logo Walking Britain

Highland Walk
The Storr & Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye

County/Area - Highland

Author - Stephen Boulton

Length - 5.0 miles / 8.1 km

Ascent - 2280 feet / 691 metres

Time - 4 hours 50 minutes

Grade - moderate

Start - OS grid reference NG507527
Lat 57.495702 // Long -6.162383
Postcode IV51 9HX (approx. location only)
what3words start maple.glorified.glaze

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - The Storr & Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye Photo from the walk - The Storr & Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye Photo from the walk - The Storr & Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye Photo from the walk - The Storr & Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye Photo from the walk - The Storr & Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye Photo from the walk - The Storr & Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye
Click thumbnails for larger images.

The Old Man of Storr rises to 535 metres and is visible from the main road between Portree and Staffin on the west coast of Skye. Dominating the scene and visible from many more parts of the islands the Storr is the hill immediately west of the Old Man and rising to 719 metres with dramatic cliffs on its eastern flank.

The Storr & Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye The Storr & Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye The Storr & Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye 
Click thumbnails for larger images.

There is a small car park opposite Loch Leathan (Grid ref. NG507527) on the west side of the A855 heading north from Portree to Staffin. From here a refurbished path leads up through the woods to emerge below the Old Man of Storr. During the ascent I met a man who was fixing the paths after the summer light show installation run by nva (http://www.nva.org.uk/). Signs abound telling you 'not to go beyond this point' but I think these are more tedious Health and Safety warnings by the local council covering their liability rather than based on any belief that the Old Man is about to collapse.

You can scramble up to the base of the Old Man, although the heavily eroded slopes leading up to it suggest you would not be the first person to do so. The rock architecture is superb, lots of pinnacles backed by the imposing cliffs of The Storr. To reach the summit of The Storr we walked north, contouring across the top of Coire Scamadal to a point at about grid ref. NG 494553, whereupon we turned back on ourselves to head south across the easy, grassy rise to The Storr's summit cairn.

A short walk east from the trig point takes you to the cliff edge and a wonderful view over the pinnacles below and out over Loch Leathan and over Dun Caan on Raasay and further to the mainland. On the day we were there you could clearly make out the Five Sisters of Kintail.

From the summit we walked west south west for a hundred metres or so to avoid the top of an obvious gully (might not be so obvious in the mist or snow though), then turned south and then south east to follow the rim of Coire Faoin with the Old Man coming into view again as we descended.

At Bealach Beag we picked up a burn and followed this down through the crags at about grid ref. NG 493531 (steep in places, probably not very easy in snow & ice) to emerge on grassy land which we followed to a stile in the fence by the road at about grid ref NG 503525. From there we turned left and it was a short walk of about 600 metres or so back to the car park. A fine day out.

Please maintain social distancing - keep at least 2 metres away from other walkers.

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer 408Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer 408Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Explorer 409Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer 409Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 23Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 23Digital Map1:50kBUY

It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.


Recommended Books & eBooks

Skye's Cuillin Ridge Traverse

Skye's Cuillin Ridge TraverseThis 2-volume set provides all the information required to complete the main ridge traverse on Skye's Black Cuillin. Strategy, gear, training, navigation and logistics are covered, and 10 classic scrambles are described. A lightweight second guidebook gives the scrambler detailed maps, topos and route description for the ridge traverse itself.
More information

Walking in Torridon

Walking in TorridonThis guidebook contains 52 day walks in Torridon, a remote and much-loved area of the Scottish Highlands. Based around Shieldaig and Slioch, the routes are split into 3 sections: easy walks, long and high level walks and mountain ascents over 2000ft including 9 Munros, and 5 outline suggestions for major ridge walks.
More information

The National Trails

The National TrailsThis inspirational guidebook looks at each of the UK's 19 National Trails, with information that allows ease of comparison and contrast, inspiring you to find out more and to take up a long-distance challenge. Some Trails are short and easy, others much longer, many have strong themes - they may follow a coastline, or traverse ranges of hills.
More information

Social Media

Follow Walking Britain for the latest news.

Facebook Twitter

CBD For Walking & Hiking

Discover the benefits of CBD for walkers and hikers. More info.

Mountain Weather

Stay safe on the mountains with detailed weather forecasts - for iOS devices or for Android devices.

Digital Mapping Guide

Digital Mapping Guide - a simple guide of how to start using digital mapping. Includes advice and useful links.