The Northern Loop of Skye

Rolling over and coming to the realization that wow, we are in Skye at the trailhead of our very first hike in the area was really like a dream. It was one of those times where you try hard to focus on whether or not this was reality. The reality part sunk in once we realized how badly we had to go the bathroom. Coming to this realization was something like this.. “Ahh.. I have to go the bathroom really bad! Shoot there are tons of other people pulling up to hit the trail. Yep, we really are at a trailhead of a gorgeous hike in Skye.”


We were so stoked to hit the trail we skipped breakfast. Yes, we know most important part of the day, but sometimes you just have to have a granola bar and hit the trail, and that’s exactly what we did. The weather was a bit gloomy with on and off showers, but we were hiking through it. If we were going to let poor weather hinder our hiking opportunities, we wouldn’t be hiking at all!!


{Traveler’s Tip.. The trail to the bottom viewpoint is about a 2.5 miles round trip hike. It is well groomed and all gravel making the terrain part of the trail very easy. There is a bit of elevation whichever way you do the loop, but it’s not too difficult. The difficult part is the last bit of the climb to the base of Storr, which is an optional section!}



We only hiked to the viewpoint. With the weather not being great and knowing that we would be back to this area again, we decided just the viewpoint would satisfy us for the time being. (We have to leave some things undone for future trips right?)



Once we got back to Isobel, we made some breakfast and coffee and hit the road. There’s a saying here in Scotland that goes something like this.. “If you don’t like the weather wait five minutes and you’re sure to have something different.” And man does that hold true!! As we were driving away, we looked over and it was completely clear up in the area we had just hiked to. Tempted to turn around, we decided against it and continued up the road.



We didn’t really have any type of game plan heading up and around the northern loop of Skye. There were a few things we had pinned on our app that we wanted to see, but other than that, we decided we would just drive and pull off at the pullouts and stop if we saw something intriguing. Traveling like this is our favorite way to travel.


{Traveler’s Tip.. Get!! It’s a free map app where you don’t need to have service to access the maps. Prior to heading to a specific country or state, you download the map for that area, and then once you have the map, you can use it fully without any Internet connection or service. This is EXTREMELY helpful especially in places like Skye where we had absolutely no service the entire trip! You can also pin places you’ve been or want to go with different colors and add notes to them all.. It’s really a fantastic app!!}


Our first stop was Lealt Falls. This was one of those, “Hey there’s a pullout/parking area, let’s stop and check it out” kind of places. We found the trailhead and just started walking not really knowing what to expect. It just so happened to be a trailhead to an old dynamite mine, a beautiful outlook on the coast, and a tucked away waterfall. Score for us!!



From there, we hit the road again and stopped at Mealt Falls, more popularly know as Kilt Rock. This was a stop that we had planned on making thanks to Instagram posts of the beautiful waterfall. You park and walk literally like 30 meters to the viewpoint. Not exactly a hike, but still a beautiful lookout!! While scientists were excavating Kilt Rock, the cliff in the background of the pictures, they found dinosaur footprints! We thought you had to go to a museum to see these, but upon researching it now sitting back in Aberdeen, we were so, so wrong!!



We were trying to find the museum to view the dinosaur exhibits, and while we had no luck finding the museum, we were able to find a beautiful beach area with tide pools! Little did we know, this area was were you could walk around and find the dinosaur footprints when the tide’s out! Man we missed out.. there’s always next time though!! Since we don’t have pictures to show of these footprints, you can click here and see pictures from other travelers!!



A bit north of Staffin, there’s a road that cuts through the middle of the northern tip of the island and heads into the Quiraing (a mountainous area with rock formations by the names of The Needle and The Prison). We decided to continue on the main “highway” up around the top part of the island. Driving further north we discovered castle ruins and an Island Life Museum.



From there, we continued the loop down towards Uig, and took Quiraing Road to hopefully get a longer hike in. With the rain, strong wind, and heavy fog, we decided it wasn’t the safest choice to scramble up through the rocks. Hiking through the Quiraing would have to be added to our list of things to do on our next trip to Skye!



Fairy Glen was our next stop, and without realizing it we passed the turn off and drove a ways down the coast because we were so intrigued by the Uig port/bay! After turning around we found the turn off and made our way down a one-lane road. Fairy Glen was everything we imagined it to be and more! It is mystical, enchanting, and romantic all at the same time! At age 25, we were believing in fairies all over again! By far Heather’s favorite place in all of Skye!


{Traveler’s Tip.. You must go to Fairy Glen!!! To get there, follow the signs south of Uig towards Sheader and Balnaknock. The road is a small road leading inland on the right just before the church if you’re heading north on A87, and on the left just after the church if you’re heading south on A87. Around the corner from the pond area, there is a small parking pull out.}



After getting lost in the magical feel of Fairy Glen, we made our way south and begun the western loop of Skye.





Check out where we went next -->> The Western Side of Skye <<-- 




Check out how to get to get between Skye and Aberdeen 

-->> Aberdeen to Skye  <<-- -->> Skye to Aberdeen <<--




Disclaimer.. This is in no way, shape, or form a list of all the places to go and see in the northern loop of Skye. There are places we didn’t go to like The Grave of Flora MacDonald and The Quiraing along with many others! If you have other great spots that we should check out in this area, please comment below! We would love to hear of more of the great places Skye has to offer!!




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