Leitir Fura is walk through a beautiful natural forest that homes lots of oak, hazel and birch trees. The track takes you above the famous Kinloch Lodge Hotel and offers stunning sea views out over the Sound of Sleat and Isleornsay. The route takes you to the historic township of Leitir Fura which is an old village of ruined black houses.
The walk is a total of 7.5km and takes an average 1hr 35min to complete without stopping. The route is graded as Medium in difficulty as there are steeper sections of the route, but the path is solid underfoot the whole way.
The walk is 33miles from Portree. After turning off the main road, the last mile is along a gravel road to reach the carpark where there is space for about 15 cars.
The forest is managed by the Forestry Commission and they have helpfully provided information boards to offer details about the forest and the history of the ruined village. The route is well sign posted.
The walk starts from the car park. The solid gravel track starts slowly climbing up hill where you will reach a gate, which can simply be walked around. The track passed behind the famous Kinloch Lodge Hotel. The path is enclosed by trees on both sides most of the way. These native trees include birch, willow and hazel. Wild raspberries (June-July) and brambles (September) can be found in abundance.
As the track continues you will pass a sign for the ‘Drovers Path’ on the left (0.8km). This will be the return path.
Further along the track you will pass a large mast on your left then you reach the first viewpoint where you will find a bench (1.6km). This is perfect place to stop and enjoy the views out to sea, looking south to Isleornsay and then Mallaig in the distance.
Continue along the main track where you will see mountains over on the mainland above Glenelg. The track now heads downhill and the view is obscured by trees. At the bottom of the hill the next viewpoint is marked by a large rock. Looking out across the water you can see Sandaig which was the home of Gavin Maxwell the famous author who wrote ‘Ring of Bright Water’. Just around from Sandaig you can see the entrance to Loch Hourn.
The track opens to a forestry turning area for vehicles before narrowing and continuing downhill. The path bends sharply to the right over a small river. Here you will find an information board and a bench. The ruined village is on the hillside above.
The main forestry track continues to the right but to reach Leitir Fura follow the narrow footpath up the hill on the left.
The path zigzags up through the bracken and hazel trees before levelling out at the start of the old village (4km).
Here you will see ruined black houses as well as impressive views out to Glenelg and Loch Horn. A grassy path loops around the black houses.
Take some time to explore. Maybe stop for lunch.
The old Drovers path.
This was the path used by the residents of Leitir Fura to drive their cattle over to Kylerhea and on to market.
To return along the Drovers path follow the grass track up to the top left of the ruins. Here wou will reach another information board. The narrow track takes you uphill on a steady climb above the treeline. Along this next section of the walk there are many small streams that cross the path which are easily stepped over in normal weather conditions. You will reach a small junction which is clearly signed, continue towards Kinloch. The other track goes to Kylerhea.
This next section of the walk opens up giving you views over Duisdale. The track then heads down to a recently built bridge over a small gorge. Carry on along the path which passes a bench then gently drops down through the hazel trees, finally re-joining the wider track. Now back on the main forestry track, follow the route back to the carpark.