A spectacular geological landscape

The Storr lies at the southern end of the longest continuous area of landslips in Britain.

The 23km-long eastern escarpment of the Trotternish ridge dominates the landscape of northern Skye. Basalt from 55-million-year-old lava flows sits on top of older, softer Jurassic sedimentary rocks that are unable to support the weight of the overlying rock. As a consequence, blocks have slumped, particularly following the last glaciation, to produce a landscape of massive landslips.

The Storr and the Quirang, at the other end of the escarpment, are amongst the most impressive post-glacial landslides in Scotland. There are several detached pinnacles of basalt that have names, including the famous Old Man of Storr (photo 3).

This landscape is still on the move, and the newly-exposed rock and soil make it a haven for rare arctic-alpine plants.

Further information

Landscape fashioned by geology – Skye (NatureScot)

Trotternish, Skye: Summit to sea since the Jurassic (Scotland the home of geology)