Spar Cave
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4.5
23 reviews
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15
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laurenethers
Sittingbourne, UK51 contributions
Oct 2021 • Friends
We used the walk highlands guide, whilst we nearly went the wrong way when it forms (head to the left over the waterfall) it was easy to find. The way down is using what looks like an old waterfall. Low tide was at 1:15 PM we set off at about 12:10 PM. We got to the cave entrance at about 12:30/12/45. We didn’t have head/body torches and had an iPhone each (there was 4 of us). When entering the cave we saw two people coming down with head torches - these are great as they have more brightness (it’s really dark in there) but you also need two hands (particularly for the way down). We were back and out again before the tide was at its lowest.

The shop back at Elgol is fantastic! Managed to get a three cinnamon tea - never been able to get this in a shop before.
Written October 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

lyndawilson72
East Lothian, United Kingdom499 contributions
Jul 2021 • Family
Great way to spend few hours … check out the ‘walking in the highlands’ website for details of walk/directions/tide times.
Key message is be prepared for this outing … need to check tides as only access is 1hr either side of low tide.
Need head torches for cave .. no use having torches on phones as you really need both hands to steady yourself in cave.
We walked down steep gorge in walking shoes, then at rocky outcrop before walking up to cave we changed into water shoes/swimwear … left rucksack here. Even at lowest tide got at least knee deep in water on way into cave entrance.
Once in cave needed all 4 torches (for 4 of us) to see adequately. Steep climb up limestone rocks but grip on rocks very very good, looks sloppy but not at all.
Worth keeping going to get up to top and then go down a little to small water pool where you can swim … very cold!
We met people who were really ill-equipped for this … asking if this was way to cave, others trying to wade in wearing jeans/welly boots and having kids with them. Not great. Seriously advise being prepared … if you are it’s a super trip! Our teenage kids loved it.
Written August 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

anthbike
Edinburgh, UK537 contributions
Jun 2017 • Couples
It's worth pointing out a couple of things from the start. 1. If you don't have a kayak, or you are not proficient at abseiling, then you need not only a low tide, but a 'low' low tide; 2. make sure you have a head torch.

On point 1, we visited a year ago, but later checked and found out the low tide only got down to about 1.5m. Really you need a tide lower than a metre to be able to find your way over the entrance, bounded on both sides by steep cliff walls.

On point 2, you'll get by with a hand torch, but you'll probably find you want both hands free...

I wasn't entirely sure what to expect, but after waiting half an hour for the tide to drop, with two people already there, and a few other people turning up, the experience was worth the short-path route finding. In truth it's a lovely rocky shoreline to sit and wait, waiting the seabirds flit back and forth, and that feeling of the open expanse provides a wonderful counterpoint to the hemmed in arena you're about to enter.

The entrance to the cave itself, os on the back cliff wall, and there's a cathedral-esque feel to the whole thing. Once in the cave there's mud underfoot, but this soon gives way to an amazing calcite floor and walls, and the 'staircase'. In two steep bounds it carries you maybe thirty feet up. The form of it is lumpy, and looks for all the world like it should be like ice to stand on. The grip is surprising, especially given the water falling from the ceiling the whole time, and flowing down the staircase. Once at the top you're in a reasonably large cavern, on a flat summit, which drops down in another staircase to a large pool on the other side, blocking further passage.

It's hard to explain the feeling in here, voices reverberating, lights creating shadows, water constantly tumbling. We hung around as the others made their way down afterwards, and for a moment turned off the lights to find ourselves in pure pitch black. It's an amazing place to be, and without doubt should be on your list of you happen to be in the right place at just the right time.
Written June 6, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Barbs25
Staffordshire, UK2,425 contributions
Jun 2021
Checked low tide times and drive 1h20 only to drive around for 30 minutes to no avail. We could see where it should be on the map but no space to park, no signs and no one to ask so we were really disappointed. Drove back through Torrin and stopped at the pools there (quite hidden so google it for easy directions) and they were lovely.
Written June 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

dw0rk1n
Old Bridge, NJ60 contributions
May 2016 • Couples
We followed the instructions:

1. Drive on a bi-directional single-lane road to Elgol

2. Drive on an even more narrow road to Glasnakille

3. At the T-intersection made a right and parked across from the old roofless house (took a while to figure this out).

4. Went through the "gate". The path is partially mud, partially stone, very steep, dirty, and slippery. The challenge is you need warm (at least in May), water-proof and slip-resistant boots. We lost the path a couple of times, but ultimately made it to the shore.

5. We timed it exactly for the low tide. However, there still was plenty of water. You literally have to jump from one slippery stone to another while risking ending up in the cold water at least up to the knees.

After all that, we had to turn back. Probably wasted ~3 hours. Very disappointing.
Written May 4, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

kasejason
Chicago, IL364 contributions
Jul 2018 • Couples
Spar Cave is an experience that should not be missed when on the Isle of Skye. It takes some planning to reach and requires a little bit of adventure, but it is completely worth the effort.

You should have no trouble finding your way to the cave. Google has directions that will get you close. As other reviewers have noted, park by the roofless building and follow the trails down to the ocean. At one point, the trail will split to the left and right. We ended up taking the right path and this brought us to the shore. We explored the other path on the way out and found that it was more direct. Therefore, when following the trails down from the car, take the left path at the fork and you will be deposited on the shore closer to the cave.

Once at the shore, you will need to negotiate a rocky point to reach the cave inlet. We arrived about two hours before low tide and found that we had to step in the water a few times to safely reach the cave. We did not have to swim at all, but our feet definitely got wet while hopping from rock to rock. Our path was never dangerous, and the worst that might have happened to us was a skinned knee or wet clothes.

It is not difficult to know when you've reached the correct inlet, as there is an old rock wall just before the cave opening. Once you climb through this wall, there is a very shallow cave to the right and a much larger, deeper cave to the left. It is this leftmost cave that is the true Spar Cave. Bring a few sources of light and you will be able to explore the entirety of the cave in fewer than 30 minutes.

Once in the cave, you will need to climb up two "staircases" of flowstone. They look intimidating at first, but the minerals in the rock make them extremely grippy. You won't have to worry about slipping even though the rocks are constantly wet. When you reach the top of the two staircases, you will find another staircase leading down to a deep pool. It would be possible to swim across this if you're willing to get wet in the cold water. We chose to stay dry as there didn't seem to be much beyond the pool.

At the time of our visit, we were the only people in the cave. This was a rare experience on the Isle of Skye, as just about everywhere else was swamped with tourists. We greatly appreciated the opportunity to enjoy such an amazing place in solitude. We left the cave after about 30 minutes and hiked back to the car. On the way to the car we encountered two other groups of people headed to the cave. We gave them directions and wished them luck.

As others have noted, you shouldn't stay in the cave for too long or else you risk the tide stranding you for 10 to 12 hours (although you could swim out if you were really desperate). As a fun fact, Bear Grylls and Ben Stiller used this cave as a filming location on the TV program "Running Wild with Bear Grylls." The episode is currently available on YouTube. If you have been to the cave or are planning to visit, check out the episode (although do note that they make it seem a lot more remote on the show than it really is.)

As a final note, there are restrooms available in the town of Elgol. You might want to consider stopping there on the way if you need to use the facilities. There are no services available at the cave itself. If you're looking for a little adventure and an excellent experience, you should not pass up this cave. You won't be disappointed!
Written March 30, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

inoble
Leeds, UK857 contributions
Aug 2016 • Family
One of the most awe inspiring caves in the world that doesn't require specialist equipment or caving skills. Having said that, you definitely need to plan ahead and be careful.
Not signposted from anywhere including right next to where you find the path down to the coast. You will need to look up directions (easily available online). Plan to arrive about half an hour before low tide and take waterproof boots (wellies worked well for us) and good torches.
The walk around the coast to the cave entrance is beautiful (take care on large jagged rocks) and once you reach the top of the flowstone slope the formations you will see are incredible. I won't even attempt to describe it as I don't have the words to do it justice.
If you want a mini adventure or are fascinated by geology or even want to try something a bit different please go and see the Spar Cave. It is a spectacular natural wonder that makes the effort and planning well worth it.
Written August 8, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Dellboy53
Nairn, UK21 contributions
Jul 2016 • Family
Well worth the effort. You need to go at low tide, have a torch and not mind getting your feet wet. There are a couple of little climbs and some slippy rocks. I'd say most kids under about 6 would struggle (or send their parents into nervous shock!) as would people who can't jump down a few feet or shuffle sideways along a ledge.
Inside the cave is absolutely stunning with big calciferous deposits that have made swirling patterns on the ceilings, walls and floor. Kids of all ages will love it.
Written July 28, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Stacey-Louise S
19 contributions
Aug 2017 • Couples
This was the highlight of our trip to Skye. You need a torch (head one if you can) and a sense of adventure! The cave is in a little inlet which you can only access during low tide, so you won't be able to stay too long otherwise you'll get trapped on the beach till the next low tide. But the cave itself is spectacular - well worth a visit. And another bonus, very few people go there so you can get away from all the crowds.
Written April 8, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

RickyBolt
Edinburgh, UK42 contributions
Oct 2017 • Family
Not awesome in the traditional sense but a real sense of adventure finding it and exploring it. Not a tourist attraction as were just a natural cave in its wild state. Well worth a scramble but remember a good torch, wellies and some good local advice!!!!
Written October 30, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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