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Ferry or Bridge? Travelling from Skye to Glencoe

I need help deciding the best route to get from Skye to Glencoe. Is the drive nicer going across the Kyle of Lochalsh Bridge and getting to see Eilean Donan Castle and then making our way down or are we better off taking the ferry from Armadale to Mallaig and driving that route? We do want to see the Glenfinnan Viaduct (though not looking to get on the train) and will probably take a detour even if we do end up going via Kyle of Lochalsh. Though I've also heard that it is so busy it's not that enjoyable - I'd love feedback about this! (Edited to add that ferry is available for the day we're looking to book.)

We are only spending one night in Glencoe before heading back to Edinburgh if that makes any difference for must see spots.

Thanks in advance!

Posted by
1213 posts

I'd recommend the ferry from Armadale to Mallaig if you can secure a reservation. You need a reservation for a car and you'll find places are limited. Not only will this save you miles, it's also a lovely drive and will indeed take you right past the viaduct. Eilean Donan is nice from the outside but inside it's a claustrophobic reconstruction.

Posted by
1213 posts

If the ferry is definitely available then it's a no brainer! The viaduct and monument are well worth seeing. It's only crazy busy when there's a steam train due. The entire route is lovely. Stop at Morar and Arisaig beaches too for a stroll. You could also detour a little in to the Ardnamurchan peninsula area.

Posted by
671 posts

Last year, we used the ferry one way and the bridge the other. If the weather is good, I'd pick the ferry. We timed Glenfinnan for the steam train, and it was a total zoo in early Jun. Parking was difficult and the trail was literally elbow to elbow. If you want to see the steam train, they allow non-ticket holders on the platform in Ft. William, although the Glenfinnan photo allows you to take one of the most common shots in the world!

Posted by
1666 posts

Last year we took the bridge to Skye. We stopped at Eilean Donan Castle for photos. We did pay a small fee to walk across the bridge and walk around outside the castle and take more photos. We did not go inside for reasons that skyegirl mentions.

When we left Skye, we took the ferry from Armadale to Mallaig. This is what I would recommend that you do. The drive to Glen Coe is lovely. I hope you have the time to drive down the Loch Etive Road. This was one of the highlights of our trip. This is a 12-mile drive that ends at Loch Etive. The scenery is stunning!!!! Lush greenery, the Etive River, mountains on both sides, and in June, thousands of rhododendrons.