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Handbook for travellers in Scotland online

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this scenery.

It was in this neighbourhood that
Prince Charles Stuart had a narrow
escape from being surrounded by a
chain of sentinels and watch-fires.
Taking advantage of the few moments
when the sentinels, having met on
their beat, turned their backs to
each other, he crept between them
and got away.

The steamer next enters the nar-
row straits of Kyle Rhea, bordered
on the Skye side by Scoor-nan-Gour
(1983 ft.), and Bein-na-Caillich (2387
ft.), and on the mainland by the
mountains of Glenelg. From Kyle
Rhea, where there is no Inn, a very
hilly road runs to Broadford, 12 m.
(Rte. 61). On rt. is the village of
Glenelg, with the ruined barracks of
Beruera.

Emerging from the Kyle Rhea, the
tourist will be puzzled to make out
in which direction the exit can be
from the landlocked sheet of water
now before him. In front, and
stretching to the rt., is Loch Alsh,
which at its eastern extremity is



384 Route 56. — Kyle Akin ; Broadford ; Portree. Sect. \l.

he may find them occupied. There
being no harbour accessible for
steamers, passengers disembark in a
boat. The landing is bad if the
weather is rough.



divided into two narrow lakes, named
respectively Loch Luing and Loch
Duich. Right opposite the mouth
of Kyle Rhea is a wooded bank, under
which the pleasant and comfortable
little hotel at Balmacarra is situated
(Rte. 61). Strome Ferry Rly. Stat,
is 9 m. from it : hilly road (Rte. 62).
The steamer, now guided by the light-
house N. of the Kyle, turns sharp to
the 1., through the straits of Kyle
Akin, leaving on rt. a granite obelisk,
erected by Sir Roderick j\Iurchison
to one of his ancestors who was en-
gaged in the '45.

iKyle Akin (Inn: King's Arms,
good), is the neatest-looking village
in Skye, and possesses several modern
slated houses. Here is a ferry, about
4 m. broad, and a good road thence
to Broadford, 8 m. The steamer
from and to Oban touches here. It
is good headquarters for excursions.
Upon a rock, near the village, are
the ruins of Castle Moil, a small
keep, said to have been built for the
purpose of enforcing a toll from every
ship that passed, by an old lady
named Mackinnon, usually called
"Saucy Mary."

Kyle Akin owes its name to Haco,
King of Norway, who sailed through
the strait in 1263 on his way to and
from Largs. The stean)er, passing
the Lightliouse at the N. mouth of
the Kyle, now comes more into the
open, although it hugs the shore
pretty closely as it passes to the
inner side of the curiously green is-
land of Pabba ("whose shores would
furnish a museum with fossils "), in
order to call off

Broadford, which is overshadowed
by Ben-na-C:!aillich. Ross's Hotel
here is a very fair Inn, some short
distance from the landing-place, and
it can be recommended as a good
starting-place for those who visit the
Spar Cave and Loch Coruisk by way
of Torrin (Rte. 58) and Loch Slapin.
But as the Oban steamer usually
arrives about midnight, unless the
tourist has written to engage beds



About 1^ m. off the land is Pahha
Island, interesting to the geologist.
It consists of rocks belonging to the
Upper Lias, which swarm with fossil
remains. "They rise by thousands
and tens of thousands on the exposed
place of its sea-worked strata, stand-
ing out in bold relief, like sculptur-
ings on ancient tombstones, at once
mummies and monuments, the dead
and the carved memorials of the
dead. Trap dykes stand up like
fences over the sedimentary strata,
or run out like moles into the sea."
Farther out is the Cambrian sand-
stone island of Lunga, the next island
to which is that of Scalpa, separated
by a narrow strait from Skye, navi-
gable only at high tide. The steamer
then passes the W. shore of Raasay
Island (Rafn's-ey).

Next the narrow Sound of Raasay
is threaded, skirting the W. shore of
Raasay Island, in view of the modern
mansion which has succeeded that
of Macleod of Raasay (now no longer
the Laird), where Johnson and Bos-
well Avere so hospitably entertained.
On the E. shore is seen the pictur-
esque mountain pyramid of Glamaig,
rising by the side of Loch Sligachan,
which is terminated by the more
romantic peaks of Scoor-na-Gillean.
Leaving these behind, the steamer
enters the small landlocked harbour
of

"f Portree, capital of Skye. {Lins :
Royal, and Portree Hotels.) {See
Rte. 57.)



Scotland.



Route 57. — Strome Ferry to Shje.



385



EOUTE 57.

Strome Ferry to Skye, Broad-
ford and Portree (Steamer), to
Quiraing, Storr Kock, and Dun-
vegan.

Steamier daily in summer, starting
from Portree at 9.30 a.m., to eatcli
the mid-day train from Strome Ferry
Terminus to Ding^vall — returning at
2 P.M. It is a voyage of ^h hrs. (32
m.) from Strome, calling olf Broadford
to set down and take in passengers.

Quitting Loch Carron through the
narrow strait at Strome Ferry [see
Ete. 62), the steamer traverses outer
Loch (jarron, in view, rt., of the
gi'and mountains of Applecross, and
1. of Mr. Alex. Matheson's modern
Castle of Duncraig, while in front
appear the picturesque mountains of
Skye. Leaving to the S. the Strait
of Kyle Akin, the shore is coasted
along until abreast of

t Broadford. — A roomy boat puts
out for passengers. See Ete. 57, where
the rest of tlie voyage to Portree is
also described. It is full of variety.
Coasting round the Island Scalpa, it
passes the opening of a narrow bay,
Loch Sligachan, which washes the
feet of the grand mountain Glamaig,
while beyond appear Scoor-nan-Gil-
lean, and others of the Coollin range.
It penetrates between the Island of
Raasay, no longer owned by the
Macleods of E., but purchased by Mr.
G. G. Macka3^ in 1872, for £55,000.
Here Prince Charles was some time
sheltered by the laird in a miserable
hut, all the houses having been burned
by the soldiery. The steamer soon
reaches the sheltered small harbour
of

t PORTEEE. Inns : Eoyal, just
above the pier (L. Ross), very fair ;
Portree Hotel, newer and comfort-
able ; good cuisine (A. Campbell) ;
[Scotland.^



(post-horses and carriages at both
houses). This is the chief place in
Skj-e, though but a village of 600 in-
hab. It is built on a platform of rock,
which presents towards the harbour
a cliff 60 or 80 ft. high. Its name,
' ' King's Harbour, " was given to it
after a visit of King James Y. It has

3 churches, 3 banks, and a Sheriff's
Court-House. Behind the U.P. ch.
is a pretty Walk among the trees
overlooking the sheltered harbour.
From this and other commanding
points views may be had iST. of Storr
Eock, and S. of the Coollin range.
On tlie outskirts of the town is a
cloth (Tweed) mill, employing some
hundred persons.

Steamer daily to Strome Ferry,
returning in the afternoon ; carries
the mails. Twice a week it goes to
Gairloch in the evening — returning
next morning. Twice a week a
steamer to Stornoway touches here
(Ete. 50).

Coaches {Waggonettes) daily in
summer to Uig, on the way to
Quiraing, to Sligachan, on way to
Coruisk, and to Dunvegan (Mail),
returning in the evening.

Distances: — Prince Charles's Cave,

4 m. ; Storr Eock, 8; Uig, 154;
Quiraing, 2U ; Steinscholl, 24 ;
Duntulm, 25 "• Dunvegan, 23 ; Sli-
gachan, 94 ; Broadford, 24i ; Loch
Coruisk, 18 ; Kyle Akin, 32 ^ ;
Strome Ferry, 32.

Excursions. — (a.) To Prince
Charles s Cave, 4 m. due N., close
upon the sea-shore ; best visited
in a boat. Its mouth is screened
by a fringe of stalactites. It is
prettj', but scarcely worth the
trouble of a visit, and its con-
nection with the Prince is not
proven.

(b.) To Storr Rock.— k rough walk
of 8 m. good (34 hrs.), by a path
S



;S6



Fiotde 57. — Sforr Bock ; Uig.



Sect. YI.



over marsli and moor, not clearly
defined. It is accessible only to
pedestrians. About 4 ni. on the
road from Portree to Uig, a patli
strikes off rt., leaving rt. the hills
of Tor Vaig and Essie. The track,
which in wet weather is very soft
and marshy, with many water-
courses to cross, runs up a wide
moorland valle}^, passing two small
lochs, Fadda and Lethan, aliounding
in small trout, direct to the Storr,
which, unless there is a mist, is toler-
ably conspicuous all the way.

From Portree to Loch Staffin and
the N. end of Skye extends a re-
markable range of black clilfs, reach-
ing to a height of 2348 ft. The
upper part is a stratum of imper-
fectly columnar trap-rock, resting
on soft and crumbling oolitic beds
and shales, which give way under
the effects of rain and frost, and
bring down the trap-i'ocks in masses,
and detached pinnacles and blocks,
resembling giant castles, exceeding
far in dimensions any work of man,
and forming miles of Cyclopean
ruins. The most remarkable of
them are Quiraing and Storr Rod',
a black pinnacled clitf, rising 2348
ft. above the sea, commanding from
its slope a grand and extensive
sea-view. At the base of this range
of high cliff is a broad terrace of
moorland, from which a succession
of inecipitous descents (in fact, an
UndcrcHff) leads dow)i to the sea.

The did Man of Storr is an isolated
black obelisk of trap, rising to a
height of 160 feet.

Near the sliore, opposite the small
green island of Holm, a singular
waterfall bursts forth over a shelf of
hai'd basalt, which, having resisted
the water's action in washing out
the oolitic bed below, has formed
a cave, so hollowed out that you can
get behind the cascade and see the
sea-view through it. Beyond this the
outlet of Loch JNIehall bursts down
over the clitf in a waterfall.



There is no inn or shelter near
Storr Eock, and the usual course is
to return to Portree ; a very stout
walker, however, may, in 3 or 4
hours, find his way across the moor
to Steinscholl (SA miles from Qui-
raing), where there is a very fair Inn
{sec below).

An experienced Skye traveller
suggests as an alternative "to
ascend the Storr, and follow the
mountain ridge the whole way till
you come to the high road near Quir-
aing. I have no doubt it is one of the
grandest promenades in Skye, com-
manding Avide views in all direc-
tions." — N.

Portree to Quiraing, 21.i m. —
Coach (Waggonette) every morning
in summer ; returning at night. A
good road, traversing first a monot-
onous undulating moor of peat land,
with few patches of cultivation.
Glimpses S. of the Coollin moun-
tains ; N. "\V. of Macleod's Tables.

3 m. The road to Dun vegan tm-ns
off 1. {see below).

6 m. Our road descends to the sea-
shore at the extreme end of Loch
Snizort, a Firth which penetrates far
inland, dividing the promontory of
Trotternish E., from that of Vater-
nish W. A little short of this a
footpath stiikes rt. across the moor,
following the course of a small
stream to the Storr Rock {see above).

[10 m. a road turns off 1. to Kings-
burgh Rouse. The old mansion in
which Prince Charles found refuge
1746, and where Johnson and Bos-
well were entertained by the Laird
and his wife, Flora Macdonald, 1773,
has been pulled down.]

After surmounting a long ascent,
the eye is relieved by a view down
into the cheerful bay of Uig, shut in
by high hills, and so sheltered as to
enjoy a climate like that of Devon.
It is bordered b}' neat houses, and
well-to-do cottages, and two churches,
and anion



Online LibraryJohn Murray (Firm)Handbook for travellers in Scotland → online text (page 60 of 73)