The Fairy Pools – Isle of Skye

”Did you know Kate Winslet was here just a few days ago” said the parking attendant waiting to collect our fee at the Forestry Commission’s gravel car park near Glenbrittle. Well, if Kate Winslet can brave the fairy pools, then so can we!

Our car day trip around the Isle of Skye ended here at the Fairy Pools, in the Western part of the Isle. The short drive in was impressive, with the Black Cuillin mountain range dominating the skyline.

First rule of thumb when holidaying during the British Summer, always pack a wetsuit, especially if you intend to go swimming! And on this overcast day threatening with rain, we donned our wetsuits and water shoes and boots before beginning the trek towards the Fairy Pools.

The initial part of the gravel path is steep descending down, so careful footing is required before the path levels out. As you follow the River Brittle, you eventually come to the first waterfall and the start of the fairy pools.

We wanted to explore all the pools first before deciding which one to take a plunge into, so followed the path towards the mountain range. It was very tempting to continue towards the ranges and see what lay beyond the last pool, but it started to rain and our goal was to swim the pools, not hike the ranges.

We ended up choosing two pools of various sizes at two different locations. The first pool was only ankle deep, and had a waterfall that you could walk up to. It was the perfect pool to start in, with the wonderful backdrop of the mountain ranges.

Our second pool definitely required a full immersion. The water felt freezing cold, even with wet suits on, but we plunged in with the encouragement and support of some people passing by.

What makes the Fairy Pools so special are both the stunning location and the clear waters that showcase all the natural colours below the surface.

It might have been cold, but for a few minutes of discomfort, it was definitely worth the effort and the experience.

A few hints and tips;

  1. I definitely recommend a wet suit and either water shoes or boots (I had my diving boots).
  2. The black garbage bags I had in my backpack came in real handy when it started to rain to keep bags and clothing dry.
  3. Definitely have a dry set of clothes on your return to your vehicle.
  4. There is no toilet block at the car park so be ready to find creative ways to get changed in your car.
  5. Don’t disturb the midges with your bags at the side of the pools or you will be attacked! They especially liked our wetsuit and hair!

Visited August 2019.