Skye running

Has anyone any experience of running in/ around Skye.

Anyone know of where I can find GPS route downloads?


  • In Skye, the traffic is too close to you on any road that has regular traffic so best to use secondary roads or forest trails.  There are lots of good forest tracks, eg Glen Brittle, Heartland (on Struan road from Portree) and Gleshorish near Dunvegan.  If you want to run on the road, the old Moll road going to Sconser is good and the Glen More road going up to the radio mast is okay as well (but hard work).  There's a running club (Skye and Lochalsh) and some good runners in it as well  - quite a few do hill running (like Glamaig)  and there are various local races throughout the year.  Don't know any GPS routes I'm afraid. 
  • Should have mentioned maybe that one way round the traffic problem is to run really early in the morning (not something I'm keen on as more of a night owl).  People training for Skye half marathon might set off on Staffin Road at 7am on a Sunday and it would be quiet then.  Skye half marathon is 13.8 miles and on an undulating course so last year's winning time of 1hr 10mins is very good; same with Glen More Skye 10k race - it's a really hard route and can't judge how you'd do by comparing with a flat mainland course.
  • We've holidayed in Sleat, the south of Skye, several times and have run from Arvasar further south, alongside the coast, towards the Point of Sleat and also northwards, again along the coast.  If you go north you do encounter cars but we've never had a problem with the traffic;  the roads are not as good as over here so, on the whole, the cars don't go as fast.  Also we've never found the roads particularly busy, especially if you run early.  The only time when there is more traffic is when the ferry is about to leave or has just come in.  If you run south from Ardvasar, then there's virtually no traffic.  Stunning views whichever way you go.  Every time we go there, i mean to take a picture and send it to Runner's World for the "My favourite run" bit.  I love running on Skye.
  • Cheers guys,

    I appreciate the heads up.

    I am really looking forward to Skye, and will get out for some descent runs. Can't wait.

  • Don't know when you're going but Dunvegan 10k is in late May and Skye half marathon on 14 June - you can enter both races on the day.  Last year's Dunvegan race was won by forumnite Scobos who describes himself as a serious competitive athlete so if you do enter expect to find yourself against the cream of Belahouston Running Club not just the local runners (some of whom are fairly good, especially at hilly routes).  Agree with Kazz that route down the Point of Sleat is a good one.  Don't agree with him about the traffic - on the very road he mentions between Ardvassar and Broadford a road worker was killed only a few months ago by a careless driver.   Many cars travel far too fast on Skye (locals are just as bad or worse than the visitors), roads are narrower and not as good and they're not expecting runners so run early on busy routes or take particular care.
  • Nice one RmcD, Cheers matey, that is brilliant news!!!!

    We are going up on the my Birthday, Friday  the 23rd !!!!!!!!!image  Oh yes!!!   I am going to enter in the morning.

    I will watch out for the traffic on my early morning runs. Hope to do plenty of trail runs so should manage to stay out of the crazy drivers way.

  • I am more keen on trail runs and fell running as that is what I am more used to. My legs can't take the pounding on the Tarmac, plus I live in the Lake District and the traffic is pretty crazy around here too RmcD.

    Cheers again for your advice though. I will not take my ipod with me on the road runs. Dont want to chance being mowed down.

    How licky is that!! a race on my first day of the holiday. There is a Gala at the castle too so my family have something to do whilst I tackle the race. great stuff. image

  • Below in quotes is Scobos' post on last year's Dunvegan race - the trophy he mentions is on display at the castle restaurant just now.  There'll be plenty to do for the family at Dunvegan while you run.  If you like roughish trails consider running through Glen Sligachan to Loch Coruisk - this is a famous walk (about 15miles there and back) amid spectacular scenery and I do know trail runners who have done this as a run rather than a walk..  If you do the Glen Brittle forest trail study a map first - it's about 10-11 miles but I got really lost there once and took a wrong turn which meant I was out for hours.  If you're staying near Dunvegan, Greshornish is a good forest trail (on road from Dunvegan to Portree) and there are atmospheric old clearance ruins along the route - my wife walked part of it it while I ran it last time I was there.  Hope weather holds for you - on Skye it makes all the difference.

    ''Headed over to Skye on Saturday for the Dunvegan Castle 10k. Arrived early to enter and was given a route map which rather ominously stated "wet bog area" between 1k and 2k! Had a wander round the kids fun run route which also passed through said area, to be confronted with about an 800 metre climb through a forest, made up of ankle deep mud, puddles and cow glad I'd brought my shiny white DS Trainers to race in! The muddy trail gave way to a climbing forest track for the following 2k, before a sharp climb to the road and 5.5k of tarmac to the finish. So not quite the advertised "road race".

    Anyway, off we set from in front of the castle, with 2 local guys tearing off at the front. I sat in behind them and tried to stay with the pace. Turning onto the muddy section, it got really difficult to see where to place my feet, following closely behind the others with the mud flying, and I took a few Micksta-style slides (those damn Asics!). Had to work hard to stay with the 2 other guys who obviously knew the route pretty well and were piling the pace on. We finally emerged from the mud and the 3 of us had broken well clear from the rest of the field. Settled into a steadier rhythm on the forest track, though the gradient was still making things tough. Reached the road and knew I was feeling in control and my breathing seemed steadier than theirs. Passing 5k I nosed to the front, realised one of the guys was beginning to struggle, and forced the pace for a couple of minutes. Suddenly I had a 30 metre gap behind me, so I just put the hammer down and wound the pace up. Had another glance over my shoulder just before 9k and saw that my lead was decisive, but continued to pile the pace on. Crossed the line in 36.10, winning by 42secs in a new course record, and chuffed to bits! Realised afterwards that I ran a 19.32/16.38 negative split, which just about sums up the course!!! Got presented with a huge trophy (which was swiftly taken from me for engraving and display in the castle restaurant, after I'd had some photos taken with it!), with an engraved quaich to follow. And to cap a fine day, Mrs S was 3rd lady and also got a nice mini-quaich!''

  • That sounds brilliant RMcD. I will try the 15 miler trail too later in the weeks stay. My family will expect me to be around for most of the time so your help and advice is much appreciated so I can get the most out of my stay there.

    Im off out for a run now so see you later.

  • RMcD, the Glen Brittle Forest Trail looks perfect. I think it must be walk 3.22 in Terry Marsh's Skye wlaking routes book. Do you have a GPX file of it by any chance please?

  • We ran Glen Brittle on Wednesday morning - with clear blue skies and a powdering of snow underfoot. It was the most beautiful run of our lives. The 10 mile loop was nicely hilly, while not excessively so - with a great track throughout. Run this one before you die and you won't regret it.
  • Or do it as a race - this route is the next event in Skye and Lochalsh Running Club's winter calendar. Meet at the main trail carpark (see their website for more) i.e. 23 February 2013, Glenbrittle Forest 12 noon start.
    Cost £3, members £1.
    I think the Glen Brittle 10 mile route is clearer nowadays than when I posted in 2008, mainly because there's been a lot of tree felling by the Forestry Commission. Glad you enjoyed it - for me it always holds the getting lost with darkness looming fast memory.
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