Strath Suardal
Strath Suardal

The Marble Line Path follows the line of an old railway track between Broadford and the Strath Suardal marble quarries. It is suitable, unlike most of Skye's paths, for wheelchairs, pushchairs and less mobile walkers. The old marble quarries themselves are very interesting to explore. This part of Skye is made primarily of Durness limestone - very different from the volcanic and metamorphic rocks that make up most of the rest of the island. It is near to here that Skye Marble is still mined today.


Path to the Marble Quarries

The starting point for the walk is at NG636228, where there is ample parking in a large layby off the Broadford - Elgol road. The route, of about 8km return, is well signed from there. The first time I went there I stopped at the first quarry I came to. That was a big mistake! There are much more interesting relics of the workings beyond there. Keep going until you reach at least the site of the old winding wheel at NG620196.

Base for a Winding Wheel

The circular stonework in this picture once supported a horizontal winding wheel to lift railway trucks up the steep incline beyond it. This the highest of the several small quarries in the valley. These mines were worked from the early 18th century until they closed in 1912, largely exhausted after 200 years of extraction.. The railway connecting the mines to Broadford Pier, about four miles away, opened in 1907 and closed, along with the quarries, only five years later.

From the end of the Marble Line, a slightly rougher path continues over the hill to Boreraig. That walk is described here.