Strath - Boreraig
Boreraig is one of the best, most intact, examples of a cleared village on Skye. It lies on the north shore of Loch Eishort and is reached either by boat or by a walk of some 6km across the moor from Strath Suardal. It is a straightforward walk, starting on the Marble Line Path and then over the moor on a fairly good track. This walk can be done as an extension of the marble line 'stroll'.
Staffin is home to a couple of beaches. There are some good spots on the main bay if you are prepared to seek them out, but there is easier access to a small area of sand just before the end of the road to Staffin Community Slipway, at NG490686. As well as the sea and sand, you can find some quite astonishing dinosaur footprints here too.
If walking from Staffin itself, there is a path across the hill from the Columba 1400 Leadership Centre in the township.
Trotternish - The Quiraing
The Quiraing is awesome. It is supernatural. It is a place of wonder and amazement. It is outstanding by any measure. If you are fit enough to walk the narrow path and scramble up and down the steep slopes – you must do it. To visit Skye without experiencing the Quiraing seems unthinkable.
Go on a bright and clear day for views of the Outer Hebrides and the Scottish mainland, framed by the pinnacles, cliffs and great buttresses. Go on a wet and windy day to feel your spine tingle as the clouds and mist swirl around you in this unreal and menacing landscape. Whatever the weather, you’ll not forget the experience.
This hike is under 5km return for the direct route, or about 7km if you make it a circuit and include the summit above the Quiraing itself. Either way, the starting point is from Bealach Ollasgairte at NG440679.
The Isle of Skye lies close to the north-west coast of the Scottish Highlands. It is the largest and the furthest north of the islands in the Inner Hebrides. The name ‘Skye’ is probably from the Norse words Ski (cloud) and Ey (island). In Gaelic it is normally referred to as An t-Eilean Sgitheanach, which translates as The Winged Isle - from the wing-like shape formed by the two northern peninsulas of Waternish and Trotternish. The island is marked on old Roman maps as "Scitis". In English it's sometimes referred to as the "Misty Isle" (Eilean a’ Cheo, in Gaelic). That one seems a wee bit too romantic for my taste. And there’s more…but that’s enough to confuse anyone already.
Skye is a romantic place though. The history, the legends, the scenery, the weather, the music and the poetry combine to produce something very special indeed. It is that peculiar magic that draws visitors to the island from all around the world, and makes it Scotland’s biggest tourist destination after Edinburgh. It has been said that Skye is conclusive proof that, sometimes, God was just showing off.