This article covers my 8 Top Photography Locations on the Isle of Skye. The Isle of Skye is most often referred to as Skye. It is the most northerly of the major islands of the Inner Hebrides of Scotland.
Skye is a tourist magnet, and many come to photograph it. To get the best out of your time on the Isle, some preparation can pay dividends. Skye is renowned for some of the most picturesque locations in Scotland. To fully explore Skye needs several weeks to fully explore its treasures. However long your stay is, this guide will help you get the most out of your visit.
For your convenience, here is a Google map with all of the locations outlined in this article pinned: Google Map (opens in a new browser window).
Journey Sequence – Photography on Skye
In terms of the sequence of stops, I have assumed you are entering Skye by road from the mainland. From here we head down to the Northwest, and then up the west side of Skye. We then head back into the center of the island and cross over to the East for a journey right up to the Northeast. From here we take the long journey back down to the mainland through the Kyle of Lochalsh.
3) Loch Fada
4) Talisker Bay
5) Neist Point
7) Old Man of Storr
8) Eilean Donan Castle (Kyle of Lochalsh)
This area of Skye is a popular location for photographers trying to capture golden hour shots, so expect a few other people with tripods when you visit. For this reason, it’s a good idea to stay in the Elgol area, as you are less likely to have other people around early in the day. Elgol sits at the southern end of the Strathaird peninsula and is quite a distance from the main population centers of the island. Photographically, the area named Honeycomb Rock makes an interesting shot and is photographed below. As do the views back towards the Cuillin further along the beach. When the tide is coming in, you can get some great shots of the waves crashing over the rocks.
The Sligachan area is at the crossroads of the Island, so is a logical stop-off when traveling from one side to the other. There are a couple of iconic shots, one of the waterfalls shown below, and the second of the old stone bridge. The region of the island is another tourist magnet, so it is better to target early morning or late afternoon if you are visiting. Particularly, if you want a shot of the bridge, as this is where most people congregate.
Whatever the time of day though, you don’t need to walk far to get away from the masses, and there are some great Skye photography opportunities with the Cuillan as the backdrop.
The next photography stop on Skye is Loch Fada. There is an iconic shot of the Loch with The Old Man of Storr in the background. However, there are various photographic viewpoints around the loch, as there is an island in the center of it, which makes it an interesting focal point. The loch is also great for reflection shots, weather conditions permitting.
By far the most picturesque beach on the Skye is Talisker Bay. Best visited in the golden hour, and during a receding tide, the beach is a fairly easy 15-20 minute walk from the car park. The most prominent feature in the bay is the sea stack which has become one of the most iconic shots. However, there are various perspectives that make for more unique photographs, including low-perspective shots of the rock formations scattered in the sand.
Of all the locations in Skye, undoubtedly the most recognizable worldwide has to be Neist Point, and more specifically the lighthouse at Neist Point. It’s a favorite for sunset photography due to it being the most westerly location on the island.
Neist Point is an easy 5-minute walk from the car park. If you do fancy a bit of exercise, there is a fantastic walk to the lighthouse along the cliff. Also, if you want to avoid the cliche shot of the lighthouse, there are plenty of spectacular views along the cliff line.
One of the most accessible and picturesque areas on Skye is the Quirang Mountains. It is also one of the most visited areas by tourists, so you ideally need to get to the car park early in the day. If you are only planning a flying visit, you can get a shot of the mountains right from your car window. If you are more adventurous, there are footpaths from the car park to either the south or north. Whichever route you take, it is a well-trodden path, though do look out for rock falls in the area, I have personally seen a near-miss caused by grazing animals.
If you are hiking into the mountains, ensure that to take the correct kit, as the weather can change rapidly. The monochrome shot above is 15 minutes up from the car park. Following the path right up and through the rock formation, you get great shots of the surrounding island. On a clear day, you can even see the sea from this vantage point.
Old Man of Storr
One of the most iconic shots on Skye after Neist Point is the Old Man of Storr. This is definitely one for people who like hiking. The best shot of the Old Man of Storr is from a viewpoint looking down on it. It’s a good 1-hour hike up the mountain from the car park, so you need to make sure you have the right kit with you. The best shots of the Old Man of Storr are of sunrise, so it also means an early start in the dark up the mountainside.
Eilean Donan Castle (Kyle of Lochalsh)
Our final stop is not actually on the Isle of Skye, it is on the Kyle of Lochalsh. However, no tour of this beautiful area of Scotland would be complete without visiting Eilean Donan Castle. If you traveled by car from the mainland, then you drive past the castle anyway.
Eilean Donan has the reputation for being the most photographed castle in the whole of Scotland, and there are some truly stunning shots of Eilean Donan either with the tide in or out, regardless of the time of day.