UK & Ireland

Isle of Skye

Skye Walks

Welcome to my walking, rambling and hiking travel blog. My passion for walking started many years ago when I took a holiday in Scotland and discovered Skye, a walker’s paradise. Since then I’ve revisited Skye many times and now travel all over the world taking walking holidays whenever I can.

In between overseas walking holidays I walk somewhere in the UK most weekends and I do my best to document them, hence the reason for starting this travel website.

I hope you enjoy reading about my travels and if you would like to know more please sign up to my newsletter for updates and the occasional giveaway when I post them.

Skye where it all started

For me back in 1980’s I took a small family holiday on the Isle of Skye and thought I’d combine a couple of gentle guided walks with the normal family holiday activities. When I got to see the dramatic unspoiled scenery on the walks, those special experiences had a lasting effect on me, and I was totally hooked.

Wherever in the world you choose to walk there are always options regardless of your walking abilities and interests.  The best thing about walking holidays are they are relaxed and flexible. Moderate walks are taken at a leisurely pace with time to observe and interpret the fabulous scenery, history and wildlife.

Wherever in the world you decide to take a walking holiday make sure your base is situated somewhere central to where you want to be. When it comes to hotel or B&B accommodation I opt for somewhere comfortable and homely, within easy access or guided or independent walks.

My first walking holiday on the Isle of Skye was based near Duntulm Castle on the northern-most tip of the Trotternish peninsula.

Duntulm Castle Hotel

I stayed at the marvellous Duntulm Castle Hotel which I’m fairly sure it is still operating. It may not be the same owners now as I’ve not been there for many years.

More by luck than judgement Duntulm turned out to be a great base for a walking holiday. It is located on the northern tip of the Trotternish peninsula. It was a very warm and friendly place to stay if planning a Skye walking holiday.

Trotternish boasts some of the most spectacular land and seascapes in the Scottish Highlands and Islands. Walking is unsurpassed with dramatic coastline, moorland, hills and mountains. Many of the walks, including the famous Old Man of Storr & Quiriang are described in all the best walking guide books.

Apart from walking I tried some other activities including a pony trek and some cycling. They had bikes you could borrow.

Not me but other travellers tried kayaking and sailing which as you can imagine is pretty spectacular off the Isle of Skye.

For me the beauty of walking as a way of exploring this magical, timeless place is you get to see the ‘real Skye’.

Quirang Isle of Skye

Real Eye Opener

More than anything this is first walking holiday, in Trotternish, just allowed me to totally relax on holiday like I’d never done before.

The remoteness of the place with its sea air brings a calmness over you that is difficult to explain. All my work and personal troubles just seemed to melt away.

I took my time I wasn’t walking like I was on a route march trying to get accepted into the SAS. I find that even now I’m a far more experienced walker/hiker, with much better fitness levels, I still take things at a sensible pace. I like to put the emphasis on enjoyment and safe, gentle exercise.

If you just want exercise you can pound the pavements of your hometown you don’t need to book a holiday for that. If you are taking a holiday in scenic place, then make the most of it I say.

Isle of Skye Tips

If you are planning a holiday on Skye, try and make sure you have a few options for things to do that can vary/depend on the weather.

It’s often said that the weather on the Isle of Skye can change three times a day! So, if you are planning to walk in the hills save that for a good weather day. Coastal walks and other activities can be done at other times.

I always have a plan for my next day and check the weather each evening, but you can’t really be sure until the morning.

If you are taking the family then there are a number of walking and rambling groups that do organised walks that will allow older children.

I generally prefer self-guided walks but I’m not averse to a guided walk, especially if there are a lot of historical points of interest along the way. Most guides are excellent where the history side of things are concerned.

Eat a good breakfast is a top tip for most walkers at any time but when I’m on Skye I seem to eat like a horse as the bracing sea breeze seems to fuel my appetite. If you are walking any real distances, then you’ll wish you’d had a full English to keep you going about 2 hours in!

There were some great exhibitions, visitor centres, talks and demonstrations included in my holiday package when I stayed at the Duntulm Castle Hotel.

What the Isle of Skye has to offer

When it comes to the spectacular walks Trotternish has to offer it would take some beating anywhere else in the United Kingdom. Take your pick of views, moors, mountains, lochs or the sea. Its all there and most of it on a single walk.

The mountains and rocks formed throughout millions of years of this country’s history is on display almost casually as if its no big deal. It might be no big deal to the locals but for a city girl like me I found it jaw dropping.

Storr Isle of Skye, Scotland

I particularly like the Storr rock pinnacle which stands in front of the impressive Storr mountain. For the really adventurous if you scale the mountain it offers amazing views over the Little Minch to the munros of Torridon.

Quiraing is also a mighty impressive natural rock formation which stands comparison to any other throughout Scotland. If you walk up Storr or Quiraing and can gaze at the stacks, sheer cliffs, waterfalls and caves and not be impressed then there is something wrong with you.

If you are a birdwatcher, history or a geology geek it must be a great place to visit because the island is just haven for so many species on those wonderful rocks and cliffs. Seeing the puffins on the cliffs and eagles soaring overhead is a bit special.

I have no clue when it comes to geology and pre-historic stuff, but I did spend an afternoon fossil hunting on the Staffin shoreline which was way more fun than it sounds. My guide on one of the guided walks I took waxed lyrical about the pre-historic stuff and the Celts and invading Vikings.

After taking holidays in my younger days in places like Majorca or the Costa del Sol the Isle of Skye felt like I’d landed on another planet.

What a place though. It has all the heritage, history, culture, wildlife and landscape views you could ever wish for.

Skye Warmth

Everyone I met couldn’t have been more warm or helpful. The guides, tutors and locals had a wealth of knowledge to impart. It’s hard not to be touched by the warmth and friendliness of the Skye community still steeped in many Celtic & Gaelic traditions.

While I was there, I eat some of the greatest porridge to be found anywhere in the world and drank some of the finest whiskey (not at the same time).

I would wholeheartedly recommend a walking holiday on the Isle of Skye.

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