Stunning sea views, coastal trails and island heritage
Brochel wood is in the north of Raasay close to the start of Calum's Road. The ruins of Brochel Castle, a MacLeod stronghold built over 500 years ago, are also nearby.
Poverty and the cruel decisions of landlords forced many people in the north of Raasay to seek new lives elsewhere. You can take a trail to the abandoned settlements of Screapadal, movingly remembered in Sorley MacLean's Gaelic poetry.
There has been some recent planting in Brochel wood, from fast growing conifers to native species such as birch, rowan and Scots pine. It takes a few years for regeneration to get going, so there may be areas of the forest which look rough and messy for a while. Take a closer look and you'll see the beginnings of new native woodland pushing through the old.
Nearby Inverarish forest, in the south of Raasay, has a great mixture of short and long routes, as well as access to the Dun Cana hill path.
Follow Raasay’s wild eastern shore to discover the ruins of a village abandoned during the Clearances. Wonderful views across the Inner Sound towards Applecross.
Uneven gravel and grassy surface, with some narrow and muddy sections. One long fairly steep slope. Includes two gates and some shallow fords.
Allow 2 hours
Raasay-born Sorley MacLean wrote a moving Gaelic poem about the natural beauty of Screapadal and the eviction of its inhabitants in the 19th century.
The unwaymarked route through regenerating woodlands is rough in places, but Screapadal's unexpected tranquillity is worth the effort. The onward coastal path to Hallaig in the south of the island is strenuous and difficult to follow. To continue you should have an OS map, boots and waterproofs.
Facilities & access
Facilities on Raasay
There's no bus on the island, so to explore the north end of Raasay you'll need a bike or a car. There's no petrol station either, so make sure you have enough fuel.
You'll enjoy the island more if you have boots, clothes for all weathers and an OS map. If you're visiting for the day, bring food too as you may not be near somewhere to eat when you need it. There are public toilets at the ferry terminal as you arrive.
The ferry for Raasay leaves from Sconser on the east coast of Skye and arrives on Raasay about a mile (1.6 km) from the village of Inverarish.
To reach Brochel wood, take the road from the ferry terminal and follow the signs to Inverarish village. At Henderson's Bridge take the left hand fork to Arnish. The forest entrance and car park is 7½ miles (12 km) along this road.
You can also park at Brochel Castle, ½ mile (800 metres) further on.
IV40 8PF is the nearest postcode.
There is no public transport on Raasay. To get to the north you will need a car or bike.
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