Rowan Tree Cottage

6 Achnahanaid, Braes, Portree, IV51 9LH, United Kingdom
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Forum Posts

Glasgow to Portree in one day?

by AmyLeeParker

We are set to pick up our rental around 9am on the 7th of Sept at the Glasgow Airport. I am wanting to take the ferry across at Mallaig to Skye and get into Portree. Is this possible? I know the roads are very narrow around this area. Or is it better to go up to Fort William and then across the bridge?

Re: Glasgow to Portree in one day?

by leics

http://www.theaa.com/route-planner/index.jsp?database=B

will plan your route for you, with congestion spots etc and estimated driving times. It will include the bridge crossing, as this is the fastest route.
Estimated journey time is almost 5 hours.

Rural roads in Scotland (or anywhere else in the UK) may be narrow,but they are not undriveable.......it simply means that your journey may take longer than you expect if you use them.

But if do you want to go 'over the sea to Skye' you will still be able to do so in September, as the ferry does not stop running until 24th October.

Ferry times and booking (recommended) here:

http://www.calmac.co.uk/summer-timetable.html?id=summer-skye--mallaig-armadale.gif

Glasgow to Mallaig is around 3.5 hours, but allow yourselves plenty of extra time for possible delays and for enjoying the countryside en route.

Re: Glasgow to Portree in one day?

by AmyLeeParker

Ok, I don't know what I'm more excited about. The fact that it's possible or the fact that my estimated timing (I had estimated driving time to be 5 to 6 hours) with stoping/ferrying/exploring time to be 3 hours. YIPPY!

Re: Glasgow to Portree in one day?

by leics

Don't get too excited...that's only to Mallaig! You have to get on the ferry, ferry over and then get off the ferry as well.

Expect it to take longer, then you'll be pleased when you don't. That's the best way to approach driving anywhere in the UK. :-)

Re: Glasgow to Portree in one day?

by RhineRoll

Just wanting to add that the route to Mallaig will also take you to Fort William. It is there that the two roads to the Isles follow different routes. I have done both approaches and must say I like the "skye bridge" road "to the isle" a tad better -- which of course doesn't mean that the Maillaig road isn't scenic at all. The section from the sands of Morar is glorious, and it has recently been updated to double track.

If you can, do both roads, one on your way to Skye, the other one on your way back.

Once on the Isle of Skye, it will take you nearly an hour to reach Portree, it's a pretty big island after all! (Awesome scenery for most of the way).

Don't waste much time in the city, you're in for one of the world's most wonderful drives! The most unpleasant section BTW is near the north end of Loch Lomond, where the road also becomes very narrow and carries quite heavy traffic. The rest is...... ah! *dreaming*

Re: Glasgow to Portree in one day?

by AmyLeeParker

I have done the bridge from Inverness, but not from Fort William. I just thought it might be interesting and fun to do the ferry. But then I don't want to get into Portree to late either. Around dark would be nice, but not after dark. I'm not wanting to do any driving after dark at all.

Ok This is my thinking for the trip.

We will pick up the car on the 7th from the airport around 9 and head out toward Loch Lommond. Making it Portree for the night.

Staying the 7th and 8th in Portree.

Getting up on the 9th and heading toward Inverness. I don't want to stay in Inverness, but would like to find a nice B&B just outside for the 9th and 10th. On the 10th start heading south again back toward Edinburgh being back in Edinburgh for the night of the 11th and 12th. So we can fly out on the 13th.

So I'm up for suggestions on routes.

Re: Glasgow to Portree in one day?

by RhineRoll

The route Fort William-Mallaig-Armadale-Portree will save you about an hour's driving compared to Fort William-Glenshiel-Kyle of Lochalsh-Portree. The ferry trip is not that spectacular IMO, but the coastal scenery just south of Mallaig is terriffic.

How did you get from Inverness to Skye? The "railway route" through Achnasheen and Plockton or through the Great Glen? There is a wonderfully scenic route along the coast through the Torridon mountains with possible detours along the Applecross pensinsula (Bealach na Ba).

That would be a possibility for you for your trip from Portree to Inverness. But it should be done in 2 legs so you have more time, for instance in order to visit the famous Inverewe gardens. First leg would be Portree-Kyle-Plockton-Lochcarron-Bealach na Ba-Applecross-Shieldaig(small detour)-Gairloch -- stay in Gairloch or Loch Ewe. Second leg then Gairloch/Loch Ewe-Inverewe Gardens-coastal road to Ullapool-Inverness.

Re: Glasgow to Portree in one day?

by AmyLeeParker

I'm like thinking the Fort William-Mallaig-Armadale-Portree route more and more. Will I need to call ahead or can I just arrive and get a spot for the time that time of year?

When I went to Skye, it was Inverness via, Loch Ness, Eileen Donan Castle and was just long enough to wave at both of those places as we passed by (ok we did pull over long enough to take a picture and jump back on the bus), see Portree have lunch and jump back on the bus. Ugh! It was awful! Just enough to make you want more!

Ok, you have me thinking here!

Sept 7th all the way to Portree
Sept 8th resting and exploring Portree and Skye
Sept 9th back on the road Portree-Kyle-Plockton(with a side trip for Eileen Donan because it looks according to the map to be just right there???.)-Lochcarron-Applecross-Gairloch. (Are we going to be pushing it? Do we we need to leave Applecross out?)
Sept 10th Gairloch-Ullapool-Inverness (Want to get to Loch Ness and Cullden either on the 10th of the 11th)
Sept 11th Perth or there about?
Sept 12th Edinburgh

Wish we had more days to do St. Andrews, but I gave up for days at the start and decided to do Ireland also.

Re: Glasgow to Portree in one day?

by leics

I would strongly advise you to book your ferry slot in advance, whatever the time of year. It is not worth the risk of turning up and finding no space. No-one can guarantee what will be hapening on that particular ferry on that particulr day (apart from the ferry firm!).

Best done online in advance, imo.

Re: Glasgow to Portree in one day?

by RhineRoll

yes, you can certainly make a detour to Eilean Donan castle, there is a road across the hills into the Lochalsh glen from Stromeferry to Dornie. The detour to Applecross will take some time but it is worth it -- at least when the weather is fine! I'd rather leave an hour early in Portree (don't forget to buy some goodies for your picknick at the bakery on Somerled square).

We did exactly this trip staying in Aultbea/Loch Ewe -- it did take all day but what a glorious drive it was!

Re: Glasgow to Portree in one day?

by AmyLeeParker

I know the saying is there is no bad weather, just the wrong clothes.

What kind of weather can I expect that far north, that time of the year?

Re: Glasgow to Portree in one day?

by RhineRoll

well, they say September is the best time of the year for the highlands, hopefully it will be drier than July/August, and slightly cooler... daytime temperatures will typically range between 12-22 degrees C, nighttime temps will hardly fall below 10 degrees near the sea level, might become chillier in higher elevations. Hopefully, the midge population will already have diminished to a pretty large extent so you can sit outside and enjoy the sunset... :)

Re: Glasgow to Portree in one day?

by leics

All sorts, same as the rest of the UK.

Seriously.

Whenever you visit the UK you need to pack for all four seasons.You may experience them all,sometimes in one day....or you may be blessed with warm, sunny weather (unlikely, to be honest).

The only type of weather you are unlikely to experience in early September is frost and snow.

Skye is often slightly milder than the mainland, as it sits on the Gulf Stream. But UK weather really is extremely changeable and you could experience fog, mist, drizzle (light, continual rain), heavy downpours, sunshine, cloudy conditions, showers, thunderstorms.......or any combination of these during your stay (or during one day).

So pack clothes you can layer: sleveless t-shirt under t-shirt under sweatshirt/jumper, for example.Several thin layers are warmer than one thick one anyway. Take a waterproof jacket/coat and something to cover your head (umbrellas are ok in towns, but not much good if you are walking in the countryside in wind and rain).

If you want to walk in the countryside, waterproof overtrousers are very useful indeed.

We in the UK are very fond of light fleece jumpers orjackets to go under rainwear for added warmth but I don't know if you have them/can get them.

Take footwear for wet conditions as well as sandals and confortable walking shoes.

Take sunglasses, something to put round your neck if it's chilly and maybe a warm hat too (the wind can sometimes be very cold, even in summer).

For a rough idea have a look at the average monthly climate data here (sorry it's so long):

http://www.weatheronline.co.uk/weather/maps/city?LANG=en&PLZ=_____&PLZN=_____&WMO=03037&PAG=1&CONT=ukuk&UP=0&R=161&LEVEL=161®ION=0002&LAND=SCO&ART=tab&NOREGION=0

Look at the weather forecast a week or so before you arrive on:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/weather/forecast/2796

Re: Glasgow to Portree in one day?

by leics

O yes..the 'midgies'.

http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/usfeatures/midges/

http://www.wyrdology.com/edinburgh/midges/index.html

Re: Glasgow to Portree in one day?

by RhineRoll

IMO a fleece jumper/zip-in jacket and the waterproof outer layer jacket is an absolute must, if you don't have one, get one! I also find hooded (basketball) sweatshirts extremely suitable for those chilly evenings or to wear under the waterproof jacket -- plus, in case there is a midge attack of minor proportions, you can outlast it by simply putting the hood over your head. Protects your neck very well, where IMO midge bites are at their nastiest.

Re: Glasgow to Portree in one day?

by RhineRoll

I HATE THE MIDGES!!!! DAMN LITTLE BUGGERS!!!!!!

Re: Glasgow to Portree in one day?

by leics

Agreed.

Horrible things.......and they really, really like me!

Also agree about the fleece-under-a-waterproof-outer-layer thing. Well worth seeking out before you visit.

Re: Glasgow to Portree in one day?

by AmyLeeParker

See I have these boots and this jacket that I bought. It's a joke with some fellow travelers and I. I bought them for my first trip to Ireland in March of 2007. They are bright fire engine red. Both are fleeced lined and waterproof. They fit to the tee just what yall are talking about. The lining of the jacket is zip in or out depending on the weather and is very lightweight. Very stylish! Got lots of comments on them.

It didn't rain a drop the whole week and half I was in Ireland! Fast forward to Sept 2007 and I'm back in Europe. This time for 2 weeks with stops again in Ireland, N. Ireland, Wales, England, France, and Amsterdam. Me, my boots and my jacket. Again, NO RAIN! Even the locals were commenting on the strange weather. While in London one lady asked if I would let her have my boots and they seemed to keep the rain away. So I have already pulled out my bright red boots and my bright red jacket and put them in my packing boxes for this trip. But I didn't know if I should plan on gloves or not. I did need them when I was there Scotland in March of 06.

But my plans are since I am so and I mean so hot natured(as I only wear thin long sleeved shirts here in the winter) is some tee-shirts, under some thin button down big shirts and then my jacket with the zip lining that I can take in or out as I need it.

Also will the Heather still be in bloom?

Thanks for answering all of my questions!

Re: OH forgot about the midges

by AmyLeeParker

I was hoping they would be GONE by the time we got up there! Because they do love me.

Re: Glasgow to Portree in one day?

by leics

You will certainly be easy to find if it's foggy!

How much do a pair of gloves weigh? Take them...I used mine in August Orkney.

As for the heather, I suspect you will have missed it but it does depend on location to some extent.

Travel Tips for Portree

Lovely Portree

by Thistle-Rose

"Portree"

This charming town was our base for the stay on the Isle of Skye.We found a great place to stay there and had 2 lovely meals at night in Portree.We really liked walking at night around the small harbour.

"Night on the harbour"

Walking around the town at night and coming down beside the harbour we seen crabs that had been caught.

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