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Skye without a car, for a few days?

Skye without a car, for a few days?

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Old Feb 16, 19, 7:50 am
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Skye without a car, for a few days?

This July, we're thinking of taking the in-laws up to the Highlands for a week or so. Rough plan is to get one of the nifty-looking "Scottish Grand Tour rail rovers" <http://www.railrover.org/pages/scottish-grand-tour.html>, and make our way round by train:


Scottish Grand Tour rail rover map

While I've been to much of the route covered before by train / bus / car, I've never yet been out to Skye. Skye is also the part that the other-half seem most excited about visiting...

So, first query - is it practical to visit Skye for a few days in the summer, without a car, just relying on buses or tours to get around? Or do I need to plan on hiring a car for our time there, between getting the ferry/bus over and the bus off again?

Second query - my usual hotel searching techniques aren't really working for skye, mostly I guess as it's lots of little and independent places! Looking for a B&B or self catering cottage, what's a good site/sites to check to find places?
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Old Feb 16, 19, 8:56 am
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Originally Posted by Gagravarr View Post
This July, we're thinking of taking the in-laws up to the Highlands for a week or so. Rough plan is to get one of the nifty-looking "Scottish Grand Tour rail rovers" <http://www.railrover.org/pages/scottish-grand-tour.html>, and make our way round by train:


Scottish Grand Tour rail rover map

While I've been to much of the route covered before by train / bus / car, I've never yet been out to Skye. Skye is also the part that the other-half seem most excited about visiting...

So, first query - is it practical to visit Skye for a few days in the summer, without a car, just relying on buses or tours to get around? Or do I need to plan on hiring a car for our time there, between getting the ferry/bus over and the bus off again?

Second query - my usual hotel searching techniques aren't really working for skye, mostly I guess as it's lots of little and independent places! Looking for a B&B or self catering cottage, what's a good site/sites to check to find places?
Although I have made a number of trips to Scotland, none has been to Skye; however, my youngest sister has been twice and has not rented a car either time. Nevertheless, Skye is a big place, and when I finally go, I will take a car.

My go-to websites for finding rural or small-town accommodations are http://booking.com and https://www.holidaylettings.co.uk/. I just did a quick check on both, and both list a number of options on Skye.

Enjoy your trip! The pictures my sister has brought back from Skye are nothing short of spectacular.
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Old Feb 16, 19, 10:05 am
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Been to Skye many times hiking, biking and by car. In my opinion given your situation a car will be essential.

B&B's can be found on the Visit Scotland website.
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Old Feb 16, 19, 10:31 am
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I'm probably more used than most here to relying on buses that run once every one or two hours, as that's commonplace round here!

If you want to find out details of the services, the excellent Traveline Scotland website is the place to go.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 1:11 am
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Youíre going to need a car to get the most out of Skye Iím afraid. It is the biggest of all the islands off the U.K. and has minimal public transport. There are taxis, but thatís not ideal and doesnít allow you to just pull over to take a photo.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 4:54 am
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I know Skye reasonably well. A car is utterly vital to get around and see it.

Secondly, you need to book ASAP if you want to be certain of accommodation in July. Skye regularly has more visitors than hotel beds available, and Police advice is not to arrive on the island without a bed secured. This is doubly so if you don't have a car.

One option I would strongly suggest looking at is to get the train to Inverness, but then use a hire car from Inverness to Skye- it gives you a lot more flexibility and ability to stop in some stunning places. Then return the car in Inverness and get the train down to Glashgow.
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Old Feb 20, 19, 12:19 am
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A car is not essential, but relying on buses greatly reduce your flexibility and you'd need to plan your itinerary in advance with military precision.....
I think I'd prefer a car. This local company is set up to meet trains and ferries, and would enable you to pick up from Kyle (train from Inverness) and drop at Armadale (for the ferry over to Mallaig, West Highland line train to Glasgow)
Skye Car Hire and Kyle Taxi service
Remember - rental cars in UK are usually manual, you'll need to check if they have automatic - if you need that.
Second the advise about booking Skye accommodation now - it sells out throughout the summer.
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Old Feb 20, 19, 8:52 pm
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I'll third the advice of booking accommodation ASAP. You will already be too late for some places.

I have been to Skye many times and personally would never want to do it without a car. Depends on your plans though. I go out walking and need the flexibility.

www.walkhighlands.co.uk is good, both for researching walks/nature and it has some accommodation listings. They also have a very active forum including trip reports. There are plenty of people in Scotland who religiously use public transport. Its possible but you have to plan around it.
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