WHERE: Isle of Skye, Scotland
WHEN: June 10-16, 2017
WHO: Karma and Helena
OBJECTIVE: The Skye Trail thru-hike
DISTANCE: 128 km

The Skye Trail is an unofficial route through the whole amazing Isle of Skye in the Scottish highlands, top to bottom.

The trail goes through some of the UK’s finest landscapes, such as the Trotternish Ridge through the Quiraing to Old Man Storr and skirting the intriguing Cuillin mountain range on its way from Rubha Hunish in the north to Broadford in the south. Though I felt it was a fairly straightforward walk it requires some experience in judging track and weather conditions as there is lots of “weather” battering this slice of heaven. If you don’t like the weather, just wait 10 minutes – and it will get worse, lol. Some basic navigation skills are needed too as there are no waymarks for the route and some sections lack a formed path, but mostly it was pretty easy going.

High winds and rain dominated my week on Skye, but I still had some truly magical moments. On the upside, no midges could fly in that weather, lolI! I have been dreaming about coming here for a long time, and I was not disappointed! Even in gale force winds and horizontal rain, this is an amazingly beautiful place. Rugged coastlines and ethereal rock formations (especially being surrounded by mist and fog) in sharp contrast to the intensely lush green. Some good whisky and wonderful social encounters too, Highlanders are lovely people!

My only regret is being forced to skip the exposed Trotternish ridge traverse due to high winds (20m/s, or 72km/h) and whiteout conditions (rain and fog). My friend and I bailed right after walking through the stunning Quiraing and picked up the trail again at Old Man Storr, but I plan to return to this section one day! That, along with an excursion into the Cuillin mountains – that place looked absolutely magical, whether not withstanding.

The route

  • June 10: wild camped at Rubha Hunish
  • June 11: a bed at Staffin House, Staffin
  • June 12: wild camped on Ben Chracaig peninsula, Portree
  • June 13: campsite in Sligachan
  • June 14: wild camped just outside Elgol
  • June 15: invited in to stay with a lovely old lady in Torrin
  • June 16: Broadford backpackers, Broadford

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Scotland! I will be back!!!