Walks Isle of Skye including Raasay

Author: Paul Williams

Rewalked by: Richard Hallewell & Becky Coope

Skye must be one of the best-known walking areas in Britain. Serious climbers come for the Cuillins, but there are terrific walks throughout the island, attracting many visitors every year. This popularity does put pressure on the walks, of course, and we approached this year’s rewalking assuming changes to our descriptions would be needed. This proved to be the case.

Some had nothing to do with the walks themselves. At three of the most popular walks – The Quiraing, The Old Man of Storr and the Fairy Pools – the parking has been extended and improved since we were last on the island – a big help, as visitors were previously simply lining up by the road, which was causing considerable problems. At Fairy Pools, there is also a new footbridge, replacing the stepping stones – very handy when the burns are in spate.

Elsewhere, we needed to alter the access points to the trails behind Armadale Castle, and there has been a big improvement to the path out to the Coral Beaches, beyond Dunvegan. We have put in the new start to the climb up Ben Tianavaig, just south of Portree, shortened the route past Macleod’s Maidens, removed our climb up Beinn Edra (the increased popularity of the Fairy Glen means that parking is all but impossible, and the path over the moor beyond the road end has disappeared) and added the little Marine Mammal Trail as an extra walk from Kylerhea. A number of smaller changes were needed elsewhere, which is all to say that, if you’re visiting the island, be sure you have the current edition!

Skye needs little recommendation: it is one of the best walking areas in the country. Just try to visit when it is dry (or you will never see the top of a hill) and leave plenty of time for getting around – road maintenance appeared not to be a priority when we visited, and this did tend to lengthen journey times.

For more details or to buy a copy, click here.

Photograph: View from The Quiraing