Hiking Quiraing and its dramatic landscape
Quiraing, together with the Old Man of Storr is probably the most visited place on the Isle of Skye. It has “rain” in the name, so if possible choose a clear day and don’t forget your camera. You definitely won’t be disappointed!
The walk passes through the most spectacular landscape in Scotland. We were so lucky with the weather that day. I would say it was even a bit too bright for photography.
Where is Quiraing?
The Quiraing is situated in Trotternish, the northernmost peninsula on the Isle of Skye. It is a part of Trotternish ridge and it has been formed by a massive landslip which resulted in high cliffs, pinnacles of rock, and hidden plateaus.
Interestingly, the Quiraing is the only part of the slip that is still moving and the road at its base requires repair each year.
We parked at the Quiraing Car Park, £5 for an all-day ticket, payable by card. From the car park go towards the Quiraing post with the information sign which is pretty obvious. When the path forks out, go to left and up. (The right fork path will be your return journey).
Most of people do this 4-mile route the other way – anticlockwise but we did it clockwise starting with a bit of a scramble up the hill. You can download our route on Viewranger App for free later in the post.
It is advisable that this route is attempted in good weather conditions as it can be muddy, slippery and windy on the ridge otherwise.
TIP! If you don't fancy walking far, you can still see the best of the Quiraing by walking 300m or so on the main trail. (starting our route in reverse or from the information post to the right). You will be rewarded with stunning views.
Soon you will be rewarded with amazing views. While at the top, the car park gets smaller and smaller.
Here is the perfect spot to catch a breath, have a drink, and enjoy the truly breathtaking landscape after that climb.
Follow the path to the right along the ridge.
If you have a dog, make sure it’s on a lead because these beauties might be watching you. 🙂
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The Table, the Needle and the Prison
The most notable rock formations on this walk are the Table, the Needle and the Prison. The Needle is a jagged 120 foot high (37m) landmark pinnacle, a remnant of the landslip.
Northwest of the Needle there is a grassy miniature valley formed by the collapse of part of the summit plateau during the ancient landslip, called The Table.
Finally, southwest of the Table is the Prison, a pyramidal rocky peak which can resemble a medieval keep when viewed from the right angle.
Our route lead us above the ridge and back below the ridge. I think you can walk up to the Needle but we didn’t fancy the steep, loose scramble.
The following photo is the only picture I took of a man wearing a kilt on our Scottish trip. Is he a real Scott or a tourist getting into a spirit? I think the latter. 🙂
The outlook across the sea and Staffin Bay to the Torridon Mountains is just spectacular. What an amazing view! Have a look at the video below.
Once you join the path below the ridge, it is pretty straight forward back to the car park. I enjoyed the beautiful purple hues of heather in bloom.
Final thoughts on Quiraing
What a lovely day that was! Quiraing was by far my favourite place to hike on our Isle of Skye trip this time. Such spectacular views with a very dramatic, unique landscape. If you are on the Isle of Skye, this hike is a must.
Have you walked around Quiraing?
What was your experience? Let me know in the comments below. 🙂
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