Coire Lagan Walk, Skye
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
Coire Lagan is a scenic lochan, or corrie, set in a bowl of jagged peaks in the foothills of the Black Cuillins. The lochan is reached by one of the most popular walks on Skye, climbing up from the beach at Glenbrittle past a cascading waterfall before reaching the remote corrie.
The Coire Lagan walk can be done as a straightforward 'there-and-back' walk, or extended to create a loop that takes you past Eas Mor, one of the most dramatic waterfalls on Skye.
The walk begins at the Glenbrittle campsite, at the end of the road through the glen. There is a lovely sandy beach at the mouth of the River Brittle where it empties into Loch Brittle. There is an obvious and well-trodden trail beside the campsite's toilet block. This early section of the trail is well-maintained, with stone blocks making passage easy.
The ascent is gradual at this point, with views south towards Rhum. The path forks, with the right-hand fork leading over a small burn. Take the left fork, which soon crosses the same burn via a ford, before crossing several more times as the path gains height.
The trail passes a large rock cairn, marking the joining of two paths. If you are planning to walk the circular route, which we recommend, you'll be taking the path off to the left on your return.
Now the trail becomes steep, and climbs a gully, over slabs of rock. The burn runs down the gully, creating a striking series of cascades.
You reach the top of the gully in a breathless state from the steep climb. Thankfully, Coire Lagan lochan is just a stone's throw ahead. It is relatively easy to circle the lochan, but going beyond the water is best left to experienced mountaineers.
Rising up from a bed of scree to your left is the Inaccessible Peak, considered the most difficult mountain peak to climb in Britain, while to the right is Sgurr Mhic Choinnic.
After enjoying the remote beauty of Coire Lagan, it's time to make the descent. The first part of the return journey is the reverse of the ascent; climb carefully down the steep gully, past the cascades, to where the path is more gentle.
When you reach the large cairn that you passed on the way up, take the right fork if you want to follow our recommended circular route. The trail drops down to Loch an Fhir-Bhallaich, a lovely loch on a level shelf of open moorland.
Past the loch the trail cuts across the slope before it reaches a steep-sided gorge on Allt Coire na Banachdich. At the head of the gorge, Eas Mor waterfall plunges over a sheer cliff and drops straight down to the floor of the gorge. Eas Mor (the name translates as 'large waterfall') is one of the most dramatic falls in Scotland.
From Eas Mor simply follow the trail as it hugs the edge of the gorge before descending straight down the last section of the trail to Glenbrittle House and the nearby Mountain Hut. Turn left and follow the paved road south to the campsite car park.
The entire circuit of Coire Lagan, taking in Eas Mor on the returned loop, is roughly 9km (5.5 miles) and will take from 3-5 hours.
The walk is challenging in places, notably as you scramble up the final gully to reach Coire Lagan, but our 6-year-old daughter managed it, so you can, too! Just be sensible; the weather on Skye can change without notice. Always wear good hiking boots and take along adequate waterproof clothing.
When our family did the walk, fog descended with startling suddenness, wreathing Coire Lagan in a shroud of mist so thick it was hard to see the far side of the water. So, be smart, prepare for anything the weather might throw at you, and bring a good OS map along.
About Coire Lagan Walk, Skye
Address: Glen Brittle, Glenbrittle, Isle of Skye, Highlands and Islands, Scotland
Attraction Type: Countryside - Loch
Location: Park at the campsite in Glenbrittle (NG408206) and take the obvious path that runs beside the campsite's toilet block.
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low to exceptional) on historic interest
Eas Mor - 1.6 miles (Countryside)
Loch Coriusk - 2.4 miles (Countryside)
Fairy Pools - 3 miles (Countryside)
St Maelrubha's Chapel, Eynort - 5.3 miles (Historic Church)
Eas a' Bhradain Waterfall - 6.5 miles (Countryside)
Prince Charlie's Cave - 6.9 miles (Countryside)
Carbost Burn Waterfall - 7.7 miles (Countryside)
Suisnish Clearance Village - 9.7 miles (Countryside)
Nearest Accommodation to Coire Lagan Walk, Skye:
Nearby accommodation is calculated 'as the crow flies' from Coire Lagan. 'Nearest' may involve a long drive up and down glens or, if you are near the coast, may include a ferry ride! Please check the property map to make sure the location is right for you.