Spar Cave: The cathedral-like hiding place on the Isle of Skye, accessed via a cliff face and a ravine

Spar Cave on the Strathaird peninsula was recommended my no less a figure than Walter Scott, yet remains quiet and unspoilt.

Often overshadowed by Bonnie Prince Charlie in drag, the little-known romance of Skye tells of a 9th-century princess who fell in love with a shipwrecked rival chief. Fearing retribution from her father, she concealed her baby in cathedral-like Spar Cave until the feud was over — hence its Gaelic name Slochd Altimen, which means ‘Nursing Cave’.

Dramatic eroded sedimentary rock strata and ravine in sea cliffs on approach to Spar Cave, Glasnakille, Elgol, Isle of Skye.

A good hiding place, it’s only accessible for an hour either side of low tide and, despite Sir Walter Scott calling it a ‘mermaid’s alabaster grot’ and ‘Strathaird’s enchanted cell’ in 1814, it is little visited.

Spar Cave’s calcium deposits.

To get there, set off from the phone box in Glasnakille and before long — via a trail left by sheep, a few cliff faces, slippery rocks and a vast ravine — you’ll find your way to the extraordinary flowstone staircase, dark cavern and icy pool within.

See more of Secret Britain