Located where the Black Cuillin meets the western seaboard is Sligachan. This is where to come to see the view that so often graces postcards and canvass alike of the Red and Black Cuillin with Glen Sligachan between them. There is an enchantingly picturesque stone built bridge in the foreground under which River Sligachan flows wide and excitable. Sgurr-Nan-Gillean looms large to the right, all black and menacing, crags and pinnacles, wreathed in unnatural wisps of cloud or with every crevice etched in snow she looks a merciless climb.
Walking or climbing in the Cuillins should not be undertaken lightly. The weather can be unpredictable, many routes marked on maps or guidebooks are for experienced mountaineers and even they can come unstuck. That said there is plenty for the novice to do here and any visitor who is unsure would do very well to hire a local guide.
The Sligachan Hotel was built in 1830. There was an inn at the head of the loch prior to that, near the shelly shore from which the hotel took its name. This large and well-appointed hotel was the first and often only port of call for climbers who visited the island but these days there are other options. There is a campsite near the head of the loch and backpackers’ hostel. For those seeking a little bit of luxury, the beautiful Lodge is available on a self-catering basis and there are cottages.
For non-climbing visitors, Sligachan offers a central base from which to explore the rest of Skye. There is an outstanding playpark for children and good wet weather facilities. The hotel bar is busy and friendly and the meals are good. There are no shops but there are busses from here to Broadford, Carbost, and Portree. Visitors are advised to check timetables carefully as some services are only run on school days.