Size:

6.27 ha (15.49 acres)

Grid reference:

NG396643

Map reference:

Explorer 408
OS Landranger 23

Uig Wood lies within the village of Uig on the Trotternish Peninsula of the Isle of Skye.

It is made up of three distinct parts - a fringe of mature woodland along the shore of the sheltered Uig Bay and two steep-sided ravine woodlands, characteristic of Scotland’s rainforest, which follow the courses of the Rha and Conon rivers. Together these make up one of the most extensive broadleaved woodlands in the north of Skye. In a largely treeless landscape, Uig Wood is an important habitat and haven for both people and wildlife.

Features

  • Parking nearby
  • Public access
  • Waymarked walk
  • Broadleaved woodland

How to get to Uig Wood

Uig Wood is named after its village location on the Trotternish Peninsula in the north of the Isle of Skye. The woodland is divided into three sections: Shore Wood on the seaward side of the main A87 road, and Rha Glen and Conon Glen woods, each in a river gorge on the landward side.

Travelling from Uig Pier Ferry Terminal, travel along the A87 towards Uig village for approximately 1km and turn right (signposted ‘Community Hall') after crossing the bridge. The car park is 200m down the lane on the right side after the hall.

Travelling from the A87 or A855, drive towards Uig Pier and turn left down the lane which is signposted ‘Community Hall’. The car park is 200m down the lane on the right side after the hall.

A bus service is available from Portree to Uig. Visitors to the wood should alight at the stop opposite the junction between the A87/ A855. There is also a coach service from Glasgow via Fort William which terminates at Uig Pier. Visitors arriving on this service can walk back approximately 1km from the pier towards the village to reach the woods.

For further information on bus services visit www.travelinescotland.com.  

Ferry services operate between Uig and the Isles of North Uist and Harris.

Detailed information on ferry services from Uig can be obtained from Caledonian MacBrayne at www.calmac.co.uk.

Facilities and access

The main entrance to the wood is from the car park at Uig Community Hall into Shore Wood. The path through Shore Wood links the Community Hall to the Village Shop and Post Office. It is a 600m flat firm gravel path with a short moderate ramp at the eastern end to a kissing gate which passes through a small yet diverse woodland with views out to Uig Bay.

In the Conon Glen there is a flat, narrow, uneven gravel path with muddy sections and a narrow kissing gate. The path is around 300m along the base of the glen between the River Conon with the steep side of the glen itself towering above the path.

To visit the Rha Glen and the two stage waterfall at the end of the path, the route has a set of steps which leads to a short, gravel surfaced path that is narrow in places with a steep drop to one side with a handrail in place. There is a further set of steps down into the glen where a narrow flat gravel surfaced path leads to the base of the waterfall. Take care to keep to the path.

There is no Woodland Trust car park on site. Parking is available at the Uig Community Hall, which is signposted on the A87 around 100m after the junction between the A87 and A855 when travelling towards the pier. There is also a small, informal parking area at the junction of the A855 and the A87 in the village. Visitors are asked to leave the parking area at the Post Office clear for customers.

Fully accessible public toilets are available at Uig Pier, approximately 1km from the wood.

Wildlife and habitats

Animals

Despite its small size, Uig Wood is home to a large variety of wildlife. Dedicated naturalists have discovered over 1,000 species in and around the wood, from flat worms to white-tailed eagles. The many habitats found in woods like this and the diversity of species they support are just part of what make Scotland's rainforests so special.

Look out for:

Trees, plants and fungi

Uig Wood is one of the most extensive broadleaved woodlands in the north of Skye. In an otherwise largely treeless landscape, the wood is of great importance, both for its aesthetic value, and for the rich diversity of flora and fauna that call it home.

At the base of the ravines, damp and fertile soils support a number of ancient woodland indicator species. Their presence suggests that there has been woodland cover here over a very long period. Lichens enjoy the mild, oceanic climate, and while some species grow luxuriantly nearer the shore, a wider range is found on the sheltered upper slopes of the gorges. An incredible 142 different lichens have been recorded in the wood, with elm the most frequent host tree species.

As well as some of the familiar species of flowering plants, look out for sanicle, upland enchanter's nightshade, alternate-leaved golden saxifrage, pignut, common figwort, sweet woodruff, yellow pimpernel and barren strawberry.

Look out for:

Habitats

Scotland's rainforests are some of the most biodiverse habitats in the UK. The Rha and Conon glens are both very steep sided, and their dampness makes them ideal for supporting all sorts of lichens, mosses, liverworts and ferns. Disturbance in the glens due to rock falls and landslides also creates a dynamic environment with many unique niches and microhabitats.

The woodland near the shore is a flatter and more stable area, with an open area made up of elm and sycamore. To one side of a stone wall is the shore itself, with stony and sandy shore, tidal mud areas, and a mini reedbed, all creating a diverse range of habitats for wildlife.

About us

Saving Scotland's rainforest

We're working to ensure Scotland’s rainforests thrive once again. As part of the Alliance for Scotland’s Rainforest, we're on a mission to protect and enhance this globally important habitat for the special wildlife that depends upon it.

Discover how we're making a difference

About Uig Wood

History

Uig Wood is largely ancient woodland, having been continually wooded here since at least 1860. Prior to Woodland Trust ownership the wood was part of the grounds of Uig Lodge.

In a historic storm in 1877, Uig Lodge was destroyed; the bridge over the River Conon collapsed and even the graveyard that was in the wood was emptied of its occupants, with bodies strewn in the trees and in Uig Bay. Evidence of the storm still remains - look for the large boulders which still lie in parts of the wood nearest the shore.

Restoration

In 1988, the Woodland Trust acquired this site and removed many young planted conifers, replacing them with native broadleaves.

During a major storm in 2005 a number of the largest silver and Douglas firs were blown down, and following this much natural regeneration of native species has taken place in the wood.

Things to do at Uig Wood

Waterfall and views

The must-see spectacle here is the dramatic two stage waterfall in the Rha Glen.

If timed correctly, the sunset from the shore is incredible and only two miles from the location chosen by the travel company Rough Guides as the best sunset in the world. Not to be missed!

Walks

There are 3 waymarked trails at Uig Wood.

Shore Wood Wander: A steady stroll through woodland sculpted by wind and water on a flat well surfaced path. Allow around 30 mins. 

Conan Glen Walk: A short walk up the lower glen which takes in the lively river and finishes at the old weir. The path surface can be muddy and uneven in places. Allow 10 mins.

Rha Glen Ramble: Walk along the edge of the ravine above the River Rha, down some steps to reach the waterfall. The path is narrow in places. Allow 20 mins.

Download a walking map of Uig Wood.

Download

Uig Wood Management Plan

PDF  (129 KB)