For Part 1 of our Isle of Skye trip and a map of all described destinations, please follow the link below:
The drive from Sligachan to the Fairy Pools (4; IV47 8TA) is only about 20 minutes so easily you can plan to see both destinations in one day. I must say that the road was well prepared, and the pools were fairly easy to find. As usual, the views di not stop to amaze. The drive offers a stunning view of the Bruach na Frithe and Sgurr nan Gillean (Black Cuillins), which at this time of the year were still covered in snow. This contrasted amazingly with the blue sky and the yellow shades of the grass. The drive was pure pleasure.
On the way we had also the unique chance to admire the lovely, the one and only, the beautiful queen of Scotland, the Highland Cow. She was kindly standing right at the gates to the fairy pools and posing for the numerous tourists taking photos. She was absolutely adorable.
When we arrived at our destination we unfortunately had to confront the cruel reality – the car park was tiny, and all spaces were already taken. Thankfully the road was fairly wide and the ground dry so, as 80% of the other visitors, we decided to leave the car on the side of the road and walk to the pools. Going down the hill was fairly easy, but we did realise that the way back would not be so pleasant.
We have reached the first waterfall. Obviously, we did not research the place very well and initially we thought that that was it. After few seconds we realised that this was not the case. The trail alongside the pools is over a mile long and to return to the car park you have to use the same route, so my advice is to plan at least 1 hour for this place (that is if you are not taking a photo of every single pool like we were).
As to the difficulty... on a dry day the trail should not cause any major difficulties. Some kids (or short people like myself) might struggle with the few stepping stones and less fit travellers might need a bit more time to conquer the final hill on the way back. The trail is dog friendly and should not cause any difficulties to your pooch.
What makes the fairy pools so special are the numerous waterfalls and pools filled with crystal clear water of the Brittle River. The water is so clear that you can literally see the bottom of every pool. The further you go the bigger the pools get. For those of you who are a bit more fit and brave than myself there are some narrow and steep paths leading closer to the bigger waterfalls. From what I have read the place is popular with wild swimmers however at this time of the year we did not have a chance to see any brave souls daring the dip in the cold water.
I did try to research the origins of the name but surprisingly no one really seems to know how the place got its name. There are some theories but the most probable one suggests that the whole landscape does look like straight out of a fairytale. Some claim that once in a blue moon, on the second quarter of July, at midnight the fairies come out to take a bath in the magical pools and the magic dust from their wings turns the water turquois. You chose which version you want to believe.
After 2 hours we had to leave this beautiful scenery and head to our next destination, the Neist Point (5) where a lighthouse, magnificent cliffs and another climb was awaiting us..