Today is Sunday, a good day for a walk with the “girls” (Lila and Tali). The weather is dry and mild (This time last year we had snow on the ground and it was flippin’ freezing), the skies clear so there’s the promise of a few more hours of daylight.
Park at the carpark just below the Sligachan Bunkhouse, just before the Junction if you’re coming from Broadford. This way there are no roads to cross with dogs and kids- always a plus, especially during the tourist season.
Make your way down towards the old bridge and go through the gate. There are wonderful views of the North End of the Black Cuillin here. Follow the path up the slope past the Sculpture site and then through a wee gate with a nice new path to follow, which replaces the previous bog and rock obstacle course that was there before .
Follow the path – it meanders its way above a deep gully where you can hear the River – Allt Daraich – as it tumbles down to flow into Loch Sligachan
Near the head of the path, to your left is a waterfall which cascades into a nice cool pool. In Summer it is possible to get down the slope to the pool a wee bit further along – its obvious when you get there. The path divides just past this point and either takes you around the mound on your right or continues along above the gully. Your walk, your choice.
From the wee gate there is no real path, you have to follow where others have walked on your hike up to Drum na Ruaige and on to Beinn Dearg and beyond. However, we didn’t want to go up there today, we were going to walk south above the glen (its very boggy, with deep pools, just below where we passed through the gate), carefully wending our way around the less boggy bits and eventually landing back down on the path that runs through Glen Sligachan. Watch out for rills that are partially covered in grass – some are very deep.
From here it’s a slow walk back (Tali who’s not too keen for our walk to end so takes her time). But its a good path along which we often meet other dogs out for walks with their hiking owners. The entire walk took us one and a half hours, but it’s a walk that is as long or as short as you want it to be.
One last treat is in store for us before we pass through the gate and back to the carpark and the inevitable snacks for the “girls”. As we walk up to the Sculpture Site once more, we turn left reading the notices about the site (with images of how the actual sculpture will look from the various angles), then follow a different subsidiary path down towards the River Sligachan – which today is more babbling brook than it’s often raging torrent.
A sheltered semi-circle set with a stone bench, before which is a beautiful relief of the Cuillin Hills. There’s always time to sit here to enjoy THAT view, the sounds of the river and soak up the atmosphere I believe.
Notes for a safe and enjoyable walk:
- The new path is somewhat uneven as it is newly laid with large pieces of gravel, it might be advisable to have walking poles with you if you are unused to rough hiking.
- The gully is at least 20-30ft deep, make sure that dogs and children (especially) stay away from the cliff edges.
- As mentioned before, there are a number of rills (deep, very narrow cuts that water has made in the hills. These are full of water. Be careful to watch out for these as they are often partially covered by long grasses.