Places to see & things to do on the Trotternish Peninsula
8 Herbusta is nestled on the outskirts of Kilmuir, close to Uig & surrounded by the natural beauty of the Trotternish Peninsula. Below is a list of nearby attractions on the peninsula ranging from a few yards away to a few miles.
For ideas of places to visit elsewhere on Skye, click here.
A walk that begins literally from the back door. Turn left out of the gate & look for the waymarker 100m down the lane on the right. Alternatively, turn right out of the gate & follow the road for half a mile until you reach the cattle grid at the sharp right-hand bend. Again there is a sign marking the way. It can be boggy & much of the walk is through moorland heather.
Flora MacDonald's Memorial
In Kilmuir Cemetery is a tall memorial to Flora MacDonald, ‘Preserver of Prince Charles Edward Stuart’ (aka Bonnie Prince Charlie). Despite the romanticism of the Skye Boat song, she was a real & remarkable person. This is a place to come & spend a moment reflecting on her amazing courage.
A short 5 minute drive from the cottage. The Uamh Oir or Cave Of Gold is a secret place, Skye's answer to Fingal's Cave on Staffa, but in miniature. It gives a delightful short walk & is a great place for a picnic, however the final pathless coastal slope down to the cave is very steep & dangerous, requiring care. You can walk out to the headland & explore rock pools.
In 2015, there was a major discovery of fossilised dinosaur footprints on the shore just south of Duntulm Castle. These prints, visible only at low tide, make up the biggest trackway in Scotland. They are prints of Sauropods, a group of huge, long-necked dinosaurs that includes the Brontosaurus & Brachiosaurus.
The castle was built in the 14th & 15th centuries when the area was subject to feuds between the rival MacLeod & MacDonald clans, the latter eventually gaining the upper hand. Around 1732 the castle was abandoned, when Sir Alexander MacDonald built a new residence, Monkstadt House, 5 miles to the south, robbing much of the castle's stone as a building material.
On the West side of Trotternish at Balnacnoc near Uig, is the Fairy Glen - a Quirang-like landslip in miniature.
The road winds around small round-topped grassy hills with lochans (ponds) in between which gives the glen an otherworldly feel.
Skye has a long history involving the fairies, most of which is related to Dunvegan Castle & their ‘Fairy Flag’. The Fairy Glen (much like the Fairy Pools in Glenbrittle) has no real legends nor stories involving fairies that can be traced. The simple fact is that the location is unusual so it has been given the nickname Fairy Glen.
The Quiraing is a landslip on the eastern face of Meall Na Suiramach, the northernmost summit of the Trotternish Ridge.
The whole of the ridge escarpment was formed by a great series of landslips - the Quiraing is the only part of the slip still moving & the road at its base, near Flodigarry, requires repairs each year.
Parts of this distinctive landscape have earned particular names. The Needle is a jagged 37m high pinnacle, a remnant of land slipping. Northwest of it is the Table, a flat grassy area that has slipped down from the summit plateau, with vistas of the Torridon Hills & the mountains of Wester Ross. Southwest is the Prison, a pyramidal rocky peak which can look like a medieval keep when viewed from the right angle - the ascent of this is an airy scramble.
Staffin is home to a couple of beaches. There are some good spots on the main bay if you are prepared to seek them out, but there is easier access to a small area of sand just before you get to the end of the road at Staffin Community Slipway. As well as the sea & sand you can find more dinosaur footprints like those at Duntulm.
The footprints are covered by the sea at high tide & often by sand in the summer. They are best exposed at low tide after a winter storm. In Staffin itself, can be found the Staffin Dinosaur Museum.
On the road between Staffin & Portree are two spectacular sights visible from the same viewpoint.
One of these is the magnificent 90m Kilt Rock, which looks strikingly similar to a pleated kilt. Made up of basalt columns resting on a sandstone base, one might even say that the colours of the rock formation appear almost tartan.
The other point of interest is the Mealt Waterfall, which, fed from nearby Mealt Loch, plummets from the top of the cliffs to the rock-laden coast below.
The Old Man Of Storr
The summit of the Storr is the highest point on the Trotternish Ridge at 719m. The walk from the car park up the well maintained path to the Old Man Of Storr is one of the most popular on Skye - & understandably so. There are stunning views across the Sound to Raasay, Rona & the Scottish mainland.
The Old Man Of Storr is the needle-like pinnacle some 50m high & the formations of various outcrops of rock around it, including the Cathedral, are collectively known as the Sanctuary. Both the Old Man Of Storr & the Quiraing have provided the backdrop to major films including Prometheus, King Arthur, Transformers, Stardust, Macbeth & the Big Friendly Giant.
8 H e r b u s t a
K i l m u i r
I s l e O f S k y e
I V 5 1 9 Y X
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Drawing courtesy of Sean Webb ©
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