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Hiking trail

Storr Dam to Portree

· 2 reviews · Hiking trail
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Macs Adventure Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Storr to Portree coastal path
    / Storr to Portree coastal path
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure
  • 500m - turn left off the minor road onto the path.
    / 500m - turn left off the minor road onto the path.
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure
  • Bearreraig Bay viewpoint and funicular railway
    / Bearreraig Bay viewpoint and funicular railway
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure
  • Storr loch and The Storr in the distance
    / Storr loch and The Storr in the distance
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure
  • Storr to Portree coastal path
    / Storr to Portree coastal path
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure
  • Trig-point at the highest point on the coastal path
    / Trig-point at the highest point on the coastal path
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure
  • / Thursday, 5 October 2017, 16:06
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure
0 150 300 450 m km 2 4 6 8 10 12

Walk the dramatic section of coast between The Storr and Portee with spectacular vistas back to The Storr and out over the ocean the Isle of Raasay and beyond.  

difficult
13.1 km
6:00 h
397 m
519 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 path may also be difficult to see so good map reading and compass skills are essential.  

The walk begins at The Storr Lochs Dam (Loch Leatharn Dam) car park and hugs the coastline all the way to the charming town of Portree.  Begin near the Bearreraig Bay viewpoint and make your way across moorland following coastal cliffs to the trigpoint on the highest point of the coastal ridge (Sithean Bhealaich Chumhaing).  From here the path descends towards the entrance of Portree Bay, and you cross some farmland before joining a path through the trees on the sea shore to enter the town of Portree.  

Author’s recommendation

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

outdooractive.com User
Author
Catherine Allan 
Updated: February 25, 2019

Difficulty
difficult
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
366 m
Lowest point
9 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 first 3 km; excellent cliff-top walking follows with some steep ground off to the left. 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.

Equipment

The majority of the route passes over rough ground on a very faint path.  After rainfall the route can also 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 could be slippery.  The path is very exposed and the weather on Skye can be very variable all year so make sure you have waterproofs, warm layers and a hat, buff/scarf, and gloves with you.  As there are no places to eat along the way make sure to take lunch, snacks, and plenty of water.   

Tips, hints and links

 

Points of Interest

The Old Man of Storr

From today's route looking back from the dam car park 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 awaiting you at the end of today;s route.  It is the island's capitol, 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 re-entering Portree; you can read their menus and call to make a booking for your evening meal later on.  Making a booking is certainly reccomended as Portree can be very busy in the summer months.  

 

This walk appears in the following itineraries:

WSSSKRAIL

WSSHIGH

WSSLWIS

Start

The Storr Lochs Dam (Loch Leatharn Dam) car park (139 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
57.493508, -6.153384
UTM
29V 670600 6375898

Destination

Somerled Square, Portree

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00 km – From the Storr Lochs Dam Car Park, continue STRAIGHT ON across the bridge over the dam, following the minor road. 

0.50 km – TURN RIGHT up the footpath by the cattle grid (skirting to the right of the buildings).

0.55 km – BEAR LEFT at a wooden post, down the footpath beside the funicular railway, to reach the viewpoint over Bearreraig Bay.

0.65 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON to teach the viewpoint over Bearreraig Bay before turning back to retrace your steps and ascend back to the wooden post.

0.75 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON when you reach the wooden post on an indistinct path towards another post in the distance, on high ground.

1.10 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON upon reaching the second post, head south across the open moorland, keeping to high ground on the grassy knolls (broken by occasionally descents across boggy cols). The path is indistinct and usually boggy.

After a few km the grassy crest will end and you should cross the moorland, heading for a break in the cliffs ahead, which is a grassy gully.

3.55 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON to climb up the grassy slopes of the gully.

3.60 km – BEAR LEFT to follow the cliff path to the next grassy slope.

4.30 km – BEAR RIGHT up the next grassy slope.

4.50 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON the footpath that follows the line of the cliff edge; keeping a safe distance away.  You will be walking to the very high point of the escarpment so avoid any paths that descend to the left.

5.30 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON over the remains of an old stone wall.

5.90 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON and ascend on the cliff path watching your footing.  Continue to reach the summit of Fiurnean, then cross a col before ascending to Craig Ulatota.

7.40 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON upon reaching the concrete trig-point at the summit of Sithean Bhealaich Chumhaing.

8.90 km – TURN RIGHT after the escarpment at Rubha na h-Airdre Glaise then follow the escarpment as it turns south west, before ending at Creag Mhor.

At the entrance to Portree Bay, TURN RIGHT and follow the cliff path which overlooks the fish farm (circular structures in the water below).

9.70 km – TURN RIGHT to walk inland and avoid the crags between here and the pastures below.

9.80 km – BEAR RIGHT along the indistinct path, and pick your way carefully down the hillside to a wire fence.  On your descent you’ll see sheep tracks that blend with paths made by other walkers.

10.00 km – BEAR LEFT after crossing a stile in the wire fence, then follow the path downhill (alongside a stream). Be careful in wet weather as this can be very slippery.

10.20 km – BEAR LEFT to cross over the stream, it will now be on your right-hand side and continue descending on the path following line of the fence.

10.30 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON to cross over the stream again and descend to reach a stone wall.

10.40 km – BEAR LEFT and descend across a grassy field. Take care of any livestock which may be in the fields – if the field is occupied it’s best to walk around the outside of the fence.   

10.70 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON across a stile in the fence.

10.90 km – BEAR LEFT after crossing a stile in the fence then follow the footpath as it crosses the field to a gap in the low stone wall ahead.  

11.30 km – TURN LEFT to pass through the gap in the stone wall and join the footpath. This footpath will head towards the coast and soon you will have great views out over the bay. 

11.90 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON passed the stone bench (a good place to stop and take a breath and enjoy the view before walking into Portree).

12.60 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON through the wooden gate and across the small wooden bridge. Then BEAR LEFT at the fork in the path to pass the boathouse on your right-hand side.  

12.80 km – BEAR LEFT after walking through the car park to join the minor tarmac road.

12.90 km – BEAR LEFT to cross the bridge.

13.20 km – TURN LEFT at the junction with the main road to turn onto Scorrybreac Road.

13.50 km – TURN LEFT onto Bank Street. Then TURN RIGHT after ~25m onto Wentworth Street.

13.60 km – Finish the day’s route as you enter Somerled Square in the heart of bustling Portree (the main bus station area is here along with many of shops, cafes and restaurants to get some refreshments).

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


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Reviews

4.0
(2)
Catherine Allan 
May 20, 2019 · Macs Adventure
Thank you for your feedback, we hope you had a lovely walk. Yes, the landslide debris has now been cleared from the path for the 2019 season so it's possible to walk the normal route (this one).
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Alison Sterley
May 18, 2019 · Community
No need to hike the landslide diversion.
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Reviews
Difficulty
difficult
Distance
13.1 km
Duration
6:00 h
Ascent
397 m
Descent
519 m

Statistics

: h
 km
 m
 m
Highest point
 m
Lowest point
 m
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