Skye is famous for water. Lots of it. Dozens of lochs, waterfalls and rock pools make it an outdoor swimmer’s delight. This makes it hard to pick a stand-out destination, but Loch Coruisk is the place we seek out every time we’re lucky enough to visit the island.
Isolation aside (it’s tucked far away from the nearest road on the southern side of Skye), what makes Loch Coruisk our favourite wild swimming destination? Other lakes are more beautiful (take a bow Buttermere), the pools of Snowdonia have their icy grace, and we’ve got a soft spot for the man-made elegance of Walpole Bay Tidal Pool. But Loch Coruisk, which means cauldron of waters in Scottish Gaelic, is as breathtaking as its name suggests.
Swimming in the Cauldron
The daunting Black Cuillin ridge surrounds its northern end while steep hills line the shores all the way to the south where Coruisk empties into Loch Scavaig. And even when the clouds descend, there’s no disguising the majesty of the place.
Delicate ripples play around your toes inviting experienced outdoor swimmers to plunge body and soul into the dark, serene waters. Swim towards the islands in the middle of the loch and you feel completely immersed in nature as you look back up to the mountains and see the landscape from a completely new perspective.
Rather like the local Talisker whisky the water is smoky and sweet and while we wouldn’t recommend swilling gallons of the stuff, a quick taste will stick in the memory (for the record, we didn’t see any sheep within a three mile radius of the shore).
For the practically minded, the water was about 10 degrees in April so comfortable enough to enjoy a proper swim, but don’t forget to bring a flask of hot water laced with ginger, or traditional sweet tea to help you warm up on the way back.