(Gaelic name meaning…rock with the kilt-like appearance)
CREAG AN FHÈILIDH
So named for the towering basalt columns that make up the cliff, which are said to resemble the pleats on traditional Scottish plaid, Kilt Rock is a breathtaking site. From atop these vertical cliffs your eye follows the thundering waterfall as it plunges down into the sea below. The horizon seems to stretch forever and with the iconic Skye skyline as your backdrop there are few more photogenic locations.
The view from up here is immense, looking out across the sea as your eye searches for that one in a million moment - a dark fin cutting through the water. Common dolphins, minke whales, maybe even a killer whale! What will you spot?
A bit about the site
Kilt Rock is part of an outdoor museum so is a perfect place to explore these ancient rocks, the culture and heritage of the local communities, and the wildlife that is here in abundance. There is plenty of parking and local busses will stop here by request. The nearest public toilet is the Staffin Community Hall two miles north of here.
Wondrous creatures in the waters
Look out for
Fulmars Kittiwakes Gannets Skua Golden eagles White-tailed eagles
Dolphins in the deep
From up here the view stretches out into the distance, but whales and dolphins might actually look quite small. Look out for dark shapes or irregular splashes. If you have them, bring binoculars to get a better view. One sight that would be hard to miss are large pods of common dolphins that frequent these seas. They are a particularly charismatic species; bright, fast and incredibly active, they are generally seen in groups of 1-30 and can congregate in ‘super pods’ of 500! From this high up the water would look like its boiling, as these playful dolphins leap and jump together in breath-taking displays. The Gaelic for dolphin, Leumadair, means ‘one who leaps’, which is certainly appropriate!
Into the deep
Kilt Rock overlooks the incredibly deep water of the Sound of Raasay. Who knows what could be lurking in those depths? This is one of the few places in the UK with such deep water close to the shore, so it’s worth spending a little time looking out to sea as you might just catch a glimpse of one of the more elusive whales and dolphins. Some species can hold their breath for hours, so whale watching often requires patience. But they will have to come back up to take a deep breath sometime…