Raasay Post Road
Start location: Arnish (NG 594 480)
End location: shore, Caol Rona (NG 610 532)
Geographical area: Skye and Lochalsh
Path Type: Rural Path
Path distance: 7km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians
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From the end of Calum's Road at Arnish, the route is waymarked by the Raasay paths initiative. There has been a lot of birch woodland growing on either side of the track concealing former fields but plenty of evidence of wild boar. The track is easy to the old school house at Torran (now holiday accommodation). The path divides, take the right hand fork for Kyle Rona. There's a steady up-hill climb on the old path, which is well-built in many places, but very wet and boggy in others. It passes through old settlements, such as Doire Dubh, reaching Kyle Rona where the MBA have renovated Taigh Thormoid Dhuibh (Black Norman's House) as an open bothy. From the end of the island you can look over at the old settlement on Eilean Tigh and across to Rona.
On the return trip, our surveyor recommends turning west at the marker at NG596498 towards Fladda, as it is another beautiful walk. From Fladda, another path will bring you back to Torran.
OS Landranger 24 (Raasay, Applecross & Loch Torridon)
This path starts at the end of Calum's Road, which is the road from Brochel to Arnish that was built single handedly by Calum MacLeod between 1965 and 1974. Arnish was a sizeable township, but Calum and his wife Lexie were the last permanent residents.
The track quickly passes a large township called Torran and snakes its way through Raasay's complicated topography to eventually end on the shore just past another township called Caol Rona at NG610527. Although the OS map indicates shielings here, the houses were in fact permanent settlements - the children travelling to the school at Torran, an impressive journey in bad weather.
There is in fact a network of paths here linking the former settlements of northern Raasay. At NG596498, the path which heads west is the old route to Fladda - the residents of this drying island repeatedly asked for a bridge so that their children's schooling at Torran wasn't dependent upon the state of the tide. The footpath which heads more directly from Torran to Fladda is another of Calum MacLeod's creations. Together with his brother Charles, they built it during the three winters from 1949 to 1952.
Although these paths would have been used a lot by residents travelling between settlements, they were also used by the postie delivering mail around the north of Raasay before travelling to Rona to continue deliveries to the townships on that island. For further information about Rona, see: http://www.heritagepaths.co.uk/pathdetails.php?path=315. Calum MacLeod was the postie for the north of Raasay for many years.