Loch Coruisk is a freshwater loch that can be found on the Isle of Skye in the Scottish Highlands, which sits at the base of the Black Cuillin mountain range. It is a popular destination for visitors looking for the most spectacular Scottish scenery and has been the inspiration for many Scottish writers and painters. If you have ever seen the famous Kelpie statues in Falkirk, you will be interested to know that Loch Coruisk is rumoured to be the home of these legendary shape-shifting water spirits.
After he stayed at Dunvegan Castle, Sir Walter Scott visited the loch in 1814, and he noted its “dark ledge of barren stone”. The Black Cuillin surround the northern end of the loch, usually wreathed in cloud. The southern end discharges into a sea loch via the Scavaig River. Overall, Loch Coruisk is almost two miles long but never more than 400 yards wide.
Getting there and things you should know
Loch Coruisk can be accessed by boat from Elgol or on foot, if you fancy a hike, from Sligachan. It is possible to walk from Elgol but there are some challenges on the walk that will not suit the inexperienced hiker. You cannot approach the loch from the North unless you can scale the Black Cuillin, so your journey will require some planning if you are not travelling by boat. For most people, the boat journey is recommended – you can relax and take in the stunning scenery and arrive at the loch in style.
If you do decide to take the walk from Sligachan, be advised that the distance is 7-8 miles. The terrain is very boggy so make sure you wear appropriate footwear. The mountain scenery is truly breathtaking but the walk itself is a challenging one. In addition to the boggy terrain, you will also encounter rough, rocky slopes in places. This is particularly true if you try to walk from Elgol as you will encounter the infamous ‘Bad Step’ that many hikers will not be able to traverse. Be advised that it may be impossible to cross the river at the foot of the loch if there have been heavy rains.
Places to eat nearby Loch Coruisk
The Elgol Shop is the closest place to Loch Coruisk where you can get a bite to eat. It is 4.8 miles away, but you can get coffee and snacks as well as gifts. It’s a great place to visit before departing on the boat journey. If, on the other hand, you are hiking from Sligachan, stop by Seumas’ Bar for a pub lunch. If you want something a little more upmarket, Coruisk House is just up the B8083 from Elgol.
Did you know: Loch Coruisk has been painted by many famous painters. Some of the most notable are William Daniell, J. M. W. Turner, Sidney Richard Percy and Alexander Francis Lydon. It also featured in Mark Haddon’s 1992 children’s novel Gridzbi Spudvetch! (a.k.a. Boom!) as a portal – the aforementioned ‘Bad Step’ is described, as well as the Memorial Hut.