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Cuillin hills

This rocky mountain range is located on the Isle of Skye. Also known as the Black Cuillin, the mountain’s highest point is Sgurr Alasdair at 3,255 ft (992 m).

Two Cuillin ranges dominate the landscape on Skye: the Black Cuillin and the Red Cuillin separated by Glen Sligachan.

The iconic ridge of the Black Cuillin is the UK’s most challenging mountain range. Over 11 kilometres long and above 3,000 feet in places, the hill contains 11 Munros and 16 other summits. The highest point is Sgurr Alasdair at 3,254.59 feet. The gentler, rounded Red Cuillin are popular with hillwalkers, the highest point being Glamaig, a 2,543-foot Corbett.The mountains produce wetter and windier weather than elsewhere on the Island, and it will be 4-5 degrees colder on the summits than at sea level. The weather can also be very unpredictable and never assume it will remain the same from the time you set off to the end of your day. The Ridge of the Black Cuillin comprises exceptionally rough terrain, boulder hills, steep scree slopes and knife-edge ridges, suitable for only experienced climbers. The Red Cuillin, although less challenging, contain areas of steep, rocky terrain.


Before setting off, plan your route carefully by using a reliable map. Make sure you leave a note of your journey with a responsible person, with the time you expect to set off and time you plan to be back. It is a good idea to take a mobile phone with you but be aware that GPS and cellular signals can vary in strength on the mountains and there is no signal at all in some places.The Black Cuillin is an Alpine mountain range, suitable for climbing and not walking, with a large number of hazards unique to any other mountains in the UK. In addition to the above, tackling any part of the Ridge will require good scrambling/climbing skills, some abseiling experience, and enjoyable experience in route finding through steep, rocky terrain. There is no natural supply of water on the ridge so it is strongly advised to take along a good supply of drinking water.


The sharp peaks, which rise up from the flatness of the surrounding terrain, are the dominating feature of the island and can be seen from every other peninsula on Skye.


The mountains can be approached from three sites: from the south by foot or by boat from Elgol; from the Sligachan Hotel to the north; or from Glen Brittle to the west of the mountains. Glen Sligachan is one of the most popular routes, dividing as it does the granite of the round-topped Red Hills (sometimes known as the Red Cuillin) to the east from the dark, coarse-grained jagged-edged of the real Cuillin to the west. With some 20 Munros between them, these are mountains to be taken seriously.


If you don't want to tackle the Cuillin mountains alone, you can hire a local guide to help you. Find more information on Skye tour operators and guides.



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