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Isle of Skye

Lawrence, Kansas
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Isle of Skye

I'm planning a trip to Scotland for late June/early July 2014. Am considering 3 nights in or about Ft. William, using that as a base to visit the surrounding area. I am wondering if I can "see" Skye in one day from Ft. William. We are interested in scenery, castles, chapels, villages and local color.

Will be traveling in a rented car with another couple. Three of us are in our mid-70s, but reasonably fit, the fourth is fit in her mid-60s.

Manchester, United...
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1. Re: Isle of Skye

Well, yes, you could 'see' it, and you might even catch fleeting glimpses of 'scenery, castles, chapels, villages and local color' as they flash past the car windows. But if you want to properly enjoy and appreciate this wonderful island, you need to stay there for at least two nights, IMO.

East Neuk of Fife...
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2. Re: Isle of Skye

DH is right - its a BIG island strangely, even though it may not look it on a map. Lots of twisty roads, BIG scenery and you will want to stop and take photos. Two days minimum please - we spent a week there in July and I would return in a flash because we saw but a glimpse!

Woody x

Fredericksburg, VA
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3. Re: Isle of Skye

We were on Skye, in Portree for 2 nights, in July, and saw very little, as the weather was uncooperative. We drove around the northern part of Skye, starting and ending at Portree. Unfortunately, the fog was so low, that we couldn't see much at all inland, but had some good views along the coast. But we still spent a long day driving around just that part of the island.

For us, the scenery was much better through Glencoe, because the weather was clearer. It will be a long day if you drive to Skye, and you may wind up seeing not a whole lot. As much as it pains me to say it, you really may be better off just exploring around the Fort William area, rather than trying to do a drive-by of Skye.

If you still decide to go to Skye, keep up with the weather - it was very different on the mainland than on Skye!

New York City, New...
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4. Re: Isle of Skye

It's a bigger island than you think. If you tried to see Skye from Fort William it would be like a fly by or fly over as we call it here. Wave to the people below because you really don't have time to see anything. :(

There's lots to see and explore near Fort William without Skye. I'd spend my time and energy doing that. Or you can take the train to Mallaig; look longingly at Skye and then go back to Fort William. Look into exploring Knoydart.

Pam

Manchester, United...
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5. Re: Isle of Skye

Knoydart - now you're talking! A good plan is to drive to Mallaig arriving about 10 am (or take the 08.30 Scotrail train from Fort William), and then take a day trip by ferry to Knoydart, a magnificent mountainous peninsula across the bay from Mallaig. Great for a walk, and lunch at the Old Forge in the village of Inverie, the UK's most remote mainland pub.

Alternatively you could catch a ferry to one of the Small Isles (e.g. Eigg or Rum) and spend the day there. The island you choose will depend on the day of the week - the timetables vary. See www.calmac.co.uk.

There are also day trips to the Small Isles from nearby Arisaig. See www.arisaig.co.uk.

Kettering, United...
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6. Re: Isle of Skye

I would stay on Skye. A magical place for me. But it really depends on what you want. Skye is very remote. If you like the touristy stuff stay for Fort William. If you like the outdoors and that sort of thing go to Skye. I spent several days there with my family. We travel all over the UK and this has to be one of my favorite spots along with the Lake District and North Wales.

Eastbourne, United...
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7. Re: Isle of Skye

Skye, to me, has a very special magic which is why I have gone back once or twice a year every year for the last 35 years, even though it is a 15 hour drive from where I live now.

I can understand that if you have a limited time in the UK then the impulse is to try to see everything you want to see in one trip (I made that mistake on my first trip to California). One thing you could do is take a train journey on The Jacobite a special steam train that runs from Fort William to Mallaig where you will see Skye "over the sea". If you do decide to take a day trip from Fort William to Skye by car you will pass Eilean Donan Castle, one of the most popular attractions on West Coast of Scotland. www.eileandonancastle.com

For larger castles I guess Edinburgh and Stirling are the obvious choices. Enjoy your trip, but be prepared for any type of weather!

Edited: 19 September 2013, 18:18
england
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8. Re: Isle of Skye

If you only have one day I would forget Skye (cant believe I said that!) and experience somewhere less remote, Skye would just be a blur as it flashed past.

Knoydart, drooling now, the land between heaven and hell. Spectacular!!!!!!

Highlands
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9. Re: Isle of Skye

You need 2 days on Skye, please don't miss it out as it is beautiful. Maybe 2 days ft William, 2 days Skye. Failing that you could do a day trip over the mallaig-Armadale ferry. Mallaig is about 50 mins from ft William. Then it is 1hrs drive to Portree. I do think that the north of Skye is the most beautiful though. Look up pictures of The old man of Storr and the Quairang. It's breathtaking....

10. Re: Isle of Skye

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