We will take the ferry from Mallaig to Armadale on Skye in early May and then need to find a bus to Kyle of Lochalsh where we take the train to Inverness. Do the Stagecoach buses meet every incoming ferry? If not how else can we travel to Kyle of Lochalsh?
There are only three or four buses each day. As opposed to eight ferry sailings. So the answer is no, they don't meet each incoming ferry. Stagecoach operates Armadale to Broadford; you'd probably have to transfer to a Citylink bus to continue your onward journey to Kyle of Lochalsh.
There are several taxi services on Skye. There appears to be one near Armadale (James' Taxis). Just for the convenience, you may want to consider arranging for a taxi to meet the ferry. Depending on how many there are in your party, the fare should be around 50 pounds.
Your other option, if there are only two of you, would be to find some kind looking person on the ferry to give you a lift to Broadford, from where you can catch the Citylink bus to Kyle. However, if you have a lot of luggage, that most likely isn't going to work.
Perhaps Jacqui (Skyegirl) can provide more information for the bus service out of Armadale vs. the approximate cost of a taxi.
Hope that helps in some way.
p.s.: That's an awfully short time to spend on Skye!
Personally I would not even think of catching a bus on Skye! They are few and far between, apart from the Citylink services to Glasgow and Inverness. However, here is a link to the Stagecoach timetables for Skye. Stagecoach The buses are not timed around the ferry schedule as far as I can make out, but you might get lucky! You can find ferry schedules on calmac.co.uk.
You might be able to catch a bus to Broadford, and then from there to Kyle of Lochalsh. But a taxi would be much more convenient. It does seem an odd choice to make this journey if you don't plan to spend any time on Skye.
I can see what vanwalsh is thinking. To get from Fort William/Mallaig to Inverness by train, they would have to go all the way back to Glasgow to transfer. It would be more convenient (and more scenic!) to take the ferry to Armadale, road transportation to Kyle, and the Inverness train from there. Even with the taxi fare thrown in, it would probably end up costing less the way they're planning the route than transferring through Glasgow..
I'd opt for a taxi as well.
Thanks Mike & Jacqui:
That's right. We are travelling on a Scotrail "Scottish Grand Tour" pass which has us essentially "transiting" southern Skye to reach the train to Inverness. This quick trip is all about enjoying the scenery from the window of a train. I spent about a week on Skye back in 1973 and absolutely loved it. In fact part of me is not looking forward to seeing the "changes" to that beautiful island.
FYI- I've just heard back from the folks at Stagecoach and they say they have a bus that leaves the Armadale ferry dock at 12:40 arriving at Kyle at 13:30 in time for the train to Inverness. If not I'll use a taxi as you both suggest. Thanks again for the help.