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The Quiraing - Isle of Skye

Updated: Jun 20, 2022

There's no question about it, you just cant come to Scotland without coming to Skye, it offers up beauty, romance and staggering scenery all in a, relatively, small area. A Scotland in miniature almost. If you have ever seen tourist board images of Scotland its likely that at least a couple of that are from Skye. That said one of the most scenic locations on Skye is The Quiraing (pronounced cuh-rayng) and don't just take my word for it, you can take that from Hollywood, where a number of major movies have used it as a backdrop.

The Quiraing forms part of the Trotternish ridge that runs right along the peninsula, of the same name, on the northernmost arm of the Isle of Skye. This entire ridge complex was formed by a series of giant landslips with the Quiraing section being the only part that is still active. You can still see evidence of this movement through the damage it does to the access and nearby roads. It moves to such an extent the roads have to be repaired on a yearly basis.

Access to the high cliffs, rock pinnacles and formations created by the landslips is very easy with an access road taking you directly from the edge of Staffin Bay and the main A855 (main road that takes you up the eastern edge of the Peninsula). You can also drive onto the summit from the other direction, heading in from Uig. Uig being where you would get the ferry from if you are looking to head out to Tarbet and the Outer Hebrides.

When coming here you really head here for the hiking, which allows you to fully enjoy the breath-taking views of the cliffs and views out over Staffin bay. From the main car park you can start the Quiraing loop walk, which is around 6km in length, is a fairly easy walk in terms of distance and takes you back to where you started at the main carpark. Although it is not a physically challenging walk it can be a little tricky and dangerous as the narrow path takes you along steep cliff edges and does involve some light scrambles. It is not recommended to do in bad weather, such as high winds or when the visibility is low. We have taken our young kids along the route, 1 year old in a baby carrier backpack and the 6 year old on foot, and it does get a little iffy so would not recommend it unless you are comfortable with the conditions yourself as you will need to help the kids at various points. Please also keep a close eye on them and not let them run about unobserved as we have seen on more than one occasion kids almost run off some of steep cliff edges that are not far off the paths and not always obvious.

The area is very popular and, like the rest of Skye, the car park will fill up very quickly so we advise arriving as early as possible. This is particularly true during the summer months. The walk up from Staffin is only a couple of miles so you can walk up from there before starting the walk proper and may be an alternative if the lookout carpark is full. Parking does have a fee and there are no facilities are available here. You can stock up on supplies at Staffin or at the little red roofed house, called McKenzie stores, that is just before your turn off the main road, if heading from Portree.

Whilst this is a stunning place to visit you will likely to be able to visit some of the other must visit locations in this part of Skye on the same day. Some of these are the Dinosaur footprints at An Corran beach, the Kilt rock cliffs and even head over towards Uig and visit the Fairy Glen, to name but a few. Check out the other blogs posts to find out more information on these.

 

Directions

Getting here is fairly simple as its only about 20 miles,40min drive, from the main town on Skye, Portree. The you take the main A855 road north towards Staffin, and head through the small settlement. Here and at the little red roofed house (called McKenzie stores) you will find the last places you can stop get some food and supplies. There is a small left you can take just beyond the post office that will lead you directly up to the Quiraing car park. It is at this point the road returns to the single track road with passing places. You can also reach Quiraing along this same road but in the opposite direction from, Uig which is only about 6 miles away but is along the single track road.


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