Old house at Dalavil

This is a delightful hike of around 12km to Dalavil on the west coast of Sleat. The navigation is mostly straightforward and much of the route is on tracks or paths - but there are some sections that can be very boggy after rain. The route passes a beautiful, isolated loch, and some evocative settlements that have been deserted since the clearances of the nineteenth century. It takes you through Coille Dalavil, a mature mixed native woodland, before reaching the shore. From the coast, the views across the water to the Cuillin are magnificent. This is also a good walk for seeing wildlife of many kinds, including snakes, and otters that frequently play by the shore.


Ruins at the east end of Loch a' Ghlinne

The walk begins where a good track leaves the public road at NG622068. There is space to park a few cars here without blocking access. Follow the track down to where it ends and continue, following a less distinct path that crosses and recrosses a burn several times before reaching the ruins seen the picture above. Immediately beyond the ruins there is a gate in the deer fence that protects the woodland from deer and sheep. Once through the gate, you will find a waymarked path through the woods along the north shore of Loch a' Ghlinne. This takes you to the gate in the fence at the west end of the woods.

From there, a path that continues down the glen to the ruined settlement of Dalavil. The remains of several houses lie close to the path. One of these, pictured at the top of this article, has been restored and appears to have been inhabited in fairly recent times.

Solitary tree in Dalavil

From the ruins there is no more path - just head overland to the shore. A little to the north is a sandy beach, elsewhere it is a rocky shoreline. Pick your spot and enjoy the views. If you are fortunate the otters will entertain you by chasing each other around the rocks as you sit there and watch. You can wander up the coast a bit, but the going is fairly rough.

To return, simply retrace your outward route.

Coastline at Dalavil