Rubha an Dunain, Skye

24 01 2017

May 2016
On my Skye Club trip last year, I arrived a day too early and, wanting to break myself in gently, went for this flat walk from the mountaineering hut in Glenbrittle to the point of Rubha an Dunain – the point of the little fort. The walk is easy, about 7 miles each way with not much up and down and a reasonable path until near the end.

From the campsite at Glenbrittle Beach you can see the whole peninsula…

rubha-an-dunain

A good vehicle-sized track leaves the campsite just above the shoreline and good progress is made. The first obstacle is the crossing of the Allt na Buaile Duibhe which is a fairly lusty river at this point. A few fellow walkers and myself dithered around looking at the lusty waterfalls and wondering if we could cross above them…

allt-a-ghunnda-waterfall

Then I spied a bridge downstream and ploutered down the bogs to reach it. There was another river soon after but it was shallow and easy to cross. There is an old ruin on the banks here…

glenbrittle-low-hills
You can see back to the start point near the forest under the far hills

Now, this was the time I was on a super-high dose of Doxycyclin for my Lyme Disease and was supposed to keep out of the sun. As I only had t-shirts with me and it was quite warm (but with very hazy sun), I kept my forearms and hands covered as much as I could on the sunny side with my map.

I strolled on in the sunshine until I reached an interesting looking hill above the track and decided to branch off on a little path to walk over that hoping to join the path after it. There are nice views back along Loch Brittle to Glenbrittle from the ascent…

loch-brittle

When I rejoined the track after admiring the small crags for clambering opportunities during my descent, I had a choice of tracks – I chose the left-hand branch.

rubha-an-dunain-my-peak
Looking back at my craggy mini-peak

My path, getting sketchier all the while, rose gently up a rise of moorland. Atop it the final route to the point came into view with, not far down the track, an interesting looking ruin.

rubha-an-dunain-ruins

rubha-an-dunain-ruined-settlement

The ruins, on closer inspection, turned out to be quite a few buildings – either out buildings or maybe a small settlement? I was fascinated that the main building had a rounded end – quite a work of art!

After a good look around and a short sit in the sun I romped on down to the large loch near the point.

rubha-an-dunain-loch

From here I could see a couple sat on a small hill at the far side having a break in the sun. I then set off left along the loch shore towards the coast where there is an old Viking Harbour with attendant ruin.

rubha-an-dunain-loch-to-viking-harbour

After going through a small rocky inlet of the coast following the outflow river of the loch, I came across a bouldery beach around some crags. At this point I didn’t know about the Viking Harbour but did wonder about the obviously man-made structure in dry-stone walling atop the point of the cliffs. I didn’t, however, take a photo at this point but continued to clamber about under the cliffs around the point…

rubha-an-dunain-cliffsportrait

I then climbed back up the grasslands above and took a photo back to the cliffs where you can see the structure…

rubha-an-dunain-viking-harbour-cliffs

As I continued around the loch I found another, older and more ruinous ruin with a sheep atop the walls…

rubha-an-dunain-sheep-on-ruin

It was a lovely walk around the loch with great views back to the Viking Harbour structure on the point…

rubha-an-dunain-loch-and-old-wall

I then set off to head back to Glenbrittle on the other side of the point where the alternative track had headed at the track split – this was a far wetter and more sketchy path so I would only recommend it one way!

rubha-an-dunain-to-lurking-cuillin
You can see the famous Cuillin Ridge lurking under heavy cloud here

There were some more pretty inlets…

rubha-an-dunain-inlet

and then I was approaching a lovely crowned hill with a superb dyke running up towards it…

rubha-an-dunain-dyke

I decided to use the dyke to ascend the hill as far as I could – there was some nice clambering and some leaping over grassy areas as I’d deemed it had to be rock all the way until the dyke ended 🙂

rubha-an-dunain-from-dyke
Looking back down the dyke to the point

Descending the far side of the hill the path was almost non-existent and a large hump had to be circumnavigated. I found a very boggy path and it took me back to my path split under my little hill. From there it was back on the good track to Glenbrittle.

This was a superb walk which I would recommend to anyone for a non-hill day. My only problem was the next day when I found that, despite my precautions, my hands had extremely severe burns due to the Doxycycline removing my normal sun-resistance!

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12 responses

31 01 2017
Simon Howlett

A fascinating walk Carol. I didn’t know there was a Viking harbour so thanks for posting this – will definately take a look next time I visit Skye.

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31 01 2017
mountaincoward

I didn’t know until I got back and one of the group mentioned it… It’s a lovely walk though.

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28 01 2017
tessapark1969

Some really nice coastal scenery there.

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28 01 2017
mountaincoward

It’s a lovely walk and has the advantage that it will be pretty good in any weather really

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27 01 2017
Blue Sky Scotland

Every time I’ve been out to that point I’ve seen otters around that peninsula and playing in the lochan, usually like yourself on a dull, overcast day with the Cuillin buried in thick clag. Other good dull or misty alternative walks on Skye are the walk out to Rubha Hunish at the northern tip: Uig, Ru Idrigill and Stack of Skudiburgh around the coast: Waterstein to Idrigill point coastline over two days with a bothy stopover halfway; and Talisker to Eynort along the coastal cliffs with the option of Preshal More and or Preshal Beag (some scrambling involved in very remote locations on these hills)
If I had to pick the best it would be Lorgill Bay to Idrigill Point section of coastal cliffs on a good clear day- without a doubt one of the finest coastal epic day walks in the UK but very remote in the event of mishap.

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27 01 2017
mountaincoward

I really fancy Preshal Mor & Beag – have been looking at those a few times. I’d also like to do Idrigill Point and Rubha Hunish – isn’t that where ‘the Lookout’ is – kind of a bothy?

One of our club went down to Rubha an Dunain a couple of days later and saw dolphins.

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29 01 2017
Blue Sky Scotland

It is. Damn. Curse those bothy folk for releasing everything on the internet. It’s not fun anymore for those in a supposedly secret society that took painful years to acquire ‘ The Knowledge’ decades back in time. Hard earned bothy wisdom gone overnight in a flash :o)

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29 01 2017
mountaincoward

well don’t worry, no-one’s yet released the location of The Secret Howff of Beinn a’ Bhuird!

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26 01 2017
chrissiedixie

We need to go back to Skye and explore a bit more…

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26 01 2017
mountaincoward

We’ve still got loads of things to see there despite going there now for about 6 years running. I suppose I was preoccupied by The Cuillin for quite a lot of the time so have more time to look around now instead. Skye must surely be the most interesting Scottish Island – there’s so much variety and it’s just the right size.

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26 01 2017
underswansea

Wonderful post! I would have loved being along for this hike. Although you would have to prod me to get going as I would linger at the ruins, dyke and each rocky bank. The grassy rocks the sheep is standing on even look man made. Lovely photos.

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26 01 2017
mountaincoward

The sheep is standing on the ruined walls of an old man-made building – possibly a shieling but possibly older and to do with the Viking Harbour. I did linger at the first ruin for quite a while as it was so interesting.

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