Isle of Skye hiking trip can lead to some extraordinary days out, where even the gentlest amble up a nearby hill leads to views over leagues of ancient sea. You’ll encounter wildlife, including eagles and seals, discover the remnants of human history on the land, and see why Skye has drawn not only walkers, but Vikings, artists, mythical heroes and poets to this northern realm.
Skye is a place where a mile can take you from the dark towers of rock that form Britain’s longest and most intricate mountain ridge, to sandy bays where you can dip your feet while seals bask offshore. Stark contrasts are all part of this land.
Isle of Skye: The Breakdown
Recommended For Coastal Walking
- Boreraig and Suisnish Trail
- Orbost to Macleod’s Maidens and Idrigill Point
- Elgol to Camasunary Bay or south to Kylerhea
- Waternish Point and Rubha Huinish
Hillking with Great Views
- Try Glamaig in the Red Hills
For Britain at its Most Rugged
- Visit the Cuillin Hills
For Epic Landscapes and Geology
- Head to the hills of Trotternish for the Old Man of Storr and the Quiraing
For Moderate Hillwalking
- Ben Tianavaig
- Sithean a’Bhealaich Chumhaing
Isle of Skye Hiking: Exploring the Coastline
The Isle of Skye is a series of peninsulas diving off at irregular angles from the core, and with each hosting its unique retinue of sea lochs. With over 400 miles of coastline, much of it pathless, surrounded by cliffs or bog, you’ll want a good idea of where to start.
Scottish maps do very well at highlighting paths, especially on the OS 1:50,000 ones where the dashes of good trails stand out well. A fine coastal route is the Suisnish and Boreraig trail which lies just south of Broadford, this takes you along the windswept coast of Loch Eishort, with Rum visible in the distance.
Similar gems include the route to MacLeod’s Maidens and Idrigill Point from Orbost in the north west of the island, the fantastic journey to Camasunary Bay from Elgol, or the trail leading south from Kylerhea.
Coastlines are notoriously difficult to turn into circular walks, especially if you want to avoid lots of walking inland. Not so on Skye, where the peninsulas make perfect triangular-shaped circular walks, giving you the satisfaction of reaching the tip (just as good as reaching a summit), and keeping inland walking to a minimum. Waternish Point and Rubha Huinish, at the northern end of Trotternish are both good places to start; make sure you look out for whales offshore.
Some excellent beaches to seek out include Brittle Bay, or Talisker Bay, they’re excellent places to watch the sunset with the hills as a perfect backdrop.