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Isle of Raasay

Isle of Raasay

Postby Euan McIntosh » Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:37 pm

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Dun Caan (Raasay)

Date walked: 08/04/2012

Distance: 16.8 km

Ascent: 980m

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large versions of all pictures and a few more are here

There was no way I was going to pass up the opportunity to go to Raasay so on Friday I found myself boarding the 15:00 ferry from Sconser. The picture below, of the ferry, is actually from the return trip.

The Ferry


We were staying in the Raasay Youth Hostel just above Osgaig and had to place to ourselves, or as much as you can have a place to yourself when there are thirteen of you. If any of you are considering a trip to Raasay I can happily say the hostel is an excellent place to stay. The next day we set of for Umachan, a now deserted village at the north of the island that some of my ancestors were cleared to from the south. The road drives over increasing wild terrain until you get to Brochel castle were we stopped at the start of calums road. The road was built by one crofter over many years after the council repeatedly refused to build a road to the township of Arnish. It is perfectly driveable but has some “interesting” corners. From Arnish where the road ends the path to Umachan goes down past the old school building that serviced the north end of the island and up a short climb through some birch trees. At the top of this climb you emerge onto flat heathery ground beneath the cliffs of Meall Dearg. The view then opens out back over Loch Arnish.

Panorama of Loch Arnish

From here the path continues up and over the sides of Beinn na h-lolaire with a branch going off to Eilean Fladday beforehand. A wooden post marks the turn off for Umachan were the well-made path continues on to Eilean Tigh. The path to Umachan is very boggy and in places almost disappears. It was at one of these points we drifted to far south and ended up descending a very steep slope where holding onto the heather and jumping down sections was necessary. The houses at Umachan are still in good shape with one still having a gable end and chimney.

House at Umachan

For the route back we headed north to meet up with the path that runs to Doire Dubh and then up a sheepish gully to region the main path to Arnish.



The morning of easter Sunday we decided to take the short walk part way to Hallaig and visit the cairn to Sorley Maclean on Rubha na’ Leac. The walk is flat and easy as far as the cairn and gives great views over the Inner Sound and across to Applecross and the Cowlin Islands.

The cairn to Sorley Maclean

Dun Caan and the Inner sound

The view up the slopes above Hallaig to Dun Caan is very impressive with the hill resembling a smaller version of Stac Polliadh

Dun Caan

That Afternoon was set aside for the ascent of Dun Caan, Rassays highest point at 444m. The weather at the start of the walk was not exactly conducive to hill climbing with the ever present drizzle turning to heavy rain and wind whipping it into every nook. Setting of up the slopes the easily followed path was more of a burn then track but allowed good time to be made up the shallow incline towards the summit.

Approaching Dun Caan

View back to skye

A small lochan is passed that is perched right on the edge of a steep descent into a gully with Loch Na Meilich at one end and Loch Mna at the other.

Loch Na Meilich

The summit itself is very flat and fairly grassy although very windswept at that point in time.

The summit


The cloud was by now lifting and the cuillin could be seen while sun shone down on the Sound of Raasay.


The west side of Dun Caan appears from above at least to be almost entirely cliff with a long drop down to the loch below, the village of Hallaig and the cairn to Sorley could just be made out.

Inner sound

The next day (mon) we returned home after a spree of cuillin photography and tidying of youth hostel.

Colour in the clouds above Glamaig


Venus and a meteor trail over skye


Sgurr na Gillean

Cuillin Panorama





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Euan McIntosh
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Re: Isle of Raasay

Postby RicKamila » Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:33 pm

I love anything to do with Skye, and Raasay is on our list of places to go to next time. Love the photos too. Now to win the lotto and retire young over there :lol:
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Re: Isle of Raasay

Postby Caberfeidh » Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:45 am

Excellent vignette of old Raasay, a place I am familiar with from my youth...
More on Sorley MacLean here: http://www.somhairlemacgilleain.org/english/

Excellent photos, love the starry Venus and meteor trail especially.
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Re: Isle of Raasay

Postby Klaasloopt » Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:52 am

Very special, intriguing place. Thanks for a look into this small corner of Scotland.
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