We woke up early and made our way northwest- the Isle of Sky being our main destination. According to the Isle of Sky website, National Geographic named this destination the "4th best island in the world"! And really, who doesn't love a beautiful island? It was a hike from our accommodations in Aviemore, about a 3 hour drive, but there was much to see along the way! The scenic drive brought us pass Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle, and the Eilean Donan Castle. Click on the map below for a larger image of our travels!
We just briefly stopped at Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness, the entrance fees were a little steep (I don't remember the exact amount but I'm thinking it was around £10 for adults). We had so much we wanted to see that day we had to keep going. It was beautiful though! We continued our trip up and around Loch Ness until we arrived at the Eilean Donan Castle- the most photographed castle in Scotland!
The admission price for a self guided tour of this restored castle is £6 for adults and was definitely worth it. There are many historical and family pieces, a great way to experience the history of the castle and family. The have guides located on each floor and they were more than happy to share their expertise with us. Again, no photography is allowed indoors.
We were on a fish and chips kick and on the recommendation of a guide we enjoyed a delicious lunch at Hector's Bothy. This friendly local spot was located just a 5 minute drive from the castle in Kyle Lochalsh, right before the Isle of Skye Bridge. After lunch we headed to Skye via the Skye Bridge. We then found a small road and decided to explore. It turned out to be a very narrow road with only room for one car. It twisted and turned through the hillsides of the island, complete with steep cliffs and amazing views. This was by far one of the craziest drives ever!
As the 20 or so minute drive brought us closer to the water, we realized the final (and ONLY) destination at the end of this road was the Skye Ferry, transporting cars to and from the mainland. Upon our arrival to the end of the road/ferry line, we learned the ferry information from chatting with passengers from the 2 other cars waiting. There wasn't anyone who worked for the ferry on our side and we had no cell phone service, so we took a chance. We could see the ferry on the Glenelg side and waited about 20 minutes for the ferry to make the trip over to us on the island.
Once we started loading the entire trip from lasted 15 minutes max. On our trip there were a total of 3 cars, 2 ferrymen, and their boat loving dog. A single trip was £12 per car for up to 4 car passengers. This ferry is known as "the last manually operated turntable ferry in Scotland"...what that means exactly, I'm not really sure. But after the unique experience, I do suggest their services and encourage you to invest in similar "historic" achievements found in your communities!
There was MUCH to see when we exited the ferry in the small town of Glenelg. I'm thinking the rest of our afternoon in Glenelg deserve an entire post. It was a mix of small town seaside culture, neolithic landmarks, and war memorials which made for a very interesting tourist experience.
If you have any questions about these locations or want to know more, please leave a comment or send me an email! I'm more than happy to help, happy travels!