Elgol (Gaelic: Ealaghol) is a tiny village on the south coast of Skye in the Scottish Hebrides. The reason to visit is for its views of mountains, especially from nearby Loch Coruisk.
Unless you've got your own boat, the only way in is along B8083 from Broadford, which has buses to Portree, to the ferry piers at Uig and Armadale, and to the railway terminus at Kyle of Lochalsh.
Stagecoach Highlands Bus 55 runs three times M-F from Broadford via Torrin to Elgol, taking 45 mins. (Two buses extend to Kyleakin and Kyle of Lochalsh.) It runs at around 07:00, 12:00 and 15:30, coming back around 08:00, 13:00 and 16:30. In 1 Elgol the main bus stop is by the Community Centre, but the bus continues up the lane to Glasnakille on the east shore.
See below for access to Loch Coruisk, it's usually reached by boat across Loch Scavaig.
- 1 Loch Coruisk. A long narrow fresh-water loch, dramatically framed by the peaks of the Black Cuillin. JMW Turner painted it, fortunately on a better day than the poet Tennyson, who saw only thick white fog. You do need to pick your day to visit; the loch surrounds can be very boggy and the streams flowing in and out impassable after heavy rain. The usual access is by boat trip from Elgol, see "Do" below, ascend from the landing stage by the rock steps, and you may have time for a circuit of the loch. Or take the Camasunary hike from the car park 3 miles north of Elgol: this involves the infamous "bad step", where you inch along a crack in the rock slanting over the sea. Or hike from Sligachan, 8 miles each way, rough going and you'll need to bivvy somewhere.
- In summer, boat trips run from the jetty to Loch Coruisk and round the bay for sightseeing and wildlife spotting. There are both conventional boats and fast bouncy Ribs. Best enquire online, but they have kiosks at the jetty so you may be able to turn up and board. Operators in 2019 are Misty Isle (M-Sat, +44 1471 866288) and Bella Jane (daily, +44 1471 866244 or tollfree 0800 731 3089).
- Hike to Bonnie Prince Charlie's Cave. There are about as many caves in Scotland where he supposedly hid, as places where "Mary Queen of Scots slept here". But most claims are credible, as both BPC and MQoS needed to keep ahead of their powerful enemies. This one is on the headland south of Elgol, accessible by a boggy moorland trail then onto the shore, but only for two hours either side of low tide. (Check "Easytide" online, or ask at Elgol pier.) The first cave you reach can't be it, as it floods at high tide, but continue to the second hidey-hole. Reckon 3 hours round trip.
- Spar Cave is accessible from Glasnakille by a steep scramble, but only for one hour either side of low tide. Bring a torch to explore inside it, aim to get there just as the tide is nearing the low; and don't linger or you'll be trapped there for 12 hours.
- The Elgol Shop by the bus stop sells travel essentials and their cafe has coffee, cake and light bites.
- Coruisk House at north edge of the village has rooms (B&B double from £150) plus a restaurant open March-mid Oct, dinner daily at 18:45 & 19:45. Reservations essential (+44 1471 866330) as they need to get in the fresh ingredients.
You'll need to bring your own, there's no public bar.
- 1 Suilven, Elgol IV49 9BL, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. One double room and one pod sleeps 3. B&B double £90.
- Garsbheinn (+44 1471 866300) and Bayview (+44 1471 866389) also do B&B.
- Self-catering within Elgol is at Mary's Thatched Cottages, Cnoc na Loch, Springbank, and Pier House. There's also a few self-catering cottages at Torrin, and a couple more in Glasnakille.
Very slowly, the outdoor signal is weak. Accommodation may have Wifi.
Back via Broadford it must be.