Hard, Medium and Easy Walks on Skye
We’d read about the top ten walks on Skye and were keen to do at least one of them! We ended up doing three.
The Quiraing - Hard...
The Quiraing 7km walk was number one so why not we thought! We’re not stupid, we read up about it first. Apparently, it has a “good, sign-posted path northwards from the car park. It will take you on a fairly level walk along the hillside. There are good views to be had the whole way. There is a slightly awkward crossing of a burn, made worse if it happens to be frozen. Other than that it is entirely straightforward.” I think we must have stopped reading at that point.
According to our source, the only (safe) way out is back down to the cairn by the Prison. Once there you can return directly to the start point, or go left and follow the path further along the foot of the cliffs. We followed what we thought was a path away from The Table and towards the direction of the car park. It got narrower and narrower and soon we were walking on the edge of the mountain. We were also heading around it so you couldn’t see what was in front of you at all. The path appeared to head into nothingness.
By this time we could see the car park, far below, in the distance. But we could see it. A decision needed to be taken. My companion's vertigo was kicking in and we’d already been walking for 3 hours. So we split up! My companion returning the way we’d come. He knew what he faced. I continued going forward on the grounds that I could see the car park. Plus I knew what was involved by going back! I made it back by doing some of the route on my butt and he made it back by an hour later. So, all was well in the end.
Next time someone suggests we do a “classic hill walk” (thanks Mr Tourist Information), I think we’ll ignore them and go for a coffee instead.
Fairy Pools - Medium...
Not content with the Quiraing walk, we decided to embark on another. The Fairy Pools was also in the list of 10 ten walks in Skye. This one was billed as short in length with a difficulty rating of medium! So we figured having done hard previously, medium would be a piece of cake.
And it mostly was - until the end. Crossing the raging river, well slow trickling stream really, I stepped on a wet stone, missed my footing and slid gracefully into the water. There was a lady behind me who asked if she could help me up. I handed her my camera which I was keeping above the water. Then, a helpful man behind asked how cold it was. Which surprisingly, it wasn’t particularly!
My walking partner wasn’t quick enough with the camera to take a picture but I was soaked all down one side. Fortunately the weather was beautiful and we weren’t that far from the car What an adventure!
The fairy pools we’d gone to see are a series of waterfalls and emerald pools, which were fairly undramatic but pleasant enough to walk along side for almost an hour each way. What was dramatic was the Black Cuillins mountains that we were walking towards. These are where the River Brittle originates. Stunning views.