My husband and I will be visiting England and Scotland 5/19-6/12/2020. We will arrive in London and spend 5 nights there then fly to Edinburgh for 3 nights. Plan to p/u a rental car and drive to Skye (3 night stay) stopping for one night in either Oban, Glencoe or Ft. William to break up the drive. Thoughts are to drive early morning to Stirling from Edinburgh for a quick visit then on to one of the other towns for a night before heading to Portree the following day. Since there will not be much time, of priority would be a scenic drive and good food and a ice hotel for some rest. If there is any time in the afternoon to see anything or go for a walk (weather permitting) that would be a bonus. Suggestions on our stopover would be greatly appreciated!
Are you planning to access Skye via the Kyle bridge, or via the ferry from Mallaig?
I had assumed by ferry. had not looked into the driving in that much detail yet. what do you suggest?
There are 3 routes onto Skye
1. Ferry from Mallaig to Armadale. Must be booked in advance if travelling by car. Calmac website is the place to book. This is a good option if you want to approach Skye from Fort William and the drive from Fort William to Mallaig is very scenic.
2. By the historic turntable ferry from Glenelg to Kylerhea. Not bookable in advance. Usually operates 10am to about 6pm. But check their website. An absolutely stunning way to approach Skye.
3. By the bridge at Kyle of Lochalsh. Probably the 'easiest' way to approach.
Many visitors like to arrive by one of the ferries and leave via the bridge or the other way around.
It is very hard to advise you on where to stay without knowing your budget or where on Skye you want to base yourself. It is a much bigger island than many people realise. If budget is not a consideration then personally I would stay at Kinloch Lodge which is in a stunning location with a world class restaurant.
You could also consider the Edinbane Lodge, which has beautiful rooms and an excellent restaurant. Or you could stay at the less expensive Edinbane Inn and still eat at the Lodge, which is just across the street.
If you want/need to stay in Portree then I'm sorry but I don't know any particularly special places to stay there.
All of Skye is very scenic and you can literally walk anywhere and have fine views. I'd suggest having a look at a guide book that includes Skye to narrow down what you want to see and then coming back with more questions and we can all help you further refine your plans.
If you plan to drive via Stirling (fantastic castle) and stop in, then my vote would be to continue on from there and take the M9/A82 route (note M9 becomes A84/A85 after Stirling) to Glencoe and spend the night there. This route will take you up by Callandar (very pretty) and through the Trossachs National Park). The drive through Glencoe is stunning, and the history of the area is stirring. A few short walks available for the afternoon, check out the information centre just outside the village. There are some nice B and Bs in the area and a short distance away. The next day, over to Mallaig to catch the ferry on to Skye - no problem!! Just pre-book the ferry as recommended by Skyegirl. Enjoy your travels.
Thanks so much, so very helpful. I think we will stay in Glencoe then take the ferry over. Budget not a concern on accommodations so will look into those suggested! Any restaurant suggestions would be appreciated too!
Anyone had experience with the Cullin Hills Hotel?
Hello again Cindy
I haven't stayed at the Cullin Hills Hotel as I live on Skye, but have eaten there once and was unimpressed. The location is nice but I'd have thought there were nicer places as previously suggested.
Thanks Skye girl, I"ve booked the Kinloch Lodge. Do you have suggestions for a 3 day itinerary on he island? Not much time I know but we will have a car and would like to enjoy some day hikes and points of interest. We will arrive early in the day Friday June 5 and depart mid-day Monday June 8. We could possibly squeeze in an extra night and depart Tuesday June 9.
For a 3 day stay on Skye, personally I would split my time as follows:
1. A day spent exploring the Trotternish peninsula in the north of the island. It will take you about 45 minutes to get to Portree from Kinloch Lodge. From there you head north towards Staffin. Many of Skye's most famous sights are on this peninsula, the Old Man of Storr, the Quiraing, the dinosaur footprints on the beach at Staffin, Kilt Rock, the museum of island life, the Fairy glen.
A day spent in the west of the island, taking in the Fairy Pools, Glenbrittle beach, Talisker distillery, the oyster shed, Dunvegan Castle and Neist Point.
A day spent doing a boat trip out of Elgol, any of the tours with Bella Jane or Misty Isle would be good. I would heartily recommend the trip to the Small Isles. You will see seals, may see dolphins and all kinds of sea birds, including puffins.
For the first two days I have listed way too much to see in a day, but it gives you an idea.
Hope this helps.
We have done several trips to Scotland and the drive from Edinburgh to Oban three times. It's and excellent drive - you take a wonderful route through Loch Lomand and there are a lot of little towns to stop at along the way. Oban is great for a night - some really delicious restaurants (and of course the Oban Distillery!).
We have done both Airbnb and the recently renovated Oban Pearle, which was really nice and very comfortable.
Great comments! Thanks for making my planning sooo much easier!