The Old Man of Storr is truly remarkable especially as it manages to stand out from the truly remarkable landscape of Skye. Sitting at the base of The Storr on Skye’s most northerly peninsula of Trotternish, The Old Man of Storr rises to 160 feet and is just one of a number of rock pinnacles separated by weather and erosion. Like much of this region it was formed around 65 million years ago from Tertiary lava but unlike much of Skye (particularly the Black Cuillin) The Old Man of Storr is within reach of most walkers, which is no bad thing as a view of this nature deserves to be enjoyed by as many as possible.
The Trotternish Ridge runs for nearly 20 miles from Portree to Staffin, and forms the backbone of the Trotternish Peninsula. The ridge culminates at The Quiraing, an astonishing and dramatic series of pinnacles and gullies, which has an atmosphere all of its own. The Quiraing translates from either Gaelic or Norse as ‘the pillared enclosure’ and when in amongst the jagged, craggy surroundings it is easy to understand why. Good paths run beneath and then along the steep cliffs visiting such iconic and dazzling settings as The Prison, The Needle and The Table.
Climbing to the Old Man of Storr is relatively simple. A great track leaves from the A855 just north of Loch Leathan, and ascends through beautiful woodland out onto an astonishing landscape, one that over the years has, deservedly, achieved iconic status. A steepish climb passes by the pinnacles and then finishes on a flat plateau and here it is worth stopping to spend a little time enjoying the superb view of The Old Man and a breathtaking vista across Raasay to the Red and Black Cuillin, north over the flatter plains of Staffin and west, across the rough seas, to Applecross and beyond.