An explorer's guide to the islands of Britain

57.503447, -6.215837
Distance: The Skye Trail 128 km
Difficulty: Moderate
Method: Walking; trail running
Wow Factor: 10 out of 10

Key Facts

  • Location: Inner Hebrides
  • Size: 165,600 ha
  • Terrain: Mountain; moorland
  • Access: Road bridge
  • Height gain: 5206 metres
  • Map: Harvey Maps, The Skye Trail. Ordnance Survey 408 Skye, Trotternish and The Storr 409 Raasay, Rona and Scalpay; 410 Portree and Bracadale; 411 Skye Cuillin Hills; 412 Skye - Sleat
  • Starting point: Rubha Hunish (Grid Ref: NG640038)
  • Accommodation/food:

    The full route requires a combination of wild camping with overnight stays in villages or bothies.

    Rubha Hunish – The Lookout (Bothy)

    Flodigarry has a hotel and an independent hostel.

    Portree has a choice of shops, hotels, B&B’s with a campsite at Torvaig on the northern edge of town.

    Sligachan has a hotel, campsite and bunkhouse.

    Elgol has a choice of B&B’s along with a small shop. There is also a B&B in Torrin.

    Broadford has a choice of hotels, B&B’s and a well-stocked Co-op supermarket.

  • Island Summary:

    Every superlative is used to decribe Skye’s dramatic landscapes, seascapes, history and legends. There is quite literally a lifetime of exploring here. For the adventurer the Cuillins mountains are arguable the best in Britain, there are caves to explore, secluded beaches and forest trails to run. The island is blessed with some of the finest dining and incredible seafood and has the full facilities expected of holiday makers of all types. This is my home island.

  • Look out for:
    • The magical Quirang
    • Sea eagles, otters, dolphins
    • The dramatic Old Man of Storr
    • The mythical Loch Coruisk
  • Route description:

    At the moment there isn’t a waymarked round island route on Skye. For this reason I have included The Skye Trail instead – a long distance footpath travelling most of the length from the north to south of the Isle of Skye, traversing mountain, moor and coastal regions. Starting on the northern tip of the island at Rubha Hunish the route passes the significant attractions of The Quiraing, Trotternish Ridge, Old Man of Storr, Portree, the Braes, Loch Sligachan, Glen Sligachan, Camasunary Bay, Loch Coruisk, Elgol, Kirkibost, Loch Slapin, Torrin and the Marble Line to reach Broadford.

    We plan to run the Skye Trail Ultra in 2020, so I have included the GPX download provided by The Walking Englishman (visit his site here for more details and great walks)

  • Getting there:

    Road bridge from mainland Scotland. More detail on travel to and within Skye is available from www.isleofskye.com.

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