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7 Days in Scotland - Edinburgh to Isle of Skye

We (my wife and I) will land in London on September 1st for a couple of days to acclimatize and then we're off for 7 Days in Scotland and in our 'infinite' wisdom, we are planning a trip from Edinburgh to Isle of Skye and back. We are hoping for confirmation that "Yeah, that's a great idea" or "hmmm, I would recommend this instead ... ".

Overall, we are planning to circle west to Isle of Skye and return through the east:

  • 1 night on route to Isle of Skye (Killin, Glencoe, or Oban)

  • 3 nights in Isle of Skye (Arrive via Mallaig and depart via Bridge of Skye)

  • 1 night on route to Edinburgh (Inverness or Ballater)

  • 2 nights in Edinburgh

Google maps claims we can do this in about 15 hours ... :)

Day 1:

We arrive in Edinburgh @ 10:00 am to rent a car and hit the highway M9 through Stirling (stopping at Falkirk & Stirling) and up toward Tyndrum.

Route A: Stop at Killin for the night(Edinburgh->Killin=2 hours GMap driving time)

Route B: Stop at Oban for the night (Edinburgh ->Oban = 3 hours GMap driving time. We are leaning toward Oban but it is a bit more driving :),

Day 2:

Explore countryside driving to Portree via Mallaig Ferry

Day 3:

Explore Isle of Skye - Fairy Pools and Talisker in the morning and maybe Dunvegan Castle and Neist Point in the afternoon.

Day 4:

Explore Isle of Skye -Lighthouse, Old man of Storr and north -

Option A - Spend night in Isle of Skye
Option B - Stay at Dornie at night for Eileen Donan Castle Evening and Morning photos. It's also a little closer to our next destination.

Day 5:

Explore countryside driving through Torridon and Achnasheen and past Inverness to Ballater (GMaps=3.5 Hours)

Day 6

Route A: Explore countryside driving from Ballater through Stonehaven, St Andrews and into Edinburgh (GMaps = 3.5 Hours). Looks like some great Castles on this route. I was thinking Crathes and Dunnatar look really interesting. Any others? Some have mentioned that St Andrews is worth a few hours.

Route B: Explore countryside driving from Ballater through Braemar, Perth and into Edinburgh (GMaps = 2.5 Hours) to arrive in early PM and explore Edinburgh in evening

Day 7

Explore Edinburgh

Day 8

Fly to Ireland

So what do you think fellow explorers? As always, we know there is a "bit" of driving involved but we enjoy exploring and getting opportunities for photography, a bit of hiking and poking through the countryside.

We're looking for some recommendations on routes, places to stop for hiking and photographs. What are some of your favourite places that are just off the beaten path?

One question to add, what about going over the Applecross pass on the way to Torridon? Is it weather dependant?

Naturally all alternative suggestions and helpful advice are welcome. Especially Places to stay overnight and great places to eat would be an added bonus.

Where is some of the great places for food in Isle of Skye?

Thanks to all in advance

Posted by
842 posts

The Applecross road will be fine..
Torridon us magnificent.
Short walk up to Steall waterfall near Ben Nevis I can recommend

Posted by
903 posts

I've mentioned in another thread that taking the boat trip from Elgol on Skye to Loch Coruisk is a great little trip and that the Three Chimneys Restaurant (near Dunvegan, under McLeod's Tables) is supposedly one of the top fifty restaurants in the world (prices to match but booked up well in advance, so be warned on both fronts - you won't be able to just turn up there). Sligachan Hotel is a better, less pricey bet for meals and drinks and has a magnificent view of the Cuillins.

Otherwise, my fellow Yorkshireman Richard is right on the money. The Applecross Pass (Bealach Na Ba - Pass of the Cattle) is a thrilling drive - I recall watching dolphins off the coast through binoculars from there and Torridon is fantastic. I also recommend the walk up to the Falls of Steall. Ben Nevis by the 'tourist route' from Fort William is going to be an almost full day's expedition - I reckon six-seven hours round trip as a basic rule of thumb and the description 'tourist path' isn't generally to be taken to mean a stroll in the park. For instance, there's a 'tourist path' up Sgurr Nan Gillean opposite the Sligachan Hotel, but in it's upper reaches there's a terrifying amount of exposure (I have seen people roped up to cross the slanting slab near the top) so be warned! Our mountains are not necessarily tall in comparison with, say, the Alps, but they are not without their dangers and should be shown a healthy respect.

The walk into the Quirang on the Trotternish Ridge is an easier one though (from the top of the road pass) and interesting for the shattered rock formations. 'The Table' is a short but hot and sweaty scramble up from the path though in my recollection!

I hope the weather is kind for you and you have a great trip. If it the weather behaves, there's nowhere finer!


Posted by
8 posts

We've done this trip but backwards to your order. We started in Edinburgh for a few days, then on to Glasgow for an overnight for a concert. From there we went to Skye. I heartily recommend the Isles Inn, right in the center of Portree. A wonderful pub with great food. Be sure to hike to the lighthouse at Niest Point. On our return we stopped in Pitlochry and visited the Edradour Distillery, a wonderful place to visit! Our blog link is below, and it goes straight to our Scotland visit. Photos, and places to see. We simply loved Scotland.