Well last week wasn’t the best for walking with the girls. Not much sunshine, rather dreich and a tad breezy, but we were not to be deterred. I just had to plan a bit better to get the best out of it.
So I chose to do a walk that I hadn’t done for a wee while. Combining a food shopping trip with a wander for the girls and I. We went to Scorrybreac. Its just on the northern outskirts of Portree from the Staffin Road (well signposted). Drive down to the bottom of the slope and just past the sign that directs you to the Cuillin Hills Hotel, to a parking space facing Loch Portree and the harbour.
A wee note for dog walkers, remember your pooh bags (there are bins to put them in at the beginning of the walk and please do not dump pooh bags in the undergrowth, it’s disgusting and they don’t degrade)
The footpath leads you along by the loch side and takes you past the boathouse and slip way, up towards a gate.
If you decide not to do the whole walk, or take the diversion to the Dun (as we did), there is a sign here that directs you up a wee path to the hotel where there’s the chance to enjoy tea/coffee and cake!
Through the gate you soon arrive at a lookout point, on a mound to your left. Walk up the path to see fabulous views across the Loch. There are several information boards up here, and a memorial to the McNichols who have owned this land for several centuries. On a better, sunny day these views can be spectacular.
Today we followed a path up behind the lookout to see what was up there. I must point out that this path is steep, although stepped, some of the steps are very deep – so not for the faint hearted – coming back down might prove to be a bit of a mission.
At the top of the path there is a bench and if you’re like me, a nice sit down to catch your breath and take in the view is not to be missed. On this day the view wasn’t quite as magical as it would be on a warm sunny day in spring but it is impressive none the less.
From this point the girls and I walked along a very narrow, steep path up through the copse and on towards the top of the hill. It can be quite slippery in places after rain, so be careful. From here if you wish you can follow what is essentially a sheep path that takes you to Dùn Toravaig. It is advisable to take a map so you don’t get lost. But we had a good wander about, following sheep paths here and there, with Lila charging about the place like her life depended on it.
Note: sheep are grazed on the hill so keep an eye out for them if you have a dog and put it back on its lead if you see them. However, wandering about following sheep paths is great fun and not to be missed – after all this is meant to be an adventure.
The light was beginning go by now, after all it was 15:30 in the middle of January, so we decided not to go as far as the Dùn. We had to get back to the main path safely and my lovely Tali needed to be “assisted” on the way down due to some of those very steep steps. This had been our first wee adventure up here and the girls had loved it.
The actual path we started on, goes much further along the coast towards a raised beach, and then, whilst becoming quite rough, leads on up towards Toravaig and then back down past the hotel after taking you through another small wood. It’s a lovely walk which could take a couple of hours to complete (depending on how fast you walk and how many times you stop to take in the views) but is full of all sorts of interesting things to see and ponder on. Being a circular walk also means you don’t have to retrace your steps to get back to the car.
These two photo’s were taken when the sun was shining – looks quite different doesn’t it?