Before I plan a trip I like to buy the little guide book, a map and search as much as I can before we go. I don’t want to miss anything amazing and I always try and find the hidden gems that only locals know about. Last week we got a surprise couple of days to celebrate our anniversary. My husbands time off from work was granted last minute and the kids had plans with their grandparents to make Harry Potter wands in Alnwick castle. So there was no time to plan or buy books and we found ourselves driving to Skye last minute and booking a hotel on the way.
Skye, also known as the ‘misty isle’ is the largest of the Inner Hebrides, measuring 50 miles long. It is a sight to see and not hard at all to understand why it’s one of the most popular spots for a Scottish holiday.
One of the top things to do on our list was visit the Old Man of Storr. It’s a pinnacle of rock upon a misty hill. Standing at 719m high, folklore and legend say the giant and his wife were fleeing from attackers, and as they looked back they were turned to stone and this is the magnificent collection of stones we see today. It’s always nice to hear the stories the locals grew up with, and this one had many a tale.
The foot of the climb has an information point, with a map. Top tip would be to take a photograph of it before you begin. It’s suggested it takes approx 1 hour with no stops to get to the top. But the higher you get and see the view you can’t help but sit for a moment and take it in.
I haven’t done much hill walking, unless you count Arthurs Seat and Calton Hill in Edinburgh, and those are no more than 100-250m not huge at all, but still a workout on the legs. I came less than prepared for this walk, in a pair of normal boots and a white dress. We passed pro hill walkers on their way down, in the best gear with hiking sticks, and huge smiles on their faces.
We picked a stunning day for it, not a glimmer of sunshine, but that famous Scottish Mist that rolled in, covering the rocks and hiding the peak from our view. No one was sure you could see anything from top and yet the laughter and chatter from fellow walkers was lovely to hear. We made a few friends on the climb and swapped details of our trip and must see’s while we were visiting the Isle.
Every tough step and huff and puff was absolutely worth it. The mist settled in and didn’t burn off when we got to the top, but it did create a magical and atmospheric moment when we made it to the needle.
It felt ethereal and romantic, like something you would read in a period novel.
A trip to Skye was the most perfect way to celebrate our wedding anniversary and I can’t wait to go back and explore more of it over the next year. It’s a must see for anyone in or visiting Scotland.
A few top tips for your walk:
Parking is available at the bottom of the climb and is approx £1 per hour, can be paid by cash or card. There are public toilets on the grounds too, so go before you climb!
What to bring:
Wear proper walking boots.
A bottle of water.
A waterproof jacket.
A copy of the map/book
And most importantly your camera!
Have an amazing climb!!
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