins all on our doorstep.This short guide to hill walking and climbing on Skye gives you some idea of what’s on offer.

“What is a Munro?”

All the hills in Scotland higher than 3,000 feet are deemed to be Munros – named after the man who first listed all 282 of them.  “How many Munros are there on Skye?” There are 12 on Skye.  Eleven are on the main Cuillin Ridge and the 12th (Bla Bheinn – Blaven) is between Torrin and Elgol and so very handy to Springbank Cottage located in Elgol. You’ll need to be sure of your abilities as a scrambler as even the easier peaks require putting hand to rock at times.

Guided climbing

There a number of professional mountain guides on Skye.  They will assess your needs, advise on where to go and guide you up the signature peaks on the Cuillin Ridge, such as The Inaccessible Pinnacle, if you are up for it. Try: Skye Guides; Skye Mountain Guides; or Guiding on Skye but there are others.

The nearest Munro to Springbank is Blaven (left centre) readily accessible from the Elgol to Torrin road

Coastal walking

South Skye offers some of the best coastal walks anywhere in the UK.  You won’t find any better scenery anywhere in the UK than on the walk from  Elgol to Loch Coruisk coastal path (guide here) and other routes in the locality make for great days out.

Try Elgol to Strathaird Island (guide here) and the shore between Elgol and Glasnakille offers high cliffs and sheltered inlets to explore.  Other options include the walk from Kilbride, near Torrin to Suishnish (guide here) which is full of historical, geological and botanical interest.  This one of the best areas in south Skye botanically due to limestone outcrops.  Most of this coastline is part of the Skye Trail long distance path. 

Over in Broadford, a walk from  Ashaig to Arnish (guide here) is flat and takes in a large area of Broadford Bay.  A little bit further afield is the excellent day out to Sleat Point (guide here) which rewards you with one of the best sandy beaches on Skye – a hidden gem.

Ashaig to Arnish in Broadford Bay – an easy walk with plenty of pools to investigate

Hill walking

All of the land in the area is owned by conservation charity The John Muir Trust‎ so offers unrivalled accessibilty. You can access this wild land direct from the garden at Springbank Cottage. The cottage has immediate access onto free-to-roam common grazing land that stretches all the way to Camasunary Bay, the Cuillin Hills and beyond.

Take take a boat trip from Elgol across Loch Scavaig to get a more direct route into the Cuillins and walk as far and go as high as your legs will take you.  The Blaven group of Black Cuillins is accessible from the Elgol road near Torrin and offers some really challenging routes across all grades of climbing and scrambling.  For those more interested in a more gentle ascent try the stunningly situated mini Cuillin, Sgurr na Stri (guide here) or the Red Cuillins accessible from Torrin on the Elgol-Broadford road.

A bit further afield are the Kylerhea hills (guide here) which are definitely worth a visit if you are interested in seeing ptarmigan, an elusive but beguiling mountain bird.

The Red Cuillins near Torrin on the shores of Loch Slapin – at 700m a great option for hill walking

A visit in winter can be very enjoyable.  High pressure weather systems bring cold, often dry,  weather. Which creates a lot of possibilities from snowy ascents to low level walks.  There’s some ideas for winter walks here.  The Cuillins can be dramatic and dangerous in winter so take good advice before tackling anything major.

The weather

Remember it always makes sense to check the weather forecast before deciding when and where to go.

What’s latest weather forecast for hill walking on Skye? – click here

Walking guide books and maps

There are several walking guide books in the cottage.  The reference collection also has information that will appeal to those interested in more serious scrambling and climbing.  There is also a comprehensive collection of OS maps for the whole of Skye and there’s plenty of information here about the wildlife you might encounter as well as identification guides in the cottage.

So, there’s plenty to do during a trip to Skye and Springbank Cottage, located in Elgol situated in south Skye is a great base to explore from.  If you want more than just a “standard” holiday cottage, then take a closer look.  We hope you will be surprised by how much is on offer during a stay at Springbank Cottage.

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