A short walk in Kilmarie which is halfway between Torrin and Elgol. The walk starts by crossing an impressing iron foot bridge over the Kilmarie River and up into the woodland, then out to the headland to explore the Iron Age Broch (fort) and the near coastline. The route returns by following the shore back to the river where you can choose to cross by the large steppingstones or by the bridge where the walk started.
From the gate the complete circuit totals 2.5km and takes 45min to complete. If you add time to explore the Broch and the nearby coastline allow 1hr 30min to complete the walk. Parts of the route through the forestry can be very wet and muddy, so without a sturdy pair of waterproof boots this should be avoided after wet weather. If you cut out the forestry stage the Broch can still be reached by just using the coastline stages. This walk is graded as Average in difficulty due the wet and muddy sections of the path.
Parking is limited to just two spaces near the start of the walk so it is strongly recommended that the Camasunary carpark is used by all. This adds 1km (each way), walk down the single-track public road to reach the iron gate where the walk officially starts.
The carpark is 37miles from Portree and take 1hour to drive.
The walk starts with an iron gate into the forest. This gate is located 550m down the road from the road junction (where there is a stone wall bridge).
Once through the gate follow the path to reach the foot bridge. Cross the bridge and follow the narrow path up hill and further into the forest. The narrow path is muddy.
After 300m the path turns hard right and on to a wider forestry track which is solid under foot. This wider track continues straight.
The wide forestry track ends and you will see a narrow path marked with a fence posts.
After wet weather this section of the route can be very wet and muddy and may be worth avoiding if you don’t have waterproof boots.
Follow the path along the edge of the pine forest, take care to pick your way around any muddy sections. The path is clearly marked with regular wooden posts. There is a small river crossing over a wooden foot bridge. After a while, the path leaves the trees behind and starts to drop downhill towards the shore.
The foot path from the forest joins the path along the shore side. Continue along the path towards the headland. You reach the headland where there is a column sandstone rock by the shore which at first glance looks to be manmade. This is a natural formation and not Dun Ringill.
Follow the path onwards, it cuts inland a little and can be muddy in places. Ahead you can see the remains of ruined stone houses. To the right you will see a mound of stone by the shore, follow the path to reach Dun Ringill.
This is the remains for an Iron Age Fort which are known as a Broch. The exact history and use of Brochs is not clear, but there any hundreds of Brochs in varying states of ruins along the West Coast of Scotland. As they are generally in line of sight from each other, it is thought that they may have been used as a network to communicate maybe by lighting fires.
Dun Ringill is in a prominent position on the sandstone clifftop. The doorway remains in fair condition, but much of the rest of the structure is crumbing. Take some time to look around.
Further along the shore is a natural archway in the sandstone and is worth working your way along the coastline to explore.
The return walk from Dun Ringill follows the shore the whole way back to the river. The path is clear in direction. There is a stile in the fence to cross and then a small river. This smaller river disappears into the stones on the shore, so is easy to walk around.
The final section follows the fence of the neighbouring field to reach the river crossing. There are steppingstones to cross the Kilmarie River. If the river is too full or you don’t wish to risk the steppingstones then you can continue along the riverside path until you reach the iron foot bridge by the start of the walk. Once back on the public road you can follow it back to the car park.