Solo on Skye: How to Hike The Old Man of Storr and Enjoy Breath-Taking Views of Skye

The Old Man of Storr is the most iconic rock formation around the rocky hill of Storr. Well worth the steep climb for stunning views!

The Old Man of Storr is one of the most famous and iconic rock pinnacles on the Isle of Skye. It quite deserves its fame – among other rock formations around the Storr – it creates a stunning image.

Hiking to the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye - an iconic spot for magnificent views. awomanafoot.com

 

Climbing to the Old Man of Storr light

When I visited the Isle of Skye, my plan was to head directly north to Rubha Hunish and do as much of the Skye Trail as possible. But I changed my plan after finding out that there were Highland Games to take place in Portree in just two days. I had one day to fill so I decided to go and hike the famous Old Man of Storr in the morning – free of the heavy backpack which I left at the campsite.

Hiking to the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye - an iconic spot for magnificent views. awomanafoot.com
Morning at the campsite

It proved to be a genius idea: the next time I was to be at the Old Man of Storr it was a sorry and miserable day. This way I had a lovely light hike (in terms of weight carried, the hike itself is not light at all) in absolutely beautiful and sunny weather.

Getting to the Old Man of Storr trail

The best way to hike the Old Man of Storr is to take a bus from Portree. It stops right at the bottom of the trail. Check the timetables ahead of time – they don’t run all that often! I missed the bus when going back and waited about an hour before someone took pity over me and gave me a ride back to Portree.

Hiking to the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye - an iconic spot for magnificent views. awomanafoot.com
After just a few minutes long climb the views start to awe.

The path up is very clear but steep. You might need to take it slowly if you are not used to climbing hills. With every step up we are awarded with beautiful views out over the Sound of Raamsey. For a while the man-made path leads through the felled area. There are efforts all over Scotland to replace the foreign species with native woodland.

Hiking to the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye - an iconic spot for magnificent views. awomanafoot.com

The Sanctuary

After a while we pass through a gate and the man-made path changes into natural path through the moors. The path is eroded in many places, as people go around difficult parts requiring stepping on stones or such.

Hiking to the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye - an iconic spot for magnificent views. awomanafoot.com

Hiking to the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye - an iconic spot for magnificent views. awomanafoot.com

When I was there during heavy rains the paths looked horrible, the whole flat moor area was turned into muddy pools. But when I walked there during sunny weather the erosion wasn’t as visible and obvious. When you reach the upper area you have a few different paths to choose from to walk around the Storr.

Hiking to the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye - an iconic spot for magnificent views. awomanafoot.com

Hiking to the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye - an iconic spot for magnificent views. awomanafoot.com

The Old Man is hidden for a while, becoming one with the other rocks. But at one point you suddenly see it in all its glory and it’s just strikingly majestic.

There are more rock pinnacles around – like The Needle, and all of them together are called the Sanctuary.

Hiking to the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye - an iconic spot for magnificent views. awomanafoot.com

Hiking to the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye - an iconic spot for magnificent views. awomanafoot.com

Hiking around the Old Man of Storr

I wish I spent more time up there… You can walk up the actual Storr peak from there as later on I actually did without knowing it because the air was milky white 😉 I have seen photos taken from the Storr down toward the Sanctuary (the collection of the separate rocks) – magnificent and worth the effort to find a good point of view from above!

Hiking to the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye - an iconic spot for magnificent views. awomanafoot.com

Hiking to the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye - an iconic spot for magnificent views. awomanafoot.com

 

It is important to notice that it is a serious climb which requires proper boots. I saw people walking up in fancy leather loafers or toms… it’s an accident waiting to happen and you can crash your lovely shoes. Dress appropriately and take water with you!

Hiking to the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye - an iconic spot for magnificent views. awomanafoot.com

Hiking to the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye - an iconic spot for magnificent views. awomanafoot.com

Have you done it? Were you lucky to do it in fair weather?

Just FYI – all photos in this post were taken with this little gem.

Read more about my adventures on the Isle of Skye:

Enjoying the Isle of Skye Highland Games in Portree (even in pouring rain!)

Hiking and camping solo along the Skye Trail: Rubha Hunish

Hiking and camping solo along the Skye Trail: Surviving the Trotternish Ridge

Hiking and Camping solo along the Skye Trail: Hiking in the south of the Isle of Skye

You might want to pin it for later 🙂

Solo on Skye: Hiking to the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye - an iconic spot for magnificent views. awomanafoot.com

 

Hiking to the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye - an iconic spot for magnificent views. awomanafoot.com

Hiking to the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye - an iconic spot for magnificent views. awomanafoot.com

Hiking to the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye - an iconic spot for magnificent views. awomanafoot.com

 

31 Comment

  1. Hi Ioanna! Nice, I’ve never heard about this place, and I’ve never been to Scotland! It’s great you were able to hitchhike your way back, is it common to hitchhike over there? I’d imagine so. How many hours did it take to reach the top? Is it possible to pitch a tent up top?
    Ramon Pastelero recently posted…4 Simple Reasons to Travel Solo:My Profile

    1. It’s a very popular day hike and there are a lot of tourists there, especially in summer. I’ve been in Scotland only once, so I have no idea how it is generally with hitchhiking 😉 The hike took maybe an hour? I can’t remember well… but it’s not a very long one – that’s why it’s so popular. It’s steep, but short.
      In terms of camping up there – it can be extremely windy, so it’s good to choose proper place a bit away from this spot – you would have tourists on your head from early on! Generally you are allowed to camp almost everywhere in Scotland.

  2. Eemma says: Reply

    Wow! I have never heard of the Old Man of Storr in Scotland. What a beautiful hike and majestic view. Thank you for sharing all of your tips and it sounds like you were lucky to get good weather (at least one day).

    1. Scotland is absolutely beautiful and a paradise for the outdoorsy types 🙂 The Isle of Skye is just magnificent… stunning views everywhere. I hope you have the chance to visit it one day! (But prepare for rains ;-))

  3. The photos when you reached the top are just beautiful, we would love to visit it in one of our travels…someday…one day… 😉 And the scenery almost looked like New Zealand at first! 🙂

    1. There is a reason why I dream of visiting New Zealand – I’m pulled towards that kind of views 🙂 I hope you can visit one day – I was in Scotland for just a month, but have seen only a tiny part of its beauty!

  4. April says: Reply

    Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of posts about Skye.
    I’ve never heard about this place before but it’s sooooo beautiful!
    Thank you for your comprehensive post.
    Although not in the near future but I’ll definitely visit this place someday. 🙂

    1. Skye is definitely the place to go and see with your own eyes! I hope you can visit it! Thank you for your kind words 🙂
      A Woman Afoot recently posted…How to Hike The Old Man of Storr and Enjoy Breath-Taking Views of SkyeMy Profile

  5. That campsite and view looks absolutely gorgeous! First time I’ve read/heard about this place. Adding it to my bucket list for Scotland thanks!

    1. Thank you, Michelle! This place is gorgeous indeed, even in bad weather – although then it’s a different kind of experience! It’s definitely a bucket-list worthy spot!
      A Woman Afoot recently posted…How to Hike The Old Man of Storr and Enjoy Breath-Taking Views of SkyeMy Profile

  6. Wow! what a breath taking landscape. I’ve never been to Scotland. I hope I can visit there in my future travel. 🙂

    1. I hope you can, indeed! It’s a stunning place, I want to go back to see more of it!
      A Woman Afoot recently posted…How to Hike The Old Man of Storr and Enjoy Breath-Taking Views of SkyeMy Profile

  7. This looks so beautiful – the Isle of Skye is right at the top of my bucket list! Did you get to go to the Highland Games?

    1. I still want to go back and see more – it’s such a magical place! I saw the Highland Games! That’s was so much fun (although the weather didn’t comply…) – check it here: http://awomanafoot.com/index.php/2017/01/07/highland-games-skye-scotland-travel/
      Have a good one!
      A Woman Afoot recently posted…Surviving the Trotternish Ridge on Isle of SkyeMy Profile

  8. Tina says: Reply

    Oh, how pretty! I’ve been seeing so many pictures of the Isle of Skye and I’m literally dying to go. I’m definitely going to have to visit this beautiful corner of Europe on my next trip.

    1. I’d wanted to see Scotland for many years and I finally I did! I hope you can see it soon, too, it’s much better than I ever expected it to be!
      Have a good one!
      A Woman Afoot recently posted…Ultimate Female Packing List for Hiking in Cool WeatherMy Profile

  9. Scotland really is place with a great landscape. Looks like a beautiful and quiet paradise.

    1. It’s definitely a paradise for the outdoorsy types! Best place for hiking and admiring nature 🙂
      A Woman Afoot recently posted…How to Hike The Old Man of Storr and Enjoy Breath-Taking Views of SkyeMy Profile

  10. Eena says: Reply

    I have always wanted to go to Scotland! And this mountain is really new for me so this should be added on my list. Thank you for sharing!

    1. You’re welcome! Scotland is such a beautiful place – I was there for a month and was able to have just a taste of its magnificent and varied landscapes!
      A Woman Afoot recently posted…Never Thought Highland Games Could Be So Much FUN (even in pouring rain)!My Profile

  11. I’ve been dying to visit Scotland and already knew I wanted to see the Isle of Skye. I’ve never heard of this hike but after reading your post and seeing your photos, I’m so adding this hike to my bucket list!

    1. I am glad I could put it on your bucket list, because it’s not a place to miss! And it’s also so easy to reach by bus, that it’s an absolutely must 🙂
      A Woman Afoot recently posted…Surviving the Trotternish Ridge on Isle of SkyeMy Profile

  12. Scotland is one of my old time favs. I went to Edinburgh a few years ago and been returning to Scotland ever since. Such amazing scenery and wonderful best kept secrets.

    1. I wanted to to go to Edinburgh last summer, but didn’t make it. I focused on the western side – the eastern and north still waits for me! 🙂

  13. Scotland is one of my immediate must-see destinations! I love the landscape, looks so magical, like out of a Tolkien novel!

    1. I’m pretty sure that’s where Tolkien got his inspiration from! I also was expecting to see a Hobbit around a corner! 😀

  14. […] the Skye Highland Games and decided to stay around Portree a bit longer. I did a short trip to the Old Man of Storr  and did grocery shopping one day, the next I witnessed the Games (for the first time in my […]

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