In the Scottish Highlands, the Isle of Skye alone in Scotland features some of the most spectacular landscapes in Scotland and it would take a long visit to soak it all in. If you don’t have that much time to visit all of Skye, then there’s at least one place that you’d have to visit: Old Man of Storr, a giant rock within a cluster of rock formations known as the Storr.
Before or after going to the Storr, you can also make a stop at the town of Portree, a small town with less than 1,000 residents. It’s particularly well known for its colorful houses that sit in the harbor and you can also enjoy a nice meal at the Portree Hotel restaurant where we ate. There are also some very charming shops and several bars/restaurants to enjoy a variety of Scottish dishes and whiskies.
From Portree, it’s only a 15-minute drive to the hiking spot to Storr. At the gate, there is information for the hiking path. The winter days were very short for us so we only took the straight path to the Old Man of Storr and returned the same way.
From the gate to the Old Man, it’s about an hour to ascend there. The first 15-20 minutes of the path is pretty clear and even but the further you go, the path gets rockier and steeper. On top of that for us, it was foggy and raining, so there were many slippery rocks and puddles of mud (it’s actually not really advised going on rainy days because of this and also for falling rocks). Along the way, we enjoyed spectacular views of the lochs, the golden terrain, and views of the rock formations. When we got closer to the formations, the fog started rolling in and covering the entire landscape, which made for some eerily beautiful scenery and photographs.
As we hiked towards the Old Man, the path was no longer even, but very rocky and slippery. Eventually, we did make it there. When we approached the massive rock, we noticed that there were people walking on it! So we just had to do the same and make the climb up.
The climb to the top of the Old Man of Storr is not an easy one. The terrain is very steep, rocky, (slippery when raining) and you could easily slide back down with one wrong step. However, it is totally worth the effort when reaching the top, as you are afforded some incredible views of the surrounding landscape.
On our way back down, the fog had cleared quite a bit to finally see all of the rocks together clearly. There was a small rocky area that we climbed to the top to get a great vantage point of the rocks and landscape. Though a little treacherous, the view is definitely worth it.
So, if you’re visiting the Scottish Highlands and are going through the Isle of Skye, make sure you plan a hike to Old Man of Storr for some amazing landscapes and photo opportunities. Give us a pin if this looks like a good hike to you and let us know what are your favorite hikes in Scotland.
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