Walk: Car park Tetris at Claigan Coral Beach

Skye | Dunvegan | Short walk | ★★★

[Claigan Coral Beach]

It's only a few hundred metres long, but this bay north of Claigan is one of only a handful of sandy beaches on the Isle of Skye - and the easiest to get to. This "coral beach", which almost completely disappears at low tide, is actually composed mostly of crushed snail shells and fossilised, dried seaweed - so is neither coral nor conventional sand. With the tidal island of Lampay out in the bay, and a curious basalt-topped hillock as a backdrop, it makes a fine spot to sunbathe the day away. But high season visitors beware: this is one of several Skye locations which has fallen victim to overtourism. The main issue is the inadequate car park, which fills up early on most summer days. With queuing for spaces, very few passing places on the single track access road and nowhere to turn around, chaos can ensue... you have been warned! If Skye is the main destination for your holiday then we can see why Claigan Coral Beach might be on your shortlist, but if not, there are dozens of better beaches dotted around Scotland. On the plus side, the lack of parking currently prevents the beach from becoming unbearably overcrowded - see our photos, which were taken at the height of the summer holidays.

[Path underneath Cnoc Mòr a' Ghrobain]

📌 Walk: Car park Tetris at Claigan Coral Beach ★★★
Start / finish at car park (often full in high season) on minor road 4 mi north of Dunvegan, Skye, G.R.: NG 232537 ///warms.resort.senior

▶ 4 km / 2 mi | ▲ 90 m | ⌚ Short | Easy
Features: Claigan Coral Beach
Terrain: Clear track to beach; informal, steep path for optional ascent to Cnoc Mòr a' Ghrobain.

Route & map

Car park - Claigan Coral Beach - Cnoc Mòr a' Ghrobain - Claigan Coral Beach - start

Route credit: Scotland Off the Beaten Track

On our visit

Wildlife: Seals, sheep and lambs, rock pool life.
Weather: Overcast to start, becoming sunny and pleasantly warm. Light winds.

Also on this walk

📌 Claigan Coral Beach ★★★
A mile off minor road 4 mi north of Dunvegan, Skye, G.R.: NG 223551 ///unite.blushed.polite

Anything else? Quickest access to beach is a 30-min walk (each way) by route given above.

Chronological photo guide

[Track to Claigan Coral Beach]

[Heather blooming on Druim Slachdaidh]

[Track to Claigan Coral Beach]

[View back to Camas Bàn]

[First, distant view of Lampay (left) and the coral beach]

[Claigan Coral Beach]

[Rock pools]

[Crab at Claigan Coral Beach]


[Claigan Coral Beach with Cnoc Mòr a' Ghrobain]

[Coral beach]

[Cnoc Mòr a' Ghrobain]

[View of the beach from Cnoc Mòr a' Ghrobain]

[View north from Cnoc Mòr a' Ghrobain]

[An Dorneil]

[An Dorneil]

[Returning along the coast path below Cnoc Mòr a' Ghrobain]

[Final view of the coral beach]


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