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As a night owl, I can’t say that getting up at 5am is my absolute favourite thing to do in life. Unless, I am catching a flight or chasing an amazing sunrise! And on this occasion we were doing the latter. We had heard that one of the best places to catch the sunrise on the Isle of Skye is from the top of the Old Man of Storr. It involved a hike up the side of the mountain at the crack of dawn, in order to be at the top to catch the sunrise. And, although it was tough getting up so early and hiking in the dark (and cold!), it was definitely worth it!
The Old Man of Storr, part of the Trotternish ridge in the northern part of Skye, is one of the most famous and busiest places on the Scottish island. It is also one of the most photographed mountains in Scotland. Which is why getting up early and hitting the mountain at 6am had its benefits.
We were literally the only people on the mountain and had the entire area to ourselves, which in this part of the Isle of Skye is a rarity! On our way down at about 8:30-9am, the car park was already starting to fill up and people were beginning to stream up the mountainside. So if you want to escape the tourists and enjoy the epic scenery in peace, the earlier you get there, the better.
It’s fair to say that I love my bed and I love my sleep even more. I am not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination. So seeing a sunrise doesn’t happen very often for me. But there are times when you have to sacrifice a few hours sleep to experience something as amazing as a sunrise from the top of a mountain on the Isle of Skye. When you only have limited time at your destination (for us it was 5 days), every second counts! In hindsight, we could’ve spent two weeks here and still not seen everything, so 5 days on the Isle of Skye is definitely not long enough.
So in anticipation of a fantastic Isle of Skye sunrise, we headed on up the mountain. And what a show nature put on for us on that morning. We reached the top just in time to see the sky burst with flaming coral tones that changed and evolved by the second, leaving the mountains silhouetted on the horizon. What a backdrop. What a show! The stunning Isle of Skye strikes again leaving us spell-bound and lost for words.
Top Tips for Watching the Sunrise on the Isle of Skye
- No matter the season, be sure to dress in warm, comfortable clothing and wear comfortable, supportive hiking shoes.
- Tread carefully on the uneven path in the dim dawn light.
- Take a good camera – you’ll want to capture this!
- But also remember to take it in with your own eyes, rather than purely through the lens of a camera, or phone screen.
- Arrive at the car park at the base of the Old Man of Storr at least 60 minutes before sunrise.
- Take a head torch, as you’ll be climbing the mountain in the dark/half light of dawn.
- For more information on how to get to the Old Man of Storr, as well as a map and hiking guide, check out the official Isle of Skye website.