The NC500 & Loch Carron
We’ll take the northerly ‘North Coast 500’ route from Inverness over the impressive Kessock Bridge. The crossing offers views over Inverness before turning westward into the central highlands and the road less travelled. Driving through this stunning highland landscape the road runs alongside the Kyle railway line down to Loch Carron stopping at the viewpoint over this impressive sea loch. We’ll stop along the way to take in the views.
Eilean Donan Castle
One of Scotland’s most photographed castles, Eilean Donan Castle was a stronghold of the Clan Mackenzie since the mid-13th century. Eilean Donan sits on a small island named after Donnan of Eigg, a 7th century Celtic saint who may have built a church here. Over centuries the castle has evolved until in 1719 the Mackenzies support of the Jacobite cause lead to government forces destroying Eilean Donan by cannon-fire. The castle lay in ruin until restoration work began in 1920, including a new footbridge to provide easy access from the mainland. The project, lead by Lieutenant-Colonel John Macrae-Gilstrap was complete in 1932. Well spend around an hour visiting Eilean Donan.
Over the Bridge to Skye
We’ll travel the short distance via Kyle of Lochalsh and over the impressive Skye Bridge, driving into the heart of the island through the dramatic landscape of the Cuillin mountain range. These breathtaking mountains rise dramatically from the sea to over 3,000ft. After stopping to take in the waters at Sligachan Old Bridge, we’ll descend into the picture-postcard fishing village of Portree. Here we’ll have lunch and your guide will recommend places, from fish and chips on the pier to a local tavern or restaurant.
After lunch we’ll venture on the road less travelled north to the Trotternish peninsula with views to The Old Man of Storr and The Kilt Rock. We’ll stop at The Museum of Island Life, a recreation of an island township with thatched cottages and (on a good day) views over to the Outer Hebrides Islands.
Returning to the Mainland
When available, we’ll take the quirky Glenelg Ferry back to the mainland. Launched in 1934 MV Glenachulish is the last turntable ferry in the world and this short 15 minute crossing is a unique way to travel over Kyle Rhea. The ferry is close to the heart of the islanders and is part of the heritage of Skye. We’ll then drive up Glen Shiel and past Loch Cluanie reservoir with its unique lunar landscape.
The Glenelg ferry runs from mid-April to mid-October. We’ll use the Skye bridge to return to the mainland outside these times.
The great Glen & Loch Ness
Our final landmark of the day is arriving into The Great Glen. This Geological Fault line runs straight through Scotland for 62 miles from Fort William in the southwest to Inverness in the northeast. We’ll stop to take in the view over Loch Ness from the roadside and might even catch a glimpse of Nessie!
Returning to Inverness you’ll have a camera full of photos and memories that will last a lifetime!
This full-day tour includes quite a lot of travelling but is a very rewarding day. However, if you have more time and prefer to experience these places at a more relaxed pace, perhaps our two-day ‘Over the sea to Skye‘ tour is better suited to your needs?