Portree Forest Walk and Point of Sleat

  • Height: negligible
  • Distance: 2 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy.
  • Total Time: Allow about 1 hour.
  • Navigation: The paths are signposted and well-maintained.
  • Facilities: Visitors’ Centre, toilets and restaurant.
  • Starting Point: The Forestry Commission car park, just off the A850.
  • Public Transport: The start of this trail is within walking distance of the centre of Portree.

An easy and delightful circular walk through alders, rowans and conifers in a forest situated on the outskirts of Portree.

Leave Portree on the A850, Broadford to Kyleakin road, driving past a cemetery before turning into the entrance to the Forestry Commission’s car park. There is a visitors’ centre and tourists’ gift shop here.

portree
Portree Harbour.

Follow the signs for the “Forest Walk”, going through a gate into the forest. Once away from the car park, it’s hard to believe that this path runs parallel to the main Broadford – Kyleakin Road, as there is no noise except the sound of birds and the wind rustling the leaves on the trees.

The path leads up through the forest, bringing you to a level, open flower-filled area. Markers lead you across a river, up through the forest and onto a broad track. The path now starts to head back down towards a river and a bridge. From here the path leads back to the car park.

portree

Map of Portree Forest Walk.

Map Required:

  • OS Landranger 23: North Skye

Point of Sleat

  • Height: 200 ft
  • Distance: 12 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate.
  • Total Time: Allow about 4 hours.
  • Navigation: The paths are well-maintained and clear until you reach the harbour, then they become indistinct.
  • Starting Point: Aird of Sleat, parking in a small parking area beside an old church GR589007).
  • Public Transport: None that I know of.

A popular walk on fairly good paths to the lighthouse at the most southerly point of Skye.

Drive south from Ardvasar to the Aird of Sleat, parking in a small parking area beside an old church (GR589007). From here, go through the gate and follow an undulating track across the moor. As the track starts to descend towards the sea, it narrows into a path. Here the scenery changes from featureless moorland into a splash of colour as the path is bordered by trees and flowers, and follows the course of a small stream. The stream descends in two waterfalls, and is then crossed several times by the path.

The path narrows as it goes through a gate and passes the ruins of old crofts. Here plants grow, sheltered from the winds by trees, the ruined walls and the surrounding hills. Fuscias and Irises add a lovely splash of colour the scenery. After climbing over a stile, the path leads on past a tiny harbour and cottage.

Turn left and follow the fence as it climbs up the hill, then turns left and descends to some boggy ground. Now turn right and climb up the hill, following the direction of the peat cutting until you reach the top of the hill and the path becomes much clearer. This path will take you to some steps and your first glimpse of the lighthouse.

Follow the path across the cliffs and out across a narrow path with the sea on either side. There are steps leading up to the lighthouse. From here you get excellent views out to Rhum and Eigg, and in the distance the Cuillin and Red Hills are visible.

sleat

Map of walk to Point of Sleat.

Map Required:

  • OS Landranger 32: South Skye

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