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Need Help-Driving Route to Skye

We are traveling from California to Scotland for 6 Days and Ireland for 5. Our group includes my husband and me, our friend and her two daughters and their husband and fiancee. One of the girls has decided to get married in the Isle of Skye.
I could sure use some help/suggestion on itinerary, accommodations and connections. Here's what we have so far.

Days 1-3 Sept 14-17(check out) Edinburgh- We have 3 nights accommodations
Day 4 Sept 17 Rent a car and start trip to Isle of Skye. We are trying to decide whether to take a northerly route and stay one night in some place such as Aviemore or a Westerly route and stay one night in someplace such as Oban? Which do you suggest? Ideas?
We are trying to stay at a half way point for one night to avoid a long drive.
Day 5 Sept 18 Drive to Skye -We have 2 nights accommodations.
Day 6 Sept 19 Wedding Ceremony
Day 7 Sept 20 return rental car in Edinburgh. Fly to Dublin ( flight booked).

Any suggestions would be helpful!
Thank you

Posted by
7175 posts

You are driving from Skye to Edinburgh to make a same day flight to Ireland?
This is probably a 6-7 hour drive.

Posted by
3122 posts

Your first question, driving to Skye via Aviemore (and, presumably, Inverness) or via Oban -- I think they're both lovely. However, the most direct route (and an easy rival to the others in terms of scenery, IMO) is to cut off westward from the A9 and go via Spean Bridge and Invergarry. You only have a few days, so I would say to stay the night somewhere in that vicinity (or even Fort William, if you can't find a B&B in the smaller towns) and then go on to Skye on the 18th.
Or you could go via Tyndrum and Glencoe and Fort William -- not swinging as far to the west as Oban, but very scenic.

I agree with the previous comment that your plan to drive from Skye to Edinburgh for your Dublin flight is a cliff-hanger. It is a LONG drive. What time is your flight?

Posted by
1657 posts

Speed Bonny Car
Like a Ford on the Road
Over the Sea to Skye
Carry the Yank
Who wants a great time
Along with all their thanks

Sorry, I am in a strange mood.

I would always recommend one way to Skye by ferry and back by bridge. In reverse is almost as good. My suggestion is across from Mallaig. Doing this way, in either direction, means you avoid a level of double backing. Ferry out bridge back also means seeing Eilean Donan the proper way, seaward.

Posted by
7566 posts

For what it's worth (your results may vary), in August (not September) 2014, we'd visited Skye for 3 days, and made our way (by the tiny Glenelg car ferry, which doesn't run all year long) to the mainland, and on to Fort William. Leaving Fort William, it started pouring rain, and that made for a long, slow, traffic-heavy drive through Glen Coe and on towards Edinburgh. With a stop for lunch and another at Doune Castle. So it took more than a single day, and weather played a part in the delay, but we weren't going straight through ASAP. Is the new bride coming home in the car with the rest of you? Is there a party after the ceremony? Are you all sleeping on Skye on the 19th, or heading off Skye on the 19th and sleeping somewhere on Mainland Scotland that night? Maybe I missed it, but it sounded like you wanted to break up the drive to Skye (as the title of your post says), but maybe not necessarily the trip from Skye.

In case of weather or other unanticipated delays, so that you make your already-booked flight to Dublin, please make sure you depart Skye in time. Congratulations to your daughter and her family!

Posted by
1 posts

We drove to Skye via Glen Coe and Ft. William and stayed in Ft. William. A lovely drive and there are lots of B&Bs in Ft. William. From there take the ferry to Skye. You must take at least one ferry while in western Scotland. One big caution, the roads along this route can be narrow and winding and a party of seven means a large van, which leaves you little margin for error when you meet a lorry or bus on a tight curve. Purchase the insurance, because you may decide that the curb or wall along the road is a better option than the large bus coming your way. Skye is lovely. We splurged and stayed a night at Kinloch Lodge. A very nice guest house with a super restaurant, but it sounds as if you already have accommodations. The trip back is more problematic. A very long drive back to Edinburgh airport from Skye. If you do this drive, then take the bridge off of Skye, make your way to the A9 down to Perth. The A9 is a very good road with plenty of room to maneuver. Another option is to fly from Inverness to Ireland. We flew on FLYBE out of Inverness to Belfast. They fly every day from Inverness to Dublin nonstop, sometimes for less than $100 per one way ticket. I would turn the rental car in at Inverness, cancel the flight from EDI to Dublin and fly from Inverness. Another option to consider is taking the train from Edinburgh to Inverness and renting a vehicle there for the trip over to Skye. It won't save you any time, but the train ride is more relaxing than driving a van on narrow winding roads. Of course you would miss sights like Glen Coe and the ferry from Malaig. But a relaxing train ride might suit you. Whichever way you go, have a great vacation.