Old Man of Storr, Scotland – One of Skye’s Iconic Hikes

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.

Old Man of Storr

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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30 comments

  1. Those rock formations are just amazing and I love the beautiful photos you took. Being a keen hiker and lover of nature, this is definitely a place I would love to experience. Can’t wait to go and see it for myself.

    1. It’s a great hike and you get just about everything; rock formations, amazing views towards the lochs, open fields, semi-rock climbing, etc. You’ll love it!

  2. Absolutely gorgeous photos you share here, I am really impressed! May I ask which camera and lens you used? My first impression was – to be honest – this totally looks like Iceland,a t least some landscapes there. Wild and impressive. With your post you really made me way more curious about Scotland and the Isle of Skye. Thank you for this beautiful inspiration!

    1. I used a Nikon D750 with a 24-70mm Nikkor lens. There are some similarities with the landscapes between Iceland and Scotland, but they each have their own unique characteristics too!

  3. The town of Portree has the wonderful hue of colours against the natural landscape. The Isle of Skye seems like a must do while in Scotland especially the Old Man of Storr. The scenic views as you climb to the Old Man are out of this world even on a duller, rainy day. I am just wondering how you managed to climb up the Old Man!

    1. Those buildings really pop out from the natural landscape! Isle of Skye is incredibly picturesque. The climb on the Old Man is pretty much just walking up, though the slope is pretty steep and it can be a bit slippery, but definitely doable for those looking for the challenge.

  4. I’m a huge fan of hiking in new places and this hike sounds like one absolutely incredible adventure. I actually agree with you that the fog and rainy weather totally add to the mystery of your photos – which are incredibly gorgeous by the way! I am now most definitely adding this to my bucket list!

    1. You can experience just about everything on this hike. Add some rain and heavy fog and then things can get really interesting 😀

  5. I can’t believe I live so near and still haven’t really visited Scotland. I really want to do a road trip though and the Isle of Skye is on my list. This looks like a great hike and the pictures are amazing. So many amazing hikes to do up there.

    1. You’ll need to get to it then! It’s an amazing country with a variety of things to offer! Isle of Skye is a must 🙂

  6. Your photos are absolutely gorgeous. I visited Scotland for the first time a couple of months ago (only Edinburgh) and now want to go back and travel around all of Scotland. I love hiking and would love to do this hike one day. How long did the entire hike take?

    1. Edinburgh is a lot of fun but the countrysides offer so much! A lot of character wherever you go. The straight hike up and down to Old Man of Storr is about two hours (excluding time to hang around). If you want to hike the entire path(s) that’s offered, I think the entire hike would take around 4-5 hours.

  7. The mussels with butter looks very delicious and perfect. The scenery is amazing. I like the colorful houses. I would also love to hike here.

    Iza c/o Fill My Passport

  8. Beautifully photographed! I really like how you’ve provided something interesting to look at in both the foreground and background. I’ve done some hiking in Ireland, but really need to go explore Scotland. You may have just inspired an upcoming trip.

    1. Thanks theglobalguy! I need to explore Ireland so I’ll come back to you when I head there

  9. OMG this place looks awesome…and i can definitely say you really have some guts for photography. These photos looks great and making this post more beautiful.

  10. Portree looks like such a quaint little town. Someplace that seems off the beaten path, which is more my style. Amazing photos of Storr, the landscape looks stunning! I’ll have to add that on my list when I visit Scotland. Thanks for the post!

  11. Every time someone post blog posts from Scotland I can not believe its so close where I am. And so different from London! I definelty need to finally plan a trip there this summer ! Old Man of Storr looks fabulous! I would love to hike it!

  12. There are some stunning photos of old man storr here, so beautiful even on a dull day! Well done for pointing out the guy who had climbed up the storr, I wonder what his pictures from up there were like? The colours remind me of the James Bond Sky fall movie when they drive to Scotland at the end.

  13. Those rock formations are quite amazing and looking at the photos I wondered from which you went up the rock. The rocks really look steep & slippery.
    Loved those colorful houses along the harbor. Portree certainly looks like such a quaint little town. This is definitely a place I would love to go.

  14. Old man of Stor looks like an amazing location with plenty of photo opportunities. It must have been a difficult trek due to the rain but it looks like it was worth it from the pictures.

  15. Lovely small community but showcases awesome food – mussels I am drolling which is very common here in Asia and really cheap!
    I am eyeing europe prolly 2018 or 19 to travel

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