Orbost and Macleod’s Maidens
Mildly strenous walk – 10 miles
Above is a photo from Orbost bay, in the distance you can see the Isle of Rum, way over to the left is the cliffs beyond Porntnalong, with the island of Wiay in the foreground.
Orbost and Grepe – Isle Of Skye
There is a reasonably strenous but very rewarding walk that starts here. The first part is on the forestry commission road that eventually becomes a track that leads you round to Idrigill Point, then onwards to MacLeod’s Maidens.
On the way you will come across a sign (pictured) informing you that some of the woodland has been planted ‘in the living memory’ of Clash frontman Joe Strummer, a very succinct tribute to such a great character, who in fact was instrumental in setting up ‘Future Forests’ who are responsible for planting some of the forestry in the area. The Black Cuillins can be seen in the distance.
After you reach this sign there is a long downward part to a very nice picnic spot, remember though, you have to come back up this one so enjoy the going down while you can!
Approaching Idrigill Point
The track continues onwards, there are many slight up and downs but nothing too difficult. You will start to wonder where you are going, as the track to the maidens actually goes off to the right and cuts off the point, many people make the mistake of thinking that they will round the point and find the maidens, this isn’t the case.
After you have left the point behind by a couple of miles you will start to hear the sound of water and crashing waves, this tells you that you are nearing your goal. You’ll come out on the left hand side of an enormous bay with cliff stretching all the way round. Its quite a feeling standing looking at something that is millions of years in the making and still being shaped as you watch. Be careful of the edge of the cliff as the erosion of the soil at the edges has made them unpredictable and really quite dangerous. If you want to take pictures be extra careful as you approach the edge!
If you look over to the left of the bay you’ll see the Maidens in all their splendour, a worthwhile effort to see such a sight! Remember the walk back though!
For the really adventurous you can continue round the coastline for another 6-7 miles until you come to Ramasaig, one of the largest of the cleared villages on Skye. This adds a considerable distance to the walk and you should consider a few things before thinking on undertaking such an adventure:-
1. you will arrive at the other end some 15 miles from your starting point
2. there is very little public transport to return you to the point you left
3. There are no facilities at the other end, shops etc
4. there is unlikely to be any mobile phone signal on the journey so if you are unprepared for adverse weather there is no easy way of contacting anyone if you get into trouble.