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Inverness and Isle of Skye - April 2020

Hello! I am going to be traveling through Scotland in April and have set aside three nights in Inverness and two nights in Portree as part of the trip. We will not have a car and will have to rely on the train, bus and ride share during our stays in those locations; do you have any recommendations for travel to around those places? We would like to do some Whisky tasting and general "touristy" things in Inverness, and hiking on the Isle of Skye. Also, are there any guided day trips that you might recommend during our stay in these towns?
Thanks!
Joe

Posted by
16847 posts

I haven't taken any tours in Scotland; I had bad luck with the weather in the western part of the country and opted to take the cheaper public buses instead. There are buses that run from Portree around the Trotternish Peninsula in both directions. You can use them to access some hikes, but a bus tour would probably get you closer to the trailheads.

The bus numbers are 57A and 57C. Timetables are available here: https://www.stagecoachbus.com/timetables. This is the winter timetable, but I'm not sure when "winter" ends.

Posted by
544 posts

My thought is reverse it -- 2 nights in Inverness and 3 nights in Portree if you are able to do that. It seemed like there was much more to do on the Isle of Skye than around Inverness, particularly without a car. We rented a car in Inverness and drove to Portree, so I cannot offer suggestions for public transport.

Posted by
3994 posts

April means school holidays, so if you haven’t booked accommodation on Skye, you may struggle if your trip is this year. I would have 2 nights in Inverness and 3 on Skye.

Look at Rabbies tours.

Posted by
461 posts

Hello
I agree that 3 nights on Skye is more appropriate especially as it will take you longer to get to the start of hikes/walks by public transport than if you had your own car.

Rabbies tours are good for getting an overview of the island but will whisk you from place to place and will certainly not allow the time you will need to do any meaningful hikes. So something like a Rabbies tour might be better for your time around Inverness.

As a B&B owner on Skye, I can tell you that most of us are now putting up our availability for 2020, so you should still be able to find plenty of options for April, but don't leave it too much longer. I assume you are planning to come across to Skye by bus from Inverness, but you will find once you get here that public transport options are severely limited and run pretty much to school timetables. You might be better looking out the numbers of some Portree based taxi firms (I don't live in Portree so can't help with that). You could then arrange for them to drop you off at places where you want to walk and then pick you up again at the end of your walk. I recommend Walk HIghlands as a good website on which to find good walks.

You will want to explore the Trotternish peninsula and may be able to make the 'North End Circular' public bus schedule work for you in order to do that. You might also be able to get across to Duvegan by bus and from there walk down to the castle. The Fairy Pools are somewhat more remote, so that might require a cab. You mention ride share, but I am not entirely sure what you mean by that. Although Skye is very safe, I would not recommend trying to hitch hike for example.

Hope this helps.
Jacqui (Skyegirl)

Posted by
142 posts

We went on a day trip from Inverness to Skye with WowScotland tours, and observed that a few people had apparently taken the tour a day or two earlier, spent the night(s) in Portree and returned with us back to Inverness. The WowScotland tour was fabulous, they have a bus driver and a guide, whereas other tours may have just one person as the driver/guide. I believe there are Whisky tours from Inverness, which we unfortunately didn't have time for because we had to leave for Edinburgh by train.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you all for the replies! Very helpful! I had originally wanted to do two nights in Inverness and 3 nights in Portree, but my companion requested to do the opposite on the opinion of one of her friends. Oh, well...

Joe