Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye in Scotland


The western peninsula of Durinish both sounds and looks like it escaped from a Tolkien novel. It is lonely and beautiful. The solitude and peace can be very compelling. Visitors here enjoy breath-taking sunsets, unspoilt wildlife and geography that seems to have been designed entirely for looking at.

MacLeod’s tables dominate many of the views here and they provide some very enjoyable walks for all abilities. Neist Point is the most westerly point of the Isle of Skye and there is an excellent walk to the lighthouse.

Another good walk in the area is to Idrigill Point to see MacLeod’s Maidens. Said to be the drowned wife and daughters of the fourth MacLeod chief, these three dark stacks protrude from the boiling sea foam, black, massive and treacherous to seafarers.

The north of Durinish has a wide and fertile township named twice a valley, once from Gaelic -Glen and once from Norse – Dalr. The village of Glendale was the home of John MacPherson, the Skye Martyr whose arrest in 1883 played a pivotal part in emancipating tenant crofters from the tyranny of absentee landlords. Glendale’s unique community ownership began in 1904 but it took the crofters over 50 years to pay for the estate.

Glendale bay is a wide, deep anchorage bounded by impressive cliffs to the north and a course sandy beach. As pretty as any picture of West Highland tranquillity, the modern Glendale boasts varied accommodation, a shop, post office, eclectic cafes and historic buildings.

The villages of Roag, Vatten, Harlosh, Ose and Struan lie to the south of Duirinish. There are many pretty coves and sandy beaches here with gentle views to the south over loch Bracadale, where the coastline is sheltered by the Idrigill point and the islands.