The Quiraing is a stunning and unique landscape located in the north of the Isle of Skye. It’s part of the Trotternish ridge that was formed due to a massive landslip that created high cliffs, hidden plateaus, and striking rock formations.

The area is a paradise for photographers and hikers due to its dramatic scenery. The Quiraing offers an enjoyable 4.3-mile walk where you can fully experience the extraordinary landscapes and soak up views that include the Outer Hebrides on a clear day.

The Quiraing


Craig Neil at the Quiraing, Skye

The Quiraing is a breathtaking landscape on the northern side of the Isle of Skye that resulted from a significant landslip centuries ago. It’s renowned for its dramatic, rugged cliffs, plateaus, and rock formations. The awe-inspiring terrain is a beloved spot among hikers, photographers, and nature lovers thanks to its unique geology and the breathtaking views it offers.

A series of enormous landslips formed the Quiraing thousands of years ago. As the mass of rocks broke away from the Meall na Suiramach hill, they left behind a series of mountainous peaks, rocky outcrops, and hidden plateaus that now form one of the most picturesque wilderness areas in Scotland.

Visitors travel from across the globe to experience the walking trail that runs through The Quiraing, where wild hilly peaks cross paths with wide-open plains in a panorama that begs to be photographed. The views there are so popular with tourists that I guarantee if you’ve ever performed an internet search about Scotland, an image of The Quiraing will be listed somewhere in the first couple of pages.

There are so many distinct areas in this part of Skye that your camera trigger finger will be kept in overdrive for the two to three hours it takes to walk the five miles of the Quiraing Loop.

Some of the famous landmarks you’ll see are: The Needle, a 120-foot rock pinnacle; The Table, an enormous flat plateau hidden amongst the hills; and The Prison, a rocky pyramid-shaped outcrop that looks like an enormous mediaeval fort.

The Quiraing

The Highlights

1: The Quiraing is known for its dramatic and unique landscapes, including rugged cliffs, hidden plateaus, and striking rock formations. It offers some of the most stunning views on the Isle of Skye.

2: Visiting the Quiraing means you get to see different aspects of the island along the walking trail, from mountains to lochs and sea views. I recommend completing the entire trail as the end point has incredible views overlooking the northernmost point of the island.

3: The Quiraing is also a great spot for wildlife spotting. You might spot golden eagles, red deer, and a variety of other birds and mammals native to Scotland. Check out my recommended binoculars if you don’t have a pair yet.

Visiting Tips

1: Walking the Quiraing is hard work in places so if you’re unfit I wouldn’t attempt the entire route. That being said, the first section to ‘The Prison’ is fairly easy.

2: It can get muddy in places and many areas require a scramble up loose scree – take decent boots (my recommended boots) with you and pack a bag with bottles of water and snacks as there are no facilities once you leave the car park.

3: If you’re visiting the Quiraing make sure you have time to fit in a walk to the Old Man of Storr as the views there are equally scenic.

Tourist Information

Wherever you are in The Quiraing, you can be assured that you’re going to see some truly beautiful views, with the wide-open plain of Staffin Bay arcing around the northern peninsula of Skye and the Islands of Rona and Raasay rising up against the horizon in the distance. On a clear day, it’s breathtaking.

Reaching the start of the trail by car is best achieved by heading towards Sartle, where signs to the Quiraing car park will also direct you to the start of the walk close to the parking area. You can’t fail to miss this car park because it’s extremely popular with tourists at all times of the year, and you’ll probably have to fight your way past tour coaches to find a decent parking spot.

My advice would be to get there early or risk having to park a long way up the roadside to find a space. Leaving the car park, you’ll follow a relatively well-trodden path that leads through the Quirainq where cliff faces surround you on both sides.

There are several sections where rockfalls have covered the path in loose scree, while other sections are frequently bogged down with mud, so make sure you’re wearing a decent pair of walking boots, even in the summer.

About a mile beyond the car park, you’ll pass The Prison, while The Needle is a little further away up a fairly steep slope.

After a long series of zig-zagging gullys, sharp climbs, and rocky peaks, you’ll finally find yourself in the heart of The Quiraing at The Table. It’s at this point that most walkers turn around to make their way back to the car park, which often has a burger van serving hot food and coffee, so if you forget to pack a picnic, you can at least have something to eat after all your adventure.

If you’d like to continue to the end point of the Quiraing walking trail, simply follow the footpath for 1.5 miles till it reaches a sharp incline. If you climb up you’ll be presented with amazing views of North Skye, and if you really want an off-grid walk you can continue over the moorland for 2 miles to Duntulm which is a well-known site of dinosaur footprints.

The Quiraing

Things to Do

Hiking the Quiraing: Embark on a breathtaking journey through the geological wonder that is the Quiraing. This 4.3-mile circuit offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape’s emerald-green hills, jutting pinnacles, and hidden plateaus. The path is quite rough in places, so make sure you wear appropriate footwear. Click here to see the recommended walking boots.

Photography at Sunrise/Sunset: The Quiraing is one of the most dramatic locations in Scotland and provides an excellent opportunity for photography. The best times are at sunrise or sunset when the light lends an otherworldly glow to the landscape, accentuating the contours and colours of the terrain.

Wildlife Spotting: The Quiraing is as much about the wildlife as the landscape. Red deer frequent it, and it’s home to a variety of bird species, including sea eagles and skuas. Take your binoculars (link to binocular reviews) and enjoy spotting these creatures in their natural habitat.

Picnicking with a View: Pack a lunch and enjoy a picnic amidst the stunning natural beauty of the Quiraing. There are several good spots where you can unwind and enjoy a picnic with a view, but the area near the Quiaring car park is recommended as there are bins and (occasionally) snack vans nearby.

Exploring Nearby Attractions: Once you’ve explored the Quiraing, take the opportunity to visit other attractions in the area. Kilt Rock with its waterfall plunging into the sea, and Staffin Beach which is known for its dinosaur footprints, are fairly close and are both worth a visit.

Things to Do Nearby

Mealt Falls. A855, Portree IV51 9JE. 9-minute drive.
An observation platform allows visitors to see the thundering Mealt Falls which is a natural overflow from Loch Mealt. The water flows over the 90-metre Kilt Rock which has vertical basalt columns that some say look like a kilt – hence the name.

An Corran Beach. Portree 9JT. 8-minute drive.
A black sand beach on the northeast of the island that faces Staffin Island. The beach is famous for the dinosaur footprints embedded in many sections of the bedrock. There is a small car parking area and further on is a rough footpath that winds its way to Staffin village.

Skye Museum of Island Life. Kilmuir, Portree IV51 9UE. 22-minute drive.
Restored traditional thatched cottages with a museum that aims to show visitors how the people of Skye lived and worked 100 years ago. The cottages feature recreations of a croft kitchen, a smithy and a barn.

Duntulm Castle. Portree IV51 9UF. 18-minute drive.
Ruins of a medieval castle that was at one time the home of Clan MacDonald. The castle is situated on a clifftop that is notable for the panoramic views across Tulm Bay.

Duntulm Viewpoint. Portree IV51 9UF. 18-minute drive.
Shingle beach with arguably the best coastal views on Skye. There is a small parking area with a track leading to Duntulm Castle.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you see The Quiraing?

The Quiraing is located on the Trotternish peninsula on the northern end of the Isle of Skye. Access is possible by driving to the Quiraing car park and following the signposted footpath.
Address: Sartle, Portree, Isle of Skye, IV51 9LB.

Is The Quiraing a Munro?

The Quiraing is not a Munro, but is instead the remnant of an ancient landslip. The highest point has an elevation of 1,781 feet. Munro’s have a minimum height of 3,000 feet.

How long is The Quiraing walk?

The Quiraing walk is a loop that starts and finishes at the Quiraing car park. The route covers 4.4 miles which takes an average 2 hours to complete.

Can you drive through The Quiraing?

It is possible to drive part-way into the Quiraing by taking a minor road west from Brogaig on the A855. To visit the entire Quiraing requires walking on a footpath.

Craig Neil

Craig Neil is the author, photographer, admin, and pretty much everything else behind Out About Scotland. He lives near Edinburgh and spends his free time exploring Scotland and writing about his experiences. Follow him on Pinterest, Facebook, and YouTube.