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Where to stay the night heading from Skye to Edinburgh?

We will be driving from Edinburgh to Isle of Skye in May, and have booked a room en-route in Fort William. For the return drive to Edinburgh, where would be a good spot to stop for the night? We'd like to avoid re-tracing our earlier route. Is Pitlochry a good and interesting option? Thank you!

Posted by
69 posts

I would think about Inverness maybe. I'm making some assumptions here, but bear with me.

If you're headed to Fort William on the way up, it sounds like you may be taking the route through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs as opposed as the A9. Even if this is not a correct assumption and you're duplicating part of your drive back to Edinburgh, the real bang for your buck in my opinion is the drive to Skye. The way up to Skye from Fort William is via A82 to A87. You'll hit Eileen Donan Castle on the A87 at Dornie.

Now, if you're staying a few nights in Skye, then I'd suggest not taking the A87 the entire way back down, but meeting the A890 to A835 to A9 to Inverness. Not as high traffic, but just simply spectacular drive. This route misses out on the stretch of A82 from Fort William to Inverness, but this is remedied by taking it out of Inverness on your way back down, following the A82 to the Commando Memorial, which will take you past Urquhart and Loch Ness, then you can meet up with the A86 after the Commando Memorial, onto the A9 to Edinburgh, which will take you through part of the Cairngorms.

We did the second one on our way up to Skye from Inverness, the first one on our way back down, following the A82 all the way back to Inverness, which we subsequently backtracked the next day on our way to Oban with a pitstop in Glencoe. I can tell you, it's ALL beautiful. We were a bit ambitious on our trip, and this might be too for some. We don't mind longer days in the cars to enjoy the scenery, especially as there is plenty of opportunity to stop and take everything in. We packed picnic lunches each day as well. There's lots of different ways to do it.

If nothing else, I hope this gives you an idea of the routes and you can see what works best.

Posted by
5678 posts

Actually, Pitlochry is a great place to stop. It has the festival theatre so if something is happening on the night you are staying. You could just go for a walk along the Tay. Or, go to the Explorers' Garden. I enjoyed my distillery tour. Blair Castle is just up the road.

Alternatively, you could go a bit further and stay in Dunkeld. The Taybank is a great pub that often has music sessions. I really recommend them. The town is lovely. Small, with a nice square and an old cathedral and an old bridge over the River Tay.

I do like Inverness, and you really wouldn't go wrong spending an evening there. Hootenanny is a great place to hear traditional music.


Posted by
46 posts

Thank you, Georgia for the detailed suggestions! This is exactly what I've needed to figure out our route. It does all sound so spectacular. And Pamela - this is great information! I hadn't even heard about Dunkheld and that also sounds like a great option too.

Posted by
3122 posts

Agree with Georgia and Pamela. As another alternative, if you have 2 days to return to Edinburgh, you could stay in Nairn which is just east of Inverness and quite near Culloden Battlefield, Cawdor Castle, and Clava Cairns. Then drive south with your 2nd night in Pitlochry or Dunkeld or even Perth. If you stay in Nairn, I can recommend Tali Ayer B&B.