The Joy Of Water: The Fairy Pools of Skye

Skye

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Skye

The Joy Of Water: The Fairy Pools of Skye

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Over the Loch the Cuchuillins rise crested with tumult of golden mists: the shores are green behind and away out, towards the horizon, the Island of Rum shoots up from the flat sea like a pointed flame. 

Alexander McColl Smith on the Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye is the northernmost major island of the Hebrides. Its heritage is ancient Celtic and Viking and it is famous for its dramatic scenery, the soaring Cuillin Hills cutting the island almost in half. There under the towering peak of Sgurr an Fheadain, after a walk of 40 minutes along a rocky trail, in the glen below you will find the famous Fairy Pools.

Carved out of the rock by the River Brittle, they are a long series of waterfalls and ice-blue, ice-cold pools. The water is a bright blue, as clear as crystal so that even in the deepest of the pools you can easily see the river bottom and its smooth, ancient boulders: a delightful place for a swim. But beware: fed by the mountain streams, even in the summer these waters are breathtakingly cold.

Fairy pools, Skye
Clear as crystal and breathtakingly cold. Image via Visit Scotland

The island has been inhabited since neolithic times and in these hills the Clan Mcleod and the Clan McDonald fought a series of bloody battles. Today, apart from tourists, the hills are the province of red deer and golden eagles

After your dip you can head for the Glenbrittle campsite for a coffee or a hot chocolate, or maybe take in the Talisker distillery after which, you may find yourself  ‘awa with the fairies’ as the Scots say.

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