The Skye Trail

A challenging backpacking route from Rubha Hunish to Broadford

By Helen Webster, Paul Webster

This guidebook describes The Skye Trail, a challenging week-long trek across the largest island in Scotland's Inner Hebrides, the Isle of Skye. From Rubha Hunish in the north, the Skye Trail heads along the Trotternish Ridge and past the Cuillin to Broadford in the south. Suitable for experienced backpackers and mountain walkers.



spring and summer are likely to be the best months for walking on Skye, with early May being popular to avoid the midges; longer daylight hours also make it possible to cover large distances


begins at Rubha Hunish at the northern end of Skye; passes through the island capital - Portree - after three days; finishes at the large village of Broadford


a week-long route for experienced backpackers; self-reliance, fitness and good navigational skills will all be called upon
Must See

Must See

the stunning headland at Rubha Hunish, the Trotternish Ridge, the spectacular rock scenery of the Quiraing and the Old Man of Storr, picturesque Portree, walking in the shadow of the mighty Cuillin, the abandoned village of Boreraig
13 Oct 2016
17.2 x 11.6 x 0.7cm
  • Overview
    This guidebook describes the challenging 80-mile (128km) Skye Trail, a week-long trek across the magical Isle of Skye, the largest island in Scotland's Inner Hebrides. As yet unwaymarked, the route demands navigational skill, fitness and self-reliance and is therefore suitable for experienced backpackers and mountain walkers.
    The trail is presented in 7 stages of between 7¼ (11.5km) and 17¾ miles (28.5km), plus an alternative stage to include an ascent of Bla Bheinn. Alongside detailed route description, 1:50,000 OS mapping and stunning photography, the guide provides a wealth of information about Skye’s rich history, culture, literature, geology, wildlife and plants, as well as practical advice such as when to go, what to take and where to stay. Blending information with inspiration, the result is an ideal companion to trekking this magnificent route.
    From the headland of Rubha Hunish, through Portree to Broadford, the Skye Trail provides the walker with a tour of Skye's most iconic landforms - including the Quiraing, the Old Man of Storr and the Cuillin - as well as of its turbulent history, from Iron Age forts to the ruins of Clearance villages. Whether making use of island hospitality or opting for the freedom of a tent, completing the continuous route represents a real challenge and a fitting match for the epic landscapes found on Skye.
  • Contents

    Early history
    The MacDonalds and the MacLeods
    Bonnie Prince Charlie and Flora MacDonald
    The Highland Clearances
    The crofters’ struggle
    Skye today
    The Cuillin pioneers
    Wildlife and plants
    Culture, music and language
    Preparation and planning
    When to go
    Money and communications
    What to take
    Navigation and maps
    Midges and ticks
    Safety and emergencies
    Using this guide
    The Skye Trail
    Stage 1 Rubha Hunish to Flodigarry
    Stage 2 Flodigarry to the Storr
    Stage 3 Storr to Portree via the coastline
    Stage 4 Portree to Sligachan
    Stage 5 Sligachan to Elgol
    Stage 6 Elgol to Torrin
    Stage 6B Bla Bheinn alternative – Camasunary to Torrin
    Stage 7 Torrin to Broadford

    Appendix A Route summary table
    Appendix B Accommodation
    Appendix C Useful contacts
    Appendix D Glossary of Gaelic words
    Appendix E Further reading

  • Updates
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    Be notified by email when this book receives an update or correction

    May 2019

    page 102 Elgol - Rose Croft B&B now closed but there are a number of alternatives:

    Self-contained accommodation : contact Suilven B&B, Elgol,, Tel: 01471 866379


    Glasnakille Wigwams has no website or phone only FB

    July 2018

    The map on p81 shows the position of the old bothy (now a private dwelling), the new one is on the eastern side of Camasunary, beyond the private house as you head towards the sea.

    Sept 2017

    page 102 Elgol

    Rose Croft B&B now closed but there is an alternative self-contained accommodation available : contact Suilven B&B, Elgol,, Tel: 01471 866379

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Helen Webster

Helen is a firm believer that travelling on foot allows you to meet people and see things that would otherwise be overlooked and it's with this attitude that she co-founded the Scottish walker's website Walkhighlands in 2007. Originally from Devon, she has gradually been moving north and has lived and worked in the Scottish Highlands since 2005. She has co-authored 11 walking books about Scotland with Paul.

View Guidebooks by Helen Webster

Paul Webster

Paul has a lifelong passion for walking and exploring the outdoors. In 2003-4 he undertook a 4000-mile continuous backpack across Europe with his wife Helen. After quitting a conventional career in York, Paul has spent many years living and working in Scotland and is the co-founder of the Walkhighlands website, a free online guide and forum for walkers in Scotland. He has co-authored 11 walking books with Helen and is currently on the local outdoor access panel for the Cairngorms National Park.

View Guidebooks by Paul Webster