If you’re planning to explore the local area, Dunvegan village and perhaps the Giant MacAskill museum, then this walk will start you off on the right foot. As it’s only minutes from our doorstep, there’s plenty of time for a leisurely breakfast before you set off. Then head out along the road towards Dunvegan Castle to find the starting point.
Take a Hike
The relatively easy walk from the Duirinish Church of Scotland is 2 miles (3 km). It passes through woodland and open moor and can take between 45 minutes – 1 hour depending on how long you stop along the way.
The walk starts through the gate to the left of the church and there is an information board giving details of the route.
If you’re walking this woodland route in spring or summer then you will be treated to a display of wildflowers. You may miss them, however, if you are distracted by glimpses of Loch Dunvegan through the trees.
The walk will take you up to the Millennium Stone, a prominent viewpoint over Dunvegan village. From here there are views across Loch Dunvegan to Macleod’s Tables and The Cuillin Ridge in the distance. Then head downhill to the ruins of St Mary’s Church below.
More information about this walk can be found on the Walkhighlands website.
The Millennium Stone
This 15-foot (5 metre) high stone was brought up from south Skye. It was erected by the people of the Dunvegan community on 24th June 2000 (Midsummer’s Day) to commemorate the new millennium. This was an impressive feat, using only hand power and rope-techniques. A process that would have been used to build stone circles thousands of years ago.
The stone stands proudly on top of a low crag overlooking the village of Dunvegan.
St Mary’s Church & Burial Ground
The remains of this post-reformation parish church and burial ground are situated in Kilmuir on the outskirts of Dunvegan village. They have been recognised as a monument of national importance by Historic Environment Scotland.
The site has been the focus of religious worship over centuries and there are indications that the church was a medieval foundation. This is seen in the East-West alignment of the church and the existence of three medieval carved grave slabs. Although the parish itself dates to the post-reformation period. The north entrance shows a date of 1694 and the burial enclosure with its balustrade walls dates from 1735.
Once the parish church for Duirinish, it was the burial site for a number of the Chiefs of the Clan MacLeod. The most recent was John MacLeod of MacLeod in February 2007. In addition, generations of the MacCrimmons, hereditary pipers to the Clan, are at rest in the graveyard.
An early 18th-century ashlar obelisk memorial to Lord Thomas Frazer (father of 11th Lord Lovat, who was executed on Towerhill in 1747), dominates the graveyard. There are also two medieval grave slabs with claymore and leaf design and a third that is extremely worn with only the border visible.