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West Highland Highway, Iverness, Skye, and East Neuk Fishing Villages

West Highland Highway, Iverness, Skye, and East Neuk Fishing Villages

Mar 11th, 2007, 10:05 AM
  #1  
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West Highland Highway, Iverness, Skye, and East Neuk Fishing Villages

I'm trying to plan out my itinerary.....will be in Edinburgh for 7 days, and 'outside' for 4 days. I will be relying on bus/train/ferries.

1) I'm interested in doing the West Highland Highway rail journey, and then go to Iverness and Isle of Skye. I'm having a hard time figuring out how much time to spend in each of these areas, and where to make overnight stops. Any suggestions?

2) How long is the West Highland Highway rail trip from start to end? Is it worthwhile to make any stops along the way? I'd just be interested in nice walks, countryside, views, and good food. Would it be worthwhile to stay overnight in Mallaig before heading onwards?

If so, any suggestions of cheap, inexpensive, budget hotels, or B&B's in this area? Travelling with my sister who does not want hostels.

3) I heard there is a ferry to Iverness or Skye? How many days should be spent in these areas?

Also, any suggestions of cheaper, inexpensive accommodations here?

4) What's the best way back from Iverness/Skye area to Edinburgh?

I also heard about the Scotland travel pass.....would it be worthwhile to buy that for the above trip?

Lastly, I'm eager to visit some of the E. Neuk Fishing Villages. Are any accessible via train/bus from Edinburgh? And can I do it on a day trip? Any particular villages you'd recommend?

Loads of thanks for all the suggestions,

gtrekker2003
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Mar 11th, 2007, 07:07 PM
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OK - very first of all you need to look at a map. Inverness and Skye are quite distant from each other and Inverness is on the mainland - no ferries.

The West Highland Way is a long distance walking (like 80 or 90 miles) trail. What you are talking about is the West Highland line - you can take it to Mallaig and then a ferry over to Skye. That would make a nice 3 or 4 day trip - giving you lots of time to walk on Skye and also stop over in Ft Wiliam to climb on Ben Nevis. I would forget about trying to squeeze in Inverness too - it isn't that nice a place anyway.

As for the East Neuk fishing villages - they are not served by trains from edinburgh. But you can take a train to Leuchars about 6 miles from St Andrews and then take local buses to/through St Andrews/Crail/Anstruther, etc.

And what is your budget for B&Bs - can't really give suggestions w/o knowing how much you can spend.
janisj is online now  
Mar 11th, 2007, 08:27 PM
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And, if you're not planning on renting a car, you'll need to book transportation once you get to Armadale (Skye).

As janis has stated the East Neuk is possible via bus and occasionally train but a bit iffy time wise on your schedule although you may be able to manage a few of the villages.

No ferry between Inverness and Skye. As suggested please get a map for a better idea of Scotland geography.
historytraveler is online now  
Mar 11th, 2007, 08:55 PM
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I confess, I have a terrible habit of skimming posts. After rereading yours,I have some additional comments.

With just 4 'outside' days, you'll have to limit yourelf to either Skye (it'll take all day to get there from Edinburgh via public transportation and the same back,of course) or the East Neuk. There's simply not enough time to do both in just 4 days even if you weren't using public transportation.

As for staying overnight in Mallaig, I'd advoid it if you can still catch the ferry to Armadale.
historytraveler is online now  
Mar 11th, 2007, 08:58 PM
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I read the OP to mean 4 days for Skye etc, and Fife as a separate day trip from Edinburgh, right?
janisj is online now  
Mar 12th, 2007, 04:04 AM
  #6  
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Thanks for the suggestions.

I was definitely considering E. Neuk villages as a separate side day trip from Edinburgh. Are there certain villages you'd recommend for just a day trip? I don't want to over do it and enjoy the ones I see.

I was actually referring to the W. Highland rail journey. I read that it is very beautiful. Is it worth the trip? I also now realize how far Inverness is from Skye. I had read there are buses from Edinburgh to Inverness so that's why it was on the agenda. Is there a way back from Skye to Edinburgh using public transport?

Also, once in Skye, is there public transport around or would I have to rely on tour buses? I'm mostly interested in some walks over there and would spend 1 1/2 to 2 days there, leaving one day to return to Edinburgh.

As for hotels, my budget is $100-$125 US dollars for a double room.

Lastly, is it realistic for me to see Skye based on my time constraints and having to rely on public transport? Or is there some place else that would be just as good around there? Water, mountains, etc.

Loads of thanks,

gtrekker2003
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Mar 12th, 2007, 05:44 AM
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The way to get back to Edinburgh from Skye is the same way you would get to Skye. Ferry from Armadale on Skye to Mallaig and then train to Edinburgh. The train trip is wonderful - through amazing scenery.

On Skye you can take local buses or hire taxis to get around.

I already gave a suggestion how/which villages to see in Fife. If you aren't interested in St Andrews (which is a very interesting place) just go there to catch the local buses on to Crail and Anstruther - then back to St Andrews/Leuchars and catch teh train back to Edinburgh. It would be a reasonable day's trip - just be sure to check the bus times.

(BTW if you were going to Inverness - which we aren't recommending - you should take the train - a bus will take much longer)

When is your trip? There are MANY B&Bs on Skye and depending on when the trip you don't have to book ahead since the tourist information offices in Broadford and Portree can find you a place.
janisj is online now  
Mar 12th, 2007, 08:51 AM
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Confused again. I did take your post to mean nly 4 days total.

Another possibility instead of re-tracing West Highland train journey is to take the bus/taxi over to Kyle of Lochalsh and from their a train to Inverness (it may go via Dingwall) and then train to Glasgow/Edinburgh. You will need to check schedules to see if you can make connections easily enough. It will be a long journey. However, the West Highland won't bore you even the second time around.

On Skye there is bus service, but it is sketchy at best and IMO difficult if one is on a limited time schedule. Getting off the ferry and expecting a bus/taxi to appear in an reasonable amount of time simply won't happen.
Your best bet is to arrange a taxi/guide service.
historytraveler is online now  
Mar 12th, 2007, 11:27 AM
  #9  
 
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Crickey! I do know the difference between their and there. That's what happens when your in a hurry.

I thought it might be helpful to give you some websites with bus and train informaion.

www.scotrail.co.uk
www.travelinescotland.com
historytraveler is online now  
Mar 12th, 2007, 07:43 PM
  #10  
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Thanks everybody. This helps with my general itinerary planning. Looks like I'll be spending 3 days in Skye.

I'll be in Edinburgh from 7th to 14th May and the 'outside' trip to Skye will be 3rd to 6th May (7th will be a travel day). Are those busy times for hotels in Skye?

I'm a bit of a planner so would like to book hotels ahead of time versus just going to the tourist office. Tend to get a bit stressed otherwise. Any suggestions of decent hotels within my budget of $100-125 USD?

Thanks again everybody. I'm getting so excited and it's only March now.

gtrekker2003
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Mar 12th, 2007, 07:46 PM
  #11  
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Sorry, forgot to ask:

Does the Freedom of Scotland travel pass cover the West Highland train, ferry to Skye, and buses in Skye? How about buses/trains to E. Neuk?

Thanks again!

gtrekker2003
gtrekker2003 is offline  

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