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Isle of Skye Photography Locations – Trotternish Peninsula

This is the third in my series of articles on photographing one of my favourite places in Britain; the Isle of Skye. The first part focussed on the Sleat Peninsula and the Cuillins, and the second, on Portree and the Waternish peninsula.

Staffin Bay
The town of Staffin itself is not terribly photogenic, but the wide stretch of Staffin Bay leading north to the Quiraing offers some good scenic photography. Even better, if you take the time to scramble down to the shore you’ll find plenty of opportunities for good seascape photography. You can also try your hand at fossil hunting while you’re on the beach – I found a bellemite fossil sticking out of the cliffs, and I wasn’t really looking. Take a tripod for long evening exposures. Sometimes you can get good sunrise shots looking east to the mainland.

Staffin, Isle of Skye

Night falls over Staffin Bay, Isle of Skye

 

The Quiraing
Without doubt the most fascinating geological formation it has ever been my pleasure to photograph. The Quiraing is pretty well indescribable; a fantastic, almost other-worldly collection of bizarre rock formations near the north end of the Trotternish ridge. Take the turn from Staffin towards Uig, and park at the top of the ridge, where a signposted path leads across the slope of the hill to the bottom of The Needle, a rock pinnacle that is as sharp as its name. If you climb past the Needle you will reach the flat plateau known as The Table, from which fabulous views across northern Skye and over to the mainland can be had. Be aware that the weather can change very quickly, but if the day is fine you can photograph for hours on end.

The Quiraing

The Quiraing, Trotternish Peninsula

 

Loch Fada
The view south across Loch Fada to Loch Leathan and south to the Cuillins is one of the best scenics on Skye. The patterns made by the water channels make for fascinating graphic images, and the single white house halfway down the loch adds a nice scenic touch.

Loch Fada, Isle of Skye

Loch Fada, with the Cuillins in the distance

 

The Old Man of Storr
A huge pinnacle of rock visible for miles around, the Old Man is accessed by a trail from the Forestry Commission parking lot at the foot of the Storr, by the north end of Loch Leathan. It takes at least 45 minutes to climb to the Old Man, but don’t stop there; a steep track leads top the very top of the Trotternish ridge where you can look down on the Old Man and other nearby rock formations. The very best viewpoint for a scenic shot is a lot easier to get to, though! A pull-by off the road towards Portree at the southern end of Loch Leathan gives wonderful views across to the Old Man at the top of the loch. Look for rowboats floating in the loch to give extra foreground interest.

The Old Man of Storr

The Old Man of Storr from above

 

Rha waterfall, Uig
At the northern edge of Uig a short, signposted trail leads off the Staffa road to the waterfall of Rha. This is a very quiet spot, protected by one of the few remaining treed areas in the north of Skye. The waterfall is not large, but it is lovely, and makes a good location for photographing on days when the sun is nowhere to be seen. To really get close to the falls you will have to do a bit of scrambling, so do be careful. A good pair of wellies would be helpful.

Rha waterfall, Uig, Isle of Skye

Rha waterfall, near Uig

 

Fairy Glen
A minor road at the southern outskirts of Uig leads to the aptly named Fairy Glen, a magical place that has been called ‘The Highlands in Miniature’. You can see why; within a space no larger than a few hundred yards in each direction there are fascinating geographic features. A loch lies at the bottom of a small ridge which terminates in a pinnacle dubbed ‘Castle Ewen’ for its resemblance to a medieval castle tower.

The Fairy Glen, Uig, Skye

Castle Ewen reflected in a pool at The Fairy Glen, near Uig