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Plockton or Portree as a base?

New York
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64 posts
Plockton or Portree as a base?
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My husband and I will be in Skye for 2 nights (traveling in a couple of weeks) and i am trying to decide which hotel to book. I've heard good things about Plockton, so I was thinking about either the Plockton Hotel or Plockton Inn and then doing day trips into Skye. Or the Bosville hotel in Portree looks pretty nice as well. We will have a car, so don't really mind driving, we'd just like to stay in a cool little town where there are a few things to see/do and a good pub would be a plus. We aren't fancy people but a nice room with good views helps too! If you have any suggestions about these hotels I'd really appreciate it. Thanks so much.

Yellow Springs, Ohio
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1,966 posts
62 reviews
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1. Re: Plockton or Portree as a base?
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I would definitely stay in Portree. Don't underestimate the drive time between Plockton and Portree (which is near midway on Skye). Google maps shows the distance as 40 miles and the drive as an hour and 7 minutes. I think that's a bit optimistic. Plus, when you get on Skye you aren't going to want to leave.

The Bosville Hotel is nice and and Bistro is very good. The parking at the hotel is limited but there are some public lots in the area.

Berkshire, United...
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for Avignon
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2. Re: Plockton or Portree as a base?
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Plockton is lovely, but I would choose Portree every time. Less travelling time, more to see and do. The Bosville is very nicely situated, and has a very good name.

New York
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64 posts
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Thanks for the advice - if there is more to see and do in Portree maybe we'll do that. I heard it doesn't have the charm that Plockton does, do you feel that way? Are there any other hotels in Portree that you'd recommend over the Bosville?

Scotland
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for Scotland
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4. Re: Plockton or Portree as a base?
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You can't really compare Plockton and Portree. Portree is bigger with more facilities, restaurants, shops etc, but more importantly it's well located to see Skye. Plockton is worth a visit before or after Skye but is not central.

Yellow Springs, Ohio
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1,966 posts
62 reviews
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5. Re: Plockton or Portree as a base?
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There are a number of small hotels and B and B's in and around Portree.

Searching on TA should give you a good overview.

I'll give you two of my personal favorite things to do on Skye:

1. Go to the Waternish and visit Skyeskins and Shilasdair. You can Google both and see if they fit your interests.

2. Have dinner at the Old School in Dunvegan. It's a second generation family run restaurant and is a combination of great food and atmosphere.

Have a great visit!

Beadnell, United...
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6. Re: Plockton or Portree as a base?
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Would totaly agree with Waternish - lovely area. We stayed at the Stein Inn, good food, fab breakfast, and views just wonderful. And ask the staff anything - so helpful.

Glasgow, United...
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7. Re: Plockton or Portree as a base?
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Hmmm - I might vote for Plockton - for exactly the charm reasons that you quote. More intimate, and a better chance to get chatting to locals than with lots of other tourists.

Sleat is a fantastic part of Skye to explore, and more accessible from Plockton than it is from Portree, as are other places in the Lochalsh area, like Balmacara - also well worth a visit.

I think the distances and time driving will even itself out from either Portree or Plockton. Especially if you are including south Skye, Dornie, and even Raasay in your plans. So it will come down to a choice of atmosphere, and that is a matter of personal taste.

Kentisbeare, United...
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8. Re: Plockton or Portree as a base?
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I like Plockton, out of the 2 destinations I personally would say Plockton itself is more scenic but Portree is the ideal place to stay if you want to explore Northern Skye, it offers all the amenities (shops, restaurants etc) but as you only have 2 days to explore it might be worth as someone else suggested going for Plockton and then exploring southern Skye.

The driving cannot be underestimated, it will feel like it takes longer than 1 hours 7 minutes, especially if you're driving at a peak time.

Skye is magical but for me the mainland just off Skye beats it for scenery/atmosphere. I love Dornie, Glenelg, Lochcarron & Applecross and we return to this area year after year.

Isle of Skye...
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16 reviews
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9. Re: Plockton or Portree as a base?
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Hi there,

the pleasure of touring Skye & Lochalsh as an entire area is all the scenery you drive THROUGH, not necessarily the individual villages/towns you stop in to shop/eat - so personally I would stay wherever YOU feel drawn to - your driving time will ultimately balance out regardless of your base location. Skye & Lochalsh is all about the scenery and remote crofting/fishing communities, so Portree is no more a destination than Stein or Glendale, Armadale or Kyleakin, Luib or Plockton, Lochcarron or Elgol, Broadford or Carbost, Staffin or Applecross (although this last one is definitely not for the feint hearted car driver!).

The list of remote, beautiful, peaceful & friendly little townships/villages on Skye and around Lochalsh, is endless. You will find restaurants & local, friendly & often very "lively" bars, in Glenelg, Applecross, Lochcarron, Strathcarron, Plockton, Dornie, Kyle, Kyleakin, Broadford, Ardvasar (by Armadale), Sconser, Sligachan, Carbost, Dunvegan, Stein, Uig & of course Portree, which does have more pubs & restaurants in one location than any of the others, as it is the largest village/town on Skye!

Please also note that Plockton - 10 mins drive - Kyle - 5 mins drive - Kyleakin - 10 mins drive - Broadford are all very close to each other and therefore you would have an equally wide variety of restaurants within a short drive of your accommodation if you stayed around the Skye Bridge area and obviously bars within walking distance.

If you drive up to stay in Portree, you simply add an extra 1 hr (from the Skye Bridge) to your drive when you arrive and then again when you leave. If your intention is to simply tour the northwest (Talisker Distillery, Dunvegan, Glenelg, Waternish) and northeast (Trotternish, Old Man of Storr/Quiraing) of the island, then it might be useful to be located somewhere north of Sligachan (the central point of convergence of the main 3 driving routes on Skye!), but if you want to investigate a bit of everything, including the Sleat Peninsula (Armadale Castle, Isle Ornsay, Ord/Tokavaig & Loch Eishort), Elgol (Blaven, Loch Slapin & Coruisk), Kylerhea/Glenelg (2 tiny townships connected by one of the original Skye Ferries, with the best preserved Iron Age Brochs just outside Glenelg on the mainland) along with Lochalsh (Eilean Donan Castle, Plockton, Lochcarron, Kishorn/Applecross Peninsula, Balmacara), then you could just as easily stay further down the island and in your own case, in Plockton. I wouldn't worry about the logistics of your location - simply pick the accommodation you feel more drawn too personally!

Generally speaking you will spend the whole day driving round anyway, stopping off all over the place to either walk off in to the wild, have a bite to eat or pop in to a gallery/studio, the majority of which are not actually in Portree, but are strewn throughout the area, down little single track roads and within practically every single village. The important thing to remember is that villages and towns on Skye are literally places to eat, drink, sleep & soak in the scenery & atmosphere all around you - there is not enough touristy stuff in any of them, in isolation (and that includes Portree & Plockton), to keep you occupied for a full day, unless you park up and take boat trips out from respective harbours, eg. Plockton, Kyle, Elgol, Armadale, Stein, Portree, Staffin & Uig.

Some of the smaller villages (& isolated properties) can provide better views from your bedroom/dining room window simply because there are fewer buildings to provide obstructions - obviously this is not always the case, as any harbour/loch side B&B/Hotel should by its very nature be unobstructed in its views!

Check out the following useful sites:

www.skye.co.uk

www.lochalsh.co.uk

www.isleofskye.net

Have a great stay!

10. Re: Plockton or Portree as a base?

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