Here are 7 top tips for travelling to Skye on your holiday:
1. Key Travel Routes to the Isle of Skye
There are essentially 4 routes onto the Isle of Skye:
- Over the bridge by the Kyle of Lochalsh
- ‘Over the sea to Skye’ – by ferry from Mallaig to Armadale
- By ferry from the Western Isles to Uig
- By ferry from Glenelg
Take the bridge at Kyle of Lochalsh (A87). The Skye Bridge links the Kyle of Lochalsh and Kyleakin on Skye. The bridge is the most direct route if you are travelling from Inverness. Remember that the bridge can be closed to high-sided vehicles and very occasionally it might be shut to all vehicles during extremely high winds (60mph+). However this is more likely in winter rather than in the summer months.
- from Mallaig (A830) to Armadale with CalMac Ferries.
- from Glenelg, arguably the most idyllic and romantic crossing in the world! The service operates between Easter and mid-October and is the last manually operated turntable ferry in Scotland.
Follow the signs for Glenelg from the A87.
- from the Western Isles to Uig with CalMac Ferries. From Lochmaddy on North Uist or from Tarbert on the Isle of Lewis.
You can find all timetables and fares for CalMac Ferries here: https://www.calmac.co.uk/
Booking ferry services in advance is strongly recommended during the summer months.
Inverness is currently the nearest airport to Skye, although there is a lot of support to reactivate the airport at Broadford. Inverness Airport is approximately a 2 hour drive from the Skye Bridge. For more information visit the Highlands and Islands Airport website.
Citylink Coach Travel operates frequent services between Glasgow and Portree.
2. Plan extra Time
You will discover that Skye is a large island, approximately 1,250 square miles (3,200 km). Always allow more journey time than you or your satellite navigation system think you need, regardless of the time of year. There are nearly always reasons why you might be delayed so make sure you have snacks on hand, particularly if you are travelling with children!
3. Travelling to Skye in Winter and Autumn
Due to the Gulf stream, Skye doesn’t usually get a huge amount of snow. However you can expect plenty of snow in the Highlands on your way to Skye, so make sure you are well prepared. We do get frequent heavy rain both on the island and also on your way to us through the Highlands in winter and autumn, so drive carefully and adjust your speed to the conditions.
You will also find regular road-works throughout the area, as the Highland Council perform essential road maintenance and repairs so do check out Traffic Scotland before you start each journey.
4. Travelling to Skye in Summer and Spring
Although we do get rain during the lighter seasons, the main point here is to expect a lot more vehicles on the roads due to the huge increase in tourist traffic. Remember to adjust your schedule and patience levels accordingly!
You should also be aware of people pulling over for photo opportunities (often unexpectedly) and single track roads as you get nearer to your destination.
5. Fill up with Fuel
Always start your journey with a full tank of fuel. If you are travelling to the north of the island, fill up on your way through at Kyle of Lochalsh or Broadford.
If you are travelling to Skye from the south of Scotland or further afield it is wise to get fuel in Fort William or Perth, depending on which route you are taking.
5. Check the latest Traffic Information
7. Plan Onward Bus Travel
Local bus travel on the island is operated by Stage Coach and is quite limited. If you are travelling to Skye without your own vehicle, make sure you investigate bus timetables and bus stop locations in advance, so you don’t get stranded!