Explore the Skye Trail over one great walking holiday
FoodSome provided. Details below
Difficulty Level4 Four
Winding its way for nearly 80 miles across the Isle of Skye, the Skye Trail takes us from near the most northerly point of the island on a journey south. Over 7 days of walking we pass all the famous sights – The Quiraing, The Old Man of Storr, the Cuillin, and the village of Suisnish, deserted during the Highland Clearances. Although the Trail is predominantly low-level, there are two days of hills, including one very long one.
Though the Trail does have several sections of well-maintained path and track, there are many miles of pathless terrain, where the only indication of the way lies in the trodden grass of previous walkers. This is definitely a walk to do with an experienced navigator. We’re also including a rest day with some optional activities such as wildlife watching or a boat trip, or you can just relax in town!
In a nutshell – Skye Trail Guided Walk:
- Join a guided group walking the entire length of the 79-mile Skye Trail.
- Relax during the evenings in some great accommodation, with breakfast and packed lunches included.
- See the varied landscapes of Skye, from the coast to the rolling Trotternish ridge to the dark peaks of the Cuillin.
- Look out for wildlife, including seals, otters and two species of eagle.
- Enjoy the Skye Trail with the full support of a qualified guide and vehicle.
We’ll collect you from Glasgow at midday and begin the drive to Skye, which takes approximately 5 hours. Don’t worry, we’ll stop for a leg stretch and coffee on the way.
After checking in to our guest house, we’ll head out to dinner and explain more about the adventure to come. We’ll be eating out in Portree, the seaside town that is the ‘capital’ of Skye.
Day 2 – Rubha Hunish to The Quiraing – 10 miles
Today we start our Skye Trail adventure and what a start. A spectacular day of coastal walking along the high sea-cliffs on the northern edge of the Trotternish Peninsula, with views north to the Outer Hebrides and east to the mainland. We follow the cliff-tops to Flodigarry before turning inland and heading uphill through the rocky pinnacles and natural sculptures of The Quiraing. The day finishes high up on the Trotternish Ridge.
Day 3 – The Trotternish Ridge – 15 miles
A very long and strenuous day walking nearly the entire length of the Trotternish Ridge, over 10 summits, with a lot of up and down. The trail is grassy with a few rocky sections, and there are long stretches with no path. Nevertheless, it is spectacular, and we can admire the huge difference between either side of the ridge, one rolling hillside and the other a giant landslip, a broken landscape of crags and knolls. We finish the day by dropping down past the great rocky obelisk of The Old Man of Storr.
Day 4 – The Storr to Portree – 9 miles
After the previous day’s exertions, this will feel easy, but it’s still a hill day. We’ll head back to the coast and ascend the hills that drop precipitously down to the sea north of Portree, including the Hawaiian-sounding Craig Ulatota. There are yet again no paths, but once the initial climb is out of the way, the going is good and the several gentle ups and downs will hopefully be rewarded by views out to the isle of Raasay. The final stretch drops down to the shore and follows a wooded path into Portree.
Day 5 – REST DAY
After three days of walking in the hills we’re giving you a rest day, and this is your chance to see some of the more relaxing side of Skye. If you want to wander round Portree and discover its cafes and shops then that’s certainly possible. But if you want to get out and see more of the island we’ll be putting on an optional adventure – possibly a boat trip to Canna, a wildlife watching experience, or a visit to the Talisker whisky distillery.
Day 6 – Portree to Sligachan – 12 miles
Finally leaving Portree, we head south on a low-level day, starting along the seashore of Loch Portree before joining a minor road around the flank of Ben Tianavaig. Beyond this hill we continue following the road south to Loch Sligachan, with views directly east to Raasay. Finally, we turn west to follow the path along the northern shore of Loch Sligachan to the Hotel at the end, which has a vast whisky collection to sample!
On this day we also move accommodation from Portree to Broadford, so you can discover new places to eat and a different side of Skye.
Day 7 – Sligachan to Elgol – 11 miles
Possibly the best day of the Trail, we head south through Glen Sligachan, past the jagged rocky peaks of the Black Cuillin on the right and on the left the rounded humps of the red hills, followed by the giant black fortress of Blabheinn. Once through the glen we reach the sea at Camasunary before joining a spectacular path for the last few miles, hugging the hillsides with the waves crashing far beneath. Our end point is in Elgol, a small fishing village with unparalleled views back to the Cuillin.
Day 8 – Elgol to Torrin – 10 miles
We now begin our traverse along the south coast of Skye, slowly heading east. The landscape is softer here, and after crossing over the peninsula to Loch Slapin, we hug the coast and follow the Loch all the way to the village of Torrin, mostly on tracks but with some sections of pathless hill. We’ll hopefully have more views of the rounded peaks of the red hills, and see the other side of Blabheinn.
Day 9 – Torrin to Broadford – 12 miles
The final day of the Skye Trail, and it doesn’t disappoint. We continue on the coast, following a track to the village of Suisnish, which was cleared of inhabitants during the infamous Highland Clearances. A path then leads to the second cleared village of Boreraig, and we’ll now be walking on the banks of Loch Eishort, with the peninsula of Sleat opposite. This section feels very remote, and it’s amazing to think that communities lived here for generations before the sheep arrived. The trail then heads along an old railway track into Broadford, and the end of the Trail!
Today is sadly the day we have to pack up and leave Skye, but hopefully with the knowledge that we’ve walked one of the country’s most spectacular trails and seen some of Skye’s best sights. We begin the drive in the early morning, and aim to have you back in Glasgow for early afternoon.
What our members have to say...
I have attended Large Outdoors weekends for the last two years , achieving many challenges in the British countryside. Every weekend has been very well organised, in beautiful locations, wonderful walks, nutritious food with lovely people.
I have learned new skills and gained confidence in the outdoors from the mountain leaders. I thoroughly enjoy every weekend and always look forward to the next.Elizabeth BrooksMember Since 2014
I thoroughly enjoyed the experience from beginning to end. The host Kendra was very welcoming upon arrival at the youth hostel, all walkers and climbers were friendly and we got on great as a group. The home cooked food was amazing and the idea of 'kitchen angels' worked really well. The rock climbing instructor and his son were brilliant and helped us all, providing constant guidance and encouragement.Penny GraingerMember Since 2016
I have been joining Large Outdoors on their outdoor adventures for many years now. I wasn’t always an active person and as a self-confessed city dweller I never thought I would appreciate so much of what is on offer when you leave the suburbs behind you. Large Outdoors has not only made me appreciate what natural beauty is on our door step, it has also given me the confidence to challenge myself and see things differently.Shad EverettMember since 2009
Since my first Large Outdoors weekend I have rediscovered my love for the countryside, met so many great people and had a whole lot of fun. I've sailed around the Inner Hebrides on a luxurious yacht, climbed the 3 national peaks Snowdon, Ben Nevis and Scafel Pike, danced my socks off at the Halloween and New Year celebrations and fallen in love with the beautiful Isle of Skye. Every trip has been amazing fun and I have met so many lovely people and made friends for life. Cheers Large Outdoors!Karen RobertsMember Since 2012
I love the concept of the Large Outdoors weekends and I like to have at least one or two booked for the future, to have something to look forward to. A weekend trip finds me visiting some fabulous parts of the country: Northumberland, Dorset, Brecon Beacons, Lake District, North York Moors... hills, mountains, moors and coast - all well covered by the amazing choice of locations to pick from, with decent (or lovely!) accommodation, great food and qualified walk leaders. They're also very good value.Sue LangfordMember since 2008