We’ve been lucky enough this season to have spent a lot of time walking up at the Quiraing in Trotternish. Of course, we’ve been going there for years and our guided groups always enjoy it but recently we seem to have taken a group up there every week, and often more than once a week!
Most visitors to the Quiraing stop at the parking area at the top of the pass and head out along the more or less level path that leads northwards along under the cliffs. Some turn back after a short distance. The path gets narrow and there is some mild exposure, not to mention a gully to cross which requires a short clamber down and back up. Many try to find the route to the “Table” which is a highlight of the area in more senses than one. Not all of those succeed, and of those that do, almost all aren’t aware of the gentler, and safer, way back down that takes the gully heading north from under the Table. The steep eroded slopes by the Needle that most folk struggle up to gain access are distinctly unpleasant in descent. Due to their open aspect with lots of loose stones and a busy path right below where many people rest and take in the views, we often see “near misses” with folk coming down this slope and either dislodging loose stones or getting themselves into difficulty on the steep ground.
The Quiraing is a fascinating place and the scope for having a wee adventure among the maze of pinnacles is enormous – we often describe it as a walk that’s like a computer game – with different levels that you have to work through to get to the final level of the Table, a truly dramatic highlight of any visit here, on a good day of course! Continuing along past the Quiraing to meet the crest of the Trotternish Ridge above Fingal’s Pinnacles, or even continuing out to the superb viewpoint of Sron Vourlinn is a great option, as is taking the path that descends to the road near Floddigarry, if you can arrange transport to drop you off or pick you up at either the start or the finish. The most popular option for a longer walk, and one which we often include in our classic walking and walking with a camera programmes is is to complete a circuit by doubling back along the top of the cliffs, rising steadily to the summit of the hill. On a clear day this gives amazing views not only of the mainland and the western isles but also looking down on the dramatically twited terrain of trotternish right beneath you, looking down onto the Table is particularly impressive. returning to the parking area at the top of the Uig road can be a little tricky in mist and requires care, the last steep descent to the road often being a bit muddy and slippery.
So, for all we visit the Quiraing regularly, we hardly ever do the same thing twice in a row – there are so many options for our guided walks, and each group we accompany is different, so we pitch the level of adventure differently. Our guides know every inch of the place and never tire of devising new mini adventures for you!