The Skye Trail - a challenging unofficial route through the island aimed at experienced hillwalkers - takes in some of the very best of the island - and that means the UK's finest landscapes.
The route follows much of the amazing Trotternish Ridge and later passes beneath the very shadow of the Cuillin. Other sections follow remarkable but little visited coastal cliffs, take in steep trails above high drops, or pass through haunting deserted villages destroyed in the cruel Clearances.
|Stage 1: Rubha Hunish to Flodigarry||11.5km||5.5 - 6.5 hours|
|Stage 2: Flodigarry to The Storr||28.5km||8.5 - 10 hours|
|Stage 3: The Storr to Portree||14km||4.5 - 6 hours|
|Stage 4: Portree to Sligachan via the Braes||19km||5.5 - 6.5 hours|
|Stage 5: Sligachan to Elgol||18km||6.5 - 8.5 hours|
|Stage 6: Elgol to Torrin||16.5km||5.5 - 6 hours|
|Stage 7: Torrin to Broadford||20km||6.5 -7 hours|
There are no waymarks for the route and many sections do not even have a path. The route includes a long ridge traverse - a very strenuous journey with no easy escape routes - whilst other sections cross burns which become impassable when in spate. The approach to Elgol is on an airy coastal path that requires great care.
This walk should be left to the more experienced who can judge the conditions for themselves and are competent with map and compass - but for them this can be a slice of heaven. See the Skye Trail mini-site for more photos and information.
Click to find organised Skye Trail walking holiday packages and baggage transfer providers.
The route starts from an isolated spot near the northernmost part of the Trotternish peninsula. There are B&Bs and some hotels throughout Trotternish, but most visitors will stay overnight in Portree before taking the bus to the start in the morning.
The following stage ends at the Storr car park where there is no accommodation, though there is in an infrequent bus if you complete the walk early enough. Otherwise you could arrange to be picked up and dropped off by a bed and breakfast in Trotternish or Portree.
Sligachan is an isolated spot, but does have its namesake hotel, a campsite and bunkhouse.
Elgol and neighbouring Glasnakille offer some bed and breakfast accommodation. Elgol additionally has a shop. There is also a b&b in Torrin.
Wildcampers should be able to find suitable sites along the route; if doing so, please follow the guidelines of the Outdoor Access Scotland website.
There are no trains on Skye; the nearest station is adjacent on the mainland at Kyle of Lochalsh; however there are direct bus services to Portree (and Uig) from Inverness, Fort William and Glasgow.
The start and end points of the stages of the Skye Trail are all served by bus. Four buses a day (not Sundays) run around the Trotternish peninsula (passing Duntulm and the Storr car park) from Portree.
Portree, Sligachan and Broadford are all linked by the long distance Citylink as well as by local buses, whilst an infrequent local service runs out from Broadford, through Torrin to reach Elgol.
Timetables for all the routes can be found on Traveline Scotland.
There are 96 Walkhighlanders who have completed the Skye Trail. To record if you have completed the route, you must register and be logged in. Our users have contributed 14 public walk reports for the route. These are ordered below with the most popular ones first.
|A Long Walk on The Isle of Skye||ramblingpete||08/05/2012||17|
|Two girls from Slovakia walking Skye Trail||Lorelai||09/06/2016||10|
|Papa Smurf's Skye Trail 2015 - Part 1Rubha Hunish to Portree||papa smurf||28/04/2015||8|
|The Skye Trail, May 2013.||mountainstar||27/05/2013||8|
|Papa Smurf's Skye Trail 2015 - Part 2 Portree to Broadford||papa smurf||28/04/2015||7|
|The Skye Trail Timelapse Video||maustindesign||15/08/2014||6|
|Our walk on the Isle of Skye||Roeboe||01/05/2014||6|
|The Skye Trail in 8 leisurely days: video log||petert847||08/05/2015||6|
|Skye Trail - Kyle of Lochalsh to Rubha Hunish||andrewl7642||30/08/2014||6|
|Skye Trail, July 2015||sageclegg||30/07/2015||4|
|The Skye Trail with the Lamb's Sister||lafrances||14/05/2016||3|
|Description of our Skye trail: apr/may 2016 (in Dutch)||mvdzee||01/08/2016||2|
|Serena and Anna on a lovely walk...||annaannsnastaitean||12/04/2016||1|
|may 2015 - Skye trail||Marc_C||19/05/2015||1|