The Isle of Skye is the largest island in Scotland’s Inner Hebrides and home to some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the UK. It had been a dream of mine to visit Skye for a long time and during our 8-day trip to Scotland it became a reality. Arriving on the island by ferry after two nights on Mull, we headed straight to an Airbnb in Portree which is the main town on Skye. It was late afternoon when we reached the accommodation and rather than rush out to the spectacular scenery on our first night on the island, we took a stroll into the brightly coloured centre of town. Everywhere you turned in Portree harbour you were spoilt for choice with postcard-worthy views and landscapes. We couldn’t wait to get outside the next day and explore the great outdoors. The Old Man of Storr hill was our planned destination and we were looking forward to fitting a couple of hours of walking in before the weather turned. With the foot of the hill only 15 minutes from Portree by car, the trail was really close to our accommodation.
Preparing for the Old Man of Storr
The Old Man of Storr trail is appropriate for every kind of walker. From regular hikers to seasonal walkers like myself who only really walk in the countryside on holiday, we noticed people of all ages on the path. IsleofSkye.com considers Old Man of Storr to be a medium difficulty walk and with how slippery it can get in the wet weather, I’m sure walking boots are a great help. I managed okay in some running trainers however and was grateful for my waterproof jacket. The weather was very gloomy that morning and the rain started not long after we’d joined the trail.
Walking up the hill
Despite being more tiring, the uphill section of the walk was my favourite. I kept admiring the landscape as we walked, snapping photos of the views from the path. It took about 45 minutes to reach the top and it was both a good workout and an opportunity to look out at Skye’s magnificent scenery. The only downside was the amount of mud we encountered; thank goodness for the Airbnb and a washing machine!
Wonderful views at the top
The final section of the trail before we reached the top was the most challenging. I struggled a little as I don’t have great balance, but thankfully my Dad was there to provide a helping hand. By the time I reached the peak I was so excited; the views were spectacular! I’m not normally a fan of heights, but the anxiety was worth it to be able to witness such amazing views. Skye really is beautiful.
Walking back down
After a few photos it was time to head back down and start the descent. I found it both quicker and less tiring than the way up, but definitely needed to concentrate on the ground more and watch out for the slippery mud. Fortunately there were lots of bits of rock in the path that would break your fall, if you started to slide.
One of the things I noticed was how kind everybody was on the trail. Fellow walkers gave you lots of room and patiently waited if you were nervous coming down the hill. The descent only took us about 30 minutes and the rain was getting much heavier on the way down so we were very grateful to reach the car so quickly.
Returning to Portree
After finishing the walk it was time to head back to Portree for some food. There are quite a few options in the idyllic town centre and we really appreciated having a warm meal in the dry.
We were very unlucky with the weather during our time on Skye but that didn’t stop us having fun. We were able to complete the Old Man of Storr ahead of the predicted downpour and also enjoy the shops and restaurants of central Portree during the wettest part of the day. Skye is lovely; I can’t wait to head back to the island one day and try another walking trail.
Thanks for reading my blog today.
Love Kat xxxx