A landscape out of Lord of the Rings, which has drawn Hollywood directors, car marketing men and of course, zillions of tourists to this small corner of Skye above Staffin.
It’s basically the most spectacular landslip in the UK though that doesn’t really do justice to the other-worldly Trotternish Ridge and the stunning coastal views across the deep blue Sound of Raasay to the Torridon giants.Pronunciation is ‘koo – rang’ which means the round fold.
To me, the finest way to enjoy it is to take an hour to ascend the boggy track up onto Meall na Suiramach, the highest point on the gentle , grassy slopes above the cliffs.It’s a different world up there.
Plus, it means you leave the hordes behind who follow the lower track and get some unique bird’s eye views of the strange land formations.There are also some superb landscapes looking south over the Ridge’s troll – like hills and secret lochans. And, on a clear day the Outer Hebrides can be seen to the west. Anywhere I can view these remote, beautiful islands gets a big tick in my book.
One sunny April day, we arrived around 10am and got parked ok but in peak season, you need to be here before 9.30am latest or leave it till mid afternoon to secure one of the few spaces.Dodgy parking in peat bog may otherwise be your lot.
It took us an hour to make our way up the hillside, walking for a minute or two along the main track at first until a branch went off and uphill.It can be a bit mucky but it’s a definite path – sheep track width.Nice and dry at the top with increasingly superb views across the ocean and also, gradually, into the heart of the Quiraing itself.
There’s a circular route from here, dipping down to a gate then a track eventually leading in and around the strange shapes within the Quiraing – The Table, The Prison, The Needle – before rejoining the main track back to the car park. About a 3 – 4 hour round trip depending on walking pace and stops etc.7km or just over 4 miles total.But it’s only around 2 hours total if you simply come straight back down off the summit plateau the same way.
I have to admit that while I’ve walked up onto The Table and been in amongst the pinnacles (there’s a lot of very steep, loose scree), I prefer staying up high and admiring it all from above.We had a snack lunch up at the highest point, where the Outer Hebrides come into view also.What a beautiful place to be on a fine day! Larks singing their little hearts out and the air as sweet as it only can be in the Hebrides in early summer.Then a nice easy stroll back down to join the crowds at the car park.Up there, we had it all to ourselves – who said Skye’s too busy?