A short linear walk from the Storr car park to the iconic Old Man of Storr - the longest geological landslip in Britain that has exposed the innards of an ancient landscape sculpted by volcanic activity.
Starting from The Storr car park on the A855; your walk begins with a steep climb on good gravel paths then rocky steps, and changes to a faint path beneath the Old Man of Storr and continues on past the needle rock. Ascend to follow a level path beneath craggy cliffs. There is a promontory after the Old Man where you will get excellent views back over the area (which is very popular with photographers). This is a linear walk, with the possibility to extend to the trig-point and summit of the ridge in good weather when you'll get rewarding views over to the Isles of Raasay and Rona.
We recommend taking a taxi to the start/end of the walk (around £12-15 each way; contact Gus’ Taxis: +44 (0) 1478 613000). Alternatively, you could take the 57 bus (the Storr car park is a request drop-off/pick-up stop – please flag down/signal to the driver).
The unique landscape of the Storr, the highest point on the Trotternish Ridge, is so alien in appearance that Hollywood film director Ridley Scott used the Trotternish Ridge as a filming location for his science fiction film Prometheus. Below the Storr is the Sanctuary, home to the extraordinary rock pinnacles the Old Man of Storr and the Needle Rock. To appreciate this amazing landscape at it's best you may wish to arrive before 10am, as the path is so popular it can be busy from late morning onwards.
The first half of the path is very well constructed but in an effort to maintain the wildness of the landscape the gravel paths ends below the Old Man of Storr. From here the path becomes fainter, and flattens out, but it's best to have sturdy footwear with you and to take care after heavy rainfall as the path could be muddy and very slippery (walking poles may also help in this case).
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Points of Interest
The spectacular Trotternish Ridge and Old Man of Storr formations are the rest of time's influence on an unstable geological history. The bedrock geology here is formed of ancient lavas layered on top of a weak sedimentary base. Over time the sedimentary rocks have weakened and the weight of the weight of the lavas above has caused the ground to collapse in a series of landslides throughout hisotry. The latest is thought to be as recent as 15,000 years ago, but there are other old landslides that can be dated to before the ice ages of the Cenozoic era. The result is certainly a beautifully striking landscape, so unique and alien in appearance that Hollywood film director Ridley Scott used the Trotternish Ridge as a filming location for his science fiction film Prometheus.
Portree is a charming harbour and is the bustling capitol of the island. With it's colourful waterfront and many cafes, shops, restaurants it is a great base from where to explore the Isle of Skye.
Food & Drink
There's a Co-op supermarket in Portree where you get a picnic lunch and snacks for the walk before setting off. There isn't anywhere to eat along the way so do take enough a water for an entire day's walk. On arriving back in Portree you will see plenty of cafes, shops and restaurants; in the busy summer season we recommend calling ahead to make a booking for your evening meal.
This walk appears in the following itineraries:
Being on a mixture of well established track, and faint paths you can wear either hiking boots or hiking shoes if you prefer. The weather in Scotland can be very variable all year so make sure you have waterproofs, layers and a hat, buff/scarf, and gloves with you. You may also like to use walking poles as these can help by taking some pressure off your knees on steep slopes, or help with balance when the ground underfoot could be slippery. As ever it's always good to take some snacks and plenty of water to have along the way.