Whoever plans to visit Isle of Skye has certainly heard of the Fairy Pools. While preparing our roadtrip, I browsed the internet looking for tips and I regularly saw stunning pictures of these waterfalls. So magical, that I almost couldn’t believe this place was real. Needless to say it was unthinkable to leave the island without seeing the Fairy Pools with my own eyes.
The second day of our trip, we drive to the Fairy Pools in the afternoon. It was very stormy all morning but in the afternoon the sky started to clear up and we finally see how beautiful Isle of Skye is. Mountains covered with grasses and shrubs. Sheep in meadows and on winding roads. Rivers sliding down the mountains. The sun is working really hard, but doesn’t manage to beat the thick layer of clouds and the rain.
The Fairy Pools are a series of waterfalls and crystal-clear natural pools located in the Brittle River at the foot of the Black Cuillin Mountains. To get to the Fairy Pools, you have to follow the river that flows from the mountain. From the car park you can see how the river winds through the mountainous landscape and the valley. A classic Scotland image.
Short hike to the “Fairy Pools”
From the car park there is a short descent, after which a river must be crossed. It has rained so much these days that the water level is high. Just low enough to jump on the small rocks, but not without getting wet shoes. So waterproof shoes are very welcome on a rainy day like this. Once this river is crossed, begins a gradual climb along the river on a somewhat rocky trail, but easy to follow. Sometimes you have to cross small streams by jumping over or by stepping on the rocks in the water, as you can see on the picture below. At the beginning of the hike it rains a bit, but the weather improves quickly. Exactly at the right time, when we approach the waterfalls and pools. In Scotland everything seems to be a matter of timing, the weather remains unpredictable.
The scenery is stunning. Very rugged, with foggy and dark peaks in the background. The cascades and clear blue natural pools are so graceful, but they also have a wild look. The water volume is pretty high so the water falls down with force. If you let your thoughts drift away, you will undoubtedly see elves or other creatures of the fantastic world dancing around. This place seems to come straight out of a fairy tale. We walk to the end of the Fairy Pools. This is where a wilder nature reserve begins. Although there are enough people, this landscape gives me this “end of the world” feeling. The copper-colored mountains, the fog banks that embrace the high peaks, the threatening and dark sky and the river that flows down with strength. Stunning scenery everywhere around us. The weather was quite dry during this short hike, but halfway downhill it started raining again. It’s time go in the car!
Where: The Fairy Pools are located between the villages of Carbost and Glenbrittle. Parking (free) is well indicated.
Length and duration: 2.4 km. About 40 minutes to the end of the Fairy Pools. To return to the car park you follow the same trail.
Difficulty: Easy. The trail climbs gradually and is a little rocky. Sometimes you have to cross a river, but usually these are small rivers and there are rocks in the water that help crossing the river. Only when the water level is high your shoes can get wet and the crossing, especially of the first river, can be a little more difficult.
Finally, don’t forget to wear waterproof shoes and jacket.