Friday, 5 August 2011

Skye and a walk to MacLeod's Maidens

As I slept, I was dreaming of a walk I did on a beautiful spring evening around five years ago. It wasn’t a hill walk but it always stuck in my mind as the most scenic coastal walk that I have done to date.

Starting at Orbost in the north west of Skye, the walk winds its way along the edge of the towering sea cliffs to the remains of the village of Idrigill, then round the point to MacLeod’s Maidens. These are some very impressive sea stacks just off the exposed coast. The o.s map shows numerous caves and arches along the way but although I peered over the cliff edge where I could, I saw little of them. The walk was a 10 mile round trip over easy ground.

Ever since I inherited my inflatable boat, I had been watching and waiting for an opportunity to explore the coast from the sea. I was hoping that now was my chance.

The walk started at Orbost and immediately gives spectacular views over Loch Bharcasaig to the cliffs of Meall Greepa.

There is a black sandy beach at the edge of Loch Bharcasaig.

Further along the route the high cliff edges on the islands of Harlosh and Tarner in Loch Bracadale catch the eye.

The Cuillin hills still capped with snow looked magnificent from Idrigill point.

On the exposed seaward side the sea cliffs fall almost 1000ft to the sea.

It’s off these cliffs that MacLeod’s Maidens stand proudly in the sea. I was hoping that in the morning, the sea would be as calm as the evening I did my walk. I wanted the visit the maidens by boat.

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