" Skye 5. ~ Dunvegan & Coral Beach "


Date & Time: Sunday, 30th June 2013.

Locations : Scotland ~ Isle of Skye ~Dunvegan

Places visited : Colbost, Dunvegan and the Coral Beaches.

Accommodation : Six Willows Bed and Breakfast in Glendale.

With : Ann and the dogs, Harry and Bethan.

Weather : Variable !


" Skye 5 ~ Dunvegan & Coral Beach " at EveryTrail

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Whilst staying at Glendale we explored east as well, visiting Colbost and Dunvegan

The area has one or two longer walks but we opted for the gentler option and enjoyed the scenery

and the local attractions offered by the area.  Tourist leaflet in hand we headed for Colbost

on the opposite side of the loch from the small but important town of Dunvegan.

An old thatched cottage sits on the side of the hill, a single remnant of many that lined the sides of the hills and lochs of the area.

This one has been lovingly restored to its former glory, if glory is the right word, to show how a "Black House" of the 19th Century

would have looked at that time.  It now is the centre piece of the Colbost Croft Museum

Inside the upturned boat you buy your own ticket . . .
. . . and write in the visitors book on the way out.

The Colbost Croft Museum was founded by a local man, Peter Macaskill

and was reconstructed with the help of local craftsmen back in 1969.


He opened another local museum, the Giant MacAskill Museum

in Dunvegan in 1989, also worth a visit.


(left)  Life Size Model of Angus MacAskill With Average Sized Visitors

( MacAskill picture courtesy of the Undiscovered Scotland web site )

Back in the Black House museum.
It has a peat fire burning most days in the centre of the room.

The building has no chimney, hence the dark smoky colour, but the smell was delightful as peat doesn't have that acrid smell of coal or wood.

The second room would have been used for the animal or animals kept by the croft.

The two rooms were divided by a boxed-in bedroom . . . or rather a boxed-in-bed with a few old blankets and presumably a straw mattress.

Around the walls, the faded history of time . . .
. . . represented in newsprint of the day.

The first was an article on the water mill we visited in Glendale, the second a report on the Crofters Uprising in The Braes

where we saw the memorial stone at the site of the crofting revolution .

I'll let you read the words on how the kelp was harvested and used.

A wooden handled stretcher for carrying kelp or peat.

A fine array of smoky crockery.

At the back of the croft there's even an old illicit Whisky Still . . . hidden in the outbuilding.

Back into the daylight . . . a really nice, low key museum but a real snapshot of history.

- - - o o o - - -

On the way through the village of Dunvegan we called down to the quay.

A busy car park with several fisheries lorries and vans transferring their catch for

onward travel to be sold at the fish markets of Britain and presumably Europe.

The jetty and harbour master's building has seen better days !

The notice says " Strictly no parking or gear storage on the pier "

" . . . Yes officer . . . I've only just put it there a moment ago ! "

The jetty was part way up the smaller Beinn Bhreac (or Dunvegan) peninsular,

at the head of which was a signposted walk to the Coral Beaches.

Looking across the stoney beaches at the unusual white coral beach in the distance.

Along the way there was a fine display of flowers alongside the track.

Orchids and birdsfoot trefoil

Unknown . . . come on folks . . . help me out !

* The Coral Beach is so beautiful, it looked like fine sand from a distance, a real picture postcard scene.

The purple flowers could be Wild Thyme . . . a very picturesque walk to end this set, very nice .... Angie

* I think your mystery purple plant is nothing more than wild thyme .... Jill B.

I'll take it that it's Wild Thyme then .... thanks both .... RmH

At the head of the beach is a rather fine rocky crag . . . the four people on the top were not a permanent feature by the way.

Rather than sand from crushed stone, the beach is made up of calcite from shells and the bleached skeletons

of red coraline seaweed, known locally as maerl (pronounced marl) . . . rather unusual.

We headed up onto the rocky outcrop to admire the view too.

The peninsular opposite is Duirinish with Glendale on the other side.

Turning around . . . this is the Waternish Peninsular with the village of Stein just visible through the slight mistiness of the day.

Stein would be our next stay in a day or so.

A rather fine od sailing boat was making its way up channel towards Dunvegan harbour.

The bigger lens shows the detail as it passes the crofts of Borrereg.

The high ground in the distance is MacLeod's Table, Healabhal Mhor.

Heading back past an old ruined croft.

Back in the car we drive back down towards Dunvegan.

Behind Healabhal Mhor is Healabhal Bheag ( MacLeod's table North and South)

The boat we saw earlier has arrived and moored up in the bay.

Also in view is MacLeod's Castle, the home of the Clan Chief MacLeod

Out with the Skye walks book again !


This useful little book outlined an hour walk

just perfect for the gap between the rain showers (!)

and suited to the time and length of walk we preferred today.


The signboard encouraged us to look skyward occasionally

and listen for the skylarks and possibly spot

the four larger birds of prey that may be seen locally.


We parked on the Portree road next to the first of the two churches of the "Two Churches Walk "

This is the ruin of the old St Mary's Church built on the site of an earlier church, possibly dating back to the time of St Columba

when Christianity first spread to the west coast of Scotland.  The grey skies are left over from a recent downpour.

We sat in the car to wait for it to pass before starting the walk.

Inside the ruined knave are gravestones of the chiefs.
The MacCrimmond's memorial ~ famous local Clan Pipers.

The church and grounds are the resting place of many old local families including five chiefs of the MacLeod clan from Dunvegan Castle.

Another Clan MacLeod grave . . .
. . . and a more poignant reminder of people long gone.

We head up through the wet moorland grass . . . but the sun is out and all is well once again.

The locals have erected a standing stone to celebrate the year 2000 Millennium.

An interesting choice and one that should stand the test of time . . . if standing stones are anything to go by.

The upland meadows here were full of flowers . . . white eyebrights and yellow tormentil to name just two.

White Clover and tall grassland flowers alongside the path.

Through the gate and the scenery changes to heather and bilberry moorland.

Rhododendrons have encroached from the castle gardens . . .
. . . but they make for a pleasant woodland walk.

Being summer the trees are in full leaf and the promised views looking down on the castle were obscured . . . but no problem.

The return leg of the walk took us through pine forest . . .
. . . with this rather unusual rock outcrop.

At the end of the walk . . . the second of the two churches . . . the Duirinish Parish Church.   It was built in 1832 by the 24th Clan Chief.

This classic church is stunning by its very appearance, so different from the stone houses and the castle locally.

Inside it also features a Penitence Platform, where offenders stood before the congregation to admit to breaches of moral laws.

Back at the car, just in time . . . before the next rain shower arrives.

Ohh . . . and those birds of prey flying overhead . . . not a thing . . . still the skylarks were nice !

- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220 or my Canon 1100D Digital SLR Camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . . a wee guide book of local walks.

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