roads and landscapes make a great road trip

The spectacular Isle of Skye

Next stop the Isle of Skye… Island life again!

Having spent a couple of days in Fort William for our special steam railway journey to Mallaig on the amazing Jacobite steam train, it was time to hit the road again. We wanted to head further north to the Isle of Skye. Funnily enough, we could drive the route we just took to Mallaig on the train and catch the ferry to Skye. Having already just done this beautiful route, it was tempting to drive it! Tempting as it was, maybe fun to go a different way and get to see more of the country.

the train takes the strain on this part of the road trip
the train takes the strain on this part of the road trip

As you can now get to the Isle of Skye by either ferry or bridge, so we had a choice of route to make. Ferry crossings had been fun, but I do love a good bridge! So seeing as how this would take us a different route to Skye, bridge crossing it would be. The (now free) bridge crossing is between the villages of Kyle of Lochalsh on the mainland and Kyleakin on the island’s east coast. Kyleakin became our new destination for the day and our target stopover when we first get to Skye.

tea break with a view
tea break with a view

Getting lost in the landscape

Once again, a good decision made 🙂 The route to Kyleakin took us through some simply stunning scenery. It seemed like every five minutes it was a case of ‘wow, look at that!’ Scotland is the perfect location for a road trip!

beautiful panoramic views at Invergarry
beautiful panoramic views at Invergarry

Nice to have plenty of excuses to pull over for breaks en route to simply pause and take it all in. Possibly with a mug of tea obvs. The mountain ranges are spectacular. Photos don’t do it justice, they are truly awesome! Not quite sure why I find them so captivating? Their scale? the colours? The remote locations? Probably a combination of it all… plus a non-definable something else too!

roads and landscapes make a great road trip
roads and landscapes make a great road trip

A ferry free drive to Skye

Our journey to Skye was just over 100 miles from Fort William. A hundred awe-inspiring miles! The weather was great and we made it in good time to cross over to the island by bridge to Kyleakin. One of the advantages of being further north in Scotland is the longer daylight hours at this time of year. We were already getting over an extra hour plus of daylight compared to Hastings on the south coast of England. It was great having the longer hours of daylight. It gave us more time to explore 🙂

the bridge to Skye
the bridge to Skye

The bridge over to Kyleakin made getting to Skye quick and simple. Maybe not quite as fun as a ferry, but another option to get there if you didn’t fancy catching the ferry from Mallaig.

the ruins of Caisteal Maol near Kyleakin
the ruins of Caisteal Maol near Kyleakin

The view from the harbour and back over to the mainland was beautiful. Again the water was crystal clear. You could see the concrete jetty slowly disappear under the water, way out into the distance. A lovely spot for our evening meal and to watch the sun go down. Looking forward to seeing what Skye has to offer tomorrow…

the crystal clear water of Kyleakin harbour
the crystal clear water of Kyleakin harbour

Starting in the south of Skye

As we’d arrived at the south of the Island, this was our starting point. Nice to have a casual meander around the southern coast. The Island itself is not huge in scale, and the roads are good, so getting around is going to be fairly quick in comparison to our time on Mull.

cargo doors open for our lunch time view
cargo doors open for our lunchtime view

We found a great little spot for lunch near Armadale. The doors to the mobile diner are flung wide open. Lunch with a view! Road trip lifestyle at its best!

lunch is served
lunch is served

Going Green

We weren’t planning to do too much on our first day. So after a fab lunch, we went for a little walk to Armadale village. Being Spring, it was the time of year for nature to start coming alive. Beautiful carpets of bluebells adorned the woodland floor. In the next few weeks, the hills and mountains should be awash with colour!

beautiful bluebells in the woods
beautiful bluebells in the woods

I’m no gardener, Lorna knows far more about that than me. However, I do love a bit of funky architectural planting, so it was cool to see Gunnera manicata (Giant Rhubarb) out in the wild. I’d only seen these before at Great Dixter in Northiam, East Sussex. These things grow to be massive!

the striking architectural Gunnera Manicata (Giant Rhubarb) in the wild
the striking architectural Gunnera manicata (Giant Rhubarb) in the wild

Refreshed and inspired

Lovely getting out and about on foot for a bit. It clears your head plus it’s an inspiring environment to be in. Some beautiful views out across the water back to mainland Scotland. The ferry port of Mallaig must be over there somewhere? If we’d caught the ferry from there, we would have arrived on Skye at the harbour of Armadale.

amazing lunchtime views from Ardvasar
amazing lunchtime views from Ardvasar

There were a few interesting shops, cafes and galleries in Armadale village. Lorna’s eyes lit up when she found Ragamuffin clothes and knitwear shop. Lovely shop with some beautiful textiles available. Also, what a setting to have a shop. Stunning!

Ragamuffin clothes and knitwear store at Armadale Pier
Ragamuffin clothes and knitwear store at Armadale Pier

We had a fun first day on Skye. Very relaxing, just what we wanted. With the light still good, we thought we’d push on tonight for a more remote stopover. There was a special place we wanted to see tomorrow, but it would need a very early start tomorrow…

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