Coral Beaches.

Start. Claigan.

Route. Claigan - Coral Beaches - Groban na Sgeire - Cnoc Mor Ghrobain - Claigan.

Notes. For those who don't wish to climb the mighty Cuillin or visit spectacular Trotternish the Coral Beaches near Claigan must be the next most popular attraction, to be honest on our many visits to the island this is probably my favourite place. The beaches consist of white shale sand and desiccated sun-bleached algae millions of years old. If you're not into beaches then just look at the views. To the west over Loch Dunvegan, Duirnish and to the east Waternish over the waters of Lovaig Bay and Loch Bay, north the Isle of Isay, beyond that Ardmore Point and The Little Minch with the hills of Harris in the Outer Hebrides across the horizon.

We left the car in the fairly large car park at Claigan, heading north on a good track we soon reached the first of the Coral Beaches, a short stroll over grass saw us striding out across the second much larger beach opposite the tidal island of Lampay, if you decide to explore Lampay make sure you check the tide times, I find it hard to believe the tide ebbs far enough to allow safe passage. On previous visits we've always walked to Groban na Sgeire then on to Lovaig Bay, unfortunately our way was bared by a rather new looking fence, undaunted we headed back via Cnoc Mor Ghrobain, a little rocky knoll overlooking the beaches, as we sat soaking up the views over Loch Dunvegan, it was as if the island made an apology for baring our way earlier, a pair of Dolphins breached the surface just a few hundred yards away, as we turned to leave, clearly visible through a rent in the cumulus clouds bubbling across the island, a Golden Eagle soured on the thermals rising from the mighty Cuillin, a fitting end to a wonderful week on an equally wonderful island.

Well not quite, I don't launder praise easily, it has to be earned. With hunger pangs dogging our journey back we opted to stop at a small bakery, one I've driven passed on many occasions without giving it a second glance, Jann's Cakes in Dunvegan serves the most wonderful food I've ever tasted, every thing is home made, from the bread to the sauces that add taste to the filling, cakes and chocolates, everything, there's only room to seat six people but the proprietors are the nicest people you're ever likely to meet, just one more reason to return to the Eilean a' Cheò (Isle of Skye).

view route map.


En route to the Coral Beaches, looking to the cliffs of Dunvegan Head and the Western Isles.

Across Loch Dunvegan Ben Ettow rising from the Duirinish Peninsula.

Seen from near the first coral beach Healabhal Mhor (Macleod's Table North).

Loch Dunvegan and the flat top of Healabhal Mhor seen from the Coral Beach.

Views north taking in the Coral Beach and Cnoc Mor Ghrobain backed by the island of Isay.

The tidal island of Lampay backed by the cliffs of Duirinish rising to the shadowed summit of Ben Skriaig.

The beach is not made of coral but actually composed of a mixture of white shale sand and desiccated sun-bleached algae millions of years old.

Lampay seen over An Dorneil the channel that dries out at low water.

Stunning views past the cliffs of Isay to the mountains of the Western Isles.

Admiring Isay as a rain shower sweeps in across The Minch.

Seen from Groban na Sgeire, Isay backed by Ard Mor.

A spectacular rainbow rises from Loch Bay, views through diffused light to the hills of Waternish.

Looking across Lovaig Bay viewing the cliffs of Beinn Bhreac and the white-washed cottages of Lusta.

Another view across Lovaig Bay and another band of rain sweeps across Waternish.

From the summit of Cnoc Mor Ghrobain wonderful views over Loch Dunvegan.

Don't pass it by, there's not much else in Dunvegan.

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