Exploring Skye's northern peninsula - July 1993
Trotternish Walks with a Camera
Walks with a Camera © Geoff’s Pages 2011
Just a brief pause on Rannoch Moor - time for a bite to eat and a few snaps. We arrived on Skye during the late afternoon, so that we approached Uig just as the ferry was arriving from the outer isles. We couldn't actually see the outer isles - the weather had been cloudy all day, and now had that sort of grey gloomy feel about it - rain on the way...
Day 1: Northbound
Day 2: A wander in the rain
We were staying in the Kilmuir district, and took the opportunity for a "car-less" walk, heading first across the moor to Loch Sneosdal, nestling beneath the north-facing crags of Suidh a'Mhinn and Creag Sneosdal. We had thought of heading across the ridge towards the Quiraing, but the lowering sky suggested otherwise, and when the rain began, we changed direction and headed for
the coast via the quiet Sgeir Lang slipway at Camus Mor. The north facing cliffs, like many other parts of Trotternish, are formed of dark columnar basalt. Much rock has fallen, making an extremely difficult terrain for us to pick our way along. Eventually we rounded the corner beyond the crags, where a plain stony shore marks the line of the coast. Easy walking then took us back to the main road.
Day 3: Beinn Edra
where the drama is - gradual slips over the years have created a fine line of crags, beneath which are the pinnacles and rocks towering over the peaty wasteland below. The rock scenery is seen at its best in the Quiraing and (see Skye '94) the Old Man of Storr. There are golden eagles on Skye. Knowing this, visitors will often claim to have seen them, when what they have seen is one of the many buzzards which inhabit the island. On this occasion we were rewarded with the real thing - I'm sure one in particular was studying us. As it soared high above us, we could see it watching the ground below, almost like a pilot leaning out of the window of his plane to get a better look. The day had started out rather grey and dull, but as we made our way back to the car, the day brightened considerably, and ended with a fine sunny warm evening - back to Camus Mor for a few snaps...
From Uig, a minor road leads over the ridge to Staffin. At the top of the pass, there is space for a number of cars, usually well used by visitors taking the deservedly popular path to the Quiraing, that fantastic jumble of pinnacles beneath the crest of the ridge. On this occasion, however, we would head southwards towards Beinn Edra, the fine peak which overlooks Uig and Staffin. There is a faint path to start off, but this soon peters out. There is no problem with route finding, however - the obvious way follows the crest of the ridge. Almost throughout its length, the western slopes fall gradually to the sea. The eastern side is
Day 4: Lealt Gorge, the Old Man of Storr
Another day of low cloud - so we started with a short walk down to the eastern shore, where the River Lealt descends a rocky gorge to the sea at Inver Tote. About three miles inland, below the main Trotternish ridge, the diminutive Loch Cuithir was found to contain, on its bed, commercial quantities of diatomite, which was brought by narrow
gauge railway to the shore here, to be processed before shipping. The derelict workings still stand, along with an old "Black House" which has seen recent use as a fishermen's bothy. Leaving the gorge, we travelled a little way down the road towards Portree to take a walk up the Old Man of Storr. There is a wealth of crags and pinnacles here; the Old Man, by far the biggest, can be seen clearly from south of Portree. Its height can be gauged from the miniscule figures seen (just) at its base in the misty picture.
Day 5: Homeward
Via Rannoch Moor again, where some bright sunshine and a blue sky made it impossible to pass without stopping for a few more photos....
Rannoch Moor Rannoch Moor The "Hebridean Isles" arrives at Uig View to Loch Sneosdal Loch Sneosdal Foxgloves beside Loch Sneosdal Plant life amid the crags of Camus Mor The rocky shore below the crags of Camus Mor Looking south along the ridge towards Beinn Edra Beinn Edra and the ridge beyond The east side of the ridge Beinn Edra - the view to Uig The view north towards the Quiraing Camus Mor Camus Mor Fishermen, Lealt Fishermen's bothy, Lealt Bothy and diatomite works, Lealt Lealt Gorge Looking back - wild flowers, Lealt Low cloud over Loch Leathan The Old Man of Storr The Old Man in the mist Rannoch Moor Rannoch Moor Back to Walks with a Camera Contact Geoff