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Isle of Skye

I am planning a family trip next May 2018, to Scotland. We will be traveling to Edinburgh for3 days then renting a car and heading north to St. Andrews area then over to the west for 3 days-( Inverness, Nairn area). From there we head to Isle of Skye. We plan on 3 days, 2 nights there. My question is - which town would you recommend to stay in order to see the Isle? Also, what would be your don't miss or don't bother sights? Thanks for your responses!

Posted by
631 posts

Thre's nothing big enough to be called a town on Skye!

The main village is Portree, because of terrain and coast it is triangular, each side is just over 1 mile. Some airports have parking areas bigger than that.

Broadford is a cluster of properties that is used as a connecting point for some bus routes but with a car that won't be important.

Armadale is another cluster with the ferry over to Mallaig on the mainland

Kyleakin was the main port until the Skye Bridge replaced that ferry - it's half a mile long and 2 blocks wide!

From one end of the island to other is only about 60 miles (ignoring the bits you can't drive on).

Somewhere between Broadford and Portree would be central but unless arriving very late or leaving very early don't worry too much, if you see accomodation you like then go for it! Most of the roads are in Google Streeview so you can have a look around, it may come as a shock how narrow some are.

Posted by
9421 posts

Portree is a nice base. You can do a fine day trip driving to the Quiraing on your one full day there. Lots of great restaurants in Portree, but reserving a couple of weeks in advance can be necessary. We really liked Scorrybreac as well as Sea Breezes. A lot of people who did not have reservations were turned away.

Posted by
2567 posts

We did your route in reverse, with overnight stays in St. Andrews, Nairn (I can recommend Tali Ayer B&B -- superb accommodation, friendly hosts), and next to Skye in Dornie. The Dornie Hotel is affordable, clean, convenient to the Isle (about 5 min to the bridge, or you could take the Glenelg ferry) and walking distance to Eilean Donan castle. They have a nice pub/restaurant and the staff are very helpful.

Places/experiences we loved were:

St. Andrews Old Course walking tour (not recommended if you're not into golf), playing the "Himalayas," and the British Golf Museum (which is recommended even if you aren't very interested in golf).

Glamis Castle.

Walking around the marina and beach at Nairn.

Short stop outside Cawdor Castle to see the herd of Highland Coos.

Culloden Battlefield visitor centre.

Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition.

Urquhart Castle -- enjoyed the guided walking tour & costumed interpreters.

Dunvegan Castle on Skye, fascinating interior self-guided tour. Outside, the gardens are lovely but it was too rainy for us to really see much of them.