Beinn na Caillich (Red Hills)

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Beinn na Caillich
Beinn na Caillich and Goir a' Bhlair.jpg
Beinn na Caillich and Goir a' Bhlàir from Broadford
Highest point
Elevation732 m (2,402 ft)
Prominence696 m (2,283 ft) [1]
ListingGraham, Marilyn
Coordinates57°14′16″N 05°58′34″W / 57.23778°N 5.97611°W / 57.23778; -5.97611Coordinates: 57°14′16″N 05°58′34″W / 57.23778°N 5.97611°W / 57.23778; -5.97611
English translationHill of the Old Woman
Language of nameGaelic
PronunciationScottish Gaelic: [peɲ nə ˈkʰaʎɪç]
Beinn na Caillich is located in Isle of Skye
Beinn na Caillich
Beinn na Caillich
Skye, Scotland
Parent rangeRed Hills
OS gridNG601233

Beinn na Caillich (732 metres), west of Broadford on the isle of Skye, is one of the Red Hills, or Red Cuillin. Its name is translated into English as Hill of the Old Woman. It is often referred to locally simply as The Beinn.

The summit is adorned by an especially large cairn, reputedly marking the site where Saucy Mary, a Norwegian princess and former resident of Castle Moil in Kyleakin, is buried. Local legend claims that she was buried at the top of the mountain so that she could face the land of her birth forever. An alternative version of events suggests the monument was dedicated to "a gigantic woman in the days of Fingal".[2] Thomas Pennant climbed the hill while staying with Mackinnon of Corriechatachan (or Corry); Samuel Johnson and James Boswell did not.[3]


On the eastern slopes is Goir a' Bhlàir, "the field of battle" (grid reference NG624234[4]). The battle concerned was apparently a decisive action by the Gaelic Clan Mackinnon against the Norsemen[4]

In 2004 the mountain was ascended 10 times in a single day by Broadford local Alan Cope. The cumulative distance covered in ten vertical ascents brought the total trekked to just 5000 ft short of scaling the equivalent of Mt Everest (and surpassing that distance if descents are included). Starting at 3.15 am on 15 July he completed 10 ascents and descents of Beinn na Caillich by 7.30 pm. His efforts raised more than £2000 for the action group Broadford 2000, who were seeking to improve leisure facilities in South Skye. For a time his name could be found imprinted in stones on the summit.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Database of British and Irish Hills. Retrieved 20 Jan 2012
  2. ^ Pennant, Thomas. A Tour in Scotland
  3. ^ Johnson, Samuel. A Journey to the Western Isles of Scotland
  4. ^ a b Site Record for Skye, Goir A' Bhlair, Broadford, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland

External links[edit]