Walk: Neist Point's sensational sunsets

Skye | Duirinish | Short walk | ★★★★★

[Neist Point]

Neist Point is the most westerly point on Skye's 400-mile coastline. This wild headland - decorated by sheer cliffs, grazing sheep and a lonely lighthouse - is deservedly one of the most popular destinations on the island, with uninterrupted views across The Minch to the Outer Hebrides on a clear day. Given calm seas, this is also a superlative whale watching location, and if all that weren't enough, seabirds breed around the edges of the headland in spring and summer. But what Neist Point is really famous for is its sensational sunsets, when (particularly in midsummer) evening rays turn the western cliffs golden, hopefully below azure skies. For this quality alone, it just slips into our ★★★★★ category. There's a good path along the backbone of the headland, but for the very best views you should make a few detours to the various minor promontories and summits - though great care is needed with unprotected drops. What about crowds? It's a busy place, but the car park was massively expanded in 2018 and 2019, from a laughably inadequate 10 spaces to 200! It can still get full, but parking issues are generally less pronounced than at many other of the island's main sights.

[The tip of the headland from the summit of An t-Aigeach]

📌 Walk: Neist Point's sensational sunsets ★★★★★
▶ 3 km / 2 miles | ▲ 180 metres
Features: Neist Point headland & lighthouse
Start / finish: Large car park (can still get full at busy times) at minor road end, Waterstein, Skye, G.R.: NG 133478 ///pass.shrub.boom

Route: Car park - Neist Point lighthouse & headland - minor summit of An t-Aigeach - car park - out and back detour to viewpoint to west
Terrain: Main path to lighthouse is surfaced, though steep with lots of steps; rougher paths for remainder of route, with unprotected drops.
Wildlife today: Nesting kittiwakes and gannets with chicks, nesting shags, other seabirds, wheatears.
Weather today: Cloudless skies, setting sun, breezy, temperature dropping.

[Western Isles in the distance]

Route map


Route credit: Scotland off the beaten track

Chronological photo guide

[The path onto the headland begins with a long flight of steps]

[Old cableway]

[Waterstein Head]

[Waterstein Head]

[An t-Aigeach summit - the main path skirts this on the left side]

[Way ahead to the lighthouse]

[Looking back to An t-Aigeach]

[Shag on nest]

[Lighthouse]

[Kittiwake and chick]

[Lighthouse]

[Guga]

[View back along the west side of the headland]

[Lighthouse]

[Lighthouse from below]

[Wheatear]

[Neist Point from An t-Aigeach]

[Waterstein and the mainland side seen from An t-Aigeach]

[Waterstein Head from An t-Aigeach]

[Western Isles from An t-Aigeach]

[The whole headland seen from the clifftop to the west of the car park]

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