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Skye by ferry or bridge?

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SG
posts: 15
reviews: 11
Skye by ferry or bridge?

Technically the question not just by bridge or ferry as the route will be different. :-)

I will arrive Glasgow via sleeper train on Jun 11, and will drive to Ft William. The initial plan is to stay overnight at Ft William for the nite and continue the journey to Skye the next day.

Then I read that Ft. Willima not the best place for stayover, and was enticed by the wonderful drive to Mallaig... I am wondering if it makes sense to stay overnight in Mallaig while taking in the scenery and fish& chips instead. That would mean i will need to take the ferry to skye the next day.

I would like to ask what you think of the extra miles vs. the scenery, and the logistics of taking the car onto the ferry. Do I have to book the ferry tickets in advance?

Thank you,

middle england
Destination Expert
for Leicestershire, Norfolk
posts: 3,015
reviews: 34
1. Re: Skye by ferry or bridge?

In my opinion you should at least consider a third alternative, which is the ferry from Glenelg to Kylerhea on Skye. This is without doubt the best way to cross to Skye, and the journey from Fort William to Glenelg is possibly at least as good as the journey to Mallaig, especially over the Mam Ratagan pass. There's a viewing hide on the Skye side to watch the sea creatures.

Take a look at http://www.skyeferry.co.uk/. As you will see, no need to book. You can always go that way and return via Mallaig.

Manchester, United...
Destination Expert
for The Hebrides
posts: 4,738
reviews: 44
2. Re: Skye by ferry or bridge?

Fort William gets a bad press on this forum, and it's true that the town itself is not an attractive place. But it makes a good overnight stop, with lots of B and Bs and plenty of places to eat and drink - far more than little Mallaig, which is really just a busy fishing port. The drive from Fort William to Mallaig is very scenic whenever you do it!

Yes, you do need to book the ferry from Mallaig in advance.

SG
posts: 15
reviews: 11
3. Re: Skye by ferry or bridge?

thank you aardvark10 & Dhmellor for your comments.

Question for aardvark pls - how would you rank those options: Ft. William, Mallaig and Glenelg?

Here I am a tourist who wants to see as much as I could in my limited days in highlands :-)

Manchester, United...
Destination Expert
for The Hebrides
posts: 4,738
reviews: 44
4. Re: Skye by ferry or bridge?

Fort WIlliam, Mallaig and Glenelg are about as different as three places in the same region could be! But I think you are asking the wrong question. TIme is a more important consideration, I think. You don't say how long you are planning to stay on Skye. If you have got plenty of time to spare, going via Glenelg would be a nice detour, but if you are short of time I'd stick to the quicker routes.

Helensburgh, United...
posts: 936
reviews: 73
5. Re: Skye by ferry or bridge?

Could I suggest another possibility which would incorporate both bridge and ferry (time permitting)? About four years ago the wife and I travelled to Skye and spent the night at Shiel Bridge which is approx 30 minutes drive from Kyle of Lochalsh. The following morning, we headed to Kyle, stopping off at Eilan Donan castle for couple of hours (stunning location and views) the over bridge to Kylakin then drive south to Armadale where we caught the ferry to Mallaig and then the drive to Ft. William. Just a thought.

SG
posts: 15
reviews: 11
6. Re: Skye by ferry or bridge?

Timing wise, i am spending first day getting from Glasgow to either Fort WIlliam, Mallaig and Glenelg for overnight stop, then spend the next 2 days in Skye.

I see from the google map that Glenelg is a good compromise between Mallaig (longer drive) & Fort William (over-crowded) - do you think it is reasonable distance if I take the Glenelg? It looks fine from google map but I do know that's a theoretical... I would appreciate your some local knowledge here pls.

Also, I read about the turntable ferry and would like to do my part to support its operation, as long as the distance is manageable :-)

Yes, i will be doing the bridge as well. Assume i stay at Glenelg, then I will drive back via bridge, towards Inverness and take in Eilan Donan castle along the way. It will be the reverse of what you did, JohnboyH.

Manchester, United...
Destination Expert
for The Hebrides
posts: 4,738
reviews: 44
7. Re: Skye by ferry or bridge?

Mallaig is closer to Glasgow than Glenelg, not further away. Going to Skye by ferry one way and the bridge the other way is what a lot of people do, but the Glenelg ferry takes you along mostly the same route as the bridge, along the A82 and A87. A much better round trip is to use the Mallaig ferry one way and the bridge the other. Look at a map and you'll see what I mean!

SG
posts: 15
reviews: 11
8. Re: Skye by ferry or bridge?

Have checked the map, and got what you mean.... but I am still a bit lost on the itinery...

How will yo uplan your route if you were planning your trip from Glasgow to Skye? Via Mallaig, Glenelg or Ft William? I am travelling with my hubby and a 8 year old, and would like to enjoy a scenic journey without getting too stressed out by excessive distance.

Look forward to some advice pls.

Manchester, United...
Destination Expert
for The Hebrides
posts: 4,738
reviews: 44
9. Re: Skye by ferry or bridge?

I would take the route described in post no 7. The ferry needs to be booked in advance.

Scotland
posts: 19
reviews: 6
10. Re: Skye by ferry or bridge?

I am from Fort William,my advice to you would be book a decent hotel or B&B of which there are many in Fort William,you can catch the car ferry from Mallaig the next day (they run around every 2 hours) The journey to Mallaig will take around 1 hour,though you should give yourself around 3 hours as you will want to stop at various places to take in the views.2days in Skye and back to the mainland via the road bridge,I hope this helps and you have a nice trip.