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Travel form Glasgow to Uig , Isle of Skye

We have a little side trip planned for exploring the Isle of Skye and are wondering if we are being realistic with our schedule.
We plan to take the morning train from Glasgow and arrive in Mallaig by 1:38. Looks to be a beautiful 5 1/2 hour train ride.
Catch lunch and stretch our legs in Mallaig and then take the ferry to Armadale ( 45 minute ferry)
From there we will pick up our car rental and drive to the little town of Uig where our hotel is.
It looks to be an 1hr 15 minute drive.
We want to arrive in time for a sunset and dinner. ( sunset in August is around 8:30)
My question is...do you think this is a realistic time schedule? Would you consider this a hard travel day? I do not mind pushing a bit because our time is limited but I do also want to savor the journey.

Posted by
1258 posts

Looks doable should be a very memorable day.
Sent you a PM too.
Uig is not best placed for sunsets as the headland above the harbour blocks the view but more or less anywhere on the coast road Kilmuir has massive views

Posted by
6674 posts

Driving from Armadale to Uig will take more than one hour and 15 minutes, especially depending on what time of year you are traveling.

The roads are good and well paved, but it’s a 2 lane highway and if you’re traveling anytime between May and September, you’re almost guaranteed to get behind a slow moving camper van at some point that will slow you down. Also, there will be a lot of traffic on the road from Armadale to Portree, which will definitely slow you down.

Posted by
6131 posts

On the train, don't worry too much about your reserved seats, but try to find a pair of seats in the back 2 cars (the ones closest to the ticket barrier) on the left hand side of the train, for what are generally the best views.
The front two cars are detached at Crianlarich to go to Oban. If it is a six car set the middle two are generally detached when the train gets to Fort William, so only the back 2 (at Glasgow) go all the way to Mallaig.
At Fort William the train reverses, so swop sides of the train as the best views by far are on the left hand side of the train (again).

Book your foot passenger passage on the ferry- not only will this give you the actual times of the ferry on the day (this route is a tidal route so changes do happen) but you will be kept up to date with any late changes.

The rental car garage at Armadale is only a small one, so presumably only keeps business hours, so that will also dictate how late a ferry you can take over.

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks for the helpful tips! All will be taken into consideration. Glad I am planning this months in advance! hopefully giving time for little tweaks!

Posted by
1165 posts

Driving time Armadale to Uig will be around 2 hours in summer with the tourist traffic. Uig is not a 'little town'. It's a tiny village with 2 pubs, one hotel, a ferry terminal, a village shop and a petrol station. I would not find it an attractive base (unless staying at the Ferry Inn, which is lovely).

Have you already arranged car hire? Options on Skye are extremely limited.

Are you doing all this for just a one night stop or are you staying multiple nights. Crazy amount of travel for one night.

Posted by
4 posts

We actually are staying at the Ferry Inn! for two nights. ( all we could find/reserve for that time of year) then one night at the Uig Hotel (again...very limited options) before we travel back to Mallaig to connect with a group we will be spending time with in Knoydart for an artist retreat.
We have NOT already arranged for a car hire! That is my next job! ANy suggestions?

Posted by
1165 posts

Definitely get on to the car booking asap. There are only two car hire places on Skye - the only other (in addition to the one mentioned by isn31c) is Morrisons based in Portree. Both are very small operators.

Posted by
6674 posts

If your Armadale car rental does not work out, you might consider looking in Mallaig for rentals. If you did that, of course, you would need to take the car over on the ferry (and book accordingly) but ferrying with a car is not difficult at all. I did it on 7 different ferries in Scotland last year. That might save you a bit of time as you can just head out of the ferry and drive directly to Uig.