walkhighlands

The Skye Trail

The Skye Trail, a challenging unofficial route aimed at experienced hillwalkers, takes in some of the very finest landscapes on this celebrated island - and indeed in the whole of the UK.

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 Done
1: Rubha Hunish to Flodigarry 11.5km 5.5 - 6.5 hours
2: Flodigarry to The Storr 28.5km 8.5 - 10 hours
3: The Storr to Portree 14km 4.5 - 6 hours
4: Portree to Sligachan via the Braes 19km 5.5 - 6.5 hours
5: Sligachan to Elgol 18km 6.5 - 8.5 hours
6: Elgol to Torrin 16.5km 5.5 - 6 hours
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.

ROUTE PHOTO GALLERY

Click to open our photo gallery

BAGGAGE TRANSFERS AND WALKING PACKAGES

Click to find organised Skye Trail walking holiday packages and baggage transfer providers.

ACCOMMODATION AND SERVICES ALONG THE WAY

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 and cafe 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.

BOOKS AND MAPS

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.

Users' walk reports for the Skye Trail

There are 235 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 24 public walk reports for the route. These are ordered below with the most popular ones first.

Title AuthorDate walked Likes
A 69 year old wild camps on the Skye Trail  westgate 13/05/2019  30
Two girls from Slovakia walking Skye Trail  Lorelai 09/06/2016  21
A Long Walk on The Isle of Skye  ramblingpete 08/05/2012  19
Skye Trail, solo and with a sidekick  widdershins 22/08/2020  16
A perfect Skye Trail experience  IanEzzi 01/10/2016  12
Papa Smurf's Skye Trail 2015 - Part 1Rubha Hunish to Portree  papa smurf 28/04/2015  11
Papa Smurf's Skye Trail 2015 - Part 2 Portree to Broadford  papa smurf 28/04/2015  10
Skye TrailĀ : a practical report  Lucas Michelot 28/05/2017  9
The Skye Trail in 8 leisurely days: video log  petert847 08/05/2015  8
The Skye Trail, May 2013.  mountainstar 27/05/2013  8
Video Series: Full Skye Trail Section by Section  Hounds of Howgate 02/06/2018  7
Our walk on the Isle of Skye  Roeboe 01/05/2014  7
Skye Trail - Kyle of Lochalsh to Rubha Hunish  andrewl7642 30/08/2014  7
The Skye Trail Timelapse Video  maustindesign 15/08/2014  6
Skye Trail in August  Tom_DM 27/08/2020  4
Skye Trail: Wild camping the route with my dog, Lucky  monicashaw 22/07/2019  4
Two Dutch girls walk most of the Skye Trail, August 2017  goeky 19/08/2017  4
Skye Trail, July 2015  sageclegg 30/07/2015  4
Skye Trail (Deutscher Bericht)  headshaker 29/05/2019  3
My personal one week adventure on the Skye Trail  rmuetz 22/05/2017  3
The Skye Trail with the Lamb's Sister  lafrances 14/05/2016  3
may 2015 - Skye trail  Marc_C 19/05/2015  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

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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.