Sunrise at Staffin
Sunrise at Staffin

Favourite Routes

There are so many wonderful places to visit on Skye that I’d be hard-pressed to recommend one location over another, it would be like choosing which colour of sunset is best! That said, here are three driving routes that my family and I have especially enjoyed.

Driving Routes

Route One – Staffin to Uig

Drive north through Staffin and take the minor road signposted to Uig and The Quiraing. The road twists and turns to the foot of the Trotternish Ridge, then climbs through several switchbacks to the top of the ridge. There are several places to pull over and admire the view back to the Quiraing, which has got to be one of the most spectacular on Skye.

If you fancy a walk, there is a signposted trail where the road emerges at the top of the plateau which will take you into the Quiraing, to the base of the jagged finger of stone known as The Needle.

Back in your car, carry on towards Uig. The landscape is open, with a couple of small waterfalls appearing to the south, and to the north, the heather moors stretching away towards the sea. At the western end of the road, the River Rha to the south suddenly deepens to form sharp-sided gorge, then the ferry port of Uig comes suddenly into view. Follow the road down to Uig, or, if you have time, turn north and drive up to Kilmuir, where Flora MacDonald is buried, and Duntulm, where the ancient castle stands above a sheer cliff.

Route Two – Sleat Circular route

This circular route takes in the heart of the Sleat peninsula. Start at the lovely port of Isleornsay, and take the A851 south. The first right is signposted Ord; follow this winding road through a lovely forested area, along the banks of the Ord River, to emerge at the sandy beach near the village of Ord. The road then skirts the shore of past the ruins of Dunscaith Castle, then climbs to give to lovely views over Tarskavaig.

Fishing boats at Elgol
Sunset at Elgol

The way then crosses back across the Sleat peninsula, running past the lovely inland lake of Loch Dhughaill, ringed by low hills, and eventually comes to the eastern coast of the Sleat once more. Travel north on the A851 as it follows the shore, and you will pass another ruined castle, Castle Knock, at Teangue.

Route Three - Broadford to Elgol

This route is quite straightforward. From Broadford, take the B8083, signposted to Elgol. The road passes an old Iron Age dun, then the ruined church at Cill Chriosd, then skirts the edges of Loch Cill Chriosd. If you are lucky, you will see the sunlight shining through the reed-beds on the southern end of the loch.

The road then loops north around the end of Loch Slapin, then climbs to ross the spine of the Strathaird peninsula before it finally reaches the fishing port of Elgol. From Elgol you can take a boat trip to Loch Coruisk, in the heart of the Cuillin Hills, or simply watch the sun set on the Cuillins from Elgol beach.

See also: Favourite Family Walks

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