Skye to Torridon over the Bealach na Ba
More Torridon photos: https://flic.kr/s/aHsk55HSWz
Torridon, Torridon. THE most magnificent area. I am a Torridon bore, a Torridon anorak.I shed a tear when I leave and feel my heart soar every time we arrive. W H Murray, one of our finest writers on landscape, a Himalayan explorer and part of the expedition which paved the way for Hillary’s successful attempt on Everest, described Torridon as ‘having more mountain grandeur than Skye.’ It is – along with Assynt and the Black Cuillin – one of 40 officially designated ‘outstanding landscapes’ in Scotland. It is stunningly beautiful, majestic and no other area which can better it for ever-changing light.
We made an early start that morning, promising Chris’s Mum that we would be up again in 5 weeks or so then heading south on the fast main road, just as the skies began to clear after a night of heavy rain. Typical that the Cuillin – finally – were now clearing spectacularly! Ah well, better to see them than not at all, even if we were leaving them behind.
Just HAD to pull over above Sligachan at a favourite lay-by where, by climbing onto a hillock on the opposite side of the road, you get probably the finest view of Sgurr nan Gillean and Marsco rising like prehistoric sentinels out of the moorland.It is a breath taking sight.No matter how many times I have seen this view, it always looks different, the colours or light, the season, the cloud formations on the dark peaks. Neanderthal mountains. Sensational. Sgurr nan Gillean is often translated as Peak of the Young Men but it is far more likely to be the Peak of the Gills, not so romantic but more descriptive of its sharks fin outline.
I snapped away and noticed another three or four cars pull in sharply to do the same, followed by a Rabbie’s bus.I always feel a real delight when visitors see this iconic corner of the island at its best.
It’s a wonderful drive south towards Broadford. I still think the route over the Bridge to Skye is the best one from the mainland for views. Filled up with petrol in the village, then headed over the Bridge saying a sad farewell to it all , everything looking simply gorgeous.The forecast however, despite the brightness now, promised strong winds and more rain! What had happened to our summer?! May and June are often the best months but the last few weeks had been miserable, cold and wet, too often grey and dull. We’re hardly a country renowned for the sunniest, warmest weather but it should be better than this.
Blowing a gale
We had thought about climbing Bheinn Bhan today, the ‘white mountain’ It offers a high start just off the Bealach na Ba road. But once again, the winds up there sounded horrific so – another hill escaped the trudge of our boots. Yet, as we drove up the first section of the Pass of the Cattle, the sky was blue and the hill was clear and looked SO good. I was regretting our decision already – it’s so easy to forget how awful it is on the ridges when the wind is blowing a hoolie. Somehow you forget just how dangerous it can be on steep exposed ground. Maybe we could try it? I glanced at Chris , posing the question but he was having none of it – not a chance.
There is a small waterfall just off the road near the starting point for Bheinn Bhan and we stopped to enjoy the place a bit, out of the wind. A glorious spot for a picnic.It had taken us about 2 hours from Sligachan to reach this point.
It’s all single track up and over the Pass and round the coastal route to Torridon. The tarmac winds 6 miles from the Kishorn shore to over 2000 feet, the highest pass in Britain.There are more passing places now than ever but luckily it was quiet going up and we didn’t have too many stop-starts.Hardly a hardship certainly when the landscape is this good.
It was bitterly cold and blowing a gale at the top so we had a quick look at Skye across the Sound of Raasay, me huddled in my Duvet jacket and hat.Even C, who never feels the cold and has been photographed in shorts on a hill in winter, found it decidedly chilly and unpleasant. If it’s clear and especially at sunset , this viewpoint is one of the finest on the western seaboard.
The Potting Shed cafe, Applecross
Stomachs were rumbling now and two options presented themselves – the excellent Applecross Inn or a new one we hadn’t tried – the Potting Shed Cafe. Tough call but we forced ourselves to drive past the Inn and make for the Garden Cafe this time.
The rain was on now, as we parked up and made a dash through the garden and inside. Thank heavens I’d been talked out of the hill walk.
It was busy but we got a table overlooking the delightful if wet gardens. What a gorgeous place. Very smart , more like a restaurant than a cafe. Spacious and airy and light.
We’d stocked up in the Co-op in Broadford , deciding we’d eat in the B&B tonight, something we find really relaxing at the end of a full day. I don’t enjoy going out for a meal every day, even apart from the expense.We love our own time together, chatting and snacking on favourite goodies and quaffing some wine in the comfort of our own place and space.Planning the next day. So it was soup for us both with some good home made bread and a piece of coffee cake for me afterwards.Tea and coffee and the Garden Cafe got a big thumbs up – one to try for a proper evening meal in future, definitely, though I winced a bit at the cost of their seafood platter for two.50 quid.Ouch.
Stopped at Applecross’s lovely old whitewashed church for a browse. A beautiful, tranquil place . St Maelrubha is buried in the graveyard but his grave is unmarked. The name ‘Applecross’ is the Anglicised form of the original Gaelic name – A’Chomraich, The Sanctuary. And a sanctuary it feels, remote from the cares and worries of a faster, more urban world, a place to recharge and just ‘be’.The hills are quite gentle here, not too high and it’s a green, wooded place. Softer than the landscape we had just travelled through.
Some years ago, we walked to the small beaches to the south and west of the village, where we watched a pair of golden eagles on a deer carcass, taking what they could before the gamekeeper came to claim remove it from the hill.I don’t know whether he had shot it – perhaps it was injured – or whether he had found it already dead.
It’s a superb coastal drive beyond the village, as the road climbs above the sea. Sand Beach was looking inviting and the rain had stopped so we parked up and wandered onto the shore. It was quite busy – which means there were about 6 other folk about. Beautiful spot. Chris got the binocs focused , as is his wont, on ‘Naval Craft’ he’d spotted in the Sound, a source of endless fascination and something we all pull his leg about. My Uncle John was the same.He would spend ages surveying whatever manoeuvres they were doing , trying to identify the ships.The sea and ships are in the blood of Highlanders, islanders especially; so many men from the Hebrides went to sea in times past.It was almost a calling.Uncle John was in the Merchant Navy and was also on several Arctic Convoys during WW2. Horrendous.I used to wonder that that didn’t put him off ships for life but he was always drawn to them.
The drive round to Torridon is one of my favourite drives anywhere – even more so than the Bealach. The Inner Sound is deepest blue/green, sometimes turquoise and Raasay and Rona sit in dark shadow with the Trotternish Ridge dominating the horizon.
Then further south, the big peaks of the Red and Black Cuillin rise dramatically from the ocean. Below the road are the remains of lazy beds, the rippling ridges of grass covered earth where crofters of the past worked a hard living from the land. Never was a farming method so wrongly named.
We pulled off into the big lay by at the point where the road turns along towards Loch Torridon , taking in the emerald green fields and sad, abandoned stone houses.Quite few have now been renovated into smart holiday homes, just yards from the shore.We spotted Holly’s House, a beautifully restored cosy croft house which we’d taken for a 5 day winter break a few years ago.
The drive along Loch Torridon is a corker – an absolute wow and not lesser in any way to the Bealach, though far less precipitous. I was waiting for my favourite little cottage to appear, right beside the sea and suddenly there it was – all bright red roof and whitewashed walls. It has featured in so many calendars and magazine shots and postcards. One day, when I win the Lottery , I’ll make the owner an offer they can’t refuse!
Now the Torridon giants came into view – Liathach, (the big grey one) and Beinn Alligin (the jewelled mountain or beautiful mountain) – soared in all their majesty across the loch Beinn Shieldaig, clothed in deep green Scots Pinewoods, drew the eye despite its lowly size.
This area looks ancient.Despite the weather and even when the mist is down, it has a beauty of form and colour which even the clag can’t detract from.
The Torridon cafe – scones and wine and brilliant cakes
Into the Torridon Stores and Café – a daily routine when we are here. A cheese scone and glass of wine for Chris – very civilised cake shop, to serve alcohol; hence it went up ten fold in Chris’s estimation. Latte and some ginger slice for me.To be in this lovely homely wee place with 3 days ahead of us – well, I was a happy lady. Very happy indeed.And my husband always says he likes a happy lady, that that is his aim in life – a happy wife! (Are men really so simple? – and I don’t mean that in a bad way). My handsome and kind husband says he certainly is – it is women who see things in too complicated a way. Oh, the discussions we’ve had about that one!
Torridon village always looks like the mountain will fall on top of it.It’s a tiny place, quite picturesque and the location is unbeatable.
Drove along to the start of the private road where we usually take a holiday house in Nov and /or Feb. It’s a road that leads into the Torridon Estate and although you can only bring a car if you’re staying there, you can walk through the Estate easily enough.We also know it has a resident otter which the Estate has named Nancy. Parked up at the lay by a few minutes from the road and walked along it, kitted out in our waterproofs as the rain wasn’t far away. In minutes, like magic, we spotted a small black head in the water quite close to where we know one of her holts (nests) is. There she was!
Diving for fish and crabs just forty metres or so offshore. And then, after bobbing up onto the surface a few times, she appeared with something in her mouth and began swimming towards shore, exactly where we were. Keeping still as much as we could , we watched her waddle out of the water and proceed to eat her catch, half hidden in the weeds and rocks.It was demolished very quickly.Then she began cleaning her coat and rolling in the weed before finally heading back into the sea, keeping a good watch out all the time behind her.We’ve found if you stay stock still, they don’t see you that well; their eyesight is apparently not that good.
Diabaig – our most picturesque village?
Very chuffed at our luck, we headed back to the car.It was nearly 4pm so time to drive up the superb road that winds its way above Loch Torridon’s north side below the flanks of Beinn Alligin and stake our claim at the B&B. Another belter of a drive. (They all are round here).Passed through the glorious pinewoods that mark the start of the Beinn Alligin walk and which lead easily into Coire Nobuil. Breathtaking beauty all around. Then along the single track towards Inveralligin, a tiny hamlet of lovely houses, until the sign for Brybeg appeared.
And it was a delight. Run by a warm, chatty Irish lady and her husband, a local, who are soon selling up and heading for Spain and a sunny retirement.£35 each for B&B – brilliant value.
Big garden looking across to Beinn Damh, or Mountain of the Stag as it translates. Nice comfy room and en suite.Had a glass of vino and some nibbles then relaxed in the lounge and met our fellow guests, a friendly Irish couple. They were desperate to see otters and couldn’t believe our tale about Nancy. Gave them a detailed explanation of where to look tomorrow. The chap was an accomplished photographer and was astonished by the ever changing light – he just couldn’t get over it. They had toured most of the Outer Hebrides in previous years and loved Scotland.
it was a bit early to retire to our room and with the rain not featuring as the forecast suggested , we decided to head out again and drive the 9 miles or so over to tiny Diabaig , an exquisite village in what can only be described as a mini Fjord, an inlet of Loch Torridon. It’s a magnificent drive in an area full of them – a rival almost to the Bealach as it gets quite precipitous in places, though there is no danger.But there are a few ‘heart in the mouth’ occasions when the drop gets a bit too close for comfort.
Stopped at the viewpoint cairn looking over Loch Torridon – one of the finest views in the country, absolutely gorgeous.Then over the top of the pass and down the other side , contouring along the hillside on the narrow single track road and trying to ignore the BIG drop into the moorland on my side. Then it was over and we descended sharply down into the glen and flatter ground.
On the horizon, north Skye was bathed in beautiful early evening light.
Then the final drop down into the village, circled by a wild, rocky peninsula. The few whitewashed crofts suit this harsh but beautiful terrain so well.And that is pretty much Diabaig – with its pretty stone harbour and little fishing boats bobbing peacefully in the sheltered water. It’s a stunner of a place.
Gille Bridghe Restaurant
We were keen to check out Gille Bridghe’s menu, a converted schoolhouse which gets great reviews.Tomorrow’s lunch spot?Nice menu indeed.Pretty reasonable too and lovely inside.
Wandered out onto the jetty and just drank in the beauty of the place. Not a soul around at 6pm – maybe the residents were enjoy their first tipple of the evening.Chris, I knew, was keen to do just that so we headed back, glad that we’d made the minor effort to catch this most perfect of places on a sunny evening.
Had an early tea in the room, being careful not to spill any of the seafood we’d bought; Na Mara Langoustines and Crab Claws and dill marinaded herring.Some mayonnaise and lemon. Nice bread and lots of tomatoes.It was excellent and incredibly filling – all that protein! Some prosciutto too. Crisps and then loads of tea and chocolate for me – Chris was on to better things by now i.e wine. His Dad brought he and his 4 brothers up to enjoy wine with their meal in the hope it would keep them off the really hard stuff – whisky. In fact, he never has been a huge fan of the Uisge Beatha (water of life) – wine is always his drink of choice.
Caught up on some internet stuff and lots of messages back and forth to the boys – there is no wi-fi or phone signal at the family house on Skye, which I have to admit it, is a big miss as I am hooked on messaging .I like to know what’s happening….trivial or not. Chris says I am now the family’s ‘HQ ‘ – once my Dad’s role until he passed away nearly 4 years ago.I spoke to him most days – rarely anything important, just touching base.It’s still a huge miss.
We were now pretty settled into reading and relaxing for the evening. But then the sun came out in full force about 9pm.We HAD to see Torridon bathed in this brilliant light (well, I had to. Chris would have been quite happy to stay put but he insisted, no he wasn’t staying put,of course he would come out with me.)
Another beautiful sunset
It really was a glorious evening , though windy….that wind just hadn’t stopped for weeks. (Two months later, it was reported that there were only 8 calm days between April and August).No midges of course – the only benefit.
The light over Torridon was only as it ever can be in the north west. Exquisite. Just a wow.
Back at the house, our hosts and the Irish couple were watching reality tv of some kind so we bowed out of that and headed back to our room, saying a quick goodnight.
The only slight awkward thing was, we had no tea making facilities, a really unusual scenario in a UK B&B. Instead, the arrangement was to ask the lady of the house to put the kettle on. I found this a bit off-putting as I usually have a few cups of tea of an evening but could hardly keep going back to bother her time and time again. So I asked for one cup and that was IT. We hadn’t brought our kettle either so then realised we would miss out on tea in bed in the morning! Oh no – a favourite start to the day, in tatters. The agony of wee routines ‘oot the windae’, as they say in Glasgow parlance.Went to bed suffering mild withdrawal symptoms and a bit parched.
Next day –North West Highlands and Skye : Loch Clair, Glen Torridon and a Pine Marten
37 thoughts on “North West Highlands and Skye: To Torridon via one of the world’s Top 10 drives”
I’ve yet to visit Torridon and now I really, really want to!
It’s so worth it Eryl – it’s a magnificent area.If you ever need a pointer regarding how best to explore it, just let me know!
My wife and I are planning a trip from TX to the Highlands/Skye for August ’18, and your posts are becoming my go to source! Fantastic pics and descriptions all around. Thanks!
Great to hear that you have found the posts so useful!Yes, research is the thing. It is such an amazing part of the world..you are in for a treat.Happy to help with any questions!
I would actually love to hear your thoughts on one thing to help with my planning – I currently have us traveling from John ‘O Groats to Skye on the NC500 over the course of 5 days, and then we are planning on staying on Skye for 3 full days. The idea being that it’d be nice to relax in one place for a bit on Skye since we are usually always on the go when traveling. Do you feel it’d be worth our while to take a day away from Skye and put it into our drive around the Assynt/Torridon area to take in more of those areas instead of Skye? Majestic scenery, moderate hiking and great cozy places to eat/drink with a view are our what we love when traveling. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated!
Very difficult Ryan! I’d find it hard ,myself , to drop a day in one , in favour of the other. All the areas you want to focus time on, will satisfy you in spades in terms of your interests.I think focusing pretty much all of your 5 days in Assynt/Torridon will give you time to explore and enjoy them more.What hikes do you plan/or which are attracting you most at this stage, across Skye/Assynt/Torridon?
Between the 3 , Torridon is a smaller area overall. Skye is a big island and takes time to get around and see the best sights, which are spread out. Each is a major favourite of mine however, as you may have guessed! (we are up in Torridon later this week.)
I don’t have any specific hikes planned yet on the NC500 apart from hiking around some of the Lochs (Stack, Maree, Clair). On Skye, we’ll be centrally oriented and would like to hike the big stuff (Quiraing, Old man of Storr, Fairy Pools, Neist Point), plus get in some restaurants and possibly Talisker. I think we can hit all of this within 2 days even though it’ll be a lot. I’m leaning towards another day of exploring somewhere between Lochinver and Torridon. Any specific must hikes between those locations would be greatly appreciated!
Yes you could squeeze these things in, in 2 full days. The areas you mention in Assynt/Torridon are short strolls and an ideal way to see a bit more of these wonderful places. A short 15 min walk to the Ling hut in Glen Torridon will give you some incredible views of the big mountains there – Liathach and Beinn Eighe.
I would have added the Oldshoremore beaches area for a walk along the sands and possibly a trip out to Handa Island and a walk round the island itself, easily done.
Torridon – the Shieldaig peninsula is a nice walk but best of all , low level, is the walk to Inveralligin along the coastal path (boggy ish though.)Go as far as you want then turn back. Or a stroll along Coire Nobuil with good parking on the Inveralligin/Diabaig road takes you into fine mountain country on a good track.
Gille Bridghe cafe/restaurant in Diabaig is well worth the drive – nice food and great location.
Super helpful, thanks so much for all of the suggestions. I feel good about moving the days around a bit to take a little more time on the mainland per your suggestions. Thanks again for all of your help, this was invaluable!
No problem – sound like a great trip!
Thank you for sharing all this with us. Your texts are extremely helpful when planning a trip to North Coast 500. Great and detailed descriptions and beautiful photos.
Thank you so much pantaghana and I’m very glad the write ups and photos are useful and that you enjoyed the photos too!
Wow, i just stumbled on your blog, and I am so glad I did! I’m currently planning a trip to the UK in early July, with my husband and twin boys (age 10). We are staying in Edinburgh for 3 nights, and then have 5 days to explore Scotland before we head to London to visit family.
Understandably, I’m having trouble deciding what to prioritize in your gorgeous Highlands! We enjoy moderate hiking, quaint villages, castles, good food and wildlife. Initially, we thought we could spend a day driving to Inverness via Glencoe. Then use Inverness as a base to explore Wester Ross and Cairngorms. But maybe our time would be better spent on Skye? Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated!
Hi Emily – so glad you like the blog and are finding it useful as a starter! I’ll come back to you with a bit more detail and ideas shortly.Can I perhaps ask where you found the link to it?
It’s about 1.5 hours to Torridon from Inverness, so 3 hours driving to go to and from that area.Cairngorm/Aviemore area is around 40 mins from the city, an easy trip.
From Edinburgh, it’s around a 4.5 hour drive to the Skye Bridge, an hour more if you go via superb Glencoe. So with stops, that is 2 of your 5 days taken up getting to and from the island, albeit the routes are superb in themselves with much to stop and enjoy, hike, eat etc.
Skye certainly offers a huge variety of short hikes, some pleasant villages, Dunvegan Castle (and Urquhart Castle en route).If you vary your route to and from the island, you also have the chance to see Blair Castle too.Plenty good food options on Skye and all over the Highlands.
I think it does come down to whether you prefer a city base ( I’m not a huge fan of Inverness itself) and explore different areas on day trips.Or go for the longer drive and have a more in depth experience on the island itself.Skye and Torridon often come out as the top highlights of visitors trips to the Highlands.Cairngorm however does offer quite a lot for youngsters – the reindeer herd, lovely walks, the funicular railway up Cairngorm mountain (which you can also climb yourselves).
The problem basing on Skye may be getting the accommodation you want in July – it’s not always easy as the island has become so popular!
Thank you for responding to my questions! I found your blog through a google search.
I neglected to mention we do not have to exit via Edinburgh. I thought we might fly out of Inverness to save on driving time. If we do Skye (2-3 nights), I thought we might do Torridon on the way to Inverness, then a day trip to Cairngorms. Thoughts?
Hi Emily – I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the blog and are finding it useful! I will come back to you later today with some suggestions.Can I ask where you found the link to the blog?
Yes, that’s ideal, if it works in well cost wise for you re leaving from Inverness.You can easily take in Torridon after you leave Skye, though obviously it’s not the direct route to Inverness but so worth it if the extra travel still works with the boys in the car. Several of the roads around Torridon are single track and slow and very winding. The Cairngorm area around Aviemore/Rothiemurchus is easily explored on a day trip and very different to where you will have been.You will know your own children’s tolerance of car journeys.There is also a fair amount of driving to be done on Skye itself, to see the best sights.So – just a wee warning given your fairly short time of 5 days for all that whizzing around:)
Thank you so much for your help! I am hoping to mix in enough excitement to keep the kids content during the long drives. I’d rather have quality over quantity, and depending on the weather, who knows how much we’ll see. But we’re very much looking forward to the journey, not just the destinations. Quick side note- do you ever see puffins on Skye? I know most of their colonies are on more remote islands, but wondered if we might chance upon them somewhere along the way. Thanks again for your help, and I may be back with more questions as we dig more into our plans!
One further question- if we can find lodging on Skye, is there one location better than the others?
I’ve never seen puffins on Skye.There are colonies out on the Shiant Isles but not sure if there are trips out there from Skye…most likely from Uig.
Staffa and Treshnish Isles off Mull are brilliant for them.
Also the Isle of May or possibly the Bass Rock….nearer to Edinburgh.
On Skye…Portree is pretty central.Busy wee place with lots of places to eat too.
I have another question for you regarding my trip through the highlands with my wife this August. We are wanting to have a really nice meal one night, whether it be in Edinburgh or out in the highlands at a fancy restaurant and I would love to hear your thoughts on what we should pick. We were initially thinking of springing for the Three Chimneys on Skye, or The Kitchin in Edinburgh. Do you have any favorite nice restaurant you’d recommend over others?
Sorry to only be replying now – we’ve been up in Skye for a few days.The Three Chimneys is superb though recently I’ve only been there for their lunch which is good value given quality.Overall I still prefer the experience overall of dining at Kinloch Lodge in Sleat (South Skye) which is so special inside too, a real country house gem of great character in a beautiful location (though the Three C’s is in a beautiful spot too.) But either would be great. I haven’t tried The Kitchin yet but like Castle Terrace, even though for some bizarre reason they lost their Michelin Star. Members of our family still prefer it to The Kitchin too.The fine dining restaurant in The Balmoral in Edinburgh is excellent too.
This is very helpful, thanks! Kinloch Lodge looks delightful after checking it out online, and is probably what we’ll go with. The idea of being in such a remote, wild part of the country and yet having a world class meal just sounds dreamy.
That’s great – hope you have lovely time!
Do you have any suggestions for places to eat on the route from Edinburgh to Skye via Glencoe?
Hi Emily It depends whether you want just a snack or something more substantial.Here are places I really like to stop: Coffee/tea stops with great cakes….Dun Whinny’ s Callander, the Artisan Cafe beyond Crianlarich(charming inside). Tea/coffee in a fab location…The Clachaig Inn Glencoe.Possible for lunch too but haven’t eaten there for ages.Also the Hollytree Hotel for coastal location. Lunch….Lochleven Seafood Cafe. Coffee tea/cakes in a gorgeous location and house at Glengarry Castle Hotel. Hope that helps! Anne
Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.
Thank you, Anne! One more question- what route do you suggest from Skye to Aberlour? If we can, we’d love to squeeze in Applecross/Torridon on the way. Or would that be too much for one day?
It will add several hours at least to your drive Emily but if it’s a half decent day then it’s well worth it. Just as long as you are prepared for a lot of driving that day and make the time to enjoy it.It is truly stunning from Kishorn over to Applecross then the coast to Torridon.
What a fantastic blog! I am coming to the Western Highlands next month from Australia. My mother lives on Skye and we are spending some time there and also a week in the Applecross area – your wonderful photos and stories are really inspiring me 🙂
Hi Nicola – so happy to hear you are enjoying the blog and photos! Have a wonderful time – you are visiting two really beautiful areas.
I love your blog and have been obsessing over it due to your fantastic photos. I hope my photos turn out half as good as yours.
My wife and I are coming to Skye mid-March 2019. We will be driving from Dundee to Broadford area. Anything we shouldn’t miss on the drive? We will do the Dalwhinnie Distillery tour as my wife is a chocolate lover and really wants to try the pairings. We will then have the entire next day (or maybe even late afternoon of the day we arrive-Fairy Pools?) to see Skye. If you only had a day (wish we had more), what would you do?
Thank you and keep the posts coming!
Hello! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the blog and photos! Apologies firstly for only replying now – don’t know where the week has gone.
There is so much to see and enjoy on that route to Skye (any route to Skye).We go up there most months and still fret sometimes about which road to take as there are so many favourite stops.
It does also depend on your interests…..
Dunkeld is a nice wee village with a fine old ruined cathedral (plus operational one) on the banks of the Tay. Some interesting shops too and cafes.There is a walk along by the riverbank too.
This place may be of interest as a detour before Pitlochry( nice place too) though I think they are a bit too pricey for the quality.
Blair castle is worth a look.You might also enjoy a quick stop at House of Bruar – I always do!
All this before Dalwhinnie. If you see my post on my 3rd favourite route to Skye these should all be in it, plus some other stops too after Dalwhinnie.
And of course the scenery just keeps getting better and better as you travel north and west.
See how the weather is doing when you reach Skye – if you have time for the Fairy Pools then go for it; later in the afternoon , parking should be fine though off season you should be ok anyway.
Thank you so much for the response and ideas. We are very excited to come visit. If I may impose to ask some more questions, unfortunately we only have 1 day to explore Skye. Will we be able to make the Trotternish loop (with a stops for (lots) of pictures and small hikes, nothing too long), the Fairy Pools, and Neist Point all in one day? Any suggestions to do instead or miss? I know Neist Point would be a stretch given it’s location. Thank you again.
Distance wise you could do this over a long day, but you’ll have to see how energy levels are. Especially if you plan some hikes. It’s an hour – 75 mins out to Neist Point (at least) from Trotternish and there isn’t a lot of parking. However, off season you might be ok.
If you can fit in the Fairy Pools the day you arrive, then that would take the pressure off and allow you to enjoy what you are seeing a lot more.
Also a lot of this will depend on the weather on the day! Always a risk when you only have a day – not just on Skye but anywhere in Scotland 😦
Neist is wonderful so keep it in if possible.
No harm in having these things ‘to do’ but then just deciding on the day depending on how it and time is going. No one sight is better than the other, though I might drop the Fairy Pools if I had to choose but then again for many people, it’s a highlight! See what images/views appeal to you the most.