The Scorrybreac Walk in Portree: An easy hiking trail (Part 2)
This is a continuation from the earlier post “Directions for an easy hiking trail around Portree (Part 1)”. In the post, I said that the directions to the trail were straightforward and there were many sights to see along the way. Hope this post on the Scorrybreac Walk in Portree will give you some background of the place and the efforts that goes into maintaining the paths. It’s not as simple as it seems.
As you follow the path, you will soon come across a gate shrouded by trees. It’s not locked and you can enter. It’s a beautiful path because it’s shrouded by trees, making it a great photo opportunity.
Was wondering about the background of this place, and finally we hit an info board. Seems that the land is owned by the Clan MhicNeacail…
Did some research and the land around it is owned by the Clan MacNeacail Society of Scotland. There’s even a Facebook page (which mostly posts updates on work done along the space) and related pictures. There is related historical information too, such as a post commemorating a veteran’s contribution.
Apparently there was a rockslide recently and work was done to make the path safe again. Check out this post for information.
History of Scorrybreac
According to the Scorrybreac website, Scorrybreac was the stronghold of the highland Clan Nicolson (Macneacail) for over 800 years. The last Chief left the island in 1825 and immigrated to Campbelltown, Tasmania where the original house is still named Scorrybreac. The current Chief, John Nicolson, lives in Ballina, New South Wales, Australia and together with his family makes frequent visits to Scotland.
The area of Scorrybreac known as Ben Chracaig overlooking the village of Portree was sold to a property developer in the 1980s with the intention of establishing an outdoor activity centre but this caused a public outcry from the local community.
A suggestion was then made for the clan to purchase the ancient clan lands at Scorrybreac. With the help of Murray Nicolson from Boston USA and Rosemary Nicolson from Australia, and with an interest free loan of £25,000 put up by Skye business man Calum (Caley) Nicolson, in 1987 the lands were back in the hands of the highland Nicolsons. The land is now administered by a Trust (Urras Clann Mhicneacail) who’s members are drawn from around the world. The objectives of the trust is to ensure that the lands will be held in perpetuity for free public access, conservation, and public enjoyment.
You’ll reach a plateau where there are many flags on showcase, together with a memorial board. It seems that the flags are clan memorial flags from different parts of the world.
Carrying on.. but there was no definitive end
The scenery got better and better as we walked on. But there was no definite end. Towards the point where we decided to turn back, we chanced upon a somewhat green span of land (see picture below). But I wasn’t sure if there was a connecting slip of land to it. It looked almost disjointed. Time was running out for our dinner reservation at the Cuchullin Restaurant in Portree, and we turned back when the path started leading higher up the hill. I was sad to turn back – the views were just lovely.
The Travelling Squid’s Take
As mentioned in the earlier post on the Scorrybreac Walk, do not expect to be wowed by breath-taking scenery from medieval worlds. The Scorrybreac Walk in Portree is more of an easy countryside walk, but very memorable all the same. I like it how the place was almost ours, save for the 1 – 2 couples we chanced upon. It would be nice to own a summer-house and spend one’s summer here as part of retirement. Just imagine – fresh seafood, a serene view of the loch and refreshing greenery. Seems like a good place for the mind, soul and body. It’s a must-do if you’re staying in Portree.