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A Guide to the Amazing Fairy Pools in the Isle of Skye

A Guide to the Amazing Fairy Pools in the Isle of Skye

17 Nov 2017 by annabel

Dramatic mountain scenery and rugged coastlines. Dotted with quaint fishing villages where magical sunsets come as standard. Not forgetting spellbinding Scottish castles and medieval fortresses. And crumbling ruins, remnants of a time forgotten lurking in the background.

The Isle of Skye is a world of its own. But that’s not all…..this picturesque island is also home to the natural fairy pools at Glen Brittle. One of Scotland’s best-kept secrets and one of nature’s most beautiful phenomena.

Here is our complete guide to the fairy pools in the Isle of Skye:

How to Get There

The fairy pools of Glen Brittle are located in the south of the island. The large glen runs along the River Brittle and the fairy pools can be found at the river’s source, at the foot of the Black Cuillins mountain range. The nearest village is Carbost on the B8009, which can be accessed by from the A863 off the A87. Parking is available in the Forestry Commission carpark, signposted ‘Glumagan Na Sithichean’.

Local bus company, Go Skye, also offer a bus service during the summer months, picking up from Portree in the east of the island 7 days a week. The Go Skye Shuttle is just £14.00 each way and will take approximately 45 minutes.

road isle of skye

The Fairy Pools Walk

The fairy pools can be reached on foot from the parking lot via a gravel path that is in good condition most of the way. Please be aware that there are some river crossings and stepping stones, which can be tricky when the weather is bad. But all in all, the walk is easy to moderate and the first waterfall can be seen just 25 minutes in. The whole route will take around 45 minutes, or maybe longer if you wish to spend more time exploring the pools or enjoying a swim.

To get back to the parking lot, take the same route back.

Swimming and Diving

Wild swimming is extremely popular at the fairy pools. However, they can be very cold (even in the summer months). So if you plan on getting in the water, a wet suit and warm, dry clothing to change into afterwards is essential.

The first waterfall is the largest and its deep pool makes it ideal for jumping and diving. The second pool is perhaps the most iconic, and one that you will recognize from pictures. The water is crystal clear, and many visitors like to swim underwater here through the archway. There are also many more pools to be explored as you head further up the river, all of which are great for wild swimming also.

fairy pools

Best Time to Visit

Spring and summer are ideal for visiting the fairy pools, although the walk can be easily accomplished all year round. If there has been heavy rain or snow, or if the conditions are icy, some of the crossings should be taken with extra care. It’s also important to remember that the waters rarely get warm, so icy temperatures can be expected even in the spring/summer season.

These magical fairy pools are just one of many things you can enjoy visiting during your vacation in Scotland. If you’d like to start planning your next vacation, please do get in touch with one of our travel experts today.


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