On Scotland’s beautiful Isle of Skye, you’ll find a stunning landscape filled with breathtaking views and plenty of adventure. A popular, but somewhat secluded, spot on the island is Rubha nam Brathairean or Brother’s Point. This natural wonder is great for families, travelers, and hikers alike. From incredible dinosaur footprints, bird watching, and sea creature viewing opportunities, there is something here for everyone! Here are 9 Tips for hiking Brother’s Point on the Isle of Skye.
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Rubha nam Brathairean or Brother’s Point is located near Culnacnoc, Isle of Skye, United Kingdom between Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls and Lealt Falls on A855. It is about a 25-minute drive from Portree. Brother’s Point is a beautiful scenic headland where visitors can see dinosaur footprints along the trail. Brother’s Point is also the eastern most point of the Isle of Skye’s Trotternish peninsula. The trail that leads out to Brother’s Point is a 2 mile out and back trail with a 305 ft elevation gain. For more information about Brother’s Point, including the Gaelic pronunciation of Rubha nam Brathairean, visit this website.
Our visit to Brother’s Point
Sal and I visited Rubha nam Brathairean on a Sunday in July between hiking the Quiraing Walk and the Old Man of Storr Walk. After a quick stop at Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls, we stopped at Brother’s Point to take in the views. Because we were in between two longer hikes, we did not do the full 2-mile trail to Brother’s Point. Rather, I stopped about a mile into the hike, after we crossed the stream, to sit on the rocky shore and take in the views. Sal continued to meander a bit beyond that point but did not make it to Croc Rock or beyond.
While I am sad that we missed the beautiful views of Lealt Falls and of course there are the famous dinosaur tracks, I do want to share that the signs in the area do not recommend walking beyond the stream to Brother’s Point for safety reasons. There are also signs at the bottom near the stream cautioning hikers to not go beyond that point.
Our Brother’s Point Hike
Unfortunately, Buddy did not visit the Isle of Skye during his choir’s trip to Scotland. In fact, while we went north to visit the Scottish Highlands, Buddy and his choir traveled south to perform in venues in England and Wales. So, this post will not share a teenager’s perspective about this hike.
A casual teenage hiker, Buddy would have joined us on this trek if he had been traveling with us. Of all the trails we hiked at the Isle of Skye, I think that he would be most enthusiastic about this trail. This is because of the wildlife. There are sheep on the trail, we saw seals in the water, and there are a lot of birds in the area as well. Plus, scrambling over rocks, crossing streams, hiking by the ocean, and seeing dinosaur tracks, with all of this, I think he would have been thoroughly engaged and entertained during this hike.
9 Tips for Hiking Brother’s Point on the Isle of Skye
1. Where to park
When visiting Brother’s Point, there are two options for parking. The first is the Brother’s Point Car Park located at Unnamed Road, Portree IV51 9JH, United Kingdom (yes, that is the Google Maps address!) across the street from Brother’s Point trail head. This parking lot is small. So small, blink and you will miss it!
This small parking lot with no markings or signs and can easily be passed by or overlooked. If you follow the directions on your map and it leads you to a small area on the side of the A855, you are in the right place. And best of all, this parking lot is free! After parking, you will need to cross the road. Be careful when crossing the road.
The second option for parking at Brother’s Point is the Lealt Falls car park located south of Brother’s Point on A855. From the Lealt Falls Car Park, you can hike the walking route west headed north then catch the shorter trail once you cross A855.
When we visited Brother’s Point, we opted to park in the closer and smaller car park. However, there were no markings for the parking lot, which left us confused. All we saw was a pull off with some cars on the side of the road. At first, we were not sure we were in the right place. But we were. If you find yourself in a small and quiet parking lot on the side of the road, rest assured you are in the right place.
2. Finding the trailhead
It is not easy to find the Brother’s Point trailhead. This is because it is a located a short walk off the road. The first sign of the Brother’s Point trail that you will see is a nondescript faded wooden sign next to a fence and recycling and trash cans that belong to a nearby home. Upon crossing the street from the parking lot, it seems as if you are wandering into someone’s home or alley way. If you see the wooden sign, follow the arrow, you are on the right path.
The path will lead you down a gravel road and toward a gate. Go through the gate and you will see the Rubha nam Brathairean trail head on the right. It is about a 5-minute walk from the car park across the street and down the gravel path to the trail head sign.
When we visited Rubha nam Brathairean, I was a bit hesitant to follow the faded wooden sign down the gravel driveway and then enter the gate. It felt as if we were about to walk into someone’s backyard! And there were no other hikers there at the time, so we had no idea if we were on the right path. But all maps, trail signs, and arrows pointed that way, and Sal felt confident so on we went. I was relieved to see the trail sign and see that we were headed in the right direction!
3. Plan for no facilities
Brother’s Point is a great day hike for families or travelers looking for an outdoor adventure; however, there are no bathrooms or other facilities available. Yup! That’s right. There are no out houses or port-a-potties in the vicinity or near the parking lot. So, plan accordingly and use the restroom before you get there. Or bring your own toilet paper and pack it out.
Luckily, we did not need to use the facilities during this excursion!
4. Bring an offline map
Even though the trail to Brother’s Point is one way in and one way out, it is a good idea to still to bring a map or download an offline map. This is for a few reasons.
First, trail markers are few and far between in the Isle of Skye. Especially given how confusing it is to find the trail head from the road, you may want an offline map.
Second, if you use your GPS to navigate to Brother’s Point, chances are it will advise you to drive down a road that is closed. Do not let the GPS fool you. Trust a paper map or download an offline map for your reference. And lastly, in case your phone does not get service in some places in the Isle of Skye (or if it runs out of battery!), it is better to have an offline map.
During our visit to Brother’s Point, we used a combination of GPS and offline maps, both maps downloaded to our phones and paper maps. While the GPS advised us to drive down a closed road to get to Brother’s Point, the paper maps advised otherwise. We opted to trust the paper maps instead, which was a good choice.
5. Be prepared for a steep and slippery hike
The walk down to Brother’s Point is a walk down a large hill. But the hike down is the easy part, coming back up the trail can be steep. Take your time and watch your step. Speaking of watching your steps, at the beach section of the trail, there are some slippery and uneven large stones that you will navigate across. Watch your step there as well.
Because we already completed the Quiraing Walk earlier that day, we were a bit tired coming up the steep hill on the return from the beach near Brother’s Point. It was preview of what was to come at the Old Man of Storr Walk!
6. Share the trail with sheep
There are sheep farms near the Brother’s Point trail, and you will be sharing the trail with some friendly Scottish sheep. Make sure to close any gates behind you and be mindful of the fellow creatures. And if you bring your dog, make sure to keep them on a leash.
Unlike other trails we hiked, there was not very much sheep poop on Brother’s Point trail the day we visited. A pleasant and welcomed surprise.
7. Watch for sea creatures
Seals and dolphins and whales – oh my! Like other viewpoints around the Isle of Skye (Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls come to mind), there are chances of catching a glimpse of whales, dolphins, and seals in the waters near Brother’s Point. And of course, look up to see the seabirds!
As Sal explored the area near shore, I sat down and took in the warmth of the afternoon sun. As I enjoyed the sound of the ocean, an older couple walked by and asked if I saw the large seal that was swimming offshore. They pointed it out to me, and I got to see a seal and chat with a lovely couple from the U.K. about their travels. As a desert dweller, it was really fun to see the seal!
8. What to bring to Brother’s Point
If you want to bring snacks or even pack a lunch, the grocery stores in Portree cater to hikers and offer premade sandwiches, fruit, trail mix, and other easy to grab and go items to take as snacks or meals on your hike. If you are packing a lunch, reusable sandwich bags and collapsible meal kits are helpful.
And lastly, sunscreen (again yes!) and a simple first aid kit might come in handy.
Although we are not newbies to hiking, tired at the end of our third week of traveling, we did make some mistakes during our long day of hiking on the Isle of Skye. After forgetting our water bottles during the Quiraing Walk, I forgot my day pack. Instead, I hiked with my crossbody bag. And as much as I love that bag, it is not meant for hiking! Never again will I make that mistake.
9. What to wear to Brother’s Point
As the weather can change very quickly on the Isle of Skye, you want to dress in layers. On this hike, you will cross streams and walk on a rocky beach. Chances are, your feet will get wet, so come prepared with waterproof shoes. Also, waterproof and wind proof jackets, waterproof pants are helpful for this hike.
For our day of hiking the Isle of Skye, I wore these Columbia Hiking Shoes because they are high top and waterproof hiking boots. The only thing about these boots is that they do not have great arch support. For that reason, I purchased some insoles.
Sal and I also wore layers. I wore this lined Columbia rain jacket which protected me very well from the chilly wind. Underneath I had another cozy North Face jacket, which went on top of a long sleeve yoga top from Stitch Fix, and a tank top and sports bra. On the bottom, I wore yoga pants from Stitch Fix with REI Co-op rain pants layered on top. Luckily, it didn’t rain on this hike, but I would have been well protected if it did!
I also recommend sweat wicking or fast dry clothing for the Quiraing Walk. Because you will sweat on this hike, but it is also cold and windy, and you do not want your clothes to retain moisture.
It was warm on this hike, and I sat on the beach and shed some layers. Because I did not apply sunscreen, I left Brother’s Point a little sunburned! So, make sure you also wear sunscreen.
Would we do it again?
Absolutely! And next time, we would know exactly where to park and how to find the trail.
So yes, I would do this hike again. But I would not do it in between two longer hikes on the same day – it was exhausting! Also, we did not film a Movement Postcard on this hike. Maybe next time!
A trip to Rubha nam Brathairean or Brother’s Point is a great way to spend a morning or afternoon when visiting the Isle of Skye. Whether visiting solo or with family or friend, this short but beautiful hike will not disappoint!
Have you visited Brother’s Point? If so, let us know in the comments below!
If you enjoyed reading this, check out these blog posts!
- Exploring the Isle of Skye in One Day: The Ultimate Guide
- Quiraing Walk: Hiking Scotland’s Beautiful Isle of Skye
- Old Man of Storr Walk: Hiking Scotland’s Beautiful Isle of Skye
- Tips for Visiting the Famous Isle of Skye Fairy Pools
- 4 Tips for Visiting the Beautiful Calton Hill
- 6 Interesting Things To Do If You Only Have 24 Hours in Edinburgh
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