Looking for a quieter alternative to the Fairy Pools in Skye? These waterfalls and pools are every bit as magical as their more famous neighbours, and their lack of notability makes them a more peaceful location. Due to their relative obscurity we were able to spend the full day here without being disturbed. The nearby Fairy Pools will always draw the crowds and because of this Allt Daraich pools are a great alternative for a quiet dip.
Where are the Allt Dariach waterfalls and pool?
The waterfalls and pools can be found on the Allt Daraich – a small stream that eventually joins River Sligachan before it enters Loch Slighachan. They sit on the opposite side of the Cuillan mountains to the fairy pools, so offer just as beautiful a backdrop, with water just as green.
Our search for the Allt Daraich falls and pools
We parked near the Sligachan hotel and crossed Slighachan old bridge. This is a wonderful and famous photo opportunity. Slighachan Old Bridge was built between 1810 and 1818 by Thomas Telford and looks onto the mighty Cuillan mountains. It is about as picturesque a spot as you can get.
The Tale of Enchanted Waters
There is an old tale that the waters of Sligachan (under this bridge) are meant to be enchanted waters. The tale goes that you should get on your hands and knees and duck your face in the magical waters. As long as you don’t dry your face the fairies will grant you eternal beauty. I love myths and legends like this one – I think they really makes a place that bit more magical.
It is safe to say I dipped my face in more than once!
As you continue up the path towards the stream you will see the Explorers Statue. The statue was erected to commemorate Professor Norman Collie and local guide John McKenzie who were pioneers in the early exploration of the Cuillin Peaks.
Follow the path by the small stream on your left-hand side for 10-15 minute. I have included a handy map at the bottom of this page to help you find it. The grid reference is NG493/294
A Choice of Pools
There are a couple of pools on this path that you can swim in. We spent most of our time in the bottom of the two pools. The water is clear with a turquoise glow. A large waterfall flows from the rocks above, providing a constant flow of fresh, pure water. The spot is secluded with areas around the pool to sit and relax.
We spent a full afternoon going in and out of the water. You can reach the bottom in most parts of the pool, with the area directly under the waterfall being much deeper. Your experience will change depending on how much rainfall there has been and how strong the flow of the waterfall is, but regardless, it is a beautiful spot to spend a few hours.
River Sligachan Pools
There are also a couple of pools in River Sligachan that are suitable to swim in. These pools are even closer to the hotel than those in the stream, and just a short walk up river from the famous bridge.
Watch our short video on the Allt Daraich pools & waterfalls
If you do decide to visit, please treat the area with respect it deserves. Take away any litter you bring. (Even better pick up any extra you find). We love sharing special places with you all, but we also want to do our bit to make sure they remain magical!
Please let us know if you visit 😊
Remember wherever you go to take only pictures and leave only footprints to help protect Scotland’s beauty for all who live here and visit!
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11 thoughts on “Allt Daraich Hidden Waterfall and Pool (Skye)”
We are going in june
Not too long now!
We did the top pool today, was sooo peaceful…water was a bit on the chilly side, but was great! ☺️
Thanks for the directions…☺️
You’re welcome Helen, nice to hear you enjoyed it and found them a peaceful place to swim
Swan in the pools you mentioned yesterday…no one around..was fabulous! Thank you 🙂
Hi Helen. Glad you found the pools and enjoyed a swim 🙂
Thank you for the directions, spent this afternoon in the top pool and only saw one other (lovely) family. Great find!
Hey, as an inhabitant of Skye, an island that’s suffering heavily from the effects of tourism, particularly as regards environmental impact, can I politely ask you to consider these questions – Is it helpful to make everyone aware of “peaceful spots”? Will they remain as I found them if they’re publicised? What are my reasons for publicising lesser known areas? If you want me to send you some photographs of what the fairy pools looked like 10 years ago, or the Storr or Quiraing then I’d be happy to. We live in a society governed by social media where literally everyone is trying to be seen.I reckon it’s important to consider your personal impact on the landscape you commodify. All the best
Hi John. I myself live in the Highlands and have also witnessed the change in the number of tourists across the entire region over the last 10 years. I am aware of what Skye was like as I have visited my whole life. The world has changed with social media, yes. And if you want to go back further than that, with the birth of the internet. This changes how information is viewed and shared and makes it more accessible, but I think as long as those sharing information do their bit to educate and inform as we always try to do then the positives outweigh the negatives. The Allt Daraich pools have a huge carpark nearby, a regularly visited monument on the way, and a well trodden path all the way up. I think with the huge number of people who visit a few specific spots in Skye it isn’t a bad thing to show alternatives so that maybe one place doesn’t hold all the burden itself. We do consider and we do things like litter picks as well as always promoting the Outdoor Access Code etc on a number of our blogs. We started this blog in lockdown when mental health issues in the country were at an all time high (as they still are). Getting out in nature and seeing beautiful things (and even from behind a computer screen) for those who can’t can have a profoundly positive affect on mood and mental health. I think that impact is important and its why we do what we do
Visited this spot a few days ago in glorious sunshine with my wife and kids. It was one of the highlights of our trip and one of the best places we’ve ever been for a dip/swim. Thanks for sharing!