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Ardvasar to Ord

· 2 reviews · Hiking route · Highland Council
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  • View from the coast
    / View from the coast
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Cuillin Ridge from the beach
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Nets washed up on the shore
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Walkers on the clifftop
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Loch a Ghlinne
    Photo: Macs Adventure
m 150 100 50 -50 20 15 10 5 km
From Ardvasar on the southern tip of the Sleat Peninsula cross moorland, pass through pine forests and walk around clifftops looking towards the iconic Cuillin Ridge before finishing in the tiny village of Ord. 
Distance 23.8 km
7:00 h
338 m
353 m
147 m
2 m

A ruggedly scenic and challenging day walking up the Sleat Peninsula, taking in some the finest views that Skye has to offer. Beginning in the small village of Ardvasar in you will ascend to higher moorland before descending through small pine forests and passing Loch a Glinne and its surrounding waterfalls and streams. The valley opens up to take in a panoramic sea view before you emerge on to the cliff tops overlooking the mighty Cuillin Ridge. Look out for sea eagles and golden eagles that are occasionally seen circling in the sky above. The final part of the day will take you through meandering country lanes and wooded hills. The sea is always in sight until the conclusion on the shoreline of Ord's scenic bay. 

Please note - this is a challenging route and if the weather is bad and visibility poor, consider an alternative route (see safety information section) or enjoy a day exploring in one of Skye's small craft villages.  

Author’s recommendation

Be sure to keep an eye out for the elusive sea eagles and the golden eagles.  Some hikers will be lucky enough to spot these majestic birds circling above the clifftops.
Highest point
147 m
Lowest point
2 m
Best time of year

Safety information

There are some road crossings, always be aware of traffic and be sure to use a pavement/sidewalk where possible. Where it isn’t, walk on the right-hand side of the road in the direction of oncoming traffic.

Some of the ground can be uneven, with rocky/pebbly beaches and muddy/boggy grassland. Ensure you have suitable footwear and step cautiously when needed. When crossing streams, be wary of slippery and loose stones.  Walking poles are recommended, otherwise you can usually find a more suitable crossing a little up or downstream.

Parts of the route follow clifftops, so take care to walk a reasonable distance from the edge - particularly in low visibility. If visibility is especially poor, consider changing your route. Rather than turning off the road at 6.7km, if you remain on the road you will still reach your destination (the road runs all the way to Ord) but you will avoid the clifftop section of the walk.



Tips and hints


Points of Interest

The Armadale Castle and Gardens

The Armadale Castle and Gardens contain the ruins of an epic castle dating from 1709, home of Clan Donald, a powerful clan who controlled much of the region for almost 400 years. It also contains an award-winning museum and varied forest gardens and trails. For more information: 01471 844305 or


Crofters Village

The ruined crofter's cottages at 8.8 km are remnants of a fraught and unstable time in Scotland's history where the crofters were evicted from their homes, which were then burnt to discourage them from returning. This is one of the reasons the Scottish can be found all over the world, as they were forced to flee and find a new life.


Cuillin Ridge

From the clifftops on today's walk you can see the mighty Cuillin Ridge - the Sleat Peninsula is one of the best vantage points for this iconic rock ridge 12 km in length. It attracts adventurous mountaineers from all over the world to attempt a traverse of the ridge (with 4000 m of total ascent and descent).


Food and Drink  

The shop at the start of the route in Ardvasar is the only place on the walk to pick up provisions. The usual opening hours are 8:30am - 5:30pm Monday to Friday and 8:30am - 1:30pm on Saturday. The shop is closed on Sunday.




Ardvasar Hotel (12 m)
OS Grid
NG 63257 03279
57.059539, -5.906119
57°03'34.3"N 5°54'22.0"W
30V 323772 6327765


Small car park next to the bridge in Ord

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00 km - Begin day's route at the Ardvasar Hotel.  With your back to the hotel, facing the sea, TURN LEFT and walk on the right-hand side of the road (beware of traffic on the road).

0.28 km - Immediately after passing three large boat sheds on the left, carefully cross the road and BEAR LEFT, crossing a small wooden bridge following a sign-post to ‘Armadale Castle and Gardens’.

0.57 km - Continue STRAIGHT ON through the crossroads onto the gravel path, ignoring the signpost going up the hill on your left.

0.71 km - Cross a small wooden bridge and BEAR LEFT onto a path that runs adjacent to the main road, 75 m further you will come to a right turn where you can cross the road to a shop, Post Office and garage. Beware of traffic.

1.10 km - As the path runs out continue STRAIGHT ON joining the main road leading to Armadale Castle, stay to the left-hand side of the pavement with the metal barrier to your left.

1.30 km - TURN LEFT at the Clan Donald visitors centre (there are toilet facilities in the centre), cross the car park to the gift shop. In the gift shop, you can buy admission to Armadale Castle and Gardens, that the route goes through for £8.50 (at time of writing), then continue STRAIGHT ON through the iron gates.

*Alternatively if you would like to bypass the gardens you can stay on the main road and turn left at 2 km, taking a path back into the woods to rejoin the route.

1.50 km - Continue STRAIGHT ON, following the sign for the castle ruins, crossing a bridge after 40 m.

1.60 km - Continue STRAIGHT ON passing the castle on your left, there is an impressive view to your right.

1.70 km - TURN RIGHT to follow a sign for the blue nature trail, after 10 m BEAR RIGHT into the woods following the red markers.

2.00 km - BEAR LEFT through a large wooden gate with a signpost ‘Red nature trail and hilltop viewpoint’

2.20 km - Continue STRAIGHT ON as the path joins another.

2.90 km - At the fork in the path, BEAR LEFT ascending towards a large wooden gate before descending back to the main road.

3.00 km - Cross the road, being careful of traffic, and TURN LEFT ascending up the hill once you have joined the pavement.

3.70 km - TURN LEFT when you reach a red post box and a bus stop on the other side of the road, crossing the road carefully and passing a ‘20% incline’ road sign.

4.60 km - Continue STRAIGHT ON over the first of several cattle grids, being careful of the gaps when crossing or using the gate to the right-hand side.

6.70 km - When you reach a sign for ‘Dail a Bhil’, TURN LEFT to descend on the grassy footpath.

7.20 km - Continue STRAIGHT ON through the wooden gate.

7.60 km - Continue STRAIGHT ON, crossing the first of several streams, being careful of slippery and loose rocks.

8.20 km - TURN RIGHT on to a smaller gravel and grass path.

8.80 km - Continue STRAIGHT ON through the wooden gate passing the ruined crofters cottages to your left.

10.20 km - Follow the path to continue STRAIGHT ON through the woods passing a small ruined building on your right.

11.00 km - As you leave the woods, continue STRAIGHT ON following the path past the red post marker.

11.60 km - Continue STRAIGHT ON through the wooden gate and remain on the path.

12.40 km - Pass a half-ruined building with a red tin roof on the right, before the path peters out, continue STRAIGHT ON, hug the rocky hill on your right-hand side to follow an intermittent rocky and grassy path.

12.70 km - As you reach a small ruined hut on your right, continue STRAIGHT ON and move to higher ground.

13.00 km - As you reach the end of the rock outcrop and can see the coast, BEAR RIGHT to follow the coastline with the sea on your left.

13.70 km - As the grassy land comes to an end join a pebbled beach, cross a small stream and BEAR RIGHT ascending a grass and stone path.

14.10 km - Continue along the cliff tops, being sure to keep a safe distance at all times, and BEAR RIGHT to slightly higher ground.

14.90 km - After descending a little, continue STRAIGHT ON and cross two streams in quick succession.

16.00 km - BEAR RIGHT as you cross the high point and descend towards the village of Achnacloich with the houses visible in the middle distance.

16.50 km - At the bottom of the hill go through the gap in the stone wall and BEAR LEFT towards the village.

16.70 km - After crossing a small stream, continue STRAIGHT ON through two metal gates, keeping the sea on your left.

17.00 km - TURN LEFT, to join the road, and keep the sea on your left as you follow the road around the headland. Continue on this road for 6 km.

23.60 km -  After crossing the bridge in Ord you have arrived at the end of today's route. There is a small grass and gravel car park on your left overlooking the bay, wait here for your onward travel taxi transfer to Broadford. 


all notes on protected areas


OS Grid
NG 63257 03279
57.059539, -5.906119
57°03'34.3"N 5°54'22.0"W
30V 323772 6327765
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


The ground can be uneven, so be sure to wear sturdy walking boots with suitable ankle support.

There are a number of stream crossings where walking poles will make these crossing easier and safer. They also come in handy when crossing uneven ground or making steep descents. 

Basic Equipment for Hiking

  • Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or approach shoes
  • Layered, moisture wicking clothing
  • Hiking socks  
  • Rucksack (with rain cover)
  • Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking poles
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Kit para bolhas
  • Bivy / survival bag  
  • Survival blanket
  • Headlamp
  • Pocket knife
  • Whistle
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Navigation equipment / map and compass
  • Emergency contact details
  • ID
  • The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
  • For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
  • Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.

Questions and answers

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Nick Robins
September 03, 2019 · Community
Amazing hike! Beautiful change in scenery from in the in-land forest to the grassy sea cliffs, with views of the Cuillin Ridge on clear days. The rating of "difficult" is accurate, but with the right gear and decent weather, the hike is very manageable. Recommended gear would be - waterproof boots, water filter (we drank a lot of water), trekking poles, gaiters, extra pair of socks.
Show more
Photo: Nick Robins, Community
Photo: Nick Robins, Community
When you want your waterproof boots! Gaiters would have been nice.
Photo: Nick Robins, Community
Right when you leave the trail towards the ocean and sea cliffs. After the old house
Photo: Nick Robins, Community
Photo: Nick Robins, Community
Photo: Nick Robins, Community

Photos from others

When you want your waterproof boots! Gaiters would have been nice.
Right when you leave the trail towards the ocean and sea cliffs. After the old house
+ 3

23.8 km
7:00 h
338 m
353 m
Highest point
147 m
Lowest point
2 m
Scenic Cultural/historical interest Geological highlights Flora and fauna


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