Although an unofficial (meaning non-signed) long distance walk, there are few others that combine the beauty and challenge of the Skye Trail. The trail begins the north western tip of the island, moves along the most breathtaking segment of the Trotternish ridge, than along the shore, until it you arrive at the Sligachan Valley. The walk between the Cullins, two imposing mountain ranges is breathtaking, and the final approach to the town of Broadford, on day 7 is both varied and rewarding. With it’s growing and deserved popularity, walking the Skye trail insures you spend your time on the Island immersed in it’s beautiful landscapes without having to fight the growing crowds.
Day 1 – Rubah Hanish to the Quarang (11.5+3.5 km 7.25+2 mi): The standard route stops at Flodigarry, and you do the Quaraing and the Trotternish Ridge in the same day. Since one is better served doing the ridgewalk in the other direction, one could consider adding the Quirang to the first day. .
Rubah Hunish is a lovely peninsula that stretches east from the coast and looks like a soft green meadow, it’s a trickey looking descent, but that is ultimately doable. The walk is largely along the clifftops and finally down along the water’s edge.
Day 2 – Old Man of Storr to the Quaring (25 km 15.75 mi): The second day of the walk, it is much more reasonable to do in the opposite direction, as stated above. Leave early, to avoid the crowds (or get parking) at the old man of Storr,. One can visit this intriguing landmark before heading along the path that takes you around a bowl, than up the side of Storr itself, down through the corrie and up Harteval, the second peak and the beginning of the relatively straightforward ridge walk. There are approximately 9 peaks, and in this direction, you confront the majority of them in the early part of your walk. Beautiful and rewarding in this direction, in my experience it was frustrating and exhausting in the other – only recommended if you are planning an overnight on the ridge itself.
Day 3 – Storr to Portree (14 km 8.75 mi): Although somewhat boggy at first, this second day of ridge walking along the coast is beautiful, and so much easier than the previous day, that it feels like a walk in the park. The final approach to the village of Portree, through beautiful green pastures is a visual luxury.
Day 4 – Portree to Slagachan.(19 km 12 mi): Leaving town along the Varragill river, and walking through the country side on smaller roads, and a fun shore walk are the main features of this day.
Day 5 – Slagachan to Elgol (18 km 11.25 mi): This is a tremendous day, walking through Glen Slagachan between the craigs of the red and black Cullins. The final segment from Camansury Bay is a path perched on the cliffs along Loch Scavaig that brings you to the tiny coastal town of Elgol
Day 6 – Elgol to Torrin (16.5 km 10.25 mi): A walk through some of the most settled landscape we see; former farms and sweet cottages along the shore. The path moves inland, to cross some forestry and a somewhat boggy fields, where eventually, it arrives at the Bla Bheinn parking lot. You follow that road until Torrin and it’s delightful Blue Shed Café.
Day 7 – Torrin to Broadford (20 km 12.5 mi): From the Blue Shed Café, one takes the road north and soon turns towards the coast. Eventually, you arrive, at the cleared settlement of Suisnish. The path eventually makes it’s way back to the shore until the second cleared village of Boreraig. At this point the, path moves back inland, across rolling uplands to an abandoned quarry. The path then follows the abandoned rail bed back to the trails end, in Broadford.