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Skye itinerary for 1.5 day trip

Dayton, Ohio
7 posts
Skye itinerary for 1.5 day trip

I am currently planning a trip to Scotland for the end of August and I'm looking for some advice on one of the days of my journey.

I'd like to travel from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh by train, then take either the bus or a taxi to Eilean Donan castle. I'd then make my way to Skye and I'd like to see the Armadale Castle and Gardens before leaving via the Armadale ferry to Mallaig (I will not have a car-- this will all be bus/train/ferry) I'd like to stay in Mallaig for the night before traveling on. I might be able to go back the next morning into Skye on the ferry for about half a day, but a that point I'd need to travel on to make my next destination

Here's the part that I'm not sure of-- I'd like to make a side trip between Eilean Donan and Armadale, but I'm undecided on where to go. I'd like to see Dunvegan Castle, but I think that might be too ambitious. (from the timetable I was looking at, the earliest train would leave at 11:00 and arrive at 13:26-- that doesn't leave much time in the day! The bus times are a little more favorable, is the bus route comparable to the train route in terms of scenery?) Maybe instead of Dunvegan just spend time in Portree instead? I'd like to see some of the landscape that is unique to Skye, but I don't want to strand myself by not making the last Mallaig ferry of the night

Also, since I would be traveling with my luggage, is there anywhere along my route that would have a luggage storage (in Kyle of Lochalsh or Broadford maybe?) the only left luggage options I have seen are at hotels-- Since I'd be staying in Mallaig, that wouldn't work very well. It'd certainly be easier to adventure on the island without a suitcase!

--As an aside, I've read where people have said to book a place on the ferry, but I think they only mean for cars. If you are traveling by foot without a car, is the reservation still needed?


Destination Expert
for Scotland
Level Contributor
9,505 posts
34 reviews
132 helpful votes
1. Re: Skye itinerary for 1.5 day trip

Is there no way you can hire a car? That would make this trip very simple.

If not, you don't need to book on the ferries as a foot passenger, Just turn up.

If you only have one day you need to choose between Armadale, and the north of the island I think.

If you're looking for that stunning scenery you probably want to get north of Portree on the Staffin Road and do a loop round the north of the island.

If you can find a bus or taxi for this then I doubt if you'll have time for Dunvegan Castle too.

I'd suggest you forget the suitcase and get a backpack

Manchester, United...
Destination Expert
for The Hebrides
Level Contributor
9,788 posts
68 reviews
55 helpful votes
2. Re: Skye itinerary for 1.5 day trip

Try this:

Get off your train from Inverness at Kyle of Lochalsh, and take a taxi to Eilean Donan. Visit castle.

Take 15.07 Citylink bus from Dornie (very short walk from Eilean Donan) to Broadford on Skye. See http://www.citylink.co.uk/timetables/%20Summer%202012/914915.pdf

At Broadford, take Stagecoach bus (52) to Armadale. See http://www.stagecoachbus.com/PdfUploads/Timetable_27604_South%20Skye%20.pdf

At Armadale, either take 17.15 Calmac ferry to Mallaig, or make brief visit to castle and take 18.40 ferry. No need to book. Overnight in Mallaig. If you take the earlier ferry, you could go back to Armadale the next morning and make a longer visit to the castle then.

Re left luggage, the ticket offices at the castles will probably look after it for you during your visits.

Arlington, Texas
Level Contributor
23 posts
35 reviews
28 helpful votes
3. Re: Skye itinerary for 1.5 day trip

If you are starting and ending your Isle of Skye loop at the same train station, you might look at left luggage offices. I'm planning to leave my larger bag at Inverness before heading to Portree for a couple of nights and circling back around. Of course, I'm taking 2 1/2 days instead of 1 1/2 so the central location might be harder to work in.

Asheville, North...
Level Contributor
188 posts
37 reviews
24 helpful votes
4. Re: Skye itinerary for 1.5 day trip

I've visited Skye twice. The first time I relied on public transportation, which was spotty and irratic. Last May we rented a car. The nice thing about single track roads is there is no left or right side, only middle! We visited Eilean Donan, then detoured 9 miles to take the Glen Elg ferry and view Ring of Bright Water territory. Our B&B was 3 miles shy of Dunvegan where we saw the castle, took a hike in Dunvegan woods, and toured the harbor to see seals. We had a bite to eat in Stein's oldest pub on the island. The next day we drove from Dunvegan to Uig to Portree and back to Dunvegan, with stops in Uig, Museum of Island Life, Storr, Klt Rock, and Portree. If you depend on the bus you will spend much of your time waiting. Spend your time enjoying Skye, not waiting for the bus.

Gatineau, Canada
Level Contributor
748 posts
115 reviews
239 helpful votes
5. Re: Skye itinerary for 1.5 day trip

Indeed, a car will be better. I can recommand you to base yourself in Portree, get quite easy from there (with a car), to visite Carbost, Talisker Cay, Corail Beach, Staffin Bay, etc.

Plus having a car, you dont need to plan around the bus schedule, and you can make surprise stop.

Happy vacations!

Washington, DC
Level Contributor
1 post
11 reviews
28 helpful votes
6. Re: Skye itinerary for 1.5 day trip

I support your traveling without a car on Skye! I am doing it myself at the moment. It requires some planning, but is by no means impossible.

7. Re: Skye itinerary for 1.5 day trip

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