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Farm Buildings Near the Top of Gleann  Oriad, with the Cuillins in the Background
Farm Buildings at the Top of Gleann Oriad, with the Cuillins in the Background

The shape of the Isle of Skye is notoriously hard to describe, perhaps because it comprises a series of peninsulas sticking out in various directions that happen to come together untidily and chaotically at their inner ends. One of the stumpier peninsulas projects west about half way up the west coast of Skye and is defined, and given an ear-like shape, by the incursions of the sea lochs, Loch Eynort and Loch Harport.

Looking Down Gleann Oraid Towards Talisker Bay
Looking Down Gleann Oraid
Towards Talisker Bay
Glen Eynort
Glen Eynort
Loch Eynort
Loch Eynort
Pier at Rubha Ban
Pier at Rubha Ban

The main settlement in this area is Carbost, which lies on the west side of Loch Harport. It lies just over two miles along the single track B8009, which leaves the main Sligachan to Dunvegan road at Drynoch. En route you pass the minor road leading south to Glen Brittle, and two others: one heading south to Eynort at the head of Loch Eynort, the other heading west down Gleann Oraid to the head of Talisker Bay.

Taigh Ailean Hotel
Taigh Ailean Hotel
Talisker Distillery
Talisker Distillery
The Black Cuillin Ridge from Carbost
The Black Cuillin Ridge from Carbost

Both roads make fascinating excursions. The road down Glen Eynort lies beneath magnificent mountain scenery, and from the far end of the road, near where it meets the head of the loch, you can continue on foot to the remains of an old church. The public road to Talisker Bay, which ends ¾ of a mile short of the coast itself is primarily for those who want to enjoy another little known corner of Skye: and perhaps for those who want to be able to say they visited the place that gave Talisker Distillery its name (or even catch a glimpse of an elusive white-tailed sea eagle).

The attractive village of Carbost straggles down the line of the B8009 as it descends the hillside above Loch Harport, from the church at its south eastern end to Talisker Distillery at its north western end. A track along the shore here brings you to the old pier that was once Carbost's main means of contact with the outside world.

The road through Carbost seems to end as it passes Talisker Distillery. In fact it turns sharply to climb the hillside behind before continuing its progress north west towards Portnalong. Here you find a further selection of accommodation including the Taigh Ailean Hotel. The road finishes at a pier in the mouth of Loch Harport, sheltered by Ardtreck Point. From Portnalong a narrow side road leads you a couple of miles west past Fiskavaig Bay and through the straggling community of Fiskavaig.

Carbost Church
Carbost Church
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