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Taking the ferry from Mallaig to Armadale (Skye)

Our trip is in the middle of July and I suspect this is the height of ferry travel to the islands. How far in advance should I book a reservation on this ferry trip with a car? We are driving from Oban that morning and will allow plenty of time for stopping and sightseeing along that beautiful drive and plan a late afternoon ferry. Thanks!

Posted by
9110 posts

Ferries fill up fast. Make the reservation as soon as you have a firm date. You can't show up at the last minute, so allow plenty of time

You'll make it just as fast if you use the bridge and the drive to Kyle of Lochalsh is better than the one to Mallaig.

Posted by
101 posts

Thanks, Ed, I'll reserve right away. We will be staying near Plockton for a couple nights and will drive to Inverness from there. We Washingtonians love ferry rides and wanted to work at least one in on our trip. Any favorite driving route from Plockton/Duirinish to Inverness? BTW, love your comments about driving a stick shift in Britain. We're just going to go for it! Part of the adventure. Jenny

Posted by
9110 posts

He'll, I've got ideas about everything. A lot of them suck, however.

You'll get most of the roads I was thinking about after you pass Kyle. Good.

Make one change to what mapping software would probably show by cutting south early to hit the Caledonian west of Fort Agustus, then stop there to look at the lock staircase.

After that, stay on the north side of the loch chain. There's probably going to be a lot of vegetation blocking the view of the water, but it's much better than high up on the south side.

Up on the hill above Urquhart there's two monster museums. Go in one. The one with a blow-up dragon in a pond (if it's still around) is the best one. I detest tourist traps, but these are good.

I drove by Urquhart a million times before I decided to walk down. Wished I hadn't bothered. I'm in the minority.

Posted by
101 posts

OK, I was debating about that turn south to see the canal and whether it was a better choice than the more northern route. I wasn't planning on stopping at a Nessie museum and the Ed I'm traveling with (no, really, that's his name. And would you believe I have a cat named Nigel?) will think I've lost my mind if I skip a famous castle and go into a known tourist trap, but hey, why not? But I guess Urquhart castle is a bit of a tourist trap too. In Scotland, I am a tourist, even though I detest the "traps" too. Thanks!

Posted by
5455 posts

Jenny, there is lovely book on whisky that also describes a lot of wonderful driving trips in Scotland. It's call Raw Spirit and is by Iain Banks. I thought it was wonderful.

And I'm one who disagrees with Ed on Urquhart Castle. I liked it. I liked the visitor center, I like roaming the ruins and I really liked the views of Loch Ness....

One thing to think about on Skye is to go to Elgol and take the boat trip over to Loch Coruisk. Its a good trip. If you don't have time for that, the views of the Cuilins from the end of the Elgol pier are pretty amazing.

Pam

Posted by
101 posts

Pam, I'm enjoying reading Raw Spirit right now! I also have printed your suggestions on a couple different driving routes for our trip. I will add your suggestions for Skye as well. I'm so grateful to have help from people like you, Ed and several others who are experts on Scotland and England to help with my planning. Jenny