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Road to Isle of Skye from Inverness

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india
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Road to Isle of Skye from Inverness

Hi!

We are planning a self drive day tour from Inverness to Skye and back end may. What are the possible routes - keeping scenic beauty in mind? Also, how difficult are the mountain roads?(have driven on Mountain roads apx 2000+ mts before) Are they sign posted and according to maps?(will take a GPRS) - would it be a doable trip?

Any other major problems to keep in mind like bad weather?

Also, what all places should we try to visit on Skye?

Thx!

Manchester, United...
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1. Re: Road to Isle of Skye from Inverness

Inverness to Portree on Skye would be about 120 miles each way by the most direct route. Allow three hours each way. You shouldn't have any problems with the weather in late May, apart from maybe rain.

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2. Re: Road to Isle of Skye from Inverness

Buying a road map would be a good idea. Failing that, a look at Google maps. Don't rely on getting a signal on your phone. The roads are not that difficult to drive, assuming you have some idea how to drive on twisty roads.

Edinburgh, Scotland
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3. Re: Road to Isle of Skye from Inverness

There are two principal routes from the mainland to Skye - the bridge at Kyle of Lochalsh, and the ferry from Mallaig to Armadale. The first is the obvious route to take from Inverness, and is a spectacular drive, passing the Seven Sisters of Kintail and Eilean Donan Castle. It's not really a mountain road in the sense I think you mean - no hairpins or particularly steep inclines, and the pass isn't particularly high, only a few hundred metres. Remember that it is used by big lorries! These days, it's a single carriageway of the standard British width, with lanes in each direction. Well signposted, and marked on all GPS maps. (Not that you need one, and by the way GPRS is a mobile telephone system!) In other words, not at all remarkable. In terms of weather, if it rains, visibility will be poor and you will miss the views.

The main issue is that you speak of a "day trip". It will take well over two hours to drive from Inverness to Kyle, even if you don't stop on the way. The roads on Skye itself vary from standard "A" roads down to country tracks, and the distances are deceptively long. So you won't have time to do much if you drive from Inverness and back in one day.

As to places to go on Skye, there are plenty. As consistently advised here, check undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/usmapindexes/west… for a comprehensive list. Personally, I would say that the views of the Black Cuillin from Elgol and of the Cuillin and the mainland from Ardvasar peninsula are not to be missed, and the Talisker distillery is high on the list of main-made opportunities. You could probably visit these three locations in the time you have, but little more.

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4. Re: Road to Isle of Skye from Inverness

There are 2 main options from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh and then on to Skye. The most obvious is A82 along Loch Ness, then A887 & A87. When I check out the route using Satnav and a variety of on line tools the majority used A835, A832, A890 linking up to the A87 just before Kyle of Lochalsh.

The second option seems counter intuitive as you start travelling North West when you think you should be travelling South. In fact there are only a couple of miles difference between the routes.

On response I had, from somebody living in the area, to basically the same question you are posing, was that they always use the second option which they feel is even more scenic than the run down Loch Ness.

Copenhagen, Denmark
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5. Re: Road to Isle of Skye from Inverness

John,

Loved your suggestions. Where specifically is the view of the Cuillin and the mainland from Ardvasar peninsula? The peninsula is quite large. Just trying to figure out which spot you are talking about.

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6. Re: Road to Isle of Skye from Inverness

HI, WHy not go via Loch Ness and the Great Glen, then head back via Applecross, Shieldiag, Achnasheen (A835) - or vice versa.

Personally I would always choose the A835 for it's rustic beauty and lovely little coastal villages.

The road over to Applecross is fairly windy (understatement!), Bealach Na Ba, but hundreds drive it each season without problem. Great fun!

Abs :-)

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7. Re: Road to Isle of Skye from Inverness

Good points, Keith and Abs. I have to admit I don't recall ever driving that road all the way to Inverness - I must try it out next time I am up that way!

And Sandi, I was trying to remember the specific spots I had in mind as I wrote, but I'm still not entirely sure. The views are in opposite directions, of course - you can't see them all without turning! The peninsula isn't particularly hilly and there aren't many roads so there are good views in all directions from the higher ground. There is a minor road to Ord, along the coast through Tarskavaig and back towards Armadale, so it will surely be spots along that road that I had in mind. Of course there are good views towards the mainland on the "main" road to Armadale, too. Perhaps others can pinpoint locations?

You likely won't have the time, but there is a good walk out to the Point of Sleat and along the coast from the "car park" beyond Aird, with good views of Rhum and Eigg in decent weather. Someone has written it up I see - walkhighlands.co.uk/skye/pointofsleat.shtml and theskyeguide.com/walking-mainmenu-32/13-mode… Plenty more good ideas for walks on Skye at both those sites if you do have time to get out of the car.

india
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8. Re: Road to Isle of Skye from Inverness

Thank you very much - am reassured we can try the drive - though I understand it will be a long one.

As Keitht suggests, will take the A87, A887 & A 82 - Via Loch Alsh, Eileen Donan, Glen Shiel, Invermoriston, west shore of Loch Ness - route one of the way (may be return journey?)

Google map was showing an alternative there via Fort Augutus and East shore of Loch Ness - seems an extra hour or so - keeping it out.

taking the the alternative route on way to Skye - have plotted on google map the following -

A9 out of Inverness then, at a roundabout(cant find any name)

A835 via Maryburgh OR A832 via Muir of Ord later on joining A835.

On to Loch Garve. Then again A 832 from Gorstan , via Loch Achanalt, to Achnasheen.

Here I have a confusion - if I go to Applecross (as suggested by Abs140) it seems a big detour - A832& A896 rejoining A890 at New Kelso. Read about the beauty of Applecross Peninsular - but will we get time? :(

Alternatively I keep on A 890 to Achinti, Glen Carron, then taking A87 to Kyle of Lochalsh

In Skye - I have to decide between B 8083 to Elgol - (30 min and 25km less) and A87 to Portree. Will go thru the links provided by all of you before I decide.

For now - do tell me if my route mapping is correct and if I can manage the Applecross - if we manage to leave Inverness by 8/8.30.

Thx a lot.

Edited: 17 May 2011, 04:50
Manchester, United...
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9. Re: Road to Isle of Skye from Inverness

Yes it's doable, as long as you don't mind spending the entire day staring though the windscreen as Scotland passes by ;-) Personally I think you'll have a much more enjoyable trip if you give yourselves time to stop and explore.

india
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10. Re: Road to Isle of Skye from Inverness

Unfortunately we dont have an extra day - so drving around scotland it will have to be this time. However, for the 'exploring' what are the suggested stops going or returning way? Or in Skye?

Thx