The 2018 May Day Bank Holiday was one of sunshine and BBQs for pretty much all of Britain. Except, it seemed, Skye. Those of us who had headed to Glen Brittle and the cloud-shrouded Cuillin were in for 3 days of drizzle and mist – but also remoteness, rock, seascapes and socials. A fair exchange.

We arrived late on Friday afternoon (a full day’s drive from Marsden) and stayed at the Glen Brittle campsite.

They can’t take credit for the ‘austere beauty’ of the location as such – plate tectonics, ice ages, crofting then the enforced clearances for sheep did that – but the campsite folks have created a great spot with ample-sized pitches, an excellent wee shop and cafe (with friendly staff) and clean showers. All you want in a campsite that’s one up from wild camping.

Skye Glen Brittle Campsite Hiking
The sheltered farmhouse on the campsite, which I’m guessing was the origin of the site next to the sea loch.
Skye Glen Brittle Hike campsite
Richard pitching his tent. The flanks of the moors, themselves on the flanks of the Cuillin, behind him.
Skye Glen Brittle Hike campsite Dog
The slightly shy, lovely campsite cafe dog.

As is often the case on the Scottish trips, the party divided on the first full day into:
– ‘happy to climb up to then along an unforgiving jaggedy ridge and mess about with stuff that needs ropes and helmets’
– and ‘Love the mountains and a bit of scramble but don’t want to do a hard climb with ropes’.
And the subgroup of that (me) ‘Happy to walk up to the high stuff but will whimper if the likelihood of a scramble is so much as mentioned’.
The latter group comprising of Roger, Mac, Jeff and I, heading up to Coir’ a’ Ghrunnda.

Skye Glen Brittle Hike campsite
My Saturday walking buddies, Roger, Mac and Jeff.
Skye Glen Brittle Hike campsite
Looking towards Soay (I think)
Skye Glen Brittle Hike campsite
The rock around the Cuillins is nicely grippy but occasionally you’ll hit a greasy spot, care required
Skye Glen Brittle Hike campsite
A more artistic view of Soay in distance..
Skye Glen Brittle Hike campsite
Heading up into some clag.
Skye Glen Brittle Hike campsite
Mac’s tenth anecdote of the morning, he was hitting his stride at this point 😉
Skye Glen Brittle Hike campsite
Jeff’s homemade eclectic goggles.

Skye Glen Brittle Hike campsiteSkye Glen Brittle Hike campsiteSkye Glen Brittle Hike campsiteSkye Glen Brittle Hike campsiteSkye Glen Brittle Hike campsiteSkye Glen Brittle Hike campsite

There is more to add about this day’s walk.
How I ‘bottled it’ as we tried to find the lip over into the Coire (described as reasonably easy to find on this and other route reports) and decided to turn back in the clag. We were at that stage scrambling and a rope was kind of needed, for me at least. Mac had one with him but I felt we were too high over to the left and would get stuck due to my rope incompetence. So I called it a day. I felt bad that I lost confidence and that the other chaps then turned back with me. Although I was in no danger and was very happy to wend my way back down they acted as a team and joined me on the walk down.
But this write-up is cut short in some ways .. the actual blog post being completed between Christmas and New Year, months after the trip (but dated in the blog as June, for some sense of chronological reporting). It’s been a funny old year, would be an understatement.
So time to hit publish.

ps: Day 2 was less vertiginous but equally as enjoyable (yes, I did enjoy day 1) and involved chambered cairns, bodiless voices and viking canals.. more of that anon.

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