Uamh An Ard Achadh (High Pasture Cave) was discovered in 1972 by students from the University of London Speleological Society. It is located close to Torrin in a valley on the north side of Beinn an Dubhaich. This area has many caves formed by burns going underground into the Cambrian Durness Limestone. This particular cave has around 350m of accessible passages, making it one of the longest caves on Skye.
In 2005, a group of potholers discovered the remains of three humans in the cave, together with artefacts suggesting it was an important burial site. Since then the cave has been the subject of some detailed and interesting archaeological digging.
I first visited the site in the autumn of 2005 and was given an guided tour by the enthusiastic archaeologists. It was fascinating to see some of the things they had discovered at that stage. There has been a lot of progress since then, with two more large areas now included in the digging. A recommended detour for anyone travelling in that part of Skye.
The cave is few hundred metres south of the Broadford to Torrin road in Strath Suardal. Park in the layby at at NG595200 and follow the markers up the hillside to the south. The archaeologists do not work on site all year round. If vehicles are parked by the main road below the site, then there is a fair chance someone will be around. If there is not, please be careful when walking around the site and respect the fragile archaeology. In particular, do not enter the areas marked off with red and white marker tape, or stand on the edge of the excavated trenches.
If entering High Pasture Cave itself (not for me, thanks!) remember that the underground passages contain streams and are prone to flooding. The limestone is often jagged and sharp, and can cut clothing and human flesh with ease. Care should also be taken in respecting both surface and underground environments. The cave contains some unique formations, which should be treated with great care.