A week of relaxed walking on Skye...
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We can sum this tip up as follows: a week of walking in wonder, with fantastic wildlife, weird rock formations and wild terrain but without tackling the harder hikes.
The Isle of Skye is one of the largest islands off Scotland’s beautiful west coast and while it does indeed offer some tough hiking, it also offers umpteen easier walks through the dramatic scenery and mini-adventures that provide a fantastic experience.
So for this week we mix and match walks with other activities whether it’s finding the great art and crafts on-sale, savouring the fresh local seafood or just loitering with intent to devour another slice of cake in one of the brilliant cafes we’ve discovered.
After the day’s exploring, we head back to a lovely cottage where the peaceful location and spacious facilities all make it easy to just chillax!
Please note – on this holiday we aim for easy walks, mostly sticking to the valleys, coast and small hills. If big walks and mountain summits are your thing please visit our dedicated Isle of Skye page to see our full range or trips and breaks.
18th – 25th May 2019 & 10th – 17th August
In a nutshell:
- Be captivated by the magnificent landscape on our guided walks to evocatively-named places such as The Quiraing, the Old Man of Storr, and MacLeod’s Maidens.
- Soak up the spirit of Skye – from the famous Talisker distillery through to local arts and crafts and excellent restaurants
- Meet a great bunch of fellow walkers on this fully hosted week, where we worry about the navigation, walk choices and food so you don’t have to!
- Simply sit and relax in the spectacular surroundings of Uiginish Lodge.
Plans for the week
Standing proudly in its own grounds just a few yards from the seashore, the 18thcentury dower house of Uiginish Lodge has been a Large Outdoors favourite for many years now, and it’s easy to see why.
When you arrive (any time after 5pm), it will be hard to choose between having a cup of tea in the comfy lounge or sauntering down to the loch for views across to Dunvegan Castle and the chance to glimpse otters or sea eagles.
Well, why not do both, as there’s enough time to have a cuppa and meet your fellow guests and then skip down to the water’s edge while we get the evening meal underway.
Once we’ve congregated round the table we’ll then outline plans for the week ahead, although these are kept very fluid as it depends on the weather and what you feel like doing each day.
After breakfast we make the packed lunches and then roll out the front door having decided what we’d like to do.
Our aim is to experience something different each day and given the diverse landscape on offer, that shouldn’t be hard.
At the end of each day we either cook at the lodge or eat out in one of the many lovely restaurants.
During the day here’s a flavour of what we might do:
Probably our most memorable day out, the Quiraing is a set of spectacular rock formations that resulted from a giant landslip hundreds of millions of years ago. Looking out across the weirdness of it all, it’s perfectly understandable to think that dinosaurs might easily still be roaming these parts.
We take you on a walk through the most famous of these features, including The Prison and The Needle, and then head out onto a headland for fantastic views across to the Outer Hebrides.
The Old Man of Storr
An iconic rock formation resulting from an ancient landslip in the north of Skye, the Old Man of Storr is immediately recognisable, and also visible from most of the island! A photograph with the ‘Old Man’, showing the Isle of Raasay behind is a must-do experience while we’re on Skye. Though the walk is steep in parts, it’s over quickly, and you’ll find the sight of the cliffs ahead a reward enough for the effort.
This is ourfavourite coastal walk. It might sound like a biggie at 12-miles but you’ll soon forget mileage-clocking during this ‘there and back’ adventure.
Following a quiet path the views are fantastic all the way along until your reach the Maidens – three sea stacks, the highest of which is 70 metres high, with cliffs towering up behind them.
A great destination to head out on a few shorter walks, Glen Brittle lies next to the Cuillin Mountains, a vast array of dark pointed peaks famous among climbers and mountaineers. We can gaze up at them from the comfort of the valley while visiting Brittle Bay, walking up to one of the mountain lakes, or perhaps taking a trail that winds up the bottom of the valley.
The other side of the Cuillin Mountains from Glen Brittle, this mighty valley gives unparalleled views to dramatic mountains, while staying very low on a well-made path. We’ll be able to look out for eagles, see the difference between Skye’s famous Black and Red Hills, and finish the walk at the pub with the largest whisky collection in Scotland.
The short walk out to Skye’s most westerly point gives sweeping views out to the Hebrides and the cliffs of Skye. You can admire the old lighthouse, watch gannets plunge into the water from the old slipway, and keep a keen eye out for whales.
You might have become a bit blasé about the beautiful landscape surrounding you, so for this short walk we shake it up a bit with a visit to the Caribbean (well almost) as you first glimpse the Coral Beach.
On a sunny day, the sands created from crushed white coral contrast dramatically with the tropical blue of the water that just invites you to head out for a swim – so why not!
Skye has a huge array of walks we can go on, whether we want to go out for a full day or just an hour or two. Other options include the most northerly point of Skye at Rubha Huinish, Kilt Rock, Talisker Bay, the Waternish Peninsula and lots more. There are also lots of beautiful pools in the streams coming off the mountains, so on a sunny day the group has all been known to jump in for a swim!
Much more than walking
We love to show you all the places that make Skye so special and there’s almost too much choice to pack into one week. We’re up for the challenge though and so these are just some of the trips we might have in mind:
Without doubt one of the highlights of our week on Skye, today we head south to Elgol, one of the most spectacular hamlets on Skye. Here we board the Aqua Explorer fast rib for a morning’s wildlife spotting and exploring the small isles.
Our first port of call is the Northern Cliffs of Canna, a bird spotter’s paradise and one of the largest bird sanctuaries in the area. As we cruise along the base of cliffs we will be surrounded by Puffins, Shags, Guillemots and Gannets to name just a few.
From here we head around the coast and into the secluded harbour of Canna, with time to step ashore so you can either wander and explore this isle or pop to the local community café for a cuppa.
We then head back out to sea, past the local seal colony and over to the Isle of Rum. The channel between the isles is a hot spot for Dolphins and Minke Whales. The Isle of Mull is a jewel of the Inner Hebrides with beautiful beaches, an eccentric castle and plenty more wildlife. From Rum it’s a short hop back to Elgol.
Please note that this day out is very weather-dependent and we try and fit it in on the best day. As such, it’s not included in the price of the week.
On the way back from our walks, we’ll take you to some of the local craft shops we’ve come to know and love over the years. So whether you’re looking for jewellery, a sheep skin rug or artwork you can look at the unique products Skye offers.
Options include Skye Silver, Skye Weavers (who hand-make everything on looms), Edinbane Pottery, Skye Skins, plus plenty of photography and art studios.
About the Area
Isle of Skye
Lying close to the Scottish mainland, the Isle of Skye is the largest island in the Inner Hebrides and contains a huge variety of landscapes. The winding coastline is rightly famous for towering cliffs, sandy beaches, and the chance to spot plenty of wildlife from seals to whales. Inland, there are plenty of small hills and ancient broadleaved woodlands, surrounding quiet valleys stacked with myths and traditional crafts.
Alongside this peace are colossal peaks, including the Cuillin, the most imposing and technical mountains in the UK, and the Red hills, which rise up abruptly from the sea.
From any viewpoint on Skye you’ll be able to see everything from mountains to water, and wild flowers to remote farms. Whatever your walking ability and inspiration, you’ll find something that suits you on Skye.
Good to know:
Our venue for this event can only be described as spectacular. Uiginish Lodge is a beautiful 18th century former dower house of Dunvegan Castle. The Lodge has been sympathetically and stylishly refurbished to create a wonderfully spacious residence over three floors.
The downstairs is open plan with a kitchen, dining room and sitting area stretching the full length of the house with an Aga at one end and a wood burning stove at the other, it’s a cosy space to hang out in.
This room leads directly to the snug, where you can curl up and read or watch TV. There’s another open plan sitting room on the first floor which has a wonderful view of the sea loch and Castle, while the top floor library provides a quiet retreat.
Uiginish Lodge sits at the end of a single track road on the North West coast of Skye just a few minutes’ walk from the seashore and with views across to Dunvegan Castle.
Eagles are regular visitors here and you have a good chance of seeing these magnificent creatures along with other wildlife including the famous Dunvegan seals, otters, deer and a multitude of birds.
Rooms are offered on either a shared twin basis or in double rooms. All bedding and towels are provided ad the venue benefits from free Wi-FI.
Meals and Eating out:
As part of this week away we include breakfasts and all packed lunches. We will cook dinner in the lodge on 3 nights and eat out in local restaurants and pubs for the remaining 4 nights. The 4 nights out are not included in the cost of the trip.
New for this year
You are quite welcome to make your own way up to Uiginish Lodge but we are able to offer free collections for eight people from Glasgow – picking you up at 9am on the Saturday and then dropping you at about 4pm on the following Saturday.
If driving all the way up, we are also able to put you in touch with other guests in advance of the week if you would like to car share.
Isle of Skye
Isle of Skye
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What our members have to say...
“I didn’t really know what to expect on my first ever walking holiday and wasn’t very prepared if truth be known – lesson to all read the essential kit list especially waterproofs! It was great fun and what a lovely group of supportive and encouraging people, especially Gareth who did a great job looking after us all. I must admit at times I found it a bit challenging but what a great sense of achievement when we reached the top of the mountains (hills) I will definitely do this again.ElizabethMember Since 2016
My first Large Outdoors and (Ulster & the Giant's Causeway Walking Weekend) Irish experience was absolutely fantastic. Everything was organised perfectly and Gareth is a joy to be around. I loved every minute and will definitely book myself onto another trip. #toldallmyfriendstheyhavetocomeVanessaMember Since 2018
Well, for a non-walker it was certainly challenging but my word was it exhilarating! The feeling of achievement after every day, was just fabulous. The group we went with were all strangers on day one, but firm friends by the end of the week. The comradery on some of the tougher walks, helped me to the top…..and wow what views. Anyone thinking of doing it - don’t worry….just go for it!ClaireMember Since 2016