We chanced upon Quiraing in Isle of Skye Scotland by a stroke of luck. We heard that Quiraing had beautiful sights and headed in its general direction. We ended up on a country road, and came up close and personal with some sheep. We decided to head back in the direction where we came from, to avoid disturbing the farmers and animal residents of that particular farmland. Along the way, we came across a sign which pointed us in the direction of Quiraing, and we followed the road signs the way there. Appended below are five reasons why Quiraing in Isle of Skye Scotland is a must-go.
I must caution that the drive up to Quiraing can be a tad challenging, and not one for the faint-hearted or inexperienced. The path is narrow and winding, and at times, will merge into a single path. There are inconsiderate drivers who park at passing places, and this renders the movement of cars difficult. But once you’ve found a parking place, the scenery is worth every effort and tight corner one has to navigate.
1. The rugged landscape is one of its kind
To me, the landscape at Quiraing is the best in Isle of Skye. It was one of the most memorable, and possibly the best I had seen at the Scottish Highlands. Reason being, we had been to Glencoe and it was a pretty dry season at that point. The landscape was brown and somewhat dry. At Quiraing in the Isle of Skye, it frequently drizzled, leaving behind a lush green landscape. As I traversed one of the walking paths at Quiraing, I was reminded of some of the scenes from Lord of the Rings, in which the company of men, elves and dwarves travelled from settlement to settlement. It was lovely..
2. It’s easily accessible by car
Yes, Quiraing in Isle of Skye Scotland is easily accessible by car – it’s about a 30 minute drive from the main town of Portree, which was where we stayed at. Unlike the Old Man of Storr trek in which an hour’s worth of walking was required for one to reach the peak, rustic beautiful scenery awaits you once you park the car. Which brings me to the next point.
3. Not much walking is required to enjoy beautiful scenery
I’ve read about challenging hiking trails along the Quiraing area which could go up to 7km long, but one does not need to go too far to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Just a few steps less than 400m will allow you to take breath-taking photos. I like it how some of these mountain cavities allow for water to collect, creating a freshwater lagoon of sorts.
4. There’s interesting geography behind it
If you observe the pictures closely, you’ll see that Quiraing is made of several jagged peaks and rock. It seems that according to Wikipedia, certain parts of the land is still moving and the road at the base requires repairs annually.
According to Wikipedia, The Quiraing is a landslip on the eastern face of Meall na Suiramach, the northernmost summit of the Trotternish on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. The whole of the Trotternish Ridge escarpment was formed by a great series of landslips; the Quiraing is the only part of the slip still moving—the road at its base, near Flodigarry, requires repairs each year.
Parts of the distinctive landscape have earned particular names. The Needle is a jagged 120-foot (37 m) high landmark pinnacle, a remnant of landslipping. Northwest of it is The Table, a flat grassy area slipped down from the summit plateau, with vistas of the Torridon Hills and the mountains of Wester Ross. Southwest is the Prison, a pyramidal rocky peak which can look like a medieval keep when viewed from the right angle – the ascent of this is an airy scramble.
The name Quiraing comes from Old Norse ‘Kví Rand’, which means “Round Fold”. Within the fold is The Table, an elevated plateau hidden amongst the pillars. It is said that the fold was used to conceal cattle from Viking raiders.
5. There’s a beach nearby
You get to kill two birds with one stone, as there’s a beach less than 15 mins away by car. The signs are clearly demarcated, so it’s easy to find the road leading to the beach. It was relatively secluded even on a summer’s day, which is perfect if you wish to take a breather from the camera wielding tourists at Quiraing. Will talk more about this in an upcoming post.
The Travelling Squid’s Take
Quiraing in Isle of Skye Scotland is a must-go because to me, it offered the best scenery in Isle of Skye. Potree and the Old Man of Storr trek offered some interesting landscapes, but to see the hills covered in green grass, with undulating rocky outcrops and jagged peaks was more impactful. It was one of a kind.
What stopped us from hiking further was the rain. The drizzle came quickly and abated after 15 minutes. By then, the ground was wet and our visibility was affected. We decided not to venture too far given the low traction of our boots.
Enjoy the trek, and do come prepared for the rain. It will most certainly drizzle.