walkhighlands

The Skye Trail

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 descriptions Length Time
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

THE CHALLENGE

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.

ACCOMMODATION AND SERVICES ALONG THE WAY

Click here for Walking Holidays and Baggage Transfer on Skye Trail

Organised holidays and baggage transfer services are available on this route.

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.

Flodigarry has a hotel and an independent hostel.

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.

Portree is the capital of Skye and offers a chance to restock supplies as well as having a choice of hotels and guest houses. There is also a campsite at Torvaig on the northern edge of town.

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.

Finally, Broadford is a larger village offering a choice of hotels and bed and breakfast establishments. It also has a good supermarket.

Wildcampers should be able to find suitable sites along the route; if doing so, please follow the guidelines of the Outdoor Access Scotland website.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

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.

The following users have walked the Skye Trail:

Paul Webster  helenw  mountainstar  murwilson  kaiserstein  mamacgregor 1444  802033565  Fortuna95  dscargill  sair feet  baum  Patch1403  Razorfish  ramblingpete  colindirom  djcalum  Graham50Hill  peter72  Paracaba  kallehaugerne  anna  LoneWalkerUK  smarijsse  tytus2311  Marc Lefevre  Davey72  Sparkie  Huna  zaci  traceyyi  Roeboe  cdirom  mlaird  Axelk91  eliottreed 

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Walking can be dangerous and is done entirely at your own risk. Information is provided free of charge; it is each walker's responsibility to check it and navigate using a map and compass.