Rubha nam Brathairean

The walk to Rubha nam Braithrean (Brathairean on the Ordnance Survey maps - Brothers' Point in English) is only about 1.5km each way from the road south of Staffin. It is a scenic walk, with lots to explore on the way, and an interesting destination. Nobody seems certain of the origin of the name, but it is most often said to have been a place where monks lived and worshiped in safety more than a thousand years ago.

 

Most of the route is easy going on an old, well-made cart track. The walk is categorised here as 'moderate' only because there is a short scramble needed to cross the final bit of the way to the point.

Ruaraidh Dhomhnaill a' Chuirn's House

There is a parking place on the west side of the main road at NG516626, just south of which there is a fingerpost sign pointing the way to Rubha nam Braithrean. It leads you down a fairly steep track, passing the ruined house in the picture above. The house has a lot of fine detail left in its stonework, and is worth taking a few minutes to explore. It was lived in until the end of the nineteenth century. The path reaches the shore at the mouth of the Lonfearn Burn, which is crossed easily on the way to the next point of note, a disused salmon bothy. One of the poles that was used to hang out the nets is still standing on the beach there.

Salmon bothy at Port Earlish

Beyond the bothy there is no clear path, but the way is easy. Just follow the top of the low cliffs until you are forced to your right, the ground rises, and you will find yourself at the root of Rubha nam Braithrean itself.

The point is defended by a natural rock tower, Dun Hasan, on top of which are scant remains of a man-made fort. To reach the flat ground beyond, Dun Hasan must be crosssed. Keep just to the left of the narrow ridge leading out to it and you'll find that it is a lot less tricky to climb than it looks. There is a clear path up to the summit.

Once on the point, look out for other signs of ancient civilization. There are several clear hut circles to be seen, together with old walls and evidence of cultivation. On a clear day, the views across the water to Rona and the mainland are fine. A good spot for a picnic lunch before returning by the same route.