On Ben Tianavaig

Ben Tianavaig is a distinctively shaped, almost pyramidal, hill to the south-east of Portree. It is a prominent sight from many parts of north Skye, but it is only when viewed from the north or the south that you notice most of the east side of the hill has collapsed. The same landslip activity that created the pinnacles of the Storr and the Quiraing has been at work here too, resulting in an ascent route that follows the edge of a wonderful escarpment above the Sound of Raasay.

 

Beinn Tianabhaig from Portree

The climb to the summit is neither long nor arduous - it can be a gentle half day outing, or a quick up and down in less than two hours. The views up and down the Sound of Raasay are very good from the top, and it is also a great vantage point above Portree and Loch Portree.

Ben Tianavaig Trigpoint

Navigation is easy, and there are many different routes to the top. Some are rough, some are steep, but several are very easy indeed. For a pleasant walk, you can start and finish at the very pretty bay at Camastianavaig, where there is parking by the shore at NG508389. From the picnic tables by the beach head north-east along the road. Just after the first house on your right, take an ungated track that has a small sign reading ‘Hill Path’.

The start of the hill path

At the end of the track, a path continues through a pedestrian gate and onto the hill. From there, take the path that follows a rising traverse to the right, climbing to the foot of the crags above. The path - often looking little more than a sheep track - continues to rise gently with great views back down to the bay until it reaches the end of the hill's south ridge above the Sound of Raasay. Now you are on the edge of the escarpment and the going is excellent. Just follow the obvious line up the sheep-cropped grass to the trig point and the small cairn on the top.

Portree from Ben Tianavaig

Going back, the simplest way is to retrace the outward route. An alternative way back is to continue north from the summit, following the edge of the escarpment until it is safe to descend to your right. NG51234123 is the top of correct slope. Go down and head back southwards through the boulder fields and pinnacles until you pick up a path, just above the shore, that leads you round the point and onto the beach in Tianabhaig Bay. The path is the most prominent of the sheep tracks, but if in doubt, set a GPS to find NG51523897. That will put you in the right place to get round the headland.

Path on the east of Ben Tianavaig

Whichever return route you choose, stop a while by the beach to watch the wildlife, on land and in the water. There’s usually plenty to see.

East of Tianavaig