This week the intrepid trio set off to Elgol to take a trip we’ve wanted to do for ages. Adrian at All Things Cuillin sings the praises of Seamus and his crew and we wanted to see for ourselves. We were super lucky with the weather which did help but I can see how this would be a great day out even in mizzly conditions.
Elgol is about 1 1/2 hours drive for someone who doesn’t know the roads. When you leave the main road through Broadford there are stretches of singles track, some interesting bends in the road and some impressive potholes. But with care and a couple of deep breaths you can get there and it is 100% worth it, even if you don’t take the boat trip. You go through Torrin where the fabulous Amy’s Place café can stock you up with cakes, gifts and great coffee, and when you get to Elgol there is a bistro (check openings and make sure you book) a great shop with snacks and a seafood truck. We can definitely recommend the Elgolian, a squat lobster buttie with delicious Marie Rose sauce.
Once on the boat Seamus tells you tales of the island; how the Cuillin got their name, the origin of Drambuie, the derring do of Charles Edward Stuart and Flora MacDonald.
The scenery is stunning and you get a unique view of the Cuillin and the Small Isles.
The whole trip is dog friendly and if your dog has little legs then they can be carried, like Bonnie Prince Sausage himself, up the steps at the landing point at Loch Coruisk.
You can opt to stay longer than the 1 hour 30 minutes and catch a later boat back to Elgol. But be aware that this is a location in the heart of the Cuillin. While there is no climbing necessary to get about the loch, there is uneven terrain, stepping stones, some impressive boggy bits (the dog could tell you all about that) and some slopey negotiations.
So a basic level of fitness and some proper walking shoes or boots are a must. I’ll say the bit about the footwear again. Wear something sturdy and supportive. Really. The area just where the boat drops off gives beautiful views, so if you don’t fancy a hike it’s lovely just to sit about and look at the sea.
Loch Coruisk is stunning. The Gaelic Coire Uisg means cauldron of waters and this long, narrow freshwater lake was glowing the most ridiculous shade of blue on our visit.
Be aware there are lots of standing lochans so take your Smidge if you go any time past May. You really feel like you’re in amongst the mountains, not comprehending how huge they are til a couple ahead of you provide a scale. The gabbro rock is grippy which does help a lot. We walked for about two miles then turned about when 3 pairs of little legs started to tire.
On the way back we were made a great cup of tea accompanied by tasty shortbread. We saw a lovely herd of seals, sunbathing like contented grey bananas but we were too early in the season to be treated to dolphins, sea eagles or even whales. We will have to go again.
You can also walk to Loch Coruisk, a challenging hike where you have to deal with the Bad Step (clue’s in the name people). You’ll need someone else to tell you about that tho.
Thanks to all at Misty Isle Boat Trips. We highly recommend you book as far in advance as you can.