Hiking the Fairy Pools and Coire Na Creiche Loop Walk, Isle of Skye
Fairy Pools is a very popular destination on the Isle of Skye these days thanks mainly to social media in recent years. Be warned, it can be jam-packed on hot summer days.
Unfortunately, that was the case on our visit. It was absolutely rammed with people, swimmers and dogs as it was a very warm and sunny day in August. Not that we complained about the weather, but we were a bit put out by the large numbers of people that we saw there as soon as we arrived at the car park.
Where do I find Fairy Pools?
The Fairy Pools are located near the village of Carbost in Glenbrittle in the south of the Isle of Skye in Scotland.
Glenbrittle runs roughly south to north along the River Brittle and is overlooked by the Cuillin Mountains. The Fairy Pools are beautiful rock pools of crystal clear spring water fed by a series of waterfalls. You can park at the Forestry Commission car park, it’s £5 for a day if I remember correctly.
Fairy Pools Walk – 3 miles/5km, 1hour 20min
Most visitors only embark on the 3 miles (return) walk from the car park to the Fairy Pools. Follow the obvious gravel path involving some river crossing with stepping stones. Crossing the river can be difficult after rain, but apparently bridges will be constructed during 2020/21.
It takes about 15-20 minutes to reach the first pools. These are the twin pools with an underwater arch. There are many pools and waterfalls to see as you continue up the path. The further you go, the less busy it gets. At the end of the path, return to the car park the same way.
Swimming in the pools is extremely popular. If you are planning on swimming in the pools, be prepared that its crystal clear water can be icy cold even in the summer months. Wearing a wet suit is advisable although we have seen people swimming without. Don’t forget warm, dry clothing to change into afterwards.
Fairy Pools and Coire Na Creiche Loop Walk – 5miles/8km, 3 hours
This beautiful 5 miles walk starts from the car park and follows the path to the Fairy Pools to the end as mentioned above. After you get to the end, ignore a seemingly good path heading left at a cairn. This is a lower return route which can be very wet and boggy.
When you reach a scree pile at the base of the mountains, turn left and follow a narrow path traversing the slope of Bruach an Frithe. At first, the path can be a little hard to spot but it gradually becomes clearer. You will eventually meet the Glen Brittle to Sligachan path at Bealach a Mhaim. Turn left again and follow the path to return to the Fairy Pools car park.
Final thoughts on the Fairy Pools
In conclusion, we absolutely loved this walk! We were blessed with perfect weather and the scenery around the pools is just stunning.
Surprisingly, most people visit only the pools. I kid you not, the car park was full, there were hundreds of people at the pools yet we bumped into NO ONE (not that we complained) on the walk once we left the “Fairy pools path”. You can see the pools in the distance, while walking this route.
Lastly, we literally ran the last 100 meters to the car because the setting sun meant it was party time for the pesky midges! 😉 At the same time we could see the last of the swimmers grabbing their clothes and bolting half dressed back to their cars. Be ready.
You can see more photographs from the walk in the video below. Feel free to subscribe to my YouTube Channel. 🙂
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