February 27, 2023
Over the Sea To Skye - Isle Of Skye West Coast
This is a full day trip that takes you in a loop around the isle of Skye, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful (and popular) travel locations in Scotland. You'll see a lot of the spectacular geographical features that make Skye so well known and will also ride along loch ness briefly. This would be an excellent route if its your first time in Scotland and you really want to see as many famous locations as you can in one day. It's another route that could also be done on your way up further North if you want to break up your riding and see a wider variety of what Scotland has to offer.
On our route we start in Ullapool as usual, but as the rest of the route follows a loop after you get to Inverness you could easily start at Inverness or Invergarry. If you decide to come all the way up to Ullapool in any time but the Summer then dress up warm as the stretch of road leading our way is notoriously cold. Assuming a start in Inverness, you'll make your way Southwest down towards Strathcarron. The road this way is strewn with lochs and streams and if you get it on a quieter day it offers some exceptional riding. If you're in a meditative mood its a great place to just tune out and enjoy the scenery before you get to Skye.
Eilean Donan Castle is a high point of the journey
Continuing on past Strathcarron down to Kyle of Lochalsh you will then take the crossing over to Skye. It's worth a thought as you pass over that only 25 years ago this crossing didn't exist, and you would have to have taken a short ferry journey over to reach the island! This accessibility to Skye is a big part of what has seen it rocket to one of the most popular tourist destinations in Scotland, an occurrence that has been both a blessing and a curse to those who live and work there. As you drive up towards Portree you will start to see why, with some truly spectacular scenery wherever you look. During the first part of the drive up you can get a good look at the Cuillins, Skye's small mountain range, in the distance to the North.
The deep greens and rocky outcrops of Skye are unmistakeable
Portree makes a nice spot to rest and get some lunch, or if you prefer you can continue on to the loop of the Northern part of the island where the real postcard scenery awaits. You will likely find you want to take your time during this relatively short stretch of the route looping around the north of Portree. Taking lunch and stopping to walk the Quirang is recommended if you have the time and the energy and want the full Skye experience! The island has a rich history and while diminished you will still see many of the traditional crofting families littering the roads in this part of the island, albeit with many of them now offering BNB services.
Make sure you're fully waterproofed as Skye is often full of clouds
When you have had your fill of Skye you will loop back down and make your way back in the same direction you came before heading East to Invergarry for the Loch Ness leg of the journey. Loch Ness will certainly offer its own excitement but will be discussed more in the next route. Eventually you will finish your day back in Inverness where you can stay for the night or head on to your destination having been well and truly round the block!
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