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Mountain summits, big days out, fresh seafood and lots of storytelling.
As one of our most popular destinations, we’ve always loved coming to the Isle of Skye, so it was with some excitement last week that we launched a new trip, aiming to spend a week walking on Skye’s famous mountains.
Our normal ‘Adventure and Explore’ week has been extremely popular over the last few years, combining easy and moderate walks with sightseeing and visits to great local restaurants and craft shops. But we wanted to offer a different kind of experience on this trip, with our goal the airy summits of the highest peaks.
Skye is divided up into three ranges with interest for hillwalkers – the Black Cuillin, Red Cuillin, and the Trotternish Ridge. There are of course other outlying hills, but any walker on Skye will wanted to get aquainted with these three areas to get a sense of the place.
We began on the first day with a foray into the Black Cuillin, the most awe-inspiring range in the UK. Vast dark summits surrounded us on our ascent of Sgurr Beag, and we had our first taste of the Cuillin Ridge, where only a few walkers’ routes penetrate into a domain otherwise reserved for climbers.
Our second walk was the horseshoe of Coire Gorm, which includes three summits in the smaller ‘Red Cuillin’, rising above the town of Broadford. These granite peaks are a different shape and feel from the black gabbro Cuillin of the main range, and we scrambled up giant pink boulders for views over the whole south of the island, as well as over to the isle of Rhum.
If you’re going for one walk on the Trotternish ridge, the trail through the Quiraing and over it’s parent hill is a must. We wound our way through the pinnacle debris of the ancient landslip and gazed up at the bizarre rock formations before gaining the crest of the wide ridge and enjoying views to the most northerly point on Skye.
For our final two days, having visited the three key ranges, we opted for two more days in the Black Cuillin. The weather forecast was fantastic, and we were able to get clear views over the whole of Skye, the surrounding islands, and even back to the mainland. On the first day we explored Glen Brittle and went up Sgurr na Banachdaich. The benefit of this peak is that it lies half-way along the infamous Cuillin ridge, allowing walkers to get a full sense of the scale of the surrounding climbs.
Our final day was a long circuit, one of the few circuits that walkers can do of the main Cuillin ridge, heading up Sgurr a Bhasteir and then following the ridge along to Bruach na Frithe. This route affords the best view of the famous Pinnacle Ridge of Sgurr nan Gillean, and allowed us to get our hands on some rock, sun baked and warm.
The benefits of a guided walking week on the Isle of Skye are immense – get to grips with some of the most impressive walking peaks in the country and learn something about the fascinating culture and history of the island. We went out to some excellent local restaurants, ate freshly caught seafood, went to a storytelling evening about Skye myths and legends, and went swimming in two of the sun-warmed pools near the Black Cuillin. All in all a great week of mountains!
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