logo Walking Britain

Highland Walk
Coire Lagan, Isle of Skye

County/Area - Highland

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 5.0 miles / 8.1 km

Ascent - 1870 feet / 567 metres

Time - 4 hours 20 minutes

Grade - moderate

Start - OS grid reference NG408206
Lat 57.202622 // Long -6.293331
Postcode IV47 8TA (approx. location only)

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Coire Lagan, Isle of Skye Photo from the walk - Coire Lagan, Isle of Skye Photo from the walk - Coire Lagan, Isle of Skye Photo from the walk - Coire Lagan, Isle of Skye Photo from the walk - Coire Lagan, Isle of Skye Photo from the walk - Coire Lagan, Isle of Skye
Click thumbnails for larger images.

This is a walk of some quality taking you into the rugged heart of the Cuillins. The walk starts at the end of the road down Glen Brittle - a trip worth doing even if you haven't time to walk. The free car park (Grid ref. NG408206) overlooks with the idyllically situated camp alongside. Walk through the campsite to the toilet block. Take the path which heads uphill, ignoring the path heading south along the loch-side. Well maintained, this path climbs steadily and soon splits. Take the left fork and continue climbing.

As you gain height your objective becomes obvious - a rocky coire surrounded by tremendous mountains, including the highest peak of the Cuillin - Sgurr Alasdair. To your right the small islands of Soay and Rum can be seen whilst behind the hills on the other side of Glen Brittle look rather docile when compared with those ahead.

After passing close to the southern shores of Loch an Fhir-bhallaich you need to keep straight ahead ignoring the path veering off to the right and the rocky buttresses of Sgurr na Ciche. The going underfoot becomes rockier and the climb steeper as you reach the lip of Coire Lagan. Alongside Allt Coire Lagan tumbles seaward, it ferocity depending on recent rain. Reaching a steeper rocky section some mild scrambling is needed and it is worth making a mental note of your route to make you descent easier.

With each step the crags and screes of the Cuillin move nearer with your eyes working hard to absorb the colours, shapes and feel of the mountains. Suddenly you emerge into the Coire with its beautiful lochan. Defended by high crags the setting is grand and worth the effort expended during the climb. Hopefully the weather will be kind and you can relax in this natural amphitheatre. Of particular note is the Great Stone Shoot, which provides one of the "walkers" routes to the summit of Sgurr Alasdair. Sadly hidden from view, but not too far distant is the Inaccessible Pinnacle, which is the hardest Munro to conquer.

The are two options for the return. Either retrace your steps or more interestingly use the path that skirts the north-eastern shore of Loch an Fhir-bhallaich. This takes you to the waterfall on Allt Coire na Banachdich and allows you to explore the pretty "gorge" as the stream to the valley floor. Reaching the road it is easy to reach the car park by following the road.

Please maintain social distancing - keep at least 2 metres away from other walkers.

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer 411Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer 411Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 32Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 32Digital Map1:50kBUY

It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.


Recommended Books & eBooks

Walking the Munros Vol 2 - Northern Highlands and the Cairngorms

Walking the Munros Vol 2 - Northern Highlands and the CairngormsGuidebook to walking the northern Munros, covering the northern Highlands, the Cairngorms and the Isle of Skye. 70 routes are described, including those up Ben Macdui, Braeriach and Cairn Gorm. Routes range from 7 to 46km, requiring a fair level of fitness. The second of two guidebooks to walking Scotland's Munros: peaks higher than 3000ft.
More information

Walking in Torridon

Walking in TorridonThis guidebook contains 52 day walks in Torridon, a remote and much-loved area of the Scottish Highlands. Based around Shieldaig and Slioch, the routes are split into 3 sections: easy walks, long and high level walks and mountain ascents over 2000ft including 9 Munros, and 5 outline suggestions for major ridge walks.
More information

The National Trails

The National TrailsThis inspirational guidebook looks at each of the UK's 19 National Trails, with information that allows ease of comparison and contrast, inspiring you to find out more and to take up a long-distance challenge. Some Trails are short and easy, others much longer, many have strong themes - they may follow a coastline, or traverse ranges of hills.
More information

Social Media

Follow Walking Britain for the latest news.

Facebook Twitter

CBD For Walking & Hiking

Discover the benefits of CBD for walkers and hikers. More info.

Mountain Weather

Stay safe on the mountains with detailed weather forecasts - for iOS devices or for Android devices.

Digital Mapping Guide

Digital Mapping Guide - a simple guide of how to start using digital mapping. Includes advice and useful links.