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Advance Purchase of Portree-to-Kyle of Lochalsh Bus Tickets?

Two of us (without a car) will be switching from a hotel in Portree to a hotel in Kyle of Lochalsh on Tuesday, July 23. The idea behind the change is to make it easier to visit the castle and/or Plockton the next morning before we head to Dundee. I don't expect to know exactly how we'll manage our time on Skye before we get there, though I imagine we need to pre-book any tour we decide to take. If it turns out we can't hit the castle/Plockton before our Dundee departure Wednesday morning, we might try to tackle them on Tuesday. That would be especially likely if weaather issues make the boat trip out of Elgol impossible or inadvisable.

I'd like to stay flexible on the timing of the bus from Portree to Kyle, since one or the other might be a more convenient place to start Tuesday's sightseeing. The question is: Do we need to buy bus tickets now to be sure we can get to Kyle? CityLink has 7 direct buses that day, four of them between 0730 and 1015, but in the mid-to-late afternoon there's only a 1520 bus and a 1735.

I see that TravelineScotland.com has at least some of the buses marked "Reservation recommended". I hate to book both a morning and an afternoon bus without knowing for sure there would be a way to let the company know it can re-sell whichever seats we decide not to use.

Thanks for your guidance.

Posted by
456 posts

Yes you should book Citylink buses. They are particularly busy in the summer months.

How do you plan to get around Skye while you are here if you don't have a car. The bus services are infrequent and based around school schedules. You would certainly need to book any tours you intend to take and also the boat trips out of Elgol. But I just can't imagine how you are going to get to Elgol unless you take an expensive taxi.

Posted by
16727 posts

Elgol may well not work out; it does seem that a RT taxi would be quite expensive. We're currently planning to take a full-day island van tour; we plan to book within the next 24 hours. Beyond that, we'll see. We can take the public bus around the Trotternish Peninsula (duplicating tour coverage, I realize), maybe hire a taxi for a couple of hours to head in a different direction. Scottish weather being what it us, I am not assuming all our days will be usable.

Posted by
456 posts

If you want something a little smaller than a van tour, then you might consider Skye Jeep Tours. You can have them collect you at your accommodation and if you have particular places you'd like to go you can let them know and they will tailor a tour just for you. Not cheap, but more bespoke than the van tours. They have a couple of very modern Jeeps and one old style one that they only use in good weather. You can easily find their details on line.