Islands

So you're off to Skye! Without a doubt, it's one of Scotland's most beautiful and romantic islands, and you are going to love it! Beginning in Inverness and finishing in Glasgow via Fort William, you'll make use of good integrated public transport links to get around. Clans, castles and one of Europe's finest rail journeys are all part of this itinerary - get ready to make some awesome island memories.

Transport

Ferry Bus Walk

Days

4

Miles

254

Route

From Inverness or Glasgow to Skye, Fort William, Oban and Inveraray

Highlights

Breathtaking scenery, geological wonders, charming towns, a ferry journey, the UK's highest mountain

Areas Covered

North

see full route

Day 1

overview

Getting to Skye

You can get to the Isle of Skye from the Highland capital of Inverness. The city has good bus links to the island or you could go by train to Kyle of Lochalsh. It terminates close to the Skye Bridge which links the island with the mainland, and the train connects with bus services.

If coming directly from central Scotland, you can take advantage of daily bus services operating between Glasgow's Buchanan Bus Station and Uig on Skye. However you choose to travel, either route is a magnificent introduction to the landscapes of the west - the views out the window are superb.

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Skye Bridge, Loch Alsh

Broadford

On the way to the island's main town of Portree, why not stop off at Broadford? Here you can link with the bus service to Elgol, a remote community on the west coast of Skye offering boat trips as well as wonderful scenery of the Cuillins. This is often described as Scotland's finest mountain view, so have the camera charged and ready for some snaps!

Portree

Portree is a pretty wee place indeed. Set around a picturesque natural harbour, it's the ideal location to base yourself as it has a superb range of shops, leisure facilities, and great restaurants and pubs. Choose from the great range of accommodation  available in the area and stay overnight.

Day 2

overview

North Skye

There's a lot to pack in today! You'll see some of Skye's world-famous landscapes, get a flavour for island life, and then you can either explore an ancient castle, or try the island's warming malt whisky at its source. Decisions, decisions!
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    Bus Walk

Quiraing, Skye

Trotternish Ridge and Museum of Island Life

Spend the morning exploring the beautiful Trotternish Ridge - 20 miles of extraordinary rock formations located north of Portree, marked at each end by the rock pinnacles of the Storr and the Quiraing. Local bus services also serve the fascinating Skye Museum of Island Life, and if time allows, Faerie Glen is definitely worth a visit. The bus stops at Uig Hotel and from here you can explore this extraordinary location formed by a series of landslides.

Dunvegan Castle

In the afternoon, take the bus from Portree to Dunvegan Castle. The historic stronghold of the chiefs of Clan MacLeod for nearly 800 years, this wonderful castle is set on the beautiful sea loch of Dunvegan. Explore the beautifully kept castle gardens, or roam great rooms and corridors and see precious clan relics.

Talisker Distillery

Alternatively, if you'd prefer to experience a Scottish icon which you can taste, head south to Talisker Distillery, where you can take a tour and try one of Scotland's finest malt whiskies. This is the only distillery on the island and is located in Carbost, also home to the Giant MacAskill Museum and the Colbost Croft Museum.

Day 3

overview

Portree, south Skye and the west Highlands

It's your last morning on Skye before you start to make your way to Glasgow, the finishing point in this itinerary. While it might be difficult to pull yourself away from the island, there's a few delights awaiting you on the mainland!
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    Ferry Bus Walk

Glenfinnan Viaduct, Lochaber

Portree

Explore local attractions around Portree. The award-winning Aros Centre covers the heritage of Skye and the lives of the island's sea eagles, and also has a great exhibition on St Kilda, a remote archipelago off the west of Scotland which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alternatively, take a stroll around the harbour.

Armadale to Mallaig

After exploring Portree, enjoy the beautiful bus journey to the small town of Armadale on the Sleat Peninsula in the south of the island. At the ferry terminal, admire beautiful scenery as you say your goodbyes to Skye - it'll be hard, but the next part of the trip is going to be great too! Take the ferry to the mainland. It arrives at Mallaig, a busy Highland fishing port.

Travelling to Fort William

From Mallaig, you can take advantage of the train and bus connections to Fort William. A summer season highlight is to take the Jacobite Steam Train service, hauled by a vintage locomotive running from Fort William to Mallaig. It goes over the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct - recognise it from the Harry Potter films?! We're not exaggerating when we say it's one of the greatest train journeys in the world!

On your arrival at Fort William you can enjoy spectacular views of Ben Nevis, Britain's highest mountain. Stay overnight in the town's accommodation to enjoy wonderful Highland hospitality.

Day 4

overview

Oban and Inveraray

Instead of just heading from Fort William to Glasgow, take a detour and spend today discovering other delights of the west of Scotland.
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Oban, Argyll

Oban

Begin your journey to Glasgow via Oban (about one and a half hours away by bus). With its handsome waterfront along a sheltered bay, Oban offers plenty to do - there's a museum, galleries, independent shops and a distillery.

Inveraray

Now it's time to sit back and drink in the sights from the window of the bus to Glasgow! The bus journey takes about three hours. If you time it right you might be able to factor in a break at Inveraray, and take a later service for the remainder of the journey.

The route will take you eastwards through the pass of Brander and by Loch Awe to reach Inveraray, a town built by the third Duke of Argyll in the mid 18th century. Inveraray Castle is close by, where you can admire its distinctive towers and fine collections of tapestry, armour, furniture and works of art.

Up and over the high pass called the Rest and Be Thankful you will see Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, with superb panoramas across to high Ben Lomond and the Loch Lomond islands.

Summary

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