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Kilmarie to Sligachan

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  • Start of the walk at Kilmarie (0.0km)
    / Start of the walk at Kilmarie (0.0km)
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / View of Camasunary Bay (2.6km)
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / The beach at Camasunary Bay (a short detour from the track)
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Camasunary Lodge (4.2km)
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Dry river crossing (8.4km)
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Cairn and the Cuillin (10.5km)
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Marsco (15.3 km)
  • / The bridge at Sligachan (17.10km)
    Photo: Macs Adventure
m 200 150 100 50 -50 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km
Walk from the south to north coast of Skye from Kilmarie to the iconic bridge and hotel at Sligachan.
moderate
Distance 17.2 km
6:00 h
250 m
274 m
188 m
8 m

You’ll be dropped off by taxi transfer at Kilmarie, from here follow a well-defined track up and over a gentle, rounded ridge to gain spectacular views down onto Loch Coruisk and across to the Cuillin Ridge. Descend to pass by the sandy beach at Camasunary Bay where you may be tempted to take a short detour to dip your toes in the sea on a warm day. Follow the river north passing the Corbetts of Blaven and Marsco on your right and tranquil lochs on your left. 

Please note: After heavy and prolonged rainfall the water level at the two main river crossings will likely be high. If you decide to go ahead with the walk walking poles are recommended to help with your balance when fording the river if the stepping stones are covered. 

Author’s recommendation

This route passes through remote and beautiful scenery, make sure to get an early start so you can take your time and make the most of it!
Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
188 m
Lowest point
8 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

After heavy and prolonged rainfall the water level at the two main river crossings will likely be high. If you decide to go ahead with the walk walking poles are recommended to help with your balance when fording the river if the stepping stones are covered. 

The route follows a good track from Kilmarie down to Camasunary Bay followed by a short boggy section for ~200m before joining a narrow gravelly path that will take you all the way to Sligachan with just some short areas across grassy or muddy terrain. After rain there will be plenty of small streams crossing the path and 2 larger river crossings which can usually be made with relative ease using some large stones to step on. 

The path is rocky and occasionally crosses areas of exposed bedrock – take care as these can be slippery when wet. 

Tips and hints

Points of Interest

Camasunary Bay Bothy

The route passes near Camasunary Bothy, the small stone cottage to the left-hand side of the track. Bothies are simple shelters from the elements where anyone who's out and about in the area can overnight instead of camping or bivvying; they often contain sleeping platforms and a fireplace. 

https://www.mountainbothies.org.uk/bothies/north-west-highlands-islands/camasunary/

Blah Bhein (or Blaven)

Blah Bhein stands at an imposing 990m, a towering citadel of stone that sits opposite the Cuillin Ridge. You will walk around the base of the mountain as you pass through the valley between Blah Bhein and the Cuillin Ridge. The mountain is quite magnificent by any standard, and one of the finest peaks on the Isle of Skye.

Cuillin Ridge 

The ridge is an attraction for climbers and mountaineers from all over the world with 12 kilometres of uninterrupted ridgeline, to traverse it is a right of passage for many adventurers. The scramble includes 3000 metres of ascent, 18 peaks and 12 Munroes - it is not for the faint-hearted and requires extremely good levels of fitness as well as mountaineering skills. 

Opposite Bla Bhein, to your left, you will pass underneath the Cuillin ridge. Once you reach the Sligachan Hotel you will have an even more magnificent view of this jagged spine of rocks that juts out of the ground.

 

Food & Drink

There are no places to stop en route today and nowhere to get food in Kilmarie before starting the walk.  We recommend that you order a packed lunch from your accommodation the night before, or pop to the supermarket in Broadford the evening before to get provisions for a packed lunch. You'll be able to get dinner at the Sligachan Hotel if you're overnighting here, or if you're staying in Portree after a transfer there are plenty of eateries to choose from. If staying in Portree make sure to book a day or two ahead of time as this is a popular spot in the summer months and it can be very busy. 

Start

Kilmarie (39 m)
Coordinates:
OS Grid
NG 54519 17182
DD
57.179554, -6.063474
DMS
57°10'46.4"N 6°03'48.5"W
UTM
29V 677495 6341197
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Destination

Sligachan Hotel car park

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00 km – After your transfer to the layby on the roadside at Kilmarie begin walking with your back to the road and pass through the wooden gate following the signpost for Sligachan.  Continue STRAIGHT ON to ascend on the track through the field. 

1.30 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON through the gate and continue ascending.

2.40 km – You’re on the high point of the ridge now.  Stay on the track and follow it to the right as you begin to descend. Continue STRAIGHT ON taking take of the stony terrain underfoot.

4.00 km – BEAR RIGHT on the track to cross the river on the corrugated metal bridge then follow the track keeping the river on your left.

4.30 km – With the white house on your left and the ruined building (with Sligachan painted on the side of it) BEAR RIGHT and cross some boggy terrain to the rocky outcrop to pick up the path again.  Continue STRAIGHT ON following this narrow gravel path. 

5.60 km – After ascending a small knoll continue STRAIGHT ON the path as you follow it with the loch on your left-hand side. 

7.00 km – At the end of the first loch continue STRAIGHT ON as the path becomes vague a grassy for a short while. 

8.40 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON to cross the wide river – take care especially when the water level is high and use the stepping stones. 

10.50 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON the path as another path joins from the left at a stone cairn.  Enjoy wonderful views of the Cuillin here.

13.90 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON across another river and use the stepping stones to cross again, taking great care and using walking poles. 

16.70 km – With a gate and path on your right continue STRAIGHT ON following the path down to the 3 arched stone bridge and the Sligachan Hotel. 

16.90 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON passing some information boards on your left-hand side. 

17.00 km – Pass through the gate then TURN LEFT to cross the bridge and walk towards the Sligachan Hotel.

17.20 km – Finish the route outside the hotel.  If you’re not staying here tonight why not pop into the bar for some well-deserved refreshments and while you wait for your transfer? 

Note


all notes on protected areas

Coordinates

OS Grid
NG 54519 17182
DD
57.179554, -6.063474
DMS
57°10'46.4"N 6°03'48.5"W
UTM
29V 677495 6341197
w3w 
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Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

This a full day's walking through rugged and remote terrain.  Make sure to bring plenty of food and water for the day along with comfortable walking boots, walking poles, rain gear and warm layers.

Please see the complete recommended kit list in your information pack. 


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Difficulty
moderate
Distance
17.2 km
Duration
6:00 h
Ascent
250 m
Descent
274 m
Highest point
188 m
Lowest point
8 m

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