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Via Skye to Mallaig and the Ardnamurchan peninsula

Home -> Europe -> Scotland -> Travelogue Scotland -> 10 & 11 May 2005

Tuesday 10 May, via Skye to Mallaig and the Ardnamurchan peninsula

Since we have been to Applecross already, we can now take a quicker route to Skye. And we are in no hurry, anyway, to say goodby to Iain and Cathy. So, we take our time to have breakfast and then drinking coffee with our friends. It is always hard to leave Beauly, but we will be back.
Elisabeth & CathyThis summer we want to spend our holiday driving through England to explore the other parts of the United Kingdom and we imagine that we can drive all the way up to Beauly again at the end of the holiday. The trip for today is not so long and if we don't have time enough we can always change our plans. There is only one fixed date and place and that is the 16th of May when we have to return the rental car at Edinburgh airport at noon.
Glenelg Ferry to SkyeAlong Loch Ness we drive a short distance to the south and then turn right to the west. This time we want to enter Skye by ferry from Glenelg. We have been here before (2003) but then the ferry didn't go. It is a small boat with space for four cars and we can immediately drive onto it. For 7 pounds we are transported within 5 minutes to Kylerhea (pronounced as Killrhee) on Skye.
Near KylerheaFrom Kylerhea there is only one road we can take, another narrow and twisting road, to take us further into Skye. Another breathtaking route through a very nice part of Scotland. Since there is a bridge connecting Skye directly to the mainland, people are inclined to take that faster way, but we can recommend this itinerary. The ferry is in bussiness from Easter Monday ubtil the end of September (all days, except sunday).
Ferry to Mallaig MallaigSkye is a beautiful island, but this time we cross only a small part of it, Sleat peninsula, to Armadale where we take the ferry to the Mallaig on the mainland. willen nemen. This former single track road is also broadened into a two-lane road and we are glad we have driven here when it still was a 'real' Scottish single track road. It is much warmer than the past few days and we can sit outside to wait for the ferry at Armadale, where a bagpiper is waiting to start his show for the people who arrive from Malaig.
This crossing takes more than half an hour and we get a nice view on Skye, the mainland and the islands and peninsulas around. The wind is blowing hard and we feel cold when we go back to the car to leave the ferry. But when we arraive at Mallaig it feels very nice, like on the day when we arrived.
The price of the ferry for two people and a car is 23 pound, almost € 35.
Mallaig MallaigIn Mallaig we see several B&B's, but we choose for a hotel where smoking is allowed (yes, we know, it isn't healthy, but we are still addicted...). From our room we have a great view over the harbour, especially when the sun sets in the sea. My feet are hurting quite a bit, so we decide to spend here an extra night to get some rest. My feet are my weak spot, as is her back for Elisabeth.
But that is allright as long as we take care, what we haven't exactly done at Beauly when we went to bed too late, almost every night... And we haven't been to this part of Scotland before, so we can have a look around tomorrow. But first a good night sleep, that is the most important thing now!

Wednesday 11 May 2005, the Ardnamurchan peninsula

We are just in time to have breakfast when we wake up. Today we take a day off, bu with us that means driving a bit through the neighbourhood. Well, a bit? We drive around all day! We don't know this area, so at the first side road we turn off, searching for new and unknown places. And so we encounter lots of new places, lochs, dead ends with houses on magnificient spots and so on and on.
Loch Morar Near loch MorarLike these spots on the pictures, along Loch Morar. We have heard it is one of the deepest lochs of Scotland and some people claim there is (also) a monster living. We only see the sun reflecting on a beautiful lake and no monsters.
Further to the south we turn to the right, onto a road that doesn't exist on our map. That is frustrating for Teije who marks the roads on a 5-year old Scotland map. So, he has to draw a new road on the map and wonders if he could work for a mapping company. Well, the road looks very new and leads along to coast to the town of Arsaig. (After we returned home we bought a new map and there the road was present, so it really was a new road)
ArisaigIn Arsaig we take our first break and have a nice we nice cup of coffee. In Scotland (and the UK) you often get a large cup with very weak coffee with lots of milk. I like a stron cup with special coffee milk. So I order a black coffee and use the milk I took from Holland. It is some of the things we always take with us when we go abroad.
The image on the photograph shows how many villages on the west coast look like: a restaurant or pub, a post office and a couple of houses around it. The weather is getting better every day and we can sit outside again.
Near Arisaig Near ArisaigWe take every side road that we come across and sometimes we find ourselves in idyllic places. That is not always the case, obviously, but still we see some things we otherwise would have missed when only driving on the 'normal' roads.
In Glen MoidartIn Glen Moidart we find this private country house, it is almost a castle. But there is no sign with a name and we can't find anything about it on the internet. No, we are not jealous of the people who live here.... Imagine that we would have the money to buy a fine house like this but then lack the money to do other things like travelling!? No, we rather drive around and enjoy the beauty we see around us.
Monster midget Entrance of Glenborrodale CastleGoing further southwards we enter the Ardnamurchan peninsula, where we have never been before. A whole new area and, again, very diverse landscapes: forested parts, inhospitable and bare regions, naturally many curves in the roads and now and then very pretty houses. And even a castle we have never heard of before: Glenborrodale castle. It is a private property and people are warned not to trespass. We are happy enough with a picture of the gate lodge of the castle.
Ardnamurchan ArdnamurchanArdnamurchan is a large peninsula, but there are not many roads. We take them all and mark them on our map. They are all returning roads, as we now start to call dead ends, since we have to return on the same path. It takes hours, but it is also very rewarding to explore this area.
Ardnamurchan PointEventually we arrive at Ardnamurchan Point, the most westerly point of the mainland of Great Britain. There is a lighthouse and we are glad there is also a shop where we can sit down to have a coffee. Ardnamurchan is worth a visit but take your time, since it isn't possible to drive quickly through it.
Nice little houseOn the way back to Mallaig we take this picture of a small house we have seen on our way up here. It looks very funny, small and yet decorated with several turrets. Maybe it is the entrance to a larger estate with maybe even a castle, but we are not sure of that.
It takes us 2 hours to drive back to Mallaig, while it took almost all day to drive to the end of the peninsula to explore it. The wetter has been fantastic with lots of sun and warm enough to feel comfortable outside. Back in the hotel we are only glad we can take off our shoes, cool our feet under the cold shower and then to bed. So, it wasn't only a resting day, but we have enjoyed it.


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