Skye, Scotland, need a good base

Old Jan 30th, 2007, 04:12 AM
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Skye, Scotland, need a good base

What area would be a good base for some driving tours of Skye? We'll be there 3 or 4 days and want to explore the scenery. We would also like to do a day trip across Applecross to the Torridons. We'll be coming up from Oban on our 1st day and departing towards Edinburgh on our last. I thought maybe Broadford might be convienent and would cut our driving times on our 1st and last day, and also for our trip over Applecross. Broadford seems to have some nice B&Bs. On the other hand Portree looks nice. Any advice? Thanks
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Old Jan 30th, 2007, 04:51 AM
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What ever you do, have a meal at the Three Chimneys restaurant...best dessert I ever ate was there...its their marmalade pudding..........
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Old Jan 30th, 2007, 07:01 AM
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Depends the sort of place you want to be staying in.

Can you give us an idea?
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Old Jan 31st, 2007, 04:06 AM
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We'll be staying in a b&b. We Mainly want to drive around and enjoy the scenery.
Also when we head back to Edinburgh, what would be a good stopping off point, or cool things to see. (We'll have and extra day on the way back}
thanks
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Old Jan 31st, 2007, 04:57 AM
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We went to Skye in October.
We were surprised with how VERY, VERY small all the "towns" were on Skye. Some "towns" were marked on our map, and when we got to them it was literally 4 houses on the roadside. It is very quiet and unpopulated - which is incredibly, breath-takingly beautiful but also kindof isolating.

A lot of people will recommend you to stay in Broadford - as there are some nice B&Bs there. However, keep in mind this is a miniscule town, if you blink you will literally miss it.

We had seriously considered staying in Broadford, but all the b&bs we looked into were full - so we decided on Portree. We were very very glad we did. Portree is also a small town...but its a real town, with a square, pubs, restaurants, shops and a port. It is not super touristy - and there are places to go, people watching, things to do.

It all depends on what you like. But Portree would be my overwhelming recommendation - especially since it is also more centrally located than Broadford.

On another note. We loved our trip to Scotland and had a fantastic time. However, I was generally dissapointed with the accomadations all over the country. Every place we stayed was just "so-so", and rather lacking in charm.(except for our excellent b&b in edinburgh). I am a self-confessed snob about hotels/b&bs/etc.

In Portree we stayed at the Pier Hotel the first night. It was a charming building with a lovely view of the Port and was nicely located, but it gave me the super-duper heeby-jeebies inside. Dark, old-looking bedding, smelled vaguely of smoke, big sign over the toilet warning us to not throw any "paper towels, napkins, tampons, or condoms into it". Uckkkk!

So the second night we stayed at the Bosville Hotel - very expensive and comfortable. But really lacking any Scottish "charm" - it was decorated in a modern theme and really howard-johnsonish.

Anyway, so I cant recommend anywhere specfic. Though we did have a great pub dinner at the Isles Inn one night (a dimly lit, authentic feeling, cozy bar/restaurant). And, though not located on the harbor, they have nice looking rooms on their website.

Sorry about being so long winded!
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Old Jan 31st, 2007, 05:10 AM
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And as far as stopping on the way back to Edinburgh....

The Trossachs region was very lovely - with sweeping views, rolling farmland and some really interesting sites/stopping points. The Ichamome Priory was a highlight of our trip - and of course Stirling is not to be missed.

We stayed one night in a "farmhouse" b&b in Buchlyvie - which was phenomanally, utterly horrific. (Had planned to spend two nights here - but left screaming)....

And then one night outside of Luss on Loch Lommond - which was a "guesthouse" composed of a main house with stone cottages all around it as rooms. When I saw it I was so excited, because the view was awesome over the lake and the stone buildings were so cute. However, inside the rooms were like the Days Inn - and had been stripped of any kind of character. But it was comfortable and much much better than our first night. It was called the Culag house.

We wanted to stay at the WatersEdge cottage http://www.watersedgecottage.co.uk
But they were full. We thought that it looked very nice.
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Old Jan 31st, 2007, 06:18 AM
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We based ourselves near Broadford at this B&B http://www.isleofskye.net/swordalehouse/

It is not a big town, but it had a selection of places to eat at night an a petrol station with groceries. Swordale House is not in town - it's a couple of miles outside of town. The website doesn't give a lot of information but it was very nice, with a great view out the bedroom window, good beds, a decent bath and a really good breakfast and nice hosts.

We spent one day driving to Portree to Trotternish Peninsula and around the island from that direction, and another driving south to Sleat. (We did more driving than we wanted, but we only had two days and we really did want to see as much as we could). We felt like staying in Portree would have resulted in more backtracking than we wanted.
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Old Jan 31st, 2007, 06:20 AM
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Several years ago when we were in Scotland, we purchased the book "A Taste of Scotland", and since I travel on my stomach..we booked as we went.. according to restaurants. We did not spend a lot of time anywhere... just sort of in and out. We did find a charming B&B right on Loch Loman (sp?).. great little restaurant only for guests.
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Old Jan 31st, 2007, 06:36 AM
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Well - Portree is the only real "town" on the Isle. So if you want shops, a choice of restaurants, definitely consider staying there. But it is not all that central.

Broadford isn't central at all - but is more convenient to both the ferry and the bridge.

The most central location on the Isle would be Sligachan. Sits smack dab at the junction of the only two main roads on the island. The hotel/pub is about a convenient as you will find.

But I personally would just choose a nice B&B anywhere - if you google any of the "towns" on the island you will get lots of accomodations to choose from.

In fact you could book two different B&Bs - for the first two nights up at the N/NW end for touring Portree, Trotternish, and Dunvegan. And then another one trowards the S/SW for 2 nights for Sleat, Elgol and your excursion to Applecross
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Old Jan 31st, 2007, 06:55 AM
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Another thought is to stay on the mainland close to the bridge -- since you insist on this excursion to Applecross/Torridon. There's Kyle of Lochalsh, or, better, Plockton. Couple of nice places in Plockton.
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Old Jan 31st, 2007, 06:56 AM
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Hey Steviegene...what was the B&B you liked in Edinburgh?
Thanks everyone
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Old Jan 31st, 2007, 07:00 AM
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2 cambridge street.
Centrally located, quiet, extremely helpful and friendly hosts, truly gourmet breakfasts, tastefully decorated with antiques, 95 to 115 lbs per night. Expensive, but not a bad price for centrally located in Edinburgh.
See if this link works:

http://www.aboutscotland.com/edin/cambridge.html
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Old Jan 31st, 2007, 09:59 AM
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There are a number of wonderful hotels and B&B's on Skye. Once you decide on a location(and, I like janis's suggestion of two different locations) post again with price preference and I'm sure someone here can provide you with a variety of options.Or just google the 'towns'as janisj suggested.

Regarding the signs over the toilets, these sre necessary because of the plumbing and the fact that some people treat them as waste bins. I've seen them through out Europe and frequently here in the states.
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Old Jan 31st, 2007, 10:41 AM
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yeah, but historytraveler that is still really really gross.
It was wayyyyyyyyyyyy too specific -- condoms, comeon?!
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Old Jan 31st, 2007, 03:17 PM
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Skye is so small, you could stay anywhere. Portree gives most options and i recall was quite attractive. On return to Edinburgh, staying around Ford William / Loch Lomond would be very attractive with the scenery.
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Old Feb 1st, 2007, 10:15 AM
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I would have to disagree - I would not consider Skye to be small.
It looks small - but takes a loooong time to get anywhere. I personally like janisj's idea of staying in 2 locations. In the north part of the island for half the trip and then the south part for the second half.
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Old Feb 1st, 2007, 11:00 AM
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While I disagree with steviegene regarding icky toilet signs , she's absolutely right about it being slow going in traveling around the island.
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