Suisnish, Isle of Skye: The atmospheric ruins of a Clearance village

Beauty now reigns in a tragic spot where hundreds of villagers suffered during the Clearance

A visit to the ruins of Suisnish, one of the most haunting of all the Clearance villages, involves a five-mile walk from the beach at Camas Malag, past waterfalls and old marble quarries.

In a glorious setting, with roofless cottages and views over Loch Slapin, it is incredibly moving, particularly as we know hundreds of villagers traipsed through snow, their homes razed, and many died.

Derelict cottage at Suisnich

Visiting geologist Archibald Geikie described the scene in 1853: ‘A strange wailing sound reached my ears. I could see a long and motley procession winding along the road… A cry of grief went up to Heaven, the long plaintive wail, like a funeral coronach. The sound re-echoed through the wide valley of Strath in one long prolonged note of desolation.’