Red & Black Cuillin, Sligachan
Red & Black Cuillin, Sligachan

Places to see & things to do on the Trotternish Peninsula

The Fairy Glen

On the West side of Trotternish at Balnacnoc near Uig, is the Fairy Glen - a Quiraing-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

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 Beach

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.

Kilt Rock

Brother's Point

A remote headland just south of Kilt Rock, Brother’s Point is a hidden treasure. It is a short hike to some of the most stunning scenery on the island. Very few people visit this place, making it a better experience for those “in the know."

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.

Bearreraig Bay

The area between Portree & Staffin on the east coast of Skye is world-famous for fossils, & Bearreraig Bay is one of the most interesting places to look for them. It is also one of the sites in Scotland where dinosaur skeletons have been found.

The walk down to Bearreraig Bay is steep & to get onto the beach involves crossing a stream which on some days can be impassable. The stream makes a spectacular waterfall before flowing out into the sea.
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