Fairy Pools Skye

Skye’s Fairy Pools have become rather famous in the past few years. They feature in ever-growing numbers of international lists of ‘Places to see before you die’, ‘The world’s best wild swimming locations’ and suchlike. With their growing popularity have come challenges around car parking and facilities. Indeed, the area gets so busy at peak times that I recommend visiting early or late in the day, or in the winter, or when the sun is not shining. There are many fine places to go to on a summer day on Skye, and there are plenty of alternative waterfalls and wild swimming locations all around the Cuillin range. You could do worse than follow the hike from Sligachan towards Bealach a' Mhàim.


Nonetheless, Glen Brittle's Fairy Pools are special, scenic, very photogenic, and not too difficult to access. The path was upgraded in 2015, making it an easy stroll from the car park. Care is needed at a couple of burn crossings however, especially after heavy rain or in freezing conditions.

The car park is found at NG424258 and the route to take from there is the clearly defined path that heads downhill on the other side of the road. Ignore a path that branches off to the left and follow the main burn, the Allt Coir' a' Mhadaidh, up the far slope towards the mountains. Soon, you will come to the first of the pools. As you carry on alongside the burn, things just get better and better. Don’t make the mistake, that many do, of turning back too soon. You will have walked about 1.5km before you find the best pools.

Every year, the Skye Mountain Rescue team and the Coastguard helicopter are called out to assist injured and trapped visitors from the gorges here. Do please take care close to the edges. And keep some energy for the steep pull back up to the road on your return!