Scottish panoramas The Quiraing has fairies, dragons and a starring role in Hollywood films
NO matter if you have never been to Skye, the sweeping views of the Quiraing stoke the imagination. In childhood tales of mythical beasts, this is what the landscapes conjured in the mind’s eye look like.
The area is rich with stories in this vein – be it as a reputed meeting place for fairies or home to dragons who saw off invaders. It is little surprise, then, that the Quiraing has had a starring role in films such as Macbeth, Stardust, The Land
That Time Forgot, The BFG and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.
Part of the Trotternish peninsula, it was formed by a massive landslip that created towering cliffs, elevated plateaus and pinnacles of rock. The result is one of awe-inspiring beauty, all the more dramatic when seen in the flesh.
You could imagine dinosaurs walking here. In fact, nearby An Corran beach at Staffin has seaweed-covered rocks that bear the three-toed impressions left by what is thought to be a family of megalosaurus 165 million years ago.
The Quiraing has striking landmarks: The Prison, The Needle and The Table. Each does exactly what it says on the tin. The Needle is a jagged 120-foot-high (37m) pinnacle, while The Table is a flat, grassy area and The Prison is a rocky peak resembling a medieval keep.
Traversing the narrow paths, scrambling up and down steep slopes, makes for an exhilarating day out in the hills. In clear weather, the vistas are stunning stretching across Skye and beyond towards Wester Ross and the Torridon Hills on the mainland.
If hillwalking isn’t your thing, the Quiraing can still be enjoyed on a scenic drive along the minor road that crosses the peninsula from Staffin to Uig. Even from ground level it is impossible not to be struck by the immensity of this rugged terrain. When the mist comes down, it is a setting that makes the spine tingle with the eerie promise of something otherworldly lurking.
The Skye Trail by Cameron McNeish and Richard Else charts a 70-mile walk across the island.
Best clear your diary. The list of on-screen appearances isn’t short. Netflix’s Robert the Bruce biopic Outlaw King, starring Chris Pine, was shot here. Spot it in the Keanu Reeves-led samurai action flick 47 Ronin and the fantasy, Snow White and the Huntsman, with Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron.