So, I am definitely going to need to make a video soon about my time on the Isle of Skye, but here is a quick blog post on my last day on the Isle when I visited the gorgeous Spar Cave located on the southeast tip of the isle in the town of Elgol.
I would have never came across this place if it hadn’t been for a book that I had been using for much of my road trip adventures.
Finding My Way to Spar Cave
A few years ago (when I visited the United Kingdom for the first time) I purchased a book and told myself that one day I would be back and that I would try to see as many places in it as I could. It’s a book called “Wild Guide: Scotland: Hidden Places, Great Adventures and the Good Life” written by Kimberley Grant, David Cooper and Richard Gaston. It is filled with amazing photography of many of the beautiful places across Scotland that they recommend trying to visit. It gives information on how to get there and about how long it takes. I would have been lost without it (on this adventure in particular).
Following their instructions, I parked my rental car and traversed down the narrow road by foot a short way, before finding my way past a barn, over a fence, and down an almost invisible pathway to find the way down to the hidden Spar Cave.
Just like everything else I had come across along this journey, it was beautiful; it was breath-taking; I was filled with awe and overcome with gratitude for the experience. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. I just cannot get enough of this beautiful country.
After finding my way on the trail, I worked myself through the ferns and across the muddy earth to find a rocky and quite precarious little pathway down the side of a gully that lead to a sea inlet. The tide was out and I had time to carefully make my way across the slippery and jagged rocks.
From there, I had to continue around the coast making my way across wet boulders. The seawater lapped up against the sides of the surrounding cliffs; the seabirds flew through the grey sky; the rocks were sometimes rough, sometimes smooth, the cracks filled with various types of seaweed. Soon enough, I made my way around the last corner to find the entrance of the cave.
A few other cave hunters were out that day and they forewarned me that I would soon be getting quite wet if I had any intention of entering the cave.
I had been working hard at staying dry, but with their forwarning, I soon gave up on not getting wet feet. This was my last day on the isle and that night I would FINALLY be sleeping in a bed after three nights of curling up in the backseat of my rental car. I stopped worrying about it and just got in. I wouldn’t have gone far without that mentality either because before I knew it, I was thigh-deep in seawater traversing my way deep into the cave… and really wishing that I had brought my headlamp!
Phone flashlight glowing, I entered the dark cave and soon stared climbing my way up the steep crystallized hill inside. It is covered in flowstone (calcium carbonate) and thank goodness the flowstone is easy to grip on to. Halfway up my light went out and the darkness surrounded me! Braving my way onward, I continued my ascent and quickly found where it levelled off. I was able to get my light turned back on to survey my surroundings. All around me, the floor and walls of the cave held neat markings from the way the calcium has formed.
There are two flowstone stairways to climb before you reach the highest point of the cave before it descends into a small lake. The cave is famous for Sir Walter Scott’s poem “The Lord of the Isles”. It also has a legend about a princess who fell in love with a rival chief’s son and hid in the cave to protect herself and their child. I love learning all of the stories about places like these.
I made my way out, climbed out the same way I climbed in, and made my way back wet and full of endorphins. It was an experience I hope to repeat again in the future and I highly recommend to anyone who gets the chance!
While you’re here, be sure to check out my top picks for where to go and what to see while visiting the Isle of Skye.