Wild swimming in the Fairy Pools, Skye

Fed by the splendid waterfalls and tributaries tumbling down from the Cuillin Mountains, these spectacular spring water pools are the welcome prize at the end of a gorgeous walk, and whilst taking a dip isn’t a must, it’s definitely one for those brave enough to dive into its icy waters!

To reach these natural wonders, there’s a car park nearby and from there it’s a gorgeous, easy 2.4km walk via gravel path alongside the River Brittle to the largest waterfall. With rolling countryside swathed in peaty grassland punctuated by heather, it’s a blissful walk. Explore further and you’ll find a collection of smaller, equally beautiful, pools.

Legend has it that a chief of the Clan Macleod once married a fairy princess, which is why so many places in Skye are associated with the fae. It’s also said that selkies live in the pools; mythical beings disguised as seals during the day that shed their skins at night and turn into human forms, to bathe in peace in the pools under the light of a full moon.

With crystal clear, unbelievably blue waters that have descended from the mountains, unsurprisingly it can be bitterly cold in these water-carved pools, so you might want to bring a swimsuit if you want to take the plunge!

This is an increasingly popular spot, so consider arriving early, especially in summer. The return walk takes approximately two hours, and if the weather is not great (or very hot) please note there isn’t anywhere to shelter so make sure you take all weather gear with you. There are small river crossings with large rocks to help you across, so make sure you wear suitable waterproof footwear.

Parking is provided in the Forestry Commission gravel carpark signposted ‘Glumagan Na Sithichean’, located along the single-track road that leads to Glenbrittle from Carbost.

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