Situated 14 miles south west of Broadford, at the tip of the Strathaird peninsula, the scattered township of Elgol (Ealaghol in Gaelic) lies in a dramatic setting on the shores of Loch Scavaig. It is quite likely that you may have seen images of the famous mountain and seascape views adjacent to the small dispersed settlement in films, T.V. programmes, posters/postcards and books - across Loch Scavaig the Cuillin impressively forms the northern horizon. From the jetty visitors may take a boat trip right into the heart of the mountains, from where it is a simple walk of a quarter of a mile to remote Loch Coruisk.
Elgol itself is home to a remarkably situated primary school just yards off the pebble beach, close to the overhang of the striking 'holy' cliffs. The sandstone formations display chalk particles which have cemented together quartz grains, and these have, over time, weathered erratically, resulting in a face of golden honeycomb which the sea and wind have further sculptured. beyond the outcrop of the cliffs lies a boulder strewn clamber for those wishing to venture further up to the head of Loch Scavaig and the land route to the heart of the Cuillin. The wildlife regularly seen in the area, from sea and coast, features sea-eagles, otters, seals, dolphins, porpoises, basking sharks and minke whales.
Historically the heartland of the Jacobite Mackinnon clan, Elgol is also famed as the place of sanctuary and escape for Prince Charlie, the Young Pretender, when, in 1746, it was John Makinnon who sheltered the prince in Uamh Phrionnsa, Prince Charlie's Cave. The cave can still be visited today just a short walk to the south of the village - though care is needed as the cave is inaccessible at high tide. Historically this area was feuded over by the MacLeods and MacDonalds until, in the early 1600’s, a charter established MacDonald control and the chief of the clan settled at nearby Armadale; Tarskavaig first appeared on the clan estate records in 1718 and Lord MacDonald later laid out 31 small crofts where tenants were to eke out a meagre subsistence living from their land and by kelping. This is the largest community on the west side of the Sleat Peninsula, and has the largest proportion of Gaelic speakers there– nearby on the east side is Sabhal Mor Ostaig the highly successful Gaelic college. With a stunning outlook, tranquil white sands and unspoilt flora and fauna, Tarskavaig epitomises the beauty of the Scottish Isles.