- Location: Inner Hebrides
- Size: 6405 ha
- Terrain: Quite lanes; boggy paths; short, steep mountain path
- Height gain: 769 metres
- Map: OS Explorer 409 Raasay
- Starting point: Rassay ferry pier
- Activity Summary:
The views from Raasay’s high point, Dun Caan, are some of the best on Scotland’s west coast reaching across Skye to the Outer Hebrides and from Applecross to Torridon and Kintail. This wildlife-filled walk to this iconic flat-topped summit passes through forests, waterfalls and moorland.
- Route description:
Start the walk from the ferry terminal and follow the quiet road around Churchton Bay past Raasay Distillery and on to the main village of Iverarish.
Turn left at the T-junction, past the well-stocked community shop, then left again following signs to The North (Pole!).
Continue over the bridge and immediately turn right to the carpark for ‘Mine No. 2’, an iron mine that never was. Bear right through the parking area to follow signs for ‘Burma Road’ – named by construction workers in the 1950s who encountered a ‘jungle’ of trees. Ascend through the forest.
Reach a more open area, ignore the path to the left, and continue straight ahead to reach a junction, bridge and footpath signs to Dun Caan.
Ascend alongside the waterfalls of Inverarish Burn and access the moor through the high gate in the deer fence. For the next 1.5 miles the path generally keeps just to the left of the burn and is indistinct and boggy in places. Cross a stile, where there’s a glimpse of Dùn Caan’s summit.
Continue across the moor to Loch na Mna. Ascend the escarpment to reach a small loch on Beallach Ruadh then take the steep path down to Loch na Meilich’s south shore.
The path to the summit zig-zags up the craggy ramparts of Dun Caan to the trig point where there are incredible views over Skye to the Outer Hebrides and across to Applecross and the mainland peaks of Torridon and Kintail.
Return to Loch na Meilich and re-climb the escarpment to Beallach Ruadh this time taking the shingle path straight ahead.
Cross the moor for 1.3 miles to reach the road at Balmeanach. Turn left for 1.3 miles then take gravel track to the right accessed via a metal field gate. Turn left on the minor road past the houses of Oskaig and forest; there are great views of the cliffs of Skye’s Ben Tianavaig across the Sound of Raasay and a good chance of spotting sea eagles here. Pass the Pictish symbol stone on the left and take the right fork down to Raasay House for refreshments on the way back to the ferry.
Where to stay on the Isle of Raasay
Raasay House Hotel is a 16th-century mansion, once the clan seat of the Macleods of Raasay, offers a range of rooms from spacious suites with balconies, to standard rooms or budget group accommodation.
Raasay Distillery Hotel offers six restful, modern rooms in the island’s converted Factor’s House, Borodale. Adjacent to its new whisky hub, with staggering views towards Skye, it’s a unique rural escape with its own honesty bar.
Where to eat on the Isle of Raasay
Raasay House is the only restaurant on the island and offers breakfast, coffee, cake, lunch and dinner. It serves local, seasonal homemade food – wild Raasay venison, langoustines from the Sound of Raasay, Skye scallops and fresh vegetables and herbs from the hotel’s walled garden. There is also a public bar that serves Scottish beers, whiskies, and gins.
The Larchbox near Raasay Distillery offers a great takeaway menu of sourdough baguettes with highlights such as Milano salami, mango chutney mayonnaise, cheddar with salad or Halloumi, grilled aubergine, sriracha mayonnaise and salad. Fab coffee and cakes too (not open in 2022)
Raasay Community Store at Inverarish is well-stocked and serves hot drinks from a machine. You can also pick up local venison and vegetables from Raasay House gardens.
Getting to the Isle of Raasay
The only way to reach the Isle of Raasay is by boat. Most people catch the ferry from Skye to Raasay. Calmac offers a frequent daily 20 minute passenger and car ferry service from Sconser.