How many days for Isle of Skye/Harris

(21 Posts)
Evilmorty Fri 12-Jul-19 18:17:09

The trip I am planning looks a little like this;

Fly to Inverness
2/3 days around Loch Ness
Drive to Skye via Fort William, nice relaxing and taking in the scenery
Some days in Skye (how many I’m not sure, 5?) with a trip to Harris, again not sure if it would need an overnight stay or even more to get the best out of it?

I then want to drive down to Ayr and stay a nice either 3 or 5 days at Craig Tara just relaxing a bit.
Fly home from Glasgow

How does this sound? Is it completely unrealistic as an itinery? There’s 5 of us, youngest will be 3, almost 4. The amount of time we spend up there isn’t limited, we are teachers so in no rush. I’d love to see Barra and Jura too but I think that’s optimistic.

OP’s posts: |
Skyejuly Wed 17-Jul-19 12:07:35

We originally done a day trip in skye but went back for a week so yes 5 days is good x

wigglybeezer Wed 17-Jul-19 13:01:18

Bear in mind that ferries to smaller islands get booked up, you can't always just turn up and get on.
There is certainly lots to see on Skye but it gets very busy in high season, five days would be fine. Harris is quieter, scenery is worth it though, fewer " visitor" attractions.
If you want to visit small isles, I'd suggest Eigg, muck, Rhum, canna from Mallaig or Arisaig as foot passengers. It's a short ferry trip from Skye to Mallaig.
Hope the kids don't get carsick easily!
I'd also recommend Plockton as another spot to visit near Skye.

Evilmorty Thu 18-Jul-19 12:05:12

Thank you, that’s exactly the sort of info I wanted. I am drawn to Harris because of the beaches, I enjoy cold water and we really want to feel like we are away from it all.

Being the sort of person I am, there is absolutely no chance that we will just turn up anywhere grin I’m planning this now for 2021!

I’m still not sure how we’ll get there though, we are in Cambridge. I’m torn between driving (3 kids, 10,4 and 2) or flying to Inverness and renting a car confused

OP’s posts: |
Skyejuly Thu 18-Jul-19 12:39:23

We are in suffolk and regularly drive to sky. It's about 14hrs including a couple stops and we drive overnight. My children are 15,14, 7 and 2. X

YetAnotherSpartacus Thu 18-Jul-19 12:46:06

Depending on what interests you, I'd opt for more than five days on Skye. This is partly to raise the probability that you get one day when it isn't raining ... But, seriously, there is a lot to do, especially if you like walking. There is also a lot to do on Lewis and Harris, but here I'd say 4 days is probably enough - one day really would not be. Can't you factor a day or so in Edinburgh on your way up/down? Or around Loch Lomond?

wigglybeezer Thu 18-Jul-19 13:22:16

Personally I'd hire a car in Glasgow ( or even Stirling) and begin and end there, the scenery is good all the way up, Inverness and Loch Ness are not as scenic as some other routes. Don't forget about Mull, it's often overlooked in favour of Skye but is less congested in high season and had the advantage of being able to hop over to Iona which has THE best beaches. I much prefer Oban to Fort William too. I have been all-over so if you want some itinerary ideas, I'm happy to help! Also consider trains, book ahead for cheap tickets and special offers, the views from the train are often even better than the car.

Skyejuly Thu 18-Jul-19 13:30:59

Go to st Kilda!

JustMarriedBecca Thu 18-Jul-19 23:05:28

I'd drive. We spent a week in Harris last year, the week it was super hot otherwise there isn't much to do other than beaches. I don't like Skye. I prefer Applecross, Toridon etc. Skye is busy and full of tourists. Base yourself western Highlands and do Skye overnight and leave Harris for another visit.

Skyejuly Fri 19-Jul-19 07:28:58

I heard Skye gets busy. We went early April and it was pretty empty!

YetAnotherSpartacus Fri 19-Jul-19 10:00:20

Things we did on Lewis/Harris - explored the Calanais stones, visited different Duns in various stages of ruin, checked out the blackhouse museum, looked at a few sad ghost villages, some of the postman's walk, another lovely walk around the top end, explored many beaches, including where they found the chess set...

Stornoway was depressing though.

TeuchterTraveller Fri 19-Jul-19 19:17:43

A week each for Skye and Lewis/Harris, so plenty of time to relax. Don't under-estimate the amount of driving time on the Islands.

What's the attraction of Craig Tara? Ayrshire is a hell of a trek from Skye for a Haven resort.

Book Calmac ferries as early as possible and accommodation too, especially on Skye.

As others say, consider other islands too, Mull is only a few hours drive from Glasgow (via Oban or the scenic route via Glencoe). Just as stunning as Skye and less crowded.

MrsMoastyToasty Fri 19-Jul-19 19:26:41

Get yourself a hopscotch ticket from Caledonian Macbrayne (Calmac) who are the main ferry company operating between the West coast and the islands.
I love Mull and Iona. Probably biased though because we have family on Mull, so it's a cheap holiday for us.
The other thing to consider when driving in the Highlands is that an A road may be a single track road with passing places.....and sheep...loads of sheep...

Evilmorty Sat 20-Jul-19 11:34:47

Iona looks amazing! Thank you for all these suggestions!

Craig Tara simply because it used to be a Butlins so I thought it’d be some down time for the kids with a nice pool. And also (I don’t know how I came to this conclusion, it’s probably wrong) I thought Arran might be more accessible from ayr?

OP’s posts: |
Verily1 Mon 22-Jul-19 23:27:23

Do not go to Craig Tara!

If you want a pool for the kids try Crieff hydro or the Macdonald resort in aviemore.

midsomermurderess Tue 23-Jul-19 18:18:52

I wouldn't bother with Barra. It's quite a long ferry trip to get there although you can fly, from Glasgow. Not really worth the effort, in my experience. Although landing on the beach was unusual.

Leggyfrog Tue 23-Jul-19 20:40:33

Do not go up Ayr/ Craig Tara - it is totally crazy to tag this on to a west coast trip. It is really down market too. Trust me you will thank me. Focus on the north west. There are much nicer places and areas to have some down time.

museumum Tue 23-Jul-19 20:43:49

If you fancy Skye via mallaig ferry the beaches between arisaig and mallaig are special. And you can see glenfunnan viaduct in the way back.
More expensive than the bridge route though.

Leggyfrog Tue 23-Jul-19 20:44:01

As others have said Mull is more accessible and a much shorter drive than Skye and lovely. Personally i find Skye, with the looming Cullins a bit foreboding!

Leggyfrog Tue 23-Jul-19 20:46:48

Also not sure what there is for 2/3 at Loch Ness. It is a only a loch and there are much prettier and quieter lochs. It is living ompletely off the myth.

Verily1 Tue 23-Jul-19 21:24:57

Yes invernessdoesnt have much going for it.

What about the north coast 500 then Ullapool to Stornaway, down through Harris and the ferry to Skye at uig then the ferry to mallaig then to Oban then there are loads of ferry routes from there then down to clonaig for the ferry to arran for a night then back to the mainland.

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