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The Old Man of Storr Linear Walk

· 3 reviews · Hiking trail · Highland
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  • The Storr
    / The Storr
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure Ltd
  • / The Old Man of Storr
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure
  • / The Sanctuary at Storr
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure Ltd
  • / The view from The Storr
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure Ltd
  • / The Storr loch
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure
m 600 500 400 300 200 100 4 3 2 1 km Old Man Of Storr from below Viewpoint Old Man of Storr Viewpoint Storr Car Park/Bus Stop Storr Car Park/Bus Stop
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.  
easy
Distance 4.5 km
4:00 h
338 m
336 m

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 of extending to a trig-point and summit on the Trotternish Ridge in good weather, where 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). 

Author’s recommendation

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 landscape 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 route is so popular it can be busy from late morning onwards.  
Profile picture of Catherine Allan
Author
Catherine Allan 
Update: May 28, 2021
Difficulty
easy
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
501 m
Lowest point
164 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

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 will also help in this case).  

Tips and hints

Points of Interest

Trotternish Ridge

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

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 make sure bring enough a  water for the hike.  On arriving back in Portree you will find plenty of cafes, shops and restaurants; in the busy summer season we recommend calling ahead to make a booking for your evening meal.  

  

Start

The Storr car park (167 m)
Coordinates:
OS Grid
NG 50909 52938
DD
57.497951, -6.159146
DMS
57°29'52.6"N 6°09'32.9"W
UTM
29V 670235 6376378
w3w 
///potential.hothouse.risky

Destination

The Storr car park

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00 km - Start at the carpark next to the stone pile/cairn that has the information poster for The Old Man of Storr on it, pass the cairn and continue STRAIGHT ON through the metal gate, following the path as it ascends and bears right.

0.18 km - Ignore the left turn, and stay on the track continuing STRAIGHT ON.

1.20 km - Continue STRAIGHT ON through the metal gate and continue on the path as it ascends.

1.60 km - As the path levels out, you will see the Old Man of Storr on your left. Be careful of falling and loose rocks as you continue STRAIGHT ON as the path begins to ascend again.

2.10 km - At the top of the hill, leave the main path briefly to take advantage of a view spot. TURN RIGHT on to a stone outcrop, being careful of the drop, then head back to the path and TURN RIGHT over a small fence using the step provided as the path arcs to the left.

2.30 km - The path ascends steeply with an easy scramble up a rocky surface, then the path arcs to the right, continue STRAIGHT ON.

3.40 km - BEAR LEFT away from the path until you see a gap in the rocks above you after 30 metres, BEAR LEFT again to head through the gap.

4.40 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON over a short section of scree (faint path) to continue on the path on the other side.

4.80 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON across a stile – again do be careful as you need to climb over the barbed wire.

6.10 km – BEAR LEFT then continue on the obvious path back down to the car park (passing through 3 wooden gates on the way) to where you started your walk.

7.20 km – Finish at the road by the Storr car park.

Note


all notes on protected areas

Coordinates

OS Grid
NG 50909 52938
DD
57.497951, -6.159146
DMS
57°29'52.6"N 6°09'32.9"W
UTM
29V 670235 6376378
w3w 
///potential.hothouse.risky
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

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 variable all year so make sure you have waterproofs, warm 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.  

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
  • Blister kit
  • 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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Rating

4.3
(3)
Roel van Elferen
August 21, 2019 · Community
Stunning Views
Show more
Old man 2014-12-18
Photo: Roel van Elferen, Community
Shaun O’Grady
August 08, 2019 · Community
Stunning views, even with low cloud.
Show more
Storr
Photo: Shaun O’Grady, Community
Alison Sterley
May 18, 2019 · Community
Take the bus here, hike the Old Man, then hike back to Portree on either of the Skye Trail alternates.
Show more

Photos from others

Old man 2014-12-18
Storr

Reviews
Difficulty
easy
Distance
4.5 km
Duration
4:00 h
Ascent
338 m
Descent
336 m
Out and back Scenic Healthy climate

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