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Driving from Skye to Edinburgh

We’re planning on leaving Skye first thing on a Saturday and driving down to Edinburgh. Staying in Edinburgh near the hotel Saturday night for an early Sunday flight.

Is driving that in one day too ambitious? Google maps shows 5 hrs 20 minutes to take the A9 and 5 hours 49 minutes to take the route through fort William and the trossachs. I’m assuming this would be much more scenic, and we could break the drive up with scenic stops and lunch. Looking for opinions on this route and suggested stops.

Posted by
1586 posts

Take the road that goes through Glencoe and Callander. Glencoe is one of our favorite parts of Scotland and is one of the most beautiful parts of Scotland, especially on an overcast day. It's not too much of a drive, since the drive will be your "entertainment" for the day.

Posted by
940 posts

Hi, Julie,

Are you taking the Kyle Bridge or the Armadale to Mallaig ferry? Or the Kylerhea to Glenelg ferry?

Mike (Auchterless)

p.s. Don't ever believe any time frame that Google maps gives you. They don't take in to consideration roadworks, roundabouts, or getting stuck behind a big lorry on the A87/A82/A830.

Posted by
513 posts

Your best route is to take the Skye Bridge, then follow the main road to Spean Bridge before turn left to head east. You will pick up the A9 at Dalwhinnie, then follow the A9 south. You could stop for lunch at The House of Bruar (also known informally as the Harrods of the north), or alternatively in Pitlochry. You will then join the motorway near Stirling and it's an easy run down to Edinburgh from there. We live on Skye and I would always take this route over the Fort William/Trossachs route which can be extremely slow. Depending on what time of year you are doing this journey you may well encounter additional traffic, as Saturday is holiday season 'changeover day' with people who have rented cottages for a week departing and arriving. If you are doing the journey in winter then weather could play a part and of course daylight hours are much shorter. Personally I would always allow 7 hours including a very short stop for a cup of tea. If you are planning photo stops, lunch etc then you will probably take all day. I hope this helps.

Posted by
940 posts

Hi, Skyegirl,

That's the way I'd go as well, if I wasn't taking the ferry. But you need a little more information, so that our OP doesn't get lost.

It's A87 from Kyle of Lochalsh to Invergarry, then south on the A82 to Spean Bridge; then the A86 east to Laggan; and finally, the A886 south to Dalwhinnie. If you miss the turn off for the A886, you end up in Kingussie.

Hope that helps!

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
1586 posts

Since the OP has all day for this drive, her choice of routes should depend on whether she wants the most scenic drive or the quickest one.

Posted by
940 posts

There are so many ways to make that run. For scenery, I'd take the CalMac from Armadale to Mallaig; the A830 to Fort William; the A82 south through Glencoe to Crainlarich; the A85 through Glen Dochart to the turn off for the A827; the A827 through Killin and along Loch Tay, ending at the A9 at Ballinluig, with lunch in Aberfeldy or Dunkeld.

But then, if pressed for time, I'd take the route described by Skyegirl above.

Julie, whichever way you travel to Edinburgh, there'll be lots to see and many places to stop for lunch. Enjoy your travels!

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you all. I am definitely interested in the more scenic route, so I think through Glencoe is likely worth the extra time to me. Thanks again for all the helpful advice

Posted by
13 posts

Julie, not sure if you’ve left already but just wanted to reassure you that your drive is definitely doable!! We just finished driving from Edinburgh to Thurso to Ullapool to Dornie(by the Isle of Skye) to Glasgow. It was a 9 day trip we added on to our Rick Steves trip, The Best of Scotland. The most frustrating part of the journey leaving the Isle of Skye-all the campers!! Have fun:)