Isle of Skye Road Trip
The Isle of Skye is known for many things, including its stunning landscape, impressive ruins and detailed history. Everyone visits for a different reason, whether that’s a love of folklore and legends, an urge to go hiking or a craving for a beach day, and with so much to explore across, it's the perfect destination for a road trip. To help you make the most of your adventure, we're sharing this complete Isle of Skye road trip itinerary from the experts over at Goboony.
Goboony is a motorhome sharing platform that was born from the belief that everyone should have the chance to experience the freedom of motorhome travel. Goboony have over 5.000 campervans and motorhomes available for hire. Sustainability is a priority, with the platform aiming to reduce the number of new motorhomes being produced and left unused for months on end and helping ensure older motorhomes get used to their full potential.
How to get to the Isle of Skye
Before you can start your Isle of Skye road trip, you need to make your way there. Here are the four ways to get across:
1. Via Inverness
From Inverness, it’s roughly a two-hour drive to Portree, the capital of the Isle of Skye.
2. Via Glasgow
From Glasgow, it’s roughly a six-hour drive to the Isle of Skye. If you’re the only driver, we recommend splitting it up or taking a long break.
3. Via ferry
Alternatively, you can take your car to the Isle of Skye by ferry. The ferry stops at Armadale, Sconser and Uig. There is also a scenic Glenelg Ferry, but vehicles are not permitted.
4. Via public transport
You can reach the Isle of Skye through a national bus from Glasgow or Inverness. But bear in mind that public transport is limited on the island.
Once you’ve crossed the Skye Bridge on the A87, we recommend spending your first night at Portree Campsite, so you’re well-rested and ready to tackle the road trip itinerary.
Day 1: Portree to Dunvegan
To reach the first destination on the itinerary, The Old Man of Storr, drive along the A855 for 16 minutes to the Old Man of Storr car park. As one of the most famous paths on the Isle of Skye, it can get pretty busy, so we recommend heading there early.
The Old Man of Storr, gets its name from the largest pinnacle of rock at the peak, which resembles the ‘Old Man’. The footpath is roughly 3.8 kilometres long, and takes around one hour and 15 minutes to walk without breaks. But there’s plenty of scenery to soak up along the way, so take frequent stops to make the most of the views.
Once you've finished your walk, clamber back into your campervan and continue along the A855 for 8 minutes to reach the second destination of the day, Lealt Falls. Follow the small path for a short walk to get to see a magnificent waterfall dripping down a 90-metre gorge.
If you keep following the path, a second viewing platform offers views over the towering sea cliffs. You’ll also see some ruins at the bottom of the cliffs; a remnant of those who once inhabited the region.
Although often overlooked by visitors, your final stop of the day is arguably the highlight. Further down the A855, you’ll find the Fairy Glen, an atmospheric glen with mythical looking, stepped conical earthworks and mounds, crooked trees that could be straight from the pages of a fairytale and ponds, which beautifully reflect the green hills nearby.
Need something a little less physical for the day? Visit the Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls viewpoint further up the A855. At 90 metres, the Kilt rock is made up of basalt columns in a formation that resembles a pleated kilt. You can also admire the Mealt waterfall, which crashes into the wavy waters of the sea below.
Or visit the Skye Museum of Life, a 20-minute drive away from Quiraing along the A855. This museum takes visitors back in time to show them how islanders lived in the past. With traditionally thatched cottages and historical archives and stories, you’re guaranteed to leave the museum with a great appreciation for the island’s history.
When you’re done for the day, continue along the A87 and A850 to reach the Kinloch Campsite.
Day 2: Dunvegan to Glenbrittle
On day we recommend you start the day with a short drive, just three minutes on the A863 and A850, to Dunvegan Castle. A majestic castle built in the 14th century, it never fails to impress visitors with its grand architecture and rich history. Descendants of the MacCleod clan still live in the castle today and welcome visitors to explore the magnificent rooms and grounds.
When you’ve done examining the incredible artefacts, head along the B884 for 30 minutes to reach the Neist Point car park. Neist Point is home to one of Scotland’s most famous lighthouses, built in 1900. There is one clear path in the area, stretching for about 2.2 kilometres. The cliffs offer a spectacular view of the deep blue waters, and if you climb to the rocks by the lighthouse during the summer, you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of whales or basking sharks.
Finish your day in the best way: at the Talisker Distillery in Carbost, only a 55-minute drive via B884 and A863. It’s the island’s oldest working distillery and a destination that must be included in your Isle of Skye itinerary. Try their award-winning Talisker Single Malt Scotch Whisky or, for the ultimate experience, join a tour of the distillery for a unique insight into the whisky making process and history. We recommend booking in advance to ensure you get a spot.
For the final leg of the journey, drive along the B8009 for 20 minutes until you reach the Glenbrittle Campsite and Cafe.
Day 3: Glenbrittle to Broadford
On day three you’ll head from Glenbrittle to Broadford taking in some of Skye’s most iconic detsinations along the way, First up, just ten minutes from the campsite are the Fairy Pools, the most mystical and most photographed spot on the Isle of Skye. The pools are easy to spot with their spectacular crystal blue pools, and although they're only a short walk from the car park, you should give yourself plenty of time to explore. The area is a great place to absorb the unique sights and sounds, while the more adventurous can take a dip in one of the pools.
Lace-up your climbing shoes for the next stop: Rubh’ an Dùnain, which translates to ‘headland of the fort’. This region is one of the Island's hidden gems and offers a wealth of history, from Mesolithic and Neolithic times to Viking and Medieval settlers and with ancient ruins to diverse wildlife, this eight-mile easy walk, is not one to miss. Along the trail, keep an eye out on the waters of Loch Brittle for otters, seals and basking sharks. Check out the complete Rubh’ an Dùnain walking guide for additional information.
If your feet aren’t too tired, drive along the A863 for 30 minutes until you reach the Sligachan Old Bridge for another wander. Built between 1810 and 1818 but no longer in use, legend claims that the water rushing beneath the bridge is a gateway between the faerie and human world. Local Sligachan legend also states that anyone who dips their face in the river by the Sligachan Bridge will have eternal beauty.
Once you’ve achieved your eternal beauty, drive along the A87 for 20 minutes to reach Broadford, where you can park up for the night at Camping Skye situated just outside the village. Or, if you’re looking for a shorter road trip itinerary, you can make this your final day.
Day 4: Broadford to Skye Bridge
On your final day, there's nothing better than spending a slow morning exploring the lovely village of Broadford, the second largest village on Skye.
You can then make your way back to the mainland or sneak in one last stop at Armadale Castle, Gardens, and Museum, the last ancestral home of the Macdonalds of Sleat, Scotland’s oldest and most powerful clan. Located just 23 minutes from Broadford, the romantic views and glorious gardens are well worth a visit.
We hope this itinerary has whet your appetite for exploring the Isle of Skye and inspired you to give campervan life a go. You'll find everything you need for your trip here at Cotswold Outdoor from outdoor clothing to camp kitchen essentials. Plus, as a Cotswold Outdoor customer, Goboony are offering £20 off your first campervan hire with the code COTSWOLD22.
This discount is only valid until the 1st of August, 2022, and t&cs apply.
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