The cafe and restaurant provide excellent views across Loch Dunvegan to the magnificent Macleod’s Tables. These flat-topped hills comprise of Healabhal Beag (1601 ft) and Healabhal Mhòr (1538 ft).
On a sunny day, relax in our lounge with a cold glass of something or refreshing afternoon tea, after a rewarding walk up the Tables or a morning exploring at Claigan beach.
TAKE A HIKE
The walk up Macleod’s Tables is a 7 mile (11km) hike with 682m of ascent, taking between 4 – 6 hours. The approach is through pathless rough moorland and the Tables themselves have steep grassy slopes. It’s not until you reach the top that you truly appreciate just how flat the Tables are and on a clear day the view from Healabhal Beag across Loch Bracadale to the Cuillin is quite spectacular and Loch Dunvegan with its many islands can be seen from Healabhal Mhòr.
Keep your eyes peeled for Golden Eagles soaring high above and the silhouette of red deer on the horizon.
Further details can be found on Walkhighlands website
There are a number of legends surrounding the Tables.
In the 16th century, the Chief of the Clan MacLeod was believed to have boasted, at a banquet held by King James V of Scotland, that he had a much grander table than the King. Sometime later, the Clan Chief invited the King and his guests to a banquet on the top of Healabhal Mhòr, thus proving his point.
Perhaps pack a picnic (along with a generous supply of Scottish tablet) and recreate the banquet for yourself while you take in the views. You can almost imagine the sound of the Clan banquet playing on the wind at the summit of the Table.
Another legend, from the 6th century, surrounds the creation of the flat summits of Macleod’s Tables. On his arrival on Skye, it was said that St Columba was refused hospitality and it was divine intervention that removed the tops of the mountains so that he could have a bed on which to rest his weary head and a table at which to eat.
The north and west of Skye are dominated by the stepped landscape created by lava flows from volcanoes of the Paleogene (early Tertiary age) which became active around 58 million years ago. Predominantly horizontal or gently sloping basaltic lava flows covered virtually all of the Duirinish peninsula and formed the distinctive flat-topped hills (with stepped sides) of the Macleod’s Tables. Their conical shape was probably created by the retreat of a glacier developed during the Devensian glaciation. Read more about it on the Edinburgh Geological Society or Scottish Geology websites.
Crofting is an integral part of life in the Highlands & Islands and none more so than on Skye. The crofting townships within the Glendale Estate use croft land or common grazing throughout the year for their flocks of sheep or herds of cattle and thus it is commonplace to encounter livestock whilst walking.
If you are walking with your dog, please ensure that it is under control (or on a lead) in order to protect livestock from harm.