Discover the Isles of Skye and Raasay - Langdale Walking Holidays

Highlights

Client Reviews

" We both enjoyed the Skye trip very much. It was a lovely, friendly group, nice hotels and Darren was a good guide, and very helpful, particularly to Jill and me when we needed help on difficult terrain on the last day. Amanda was, as usual, a good leader. We both really enjoyed ourselves and thank you again for your hard work. "
- Christine
" We loved every minute of our holiday, the great walks, lovely food and of course the great company. A special mention must be made to our fantastic guide Darren who looked after us during our trip. His caring and considerate manner on the walks and his great knowledge of the area made this one of our most memorable walking holidays. I would never have achieved Blaven without his help. "
- Jill and Elwyn
" Two good walks on Raasay were followed by more on Skye including one challenging ascent of Blaven (Bla Bheinn) where the weather tested our resolve! This also showed the benefit of having a knowledgeable and very competent guide. The accommodation on Raasay was very good in an excellent setting, and the food and service were good too. Their packed lunch sandwiches were amongst the best we'd tasted. All of the meals "out" in the evening were enjoyable and the one at Kinloch Lodge was outstanding. "
- Sarah & Geoff

Holiday Overview

Our adventure begins on the remote Isle of Raasay with a walk up the Isle's summit: Dun Caan.
Although not overly high at 443m, the reward for reaching the peak is a stunning 360-degree panorama of the Red and Black Cuillin, Trotternish Ridge, the Outer Isles, Applecross, Torridon and Glen Shiel as well as fabulous seascapes of the Inner and Raasay Sounds and Broadford Bay. Dun Caan was long thought to be an extinct volcanic peak due to its shape but it is actually formed of a cap layer of basalt on sandstone.

Highlights include:

  • Dramatic coastal scenery
  • Exploring iron age remains
  • Dining on local produce
  • Summiting an iconic Cuillin peak
  • Discovering the British Isles' finest coastal walk
  • Staying on Raasay and Skye

After a relaxed evening at Raasay House it's time to discover the south of the island.
Starting from North Fearns we'll head to the remote east coast, enjoying stunning coastal views on our way to the beautiful Hallaig Bay. This ruined township is a poignant reminder of the infamous Highland Clearances. We'll reach the island's main village of Inverarish using the old railway from the iron mining works. Here we can explore the fascinating iron age brochs and souterrains.

Then it's time to travel across the Sound of Raasay to Broadford, our base on Skye. Here along the Borreraig coastal path, there's the chance for us to spot dolphins, seals and otters. We'll explore the ruins of Borreraig and Suisnish, where you can only imagine the hardship experienced by those who used to live in this remote and unforgiving landscape.

Walking Skye's famous Black Cuillin, the iconic mountain of Blaven has to be a highlight of our trip. Made of the same gabbro rock as the main Cuillin ridge, Blaven is a Cuillin outlier situated to the east. The views from its summit of the main Cuillin ridge, Red Cuillin, Isles of Rhum and Eigg and the mainland are unrivalled.

Our final walk starts with a boat trip to Loch Coruisk in the remote centre of the Cuillin with stunning glacial scenery and waterfalls for us to explore before setting off on the coastal path back to Elgol passing en-route the infamous Bad Step and wading the river. This is possibly the finest coastal walk in the British Isles and a fitting adventure for our final walk on Skye

Isle of Skye

The largest island in the Inner Hebrides archipelago, Skye is a magical place  with its rich Gaelic culture, rugged coastline, majestic Cuillin mountain range, moors and beautiful lochs. There's a wealth of history for us to explore, from the prehistoric remains of iron age brochs and souterrains to the abandoned villages of the Highland Clearances. The island's flora and fauna include, black guillemots, Atlantic puffins and golden eagles as well as a diverse range of alpine plants. Its rich freshwater streams are home to salmon and brown trout.

Isle of Raasay

The tranquil Isle of Raasay lies off the east coast of Skye, just a 25 minute ferry journey across the Sound of Raasay. This small rugged and rocky island is only 23km long and 4.8km wide, and its highest peak - the distinct flat top of Dun Caan - is just 443m. Its fascinating history includes stories of brochs and pictish stones, clans and castles, poets and an iron ore industry. Home to an abundant array of flora and fauna, its wildlife includes golden eagles, sea eagles and the unique Raasay vole; offshore there are otters, seals and visiting dolphins.

Our Guide

Dr. Darren McAulay has been an outdoor activity professional since 1996. Currently he lives and guides in the French Alps returning to Skye in May every year to guide. Darren lived here for many years whilst guiding in the Cuillin; the Isle of Skye is his specialist interest. He is a member of the Syndicat National des Accompagnateurs en Montagne, France (SNAM).

Recommended Reading

Want to make the most of your trip? "Calum's Road" by Roger Hutchinson is a great read about the experiences of the last man to live on Raasay.

Wednesday 17th May: Fly to Inverness, Travel to Raasay

Arrive at the airport under your own arrangements for the flight to Inverness. Please check-in two hours before departure time, using your photo ID and e-ticket. Flights are the latest known and subject to confirmation by the airlines.

From Inverness Airport we'll travel to Raasay by minibus. After checking into our rooms, meet for our welcome reception and introduction to the week's walking programme before dinner.

Dinner and overnight Raasay House

Accommodation: Rassay House

Meals: Dinner,

Thursday 18th May: Dun Caan Summit - Circular Walk

After breakfast today's circular route starts at our accommodation.

We head north using the quiet lanes and paths passing Oskaig and then gently uphill to gain the main ridge that runs north-south along the island. Reaching the summit of Dun Caan, the highest summit on Raasay (443m) involves a short scramble on to the prominent summit block.

Our return passes by a couple of lochs before heading back towards the beech and pine forest near the village of Inverarish and then onto our hotel.

Picnic lunch, dinner and overnight Raasay House.

Walking: Moderate - distance: 12km, ascent: 500m, time: 5-6 hours

Accommodation: Rassay House

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

Friday 19th May: Hallaig and South Raasay

A short taxi journey to the south end of the island takes us to the start point of today's walk. Following a good track, we'll head to the remote east coast, where after 3km of stunning views we'll arrive at the beautiful Hallaig Bay. Here we can explore the ruins of the deserted village set in a birch wood and see waterfalls that drop straight into the sea.

A short climb from Hallaig takes us over past Beinn na Leac where we will continue towards the main village of Inverarish using the old railway from the iron mining works. There are many sites to visit around Inverarish including iron age brochs and souterrains before we return to Raasay House.

On our return make our way to the boat for the crossing to Skye.

Picnic lunch, dinner and overnight Broadford Hotel.

Walking: Moderate - distance: 12km, ascent: 250m, time: 6 hours

Accommodation: Broadford Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

Saturday 20th May: Suisnish - Borreraig Coastal Path

Starting at the beach of Camus Malag we head south along a good track to the abandoned village of Suisnish, descending to the beach and continuing along the remote coast; keep an eye out for dolphins, seals and otters along the way.

On reaching the cleared village of Borreraig we head back to the north following a good path uphill to a height of 200m before reaching the old marble quarries and walk the train line back towards Broadford.

Picnic lunch, dinner in a local restaurant and overnight Broadford Hotel

Walking: Moderate - distance: 12-15km (depending on route), ascent: 300m, time: 5-6 hours

Accommodation: Broadford Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

Sunday 21st May: Blaven

The iconic mountain of Blaven provides a great walk on Skye's famous Black Cuillin. It is a short and steep ascent but on good paths, with some limited easy rock scrambling.

The walk starts in a conserved woodland of native birches that soon give way to rockier terrain. The view of the impressively steep peak of Clach Glas and the rock buttresses make the ascent appear difficult. However, we will take the easiest route up the mountain that avoids all cliffs and although steep soon gets you to the rounded summit.

Picnic lunch, dinner in a local restaurant and overnight Broadford Hotel.

Walking: Moderate/hard - distance: 8km, ascent: 900m, time: 5-6 hours

Accommodation: Broadford Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

Boat to Loch Coruisk and Coastal Route Back to Elgol

Starting from the village of Elgol we'll take the boat to Loch Coruisk in the remote centre of the Cuillin. After exploring the glacial scenery, waterfalls and loch side we cross the stepping stones of Scavaig and follow the rugged coastal path, passing en-route the infamous Bad Step and crossing/wading through the river Camusunary before easier walking leads back to Elgol.

Picnic lunch, dinner in a local restaurant and overnight Broadford Hotel.

Walking: Moderate/hard - distance: 10km, ascent: 250m, time: 6 hours

Accommodation: Broadford Hotel

Tuesday 23rd: Travel Home

After breakfast we bid farewell to the beautiful Isle of Skye and travel by minibus to Inverness airport for our flights home.

Meals: Breakfast,

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