Minginish - Carbost, Talisker Portnalong & Glenbrittle
Minginish is an area worthy of exploration. Do not be surprised if the locals look a little odd at first, on closer examination they will probably turn out to be “tattybogles” or scarecrows erected for the Minginish tattybogle festival. It is advisable to politely smile and say ‘good morning’ nonetheless as mistakes can be embarrassing.
Carbost is the largest settlement on the Minginish peninsula. It is best known for the Talisker distillery, which has dominated the wide valley since it was built in 1831. The distillery has an excellent visitor’s centre that is very popular. The village also has a hotel, a bunkhouse, shop, farm shop, café, Doctor’s surgery and post office.
Fiscavaig and Portnalong are townships on the Northern coast of Minginish. Their hills are low lying, their houses spread out and their sunset views are exquisite. The view over Loch Bracadale towards MacLeod’s maidens is enough to compel the most casual visitors to stay. There are various B&BS and Holiday cottages for rent, a backpackers’ hostel and a hotel for anyone so smitten.
Talisker bay is a beautiful spot. There is limited parking but once free from the car visitors are rewarded with a unique panorama. Basalt cliffs rise majestically on either side of the bay. The beach changes a lot after storms and the sands are not always visible but when exposed black and white sand form distinct patterns. A little inland Preshal Mor and Preshal Beg are two dome shaped hills that were formed at the same time as the Cuillins but are completely unlike any of the other hill shapes on Skye. Both resemble Arthur’s seat and the Giant’s Causeway because they are of similar columnar basalt. Dun Sleadale Broch is another fair weather attraction that you need to stretch your legs to reach but it’s worth the effort.
To the far South of Minginish is the extraordinary Glenbrittle, a u-shaped glacial valley. At the end of the road, squeezed between the Cuillins and loch brittle is the award winning Glenbrittle campsite. Loch Brittle is wide and full and the beach at its head is generous and reliably sandy. The views to the West here show Canna and Rhum. SYHA have a youth Hostel here. It looks like the last building on earth but it is popular for its location. Walkers and climbers are drawn her like moths. The light that draws them is the majestic and menacing presence of the Cuillins and the harsh natural beauty they bring to the area.
As the river Brittle comes down from the lofty Cuillins it passes through a series of ethereal blue-green pools and waterfalls that are immensely popular for swimming. The fairy pools are worth travelling from anywhere in Skye for. The forestry commission have set up mountain bike trails running through Glenbrittle forest that can be accessed from the same carpark.