The Quiraing Walk & Exploring Nearby

Explore Quiraing’s geological wonders and nearby attractions; prepare for unpredictable weather and enjoy spectacular local fare in nearby cosy eateries.

Quiraing Walk Isle of Skye

Depending on the trails you choose and the pace you set, exploring the Quiraing Skye walk can be a 2-4 hour experience if you plan to ‘do’ the full walking circuit. So, you’ll want to plan other activities and meals around that timeframe. 

The Quiraing is located in the northern part of the Isle of Skye, on the Trotternish Ridge a short drive from Uig and 35 mins from Portree.

If you plan to do the Quiraing Circuit, our recommendation is to go clockwise. This way, the best views will always be in front of you. Secondly, the Quiraing is perhaps the best sunrise spot on the island, get up before sunrise and have the place (almost) to yourself.

Highlights of Quiraing & Nearby

  • The Quiraing hike is one of the most unique and stunning places on earth.
  • Great for photography, especially at sunrise. 
  • Close to some of Skye’s other great attractions, like The Old Man of Storr and Fairy Glen. 
  • You can tie in the Quiraing walk with visits to Staffin Beach and Brothers Point, and hunt for the dinosaur footprints at low tied.
  • Not far from the fantastic Ferry Inn Restaurant and Isle of Skye Brewing Company
  • Can be busy at the car park with tour groups stopping for a 5-minute photo. However, the further along the trail you go the quieter it gets.  There are multiple paths and trails to find time and views for yourself. 

What is the Quiraing?

The Quiraing hike is a famous landscape in the North of Skye. It is a product of ancient geological processes, formed by a hard layer of igneous rock supported by a softer, crumbling layer of sandstone. The erosion of the sandstone has resulted in a fascinating collection of rock formations and boulders the size of buildings.

The Quiraing Guide
A few locals at the Quiraing

Preparing for Your Quiraing Hike

It’s crucial to be prepared for the unpredictable weather of Skye. Pack waterproof clothing and sturdy hiking boots to ensure a safe and comfortable experience. Walking poles can also be beneficial, especially during the boggy sections of the trail. There are steep sections and narrow pathways on – at times – slippery rock.

Be sure to bring extra layers, as the temperature can change rapidly depending on wind direction, and don’t forget sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat for sun protection. The weather changes. All. The. Time. The wind may make the temperature feel cool, but the sun will still burn you.

Getting to the Quiraing Car Park

For navigation, use postcode IV51 9LB.

The Quiraing Car Park can be accessed from both Uig and Staffin , with a single-track road leading to a medium-sized parking area beside the walk. The road is steep and winding, so exercise caution while driving. If you’re not comfortable navigating the narrow roads, consider booking a guided tour or hiring a local taxi service to take you to the trailhead.

Facilities and Parking at the Quiraing Walk

Start your adventure at the designated Quiraing Car Park, located on the Trotternish Peninsula There is a pay-and-display machine at the parking area (£6), If you’re paying for parking via mobile, enter the RingGo Parking Locator code 23484 to locate and pay for your parking space.

In the summer season, there is food truck offering hot drinks during the day. However, keep in mind that there are no toilet facilities on-site. It’s a good idea to bring your own snacks and water, as well as a small rucksack for you stuff. 

Easiest Quiraing Scotland Viewpoint

To capture the essence of the Quiraing, begin at the lookout point adjacent to the Quiraing Car Park. The lookout offers immediate, breathtaking views. If you are looking for a more immersive experience and only have a short time, you can proceed along northeast along the path beneath cliff face, extending a few hundred metres, to embrace more expansive landscapes.

Sunrise At Quiraing

The Best Time to Visit the Quiraing

Although the Quiriang Walk may feel busy when you arrive, most people simply stop to take pictures from just beyond the car park. Not many bigger groups go along the train, and even fewer venture far. However, to beat the crowds and enjoy a serene experience, consider starting your hike earlier in the morning, perhaps tying it in with a spectacular sunrise. This will also provide ample time to complete the full loop before anyone else shows up and kills your vibe. 

Keep in mind that visiting on weekdays or outside of peak tourist season may result in fewer crowds and a more tranquil experience.

The Quiraing Guide
Stunning Quiraing Geology

Stunning Skye Views at The Quiraing

No matter which section of the trail you choose, the Quiraing promises a visual feast, with towering cliffs, spikey rock formations, and unspoiled valleys. The sweeping vistas of lochs, cliffs, and the ocean create a truly immersive experience that leaves a lasting impression on all who visit. Take your time to soak in the views and capture photographs, but remember that no image can truly do justice to the magnificence of the Quiraing.

The Full Quiraing Walk Loop

For those looking to experience the entirety of the Quiraing, the full loop offers a moderately challenging hike with some tricky sections. This includes navigating streams and rocky ledges, as well as the boggy and slippery terrain on the top of the cliffs. Despite the challenges, the stunning views make the effort worthwhile. The full loop takes approximately 2-3 hours to complete and covers a variety of landscapes, such as sheer cliffs, rugged valleys, and rolling hills.

The Shorter Quiraing Walk Stroll

If a shorter, more accessible walk is what you’re after, a stroll along the cliff edge still provides breathtaking scenery. This option is perfect for families or those with limited time or mobility. The shorter walk offers a less strenuous experience while still allowing you to appreciate the unique geological features and stunning views of the Quiraing. Plan for about 1 hour to complete this abbreviated journey, depending on your pace and how often you stop to admire the scenery.

NEARBY THE QUIRAING SUMMARY

FOOD OPTIONS NEARBY

ATTRACTIONS NEARBY

Food Options and Restaurants Near The Quiraing

Quiraing Columba 1400
Haggis Neeps & Tatties

Columba 1400 (Staffin) Cafe Near Quiraing

If you’re looking for simple but tasty food while visiting the Quiraing, be sure to stop by Columba 1400 Cafe. This social enterprise cafe offers delicious takeaway options that are well worth trying. The staff are friendly and welcoming, and the food is well presented, with excellent portion sizes at a fair price. Whether you’re in the mood for coffee, cake, lunch or dinner, the menu has a variety of options to choose from. The cafe’s ethos is also noteworthy, with a focus on home-cooked food and vegan options available. Overall, Columba 1400 Cafe is a great wee place to enjoy simple yet delicious food with fantastic views. A great pit stop before or after the Quiraing!

Quiraing Ferry Inn
The Quiraing is Nearby Uig, Ferry Inn & The Galley Cafe

The Ferry Inn (Uig) Restaurant Near The Quiriaing

We have a full review of the Ferry Inn here. In short, the Ferry Inn is an ideal spot to dine and unwind after a day of exploring the nearby Quiraing. You’ll find exceptional hospitality from the friendly, family-run staff, unique tapas-style dining featuring fresh, local produce and gorgeous views and a warm ambience. The Ferry Inn is dog-friendly with a fantastic selection of local drinks at affordable prices

The Ferry Inn is only a short drive from the Quiraing, making it the perfect location to relax and refuel after a day of hiking and sightseeing. The sunsets in the garden are spectacular.

The Galley Cafe & Takeaway (Uig) Near Quiraing

The Galley Cafe & Takeaway in Uig is an excellent choice for a quick snack or lunch while exploring the Isle of Skye. The food is fresh, delicious, and well-priced, making it a popular stop for hungry travellers. The service is friendly and welcoming, and there’s a small outdoor area with beautiful views, or a cozy indoor seating area available.

The cafe has a great selection of fresh, local seafood dishes (availability may vary), including giant brown crab claws, scallops with a perfect cook and a possible balsamic dressing, and a smoked salmon salad that is highly recommended. Vegetarian options are also available, including oat milk and non-dairy options. If they have it on the menu – try the Cullen Skink soup, it’s fantastic and a very traditional Scottish dish you won’t find outside of Scotland.

The Galley Cafe & Takeaway opens at 12 pm and closes at 8 pm, making it a convenient stop for a delicious break.

Quiraing staffin beach
Staffin Beach looking towards the Quiraing

Other Attractions Nearby The Quiraing

Staffin Beach is below the Quiraing

Be sure to include a stop at Staffin Beach in your itinerary. This family-friendly destination offers spectacular views, sandy beaches, and an exciting opportunity to search for dinosaur footprints in the rocks during low tide.

While the road to the beach can be challenging for some, taking your time and following the signs will lead you to a beautiful cove with ample parking space for a picnic. It’s worth checking the tide times online beforehand to ensure that the footprints are visible during your visit.

Once you arrive, take the time to explore the stunning beach and nearby rocks. Although they can be difficult to locate, the experience of discovering a dinosaur footprint and literally walking in their footsteps is incredible Whether you’re a family with children or a dinosaur enthusiast, Staffin Beach is a fantastic place to spend the day, admire the beauty around you, and imagine what creatures may have roamed the area millions of years ago.

Quiraing Brothers Point
Brothers Point

Brother's Point (Rubha nam Brathairean ) en route to Quiraing from Portree

Brother’s Point is a must-visit spot during your trip to the Quiraing if you’re up for two hikes and want to find some more dinosaur footprints. The hike is relatively easy (although can be slippery when wet) and takes around one hour to complete, making it a great way to break up your day and enjoy some coastal views.

The peace and beauty of this spot is truly remarkable, offering stunning views of the sea, a peaceful stream, cliffs, and a beautiful beach. You’ll feel transported back in time as you take in the area’s rich history and look for dinosaur footprints.

The wildlife you can encounter is also breathtaking, with a whole group of seals just off the shore that you may spot with a pair of binoculars. 

It’s worth noting that sensible walking shoes are recommended for the relatively flat hike, and photographers may want to linger longer to capture the beautiful scenery. The car park is small, but this is a relatively by-passed spot by most travellers so you should find a space.

Quiraing Fairy Glen
The Fairy Glen - best enjoyed early in the morning or in quiter months

The Fairy Glen is short drive from the Quiraing Walk

The Fairy Glen is filled with small hillocks and a ruined castle, which form a fairy tale-like picture. While the area can get busy, it’s worth taking your time to explore and enjoy its beauty. The climb up to Castle Ewan offers great views from both sides, but be aware of roped-off areas where you’re not allowed to stand on the grass.

It’s best to visit early in the morning or during quieter seasons to avoid traffic. The drive from Uig is narrow in places, but the beautiful views along the way make it worth the trip. There is a pay and display parking (£6) available, but no toilets or catering vans. We visited on a good day and found the atmosphere to be truly magical. The whole area is relatively small, but you can easily spend a pleasant hour exploring it. This can be a lovely spot for a picnic if you bring your own food.

Summer is a bit mad though, so if you want to avoid people – this might not be the place. But it’s so popular if you are planning a visit, tie it in with the Quiraing. If you are doing both, it makes sense to do Fairy Glen early then the Quiraing, as Quiraing is more suited to absorbing a higher volume of visitors.  

Quiraing Duntulm
Duntulm Castle makes for a perfect view and sunset spot

Duntulm Castle At Sunset After Your Quiraing Visit

The castle ruins offer stunning views of the water and surrounding landscape, which are especially breathtaking at sunset. It’s worth noting that the sunsets can be very late in the height of summer, so this can be a great activity to do after dinner in Uig. The drive to the castle can be a bit tricky, but the lack of signage and unmarked roads add to the adventure.

While the castle ruins are blocked off and unstable, visitors can still walk up to the fence surrounding it and enjoy the stunning views. The castle was the clan seat of the MacDonalds in the 17th century, and the haunting feel of the place is sure to stir the blood of any MacDonald’s imagining times gone by.

After your visit, continue down the road to Kilmuir to see the grave of Flora MacDonald and – if you are visiting during the day – Museum of Island Life for some real insight into what life was like for the people of Skye long ago.

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