And for the dogs...
The Hirsel welcomes your pets, as much as we welcome you, after all Ord is a great place for dogs! They deserve a holiday just as much as you do and so we have put this page in especially for our canine friends. There are numerous hills and forests close by, as well as the beaches of south Skye. The sandy beach at Ord with its rocky outcrops and sea-water pools is a paradise for pooches, and for the good swimmers the water is generally calm and clear although a little chilly!
As the owners of a Spanish Water Dog ourselves, and now with Mr Darcy, our Sporting Lucas Terrier, we have shown below a selection of favourite walks for our four-legged friends, most of which are within a short distance of the cottage. All of the times shown are for the round trip but please ask if you need more detailed information. OS Maps are available on request. We're happy to add more of your suggestions but hope that these ideas will ensure your dogs have just as good a holiday as you do. As there are sheep wandering freely in the village and on the nearby hills we ask that you treat the dogs with 'Frontline' before your arrival and keep dogs on leads if they are not used to the sheep, who are just looking for the next patch of juicy green grass!
Click on the title of the walk to get a Google Map of the locality. If you need further detailed information please don't hesitate to bark!
A good introductory walk east from the village along to Coral Bay, the next bay along from the village, following the shore of Loch Eishort to a rocky deserted bay.
Easy and around 45 minutes
Located just two miles from Ord is a walk to the ruins of Dunscaith Castle. A gentle stroll past a deserted croft and with great views out to the Small Isles and the Cuillins.
Easy and around 45 minutes
The last beach on the north shore of Sleat, just before the loop road turns inland towards Armadale. This is a huge, shingle and sandy beach with gentle surf and a burn running out to the sea. Magnificent sunsets throughout the year, but particularly during the winter. Close by from the village of Tarskavaig is a short walk to the old church, along a grassy track with great views across to the Cuillin Ridge.
Easy and around 45 minutes
The world-renowned Clan Donald Skye at Armadale, near to the ferry terminal, is superb to walk dogs ( but all dogs must be kept on a lead ). There are over 40 acres of beautiful gardens together with a number of marked nature trails across the Armadale Estate, including forest and farm tracks with great views across the Sound of Sleat. Please be aware sheep roam freely around some of the farm areas, but generally its animal free!
Various and all easy
Knock is a large bay located just 5 miles from Ord on the main road to Armadale. The ruins of Knock Castle guard over the northern end of the bay, and at low tide the beach is great to give the dogs a good run-around.
Easy and around 30 minutes
A fantastic walk to the southern tip of Sleat from the end of the public road at Aird. Most of the walk is along a farm track which leads to the small harbour at Point and close by is the beautiful, often deserted beach at Camasdarach. Wonderful views on a sunny day out to Rhum, Eigg, Muck and beyond that to the Ardnamurchan Peninsula.
Moderate and around 3 hours
A delightful walk through the Kinloch Forest behind the famous Kinloch Lodge Hotel. Use is made mostly of Forestry Commission tracks through the forests leading to the long-deserted settlement of Leitir Fura. Look out for the ruins of the old crofts and byres, home to many species of butterflies with stunning views across to Loch Hourn, Sandaig, Knoydart and back on Skye, Isle Ornsay.
Moderate and around 2 hours
A wide expanse of a wonderful sandy beach, where, at low tide, the dogs will have a super time. The walk is accessed from nearby to Ashaig Cemetery, which is located next to the airstrip between Broadford and Kyleakin.
Easy and around 45 minues
At low tide there are numerous beaches and rocky pools around the whole of Broadford Bay. Access from various points along the A87 in Broadford.
Easy, take as long as your dog wants
For the very adventurous and for the super fit dogs, there are numerous walks in the Cuillin Hills. Many of these walks can be found on the Skyewalk website ( www.skyewalk.co.uk ) but be aware that the weather can change very rapidly in these mountains and advice should be sought ahead of time as to whether you should attempt a mountain walk.
A great walk to the clearance village of Suishnish which can be seen from Ord across Loch Eishort. The walk follows a farm track across the undulating hills from Kilbride for around 2.5 miles leading to the cleared village of Suishnish, with just a single croft remaining. Like Leitir Fura there are few remains of this once-thriving village, that has been deserted now for 150 years.
Strenuous and around 4 hours
The village of Plockton is located some 6 miles from the Skye Bridge on the mainland, and is often known at the 'jewel of the Highlands'. There are various walks around the village as well as forest walks to Duncraig Castle and to the crags high above Loch Carron. Plockton does get busy throughout the year so take care, there may be many other dogs around.
Various, mostly easy
There is generally ample parking close to each of the suggested walks, and in some instances you will be close to pubs and cafes. Please ensure that you take plenty of water for the dogs, and of course, they should not be left in cars during periods of warm weather. We want our canine friends to have a good holiday too, and so if they want to return to Ord, then you'll just have to come too. Enjoy the walks.