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Fitness
Hiking trail

Portree to The Storr (with landslide diversion)

Hiking trail · Highland
Responsible for this content
Macs Adventure Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Leave Portree Bay behind and turn left to follow the coastal path.
    / Leave Portree Bay behind and turn left to follow the coastal path.
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure
  • / The trig point at the high point on the ridge
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure
  • / Portree to The Storr
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure
  • / A walker on the grassy cliff path
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure
m 500 400 300 200 100 -100 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km

A magnificent day of coastal walking with wonderful views to Raasay and Torridon. Note that much of the walk today is not on paths so you will need the ability to navigate with map and compass. 

difficult
14.1 km
4:30 h
580 m
420 m

We recommend that you don't do the walk in bad weather/visibility due to the exposed nature of the path.  In bad visibility the way may also be difficult to see so good map reading and compass skills are essential.  

*** This route provides a diversion around the 2017 landslide on the tree-lined coastal slopes just after leaving Portree.  The path is closed until the surface can be stabilised.***  

The landslide diversion means that the path begins in Portree; to avoid walking on the minor road to Torvaig begin in Somerled  Square, Portree and follow a path out of town to Torvaig to rejoin the route. 

From Torvaig farm follow the coastline, with steep drops down to the right, on a vague grassy path to reach the trigpoint on the highest point of the coastal ridge (Sithean Bhealaich Chumhaing) to be rewarded with fantastic views.  Follow the coastline north towards the The Storr Lochs Dam (Loch Leatharn Dam) car park crossing moorland, all the while with views of The Old Man of Storr ahead.  

  

Taxi transfer:

Your taxi will meet you at the end of the walk either at The Storr dam car park or The Storr car park.  Please see your accommodation sheet for the transfer time and place, and call the transfer partner directly within plenty of time to arrange an earlier/later time if this doesn't suit.

 

Author’s recommendation

We recommend taking a good camera/smartphone with you on this route because the views are certainly worth capturing.  The vista towards The Storr and Trotternish Ridge ahead is spectacular, as is the outlook over the cliffs and the sea on your right.  

outdooractive.com User
Author
Catherine Allan 
Updated: September 12, 2018

Difficulty
difficult
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
366 m
Lowest point
13 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

We recommend that you don't do the walk in bad weather/visibility due to the exposed nature of the path.  In bad visibility the path may also be difficult to see so good map reading and compass skills are essential.  

The route is pathless, boggy and rough for the final 3 km before the dam; preceeded by excellent cliff-top walking with steep ground to the right. The path descending from the cliff tops is indistinct and again is steep in places.  The cliffs are exposed and there is no shelter on this walk; food and water, and warm/waterproof clothing is required.

Tips, hints and links

 

Points of Interest

The Old Man of Storr

All along this route, looking north, you'll be able to see The Storr.  It is the highest point on the Trotternish Ridge, the longest known geological landslip in Britain, which exposes the innards of an ancient landscape sculpted by volcanic activity. Below The Storr is The Sanctuary, home to the extraordinary rock pinnacles the Old Man of Storr and Needle Rock. This landscape is 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

Portree is the charming town from which you'll depart to begin the route. It is the island's capital, and 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 on this remote walk so do take enough a  water for an entire day's walk.  You will pass plenty of cafes, shops and restaurants on leaving Portree.  

 

Start

Somerled Square, Portree (20 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
57.413044, -6.193746
UTM
29V 668552 6366844

Destination

The Storr car park

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00 km – Begin your walk where Wentworth Street joins the north east corner of Somerled Square in Portree’s centre.  Follow Wentworth street then in 100 m TURN LEFT onto Bank Street and continue to follow the road keeping the sea on your right. 

0.15 km – BEAR RIGHT onto Barraid Bosville Street and continue along the pavement keeping the sea on your right. 

0.40 km – BEAR RIGHT off Staffin Road to follow Scorrybreac Road, continue to follow this road for 400m.

0.80 km – TURN LEFT off Scorrybreac road before the car park and pass through the trees (the Cuillin Hills hotel is in the trees on your right-hand side).  In a small residential area (Coolin Hills Estate) follow the road for 200m then TURN RIGHT off the road into the trees and ascend on a narrow path with small steps in the path.

1.50 km – As you approach the farm on open ground continue STRAIGHT ON between the farm buildings, taking care of any animals, heavy machinery, or other farm vehicles.  Follow the farm track until you reach the farm house ahead on your right-hand side.

2.00 km – With the house on your right BEAR RIGHT to follow the road passing the house on your right.  In 30m before reaching a wooden gate with trees surrounding you BEAR RIGHT off the road onto a wide grassy path to follow the route across the field.  Take care of any animals in the field.  Follow the route in the direction of the sea for ~300m.

4.50 km - Soon you will reach a fence, cross using the stile and climb the steep open slopes above, keep the cliffs a safe distance to your right and climb to the high point of the escarpent (392m).

6.00 km – On reaching the trigpoint at 392m – Sithean Bheallaich Chumhaing – keep the cliffs a safe distance on your right and continue STRAIGHT ON following the vague grassy path north to Craig Ulatota (364m) and Fiurnean (349m).

9.60 km - Continue STRAIGHT ON to follow the clifftop to a small crag where you will descend by an easy grassy gully.  Continue north across boggy ground to reach the wooden post at the end of the coastal ridge. 

12.20 km – At the wooden post with the house ahead TURN LEFT onto the minor road and follow it to the electricity board buildings at the dam at the head of Loch Leathan.

12.30 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON the road to the dam to reach the car park in 400m.  If you are stopping here to meet your taxi transfer at The Storr Dam Car Park then they will meet you here.

If you are meeting your taxi at The Storr Car Park then continue to follow the remainder of the route beyond the dam car park for ~2 km. 

13.60 km – At the T-junction with the A855 main road with a bus stop on the corner TURN RIGHT to continue on the grass verge towards The Storr car park.  The car park and information boards are on the left-hand side of the road in 500m. 

14.10 km - Finish at The Storr car park with information boards on the left-hand side of the A855 road.  

 

Taxi transfer:

Your taxi will meet you at the end of the walk either at The Storr dam car park or The Storr car park.  Please see your accommodation sheet for the transfer time and place, and call the transfer partner directly within plenty of time to arrange an earlier/later time if this doesn't suit.

Note


all notes on protected areas

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

The majority of the route passes over rough ground on a very faint path.  After rainfall the route can be boggy underfoot so we recommend wearing waterproof hiking boots.  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 is rough or slippery.  The path is exposed to the elements - the weather on Skye can be variable all year so make sure you have waterproofs, warm layers and a hat, buff/scarf, and gloves with you.  There are no places to eat along the way so make sure to bring a packed lunch, snacks, and plenty of water (at least 2 ltires).   


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Difficulty
difficult
Distance
14.1 km
Duration
4:30h
Ascent
580 m
Descent
420 m

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