|Track length:||298.0 km|
|Total ascent:||1968 m|
|Total descent:||2095 m|
|Difficulty Level:||3/5 - Medium|
The second largest settlement in Skye, this long meandering village historically consisted of the few buildings on either side of the Broadford River, but the many small townships around the wide sweep of the bay have grown together and Broadford now stretches for a mile and a half around the bay.
Broadford originally came from the Old Norse Breiðafjorðr meaning ‘wide bay’ but has been retrospectively translated into Gaelic as An t-Àth Leathann, meaning the ‘broad river-ford’, this is a great place for bird watchers with the Yellowlegs having been spotted at Broadford Bay with Portree and Dunvegan, providing shelter from the vagaries of the weather, there is additional feeding opportunities, provided from the scattered crofting communities of Skye for a wide range of species.
In the towns of Broadford, Kyleakin you can find garden birds that include Twite and Reed Bunting as well as regular appearances by Wheatear, Whinchat, Stonechat, Raven and Merlin, regularly turn up at garden feeders.
Boat trips operating out of Kyle and Kyleakin offer pick-ups at either of Broadford’s two piers and fishing, you can hire bicycles, take kayaking lessons or go on a sea plane trip.
There are also many well maintained and easy walks in the area, the soft rocks of the bay hold a wealth of Jurassic fossils easy identified by amateur collectors and the Ranger service organise activities throughout the summer, the beach at Ashaig is a favourite picnic spot.
Skye is around 2 hours from the nearest airport at Inverness, or a 4-5 hour drive from Glasgow, getting to Skye involves road tripping through parts of the Scottish Highlands.Once on Skye, you can drive all around the entire island in less than a day if you felt compelled, the roads around Skye and the Highlands of Scotland do get busy during the summer.
Always use designated parking areas.
Don’t park on the verge, in passing places or front of gates.
There are many single track roads around Skye and other parts of the Highlands. Keep to the left.
When passing other cars use the marked passing places and keep to the left, which ever car gets to the passing place first must wait on the left hand side, if a car waits for you then a small wave as you pass is expected, this is a polite way to say thank you to the other driver.
With the impressive Kilt Rock, Mealt Falls, the beautiful Cuillins, Sligachan Bridge/River, Loch Mealt, Lealt Gorge, Lealt Falls, Portree and its picturesque coloured houses on the harbour, Castle Moil.
From the Skye Bridge to Broadford, carry on the A855 to the Old Man of Storr this is one of the island’s more unusual geological features, legend says the huge pinnacle is the thumb of a buried giant, and while it’s visible for miles around.
From Storr, you continue on this Isle of Skye road trip from Broadford, continuing on this route you come across Skye’s most famous site, the Quiraing, which soon comes into view from the road, this is a landslip on the eastern face of Meall na Suiramach, the northernmost summit of the Trotternish, the whole of the Trotternish Ridge escarpment was formed by a great series of landslips the Quiraing is the only part of the slip still moving, carry on along the Trotternish loop road until you see a small car park, here you will find the Lealt Falls, an impressive curtain of peat-stained water crashing into a crevasse leading to the sea.
Carry on this route on the A855 about 17 miles north of Portree and is overlooked by the Trotternish Ridge with the famous rock formations of The Storr and the Quiraing. The district comprises 23 townships made up of, from south to north, Rigg, Tote, Lealt, Lonfearn, Grealin, Breackry, Cul-nan-cnoc, Bhaltos, Raiseburgh, Ellishadder, Garafad, Clachan, Garros, Marrishader, Maligar, Stenscholl, Brogaig, Sartle, Glasphein, Digg, Dunan, Flodigarry and Greap.continue, this is a district with the Gaelic name An Taobh Sear, which translates as 'the East Side', on the north east coast of the Trotternish peninsula of the island of Skye, the Kilmartin River runs northwards through the village, from here it reaches the sea a rocky shore leads east to a slipway at An Corran.
A local resident found a slab bearing a dinosaur track, probably made by a small ornithopod, experts subsequently found more dinosaur prints of up to 50 cm, the largest found in Scotland, made by a creature similar to Megalosaurus, about 160 million years old they are the youngest dinosaur remains to be found in Scotland.
Continuing on A855 road will take you to Kilmaluag this is a township made up of several small settlements on the most northerly point of the Trotternish peninsula Kilmaluag some 24 miles north of Portree and 10 miles from Uig, this is a bird watchers paradise, you could and properly or will see Golden Eagles and Ptarmigan on the Cuillins and with a good scope, watch rafts of Manx Shearwaters on Loch Scavaig below, it is equally possible to see either Golden Eagles or White Tails from virtually any public road on Skye.
- Continuing on theA855 you will Duntulm
Duntulm is a township on the most northerly point of the Trotternish peninsula made up of Shulista, south Duntulm and Ghlumaig, here you will find a set of ruins on a picturesque cliff side where, on clear sides, you can glimpse the Outer Hebrides. Sheep grazing everywhere with their little lambs when we visited, which was extremely cute, go to the Skye Museum of Island Life beforehand (it's on the way) if you don't know much about the castle, as reading about it beforehand was what convinced me to go, a number of interesting folk stories surround this ruin - ghosts, maimed wives, suicide, infanticide. Gory, yes, but extremely interesting.
Next along the route you come to Bornesketaig, Scottish Gaelic Borgh na Sgiotaig, is a dispersed crofting settlement in Trotternish
Here you will find Beaton's Croft House is an 'A'-listed traditional thatched house in the crofting township of Bornesketaig It has superb views across the Minch to Isles of Harris, Lewis and North Uist.
Uig is approximately 5 miles away and Portree 21 miles,
Next along this route is Kilmor is a small hamlet, on the east coast of the Sleat peninsula, it is situated between the townships of Kilbeg and Ferindonald close to the village of Armadale.
The name Kilmore comes from the gaelic ‘A’Chill Mhor meaning the ‘Big Church’ and a reef on the shore known as St Columbia's Rock is believed to be where St Columba landed on the shore in 585AD, early records show a church was there in the 13th century, ruins of the second church stand in the churchyard and date back to 1681 and the present church dates to 1876.
Next along this route is KilvaxsterA sign directs you to a small car park on the east side of the road, and from here you walk the hundred yards or so to Kilvaxter Souterrain, a souterrain is an underground stone-lined tunnel typically associated with Iron Age settlements along the Atlantic fringe. Over 500 have been found in Scotland, of which around 20 are on the Isle of Skye, Souterrains, from the French sous terrain meaning "underground" were constructed by digging out a trench, lining the sides with stone, then roofing it over with more stone and reburying the whole thing, the end result was a stone-lined passage leading to a chamber.
Visitors should take notice of the warning sign at the entrance to the souterrain, the structure is 17m in length and curves in a shallow "S" shape, the tunnel is only 0.75m wide, and has a maximum headroom of 1.5m (and a minimum headroom of rather less), it can also be very wet after heavy rain.
Next along this route is Monkstadt here you will find Monkstadt House, which was originally built as a Laird’s house for the MacDonald of Sleat, using stone and other materials from nearby Duntulm Castle, it is said the magnificent country house was where the Young Pretender stayed with Flora MacDonald, while fleeing from the Redcoats after the Battle of Culloden in 1746, Charles Edward Stuart, disguised as Betty Burk, Flora’s maid, was given shelter here by Lady Margaret MacDonald – Flora’s aunt, the house fell into disrepair in the last century and only a ruinous shell remained once the roof was removed in the 1950s.
Next along this route is Linicro Skye's Outdoor Centre, with self catering accommodation in rooms and wooden wigwams, Whitewave is based in the crofting township of Linicro and has been operating in North Skye since 1990, Whitewave always strives to give participants a real sense of place and environment through exploration, as well as a taste of the outdoor sports they participate in, they offer half-day sessions for all ages and abilities in: kayaking, canoeing, climbing and abseiling, mountain boarding, hill walking, crating and archery, the Sessions are led by appropriately qualified and certified staff having safety as our highest priority, with licenses from the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority to provide water sports, hill walking, mountaineering and single pitch rock climbing and on site car parking, a comfortable meeting room, changing facilities and hot showers.
Next along this route is Totscore with a regular bus service couple of hours, Uig is only 2 miles away which has shops, petrol station, pubs and restaurants, you can access the Uig ferry terminal to the outer Hebrides, here you can access Clach Ard Uige, a relic of an ancient stone circle standing on the hills above Uig, the ruins of a 17th century castle, Caisteal Uisdean, the Piping Memorial sitting at the top of Glenhinnisdal and the Museum of Highland Life.
From Uig head south on the A87 to Carbost and take the A850 west to Dunvegan. Dunvegan Castle about 32 miles, The Castle is built on an elevated rock overlooking an inlet on the eastern shore of Loch Dunvegan, a sea loch, it was first built in the 13th century and developed piecemeal over the centuries, in the 19th century the whole castle was remodelled in a mock-medieval style.
Today you can visit the castle from the 1st April – 15th October, Open daily 10am – 5.30pm (last entry 5pm).
All areas to be vacated by 5.45pm.
From the 16 October – 31st March, the Castle & Gardens is closed.
From Dunvegan, head south on the A863 to Sligachan for 23 miles of the best biking road you will find on the right day, on a clear sunny day the view over the handlebars of the Cullin hills as you swoop your way south is fantastic,
Then at Sligachan Located where the Black Cuillin meets the western seaboard as you drive, see the view that so often graces postcards and canvass alike of the Red and Black Cuillin with Glen Sligachan between them, there is an enchantingly picturesque stone built bridge in the foreground under which River Sligachan flows wide and excitable, Sgurr-Nan-Gillean looms large to the right, all black and menacing, crags and pinnacles, wreathed in unnatural wisps of cloud or with every crevice etched in snow at this point you join the A87 and head south to
Kyleakin for about 25 miles, as you travel this route, there is breathtaking views, stunning scenery, natural beauty, rugged heather moors full of wild life jagged mountains, sparkling lochs and towering sea cliffs, Kyleakin is a village situated on the east coast of Skye, the site of a ruined 14th century Castle Moil located near the attractive harbour, the village is along the strait of Kyle Akin opposite the north west Scottish mainland town of Kyle of Lochalsh, over the Bridge.