Walk: Raasay - the Isle off Skye

Raasay | Inverarish | Full day walk | ★★★

[Dùn Caan summit]

Poor wee Raasay! This elongated, sparsely populated island off the east coast of Skye is too often overshadowed by its celebrity neighbour. The result for visitors is glorious isolation: barely a mile of ocean ensuring year-round solace compared to summer chaos. Spend a day (or longer) and you'll discover a truly beguiling corner of Scotland with wonderful natural scenery, climaxing in the diminutive yet dramatic summit of Dùn Caan. This long-extinct volcano commands a panorama across the entire island, beyond which there are grandstand views of the Applecross peninsula on the mainland and of Skye's Cuillin Hills. The full day circuit described below begins from the CalMac ferry terminal, and also conveniently passes all of the island's main historic sites; Raasay Distillery is also reachable by a further 5-minute detour off the route. Don't say we don't spoil you!

[The road return is less interesting than the outward route, but makes for speedy walking]

Location & info

📌 Walk: Raasay - the Isle off Skye ★★★
Start / finish at the main ferry terminal, Raasay, G.R.: NG 545362 ///blueberry.pokes.swells

▶ 16 km / 10 mi | ▲ 610 m | ⌚ Full day
Features: Inverarish; Dun Borodale ★★; Loch na Mna; Loch na Meilich; △ Dùn Caan (444 m, sub-2000'); Raasay Pictish Stone ; St Maol-luag's Chapel
Tough | Varied. Mostly clear paths with some boggy areas for ascent; better path, minor roads and tracks for return.

Route: Start - Inverarish by coast path - Inverarish Burn - path junction at G.R.: NG 556361 ///decoding.secret.shells - Dun Borodale - path junction south of Loch a' Mhuilinn - Loch na Mna - Loch na Meilich - Dùn Caan - return to Loch na Meilich - join minor road at G.R.: NG 561406 ///succeed.clever.quaking - leave minor road at G.R.: NG 553387 ///bumpy.action.dunk - join coast road just south of Oscaig Lodge - Raasay Pictish Stone - St Maol-luag's Chapel - Raasay House - start

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On our visit

Wildlife: Red throated divers on Loch na Mna, possible eagle sighting above Temptation Hall; speckled wood butterflies, cows.
Weather: Sunny early and late in the day, cloudy for the middle period. Dry, fairly light winds.

Getting to Raasay

Raasay is a small island reached by generally frequent, 25-min CalMac ferries from Sconser on the Isle of Skye. Cars are permitted, but are usually unnecessary for most tourists visiting the island's main attractions, which are all close to the ferry terminal on the south side of the island.

Chronological photo guide

[Arriving on the ferry]

[Coast path to Inverarish]


[Bridge over Inverarish Burn]

[Raasay Free Church]

[Dun Borodale]

[Loch a' Mhuilinn]

[Church Wood]

[Approaching the open hillside]

[The ascent route passes several small waterfalls]

[Inverarish Burn]

[Good views of the Cuillin from the ascent]

[Approaching Dùn Caan]

[Dùn Caan & Loch Mna]

[Loch na Meilich - Here be dragons!]

[Climbing above Loch na Meilich]

[Approaching the summit]

[Dùn Caan summit, looking south]

[Dùn Caan summit, looking southeast]

[Dùn Caan summit, Cuillin Hills beyond]

[Descent path, Trotternish in the distance]

[Road return]

[Link path to the coast road]

[Coast road at Oskaig]

[Looking northwest from Oskaig]

[Oskaig Plantation]

[Beach on the north side of Àird Ghiuthais]

[Raasay Pictish Stone]

[St Maol-luag's Church]

[Churchton Bay]


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