We are thinking of having Inverness as our base camp and exploring the highlands, Isle of Skye, etc. from there. Would this be a good idea with regards to the area? We want to have plenty to explore and see within driving distances of a base camp at a rented home in Inverness.
Let me start by saying Skye is my favorite place on earth. We did not make it a day trip, but we did drive from Inverness. I cannot remember how long it took, as we stopped along the way. I think you could physically do the drive, but you wouldn't get very deep onto the island.
I'm sure if you left very early one morning and came home very late it might be possible. But I don't think you'd see too much of Skye.
I think about Skye all the time and if given the chance to live anywhere it is at the top of my list.
I would strongly suggest you look at a rental on Skye, there is so much to see.
Thank you! How would you rank it with the highlands, if you went to the highlands that is? Thanks so much. Also, any recommendations with places in the Isle of Skye?
I agree with the previous poster, I absolutely loved the Isle of Syke and its natural beauty. That being said I hate to not recommend anyone not visit there but if you are staying at Inverness a day trip would really be a stretch. You are talking 2 plus hours drivng there and then later 2 plus hours driving back to Inverness. These times are also basically for people that are accustomed to driving on the left side and are accustomed to driving on narrow, curvy, hilly, sometimes single lane roads. If you are from the US this will be a test of your driving abilities. We spent 5 days on Syke, with hiking and the outdoors our main focus but I really think we would not have enjoyed a single day trip to the Isle. We also stayed 4 days in Fort William for additional highlands adventure. Both spots were wonderful. So, I would advise against a day trip. We stayed at Bla Bheinn, a B&B near Carbost on our visit and it was wonderful and we did day trips around Skye from there. If you plan on hiking as your focus be sure to give this website a look www.walkhighlands.co.uk its a great resource for hikers and other visitors to Scotland.
We have done a day trip to Skye from Inverness, but it was with a local tour company. It included a stop at Eliean Donnan Castle (not a visit inside on that trip, though), and a lovely garden with ruins (sorry, I can't remember the name). It was a reasonable length trip.
Skye is large and many of the places can only be reached via single track roads, where you constantly need to pull in and give way. This takes time. You need at least 2 full days to make it a worthwhile trip and ideally 3. I wouldn't bother as a day trip from Inverness as there are plenty closer places to keep you occupied.
I have visited Skye twice as a day trip. Agree it's worth much more of your time, but that's how it was. With a car and if you get going early from Inverness, you will be able to cover a fair slice of Skye in a day. If you only have a day to visit, do it.
The advantage of staying in Inverness and making several day trips from there is that you can look at the weather and go where the rain isn't--or at least where it is not as powerful. Skye is a big island and certainly if you want to explore the island in depth, you need to stay there. But if you want to just get a flavor of the island then sign up for one of the day trips from Inverness.
Cierra - Our family stayed in Inverness in June 2009 and did a day tour to The Isle of Skye. I believe we used Puffin Tours.
BTW I find that the Tourist Office in Inverness is very helpful. At this link you'll see a link for emailing them with questions.
And here's a link with lots of helpful info on tours.