Isabelle's first mountain - The Old Man of Storr, Skye

Needle rock in the foreground and the Old Man of Storr behind

September 2014, Skye, Scotland

A year or so after getting married there in 2013 we found ourselves back on the Isle of Skye (Scottish Highlands) and, with both my parents and our new daughter Isabelle along this time, we wanted to head back up to the North of the island and walk up to Needle Rock and The Old Man of Storr.

It was a perfect day and the slight haze off Loch Leathan and the Sound of Raasay seemed to bring out the detail in the surrounding hills and forests giving it an almost HD quality (sadly not really  done justice by the pictures from my phone!)

The basic plan was not to retrace our walk from 2013 (here), as the final ascent over and onto The Storr is not really suitable for babies, but to simply walk from the car park on the A855 up to the area around The Old Man of Storr and Needle Rock, have a bite to eat and then head back down to the car - hopefully without too many tears or tantrums, from Isabelle or me having to carry her!

Looking down onto Loch Leathan

Parking alongside the A855 just before Bearreraig Bay we (my Mum, Dad, wife Donna and daughter Isabelle) headed off along the track towards the Storr.

Since our last trip here in 2013 there has been a lot of tree felling on the lower slopes and whilst necessary it does make a huge difference to the initial few km's of the walk.

I'll be honest and say that as the track is so easy to follow and the destination points are so obvious to see (from the car park!) there isn't going to be a huge amount of substance to this post aside from a few route notes - it's more about the pictures as it was a beautiful day and the first real outing into the mountains for our daughter, Isabelle.

The last section of the path up to Needle Rock

The Old Man of Storr

No wonder she's smiling - she doesn't have to carry anyone!
The wooded (or felled as it was when we walked it) ends about 1km from the car park and then you enter the grassy and rock filled flanks of the mountain at about 350m elevation - from here the path is still well marked (trodden) and winds its way up towards Needle Rock (around 450m) where there are a number of route options based on the various different rocky outcrops that are littered at the foot of the main mountain ridge - the Old Man of Storr.

When we walked this route during our Honeymoon in 2013 (here) we climbed up over the Coire and walked to the summit of the Storr (719m) and in winter conditions as it was when we walked it the views and surrounding landscape were amazing - not really suitable for a small baby though so we opted for just a "there and back" trip to Needle rock - and when we got there we realised that we'd forgotten something fairly important.....

Food!  Save for water we had no food for Isabelle who was still being fed on milk - not ideal as she was due a feed soon!  Oops!  Now, leaving mum and dad to spend a bit of time on the mountain side, the challenge was to see how quickly we could get a baby and dog down the mountain and back to the car where food awaits...

Needle Rock - always makes me stop and stare in wonder

Donna and Monty enjoying a break

Our family, bathed in Scottish sunshine!

That face says "where is my food?"
Well we made it back to the car, in fairly good time, and Isabelle managed to make it all the way down without melting down and scaring walkers for miles around with her cries for food - but the face does say it all and whilst she seemed to enjoy her day on the mountain side (her first of many I hope) she was more than happy to sit in the car and have her bottle of milk when we got back down to the car park!

Download GPX file of the route - here
Download PDF route map from Viewranger - here

Track log from Viewranger (recorded on my Nexus 5);


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