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Planning Scottish Island Road Trip - Ferries ?


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14 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   New POD

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 01:03 PM

Tell me about Ferries to Mull and from Mull to Skye !!"

 

So the plan is to drive to Loch Lommond and stay 2 days, Drive to Oban stay 1 night, catch the ferry to Craignure  on Mull, stay 2 days on Mull, get the ferry from Tobermory to Kilcoah

 

Drive to Mallaig. Get ferry to Skye

 

2 days on Skye, Then use the bridge to head to Loch Ness, 2 days there, and then home.

 

Anyone got experience of using the Ferries ?



#2 ONLINE   dome

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 01:06 PM

Yes, but only on a bicycle! Caledonian Macbrayne do island hopscotch tickets, you should find one that suits.

If the weather's good you'll not find a more beautiful place. If it's bad you'll not see a thing.

Be aware of you're there on a Sunday pretty much everything is shut.

#3 OFFLINE   Tamworthbay

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 01:09 PM

Fantastic places, ferries are small so best to prebook if it’s a busy time. Don’t use the Indian restaurant at the top of the high street in Oban, it’s crap.

#4 OFFLINE   Hooli

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 01:27 PM

 Caledonian Macbrayne do island hopscotch tickets, you should find one that suits.

 

That. They run virtually every ferry as far as I know.

 

On thing to note when booking, every time I've used them the people are separate to the car/bike. So for me on a bike I had to book the bike on & pay the passenger fee for myself.



#5 OFFLINE   RayMK

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 01:31 PM

If you've got a lowered car or van some of the ferry ramps and/or island roads may remove front and rear bumpers.  Other than that, I've not had to pre-book or wait in queues even in peak season, though it may be wise if going on the more popular routes.  As mentioned above, it's hard to beat the beauty of Scottish scenery when you can see it.



#6 ONLINE   gm

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 01:58 PM

I don't know about ferries but as you asked on another thread about nice places to stay, I can recommend

https://www.theoaktreeinn.co.uk On the bonny, bonny banks of Loch Lomond, a lovely pub with rooms and separate lodges, good food, good beer, does get busy as it's on the West Highland way route

https://www.thelovat.com At the Fort Augustus end of Loch Ness, a lovely hotel with lodges available, Fort Augustus is a much nicer place to visit than Inverness. Good food at the hotel, a couple of smashing local pubs there too

http://www.bridgeoforchy.co.uk On the West highland way, between Tyndrum and Glencoe, I've not stayed there myself but others who have do recommend this place


https://www.jdwether.../the-cross-keys Down in the borders, Peebles is a lovely town to visit, very popular with hill walkers and mountain bikers, the Cross Keys only has 7 bedrooms which book up quickly in the summer, much much nicer than you may expect from wetherspoons, good room deals on a Sunday night

#7 OFFLINE   oldcars

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 03:08 PM

That Weatherspoons is great. I may* have got off my nut once there on Polish lager.



#8 OFFLINE   Skut

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 03:12 PM

Unless your desperate to see it I'd avoid Loch ness altogether.  Its quite dull and many pubs round the edge are the kind to have have giant plastic nessies for the kids.  Much better to drive over the pass of cattle to Applecross and continue up the west Coast as its gets a lot wilder and more remote north of the Kyle of Lochalsh.  If your cooling system is not up to snuff expect it suffer in places like the pass of cattle.

 

Skye is beautiful but don't underestimate how big it is, It takes a lot of time to circumnavigate. I'd say it takes all day at least to drive round Skye and that's without much sightseeing except what you can see from the car.  Portree on Skye is fine but I'd avoid the bunkhouse unless its out of season as last time I was there somebody snored all night and I was fantasising about what kind of machine gun to use on them.  The Indian restaurant was fine but that was a while ago.   The Pink Guest house is a really nice place to stay as it overlooks harbour, but pricey unless you book well ahead.  Top up on petrol as often as you can as there aren't many filling stations and others have mentioned places close early and completely on Sunday.  The Old man of Storr is very impressive and has appeared in a few films but I'd budget at least an hours steep walk to get up to it. There's a really nice lochside Inn in the little west coast village of Stein.   Feels a lot like an old English pub with wood beams, fishing tackle and the like.     One of the coolest roads on Skye is an unclassified road winds over the hills from Brogaig to west side. Steep, hairpins, much like the pass of cattle. I did see a completely dissolved Marina near the east coast with only the A-series and the glovebox to identify it. I'll try and remember where.

 

Mull is wilder with even fewer facilities than Skye.  Don't get short of petrol.  It ruins the experience if your watching your petrol gauge and not the scenery.  More of the roads are unclassified than Skye so it burns through your fuel faster.  Learn passing place etiquette.  If your closer to the passing place you give way.  Locals drive fast so if you get one behind you pull into a passing place to let them past.  Tobermory is much prettier than Portree and the pub at the far end of the seafront road (also main street)  is rather nice,  It has a little museum in the harbour as well with a quite impressive lump of a DC3 Dakota cockpit that fell afoul of the local topography.  Nice restaurant at Salen.   There is walk out along the Ardmeanach peninsula to see some fossilised trees. Its a good 12 miles all told so an all day walk and its a cliff that's looks very vaguely like a tree when you get there.  As for great driving roads theres little not to like but where the B8035 goes under the foot of the cliffs opposite Eorsa is very impressive.  Ben More is a 45 degree peat bog until you get to the saddle so unless you have a healthy slice of masochism and proper mountain gear I'd give it a swerve.  I prefer Mull overall, its more remote.

 

Calmac has a monopoly on Ferries and they tend to be expensive and none existent on Sundays.  Staff can be abit bad tempered.  Usual shiter worries of cars not starting when everybody unloads apply.   

 

Both islands are permanently wet and in cloud much of time and usually fecking cold.   


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#9 OFFLINE   inconsistant

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 05:23 PM

Unless your desperate to see it I'd avoid Loch ness altogether.  

This ^^^.

Loch Ness (and Aviemore) are the least nice but most visited bits of Scotland, you'd be better off heading to your local supermarket and staring at the shortbread.

 

Just driving along Loch Ness is enough, there's nothing else to see or do. It's just a long narrow bit of water, mostly obscured by trees, and the road is a busy narrow main road with very little opportunity to stop and look, and if you do find a layby it will be full of camper vans, and if you do find a pub or restaurant it will also have a visitor centre and be rammed full of coaches and their occupants. The only reason to go is if you've got kids who are excited about seeing the monster, in which case do it but get in and out asap.

 

From Kyle I suggest taking two days to head NE via Strathcarron and Achnasheen, Garve, Strathpeffer, Dingwall, across Cromarty Bridge and Black Isle towards Inverness, then head along Loch Ness without stopping.


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#10 OFFLINE   320touring

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 06:28 PM

When are you thinking? I fancy a wee run out if you wanted to meet up for a blast andd lunch:)
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#11 ONLINE   BavarianRetro

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 08:52 PM

The legendary Scottish hospitality will astound you.

#12 OFFLINE   Hooli

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 09:33 PM

For Loch Ness, do the old military road on the south coast.


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#13 OFFLINE   somewhatfoolish

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 10:48 PM

Fantastic places, ferries are small so best to prebook if it’s a busy time. Don’t use the Indian restaurant at the top of the high street in Oban, it’s crap.

The curry house in Tobermory was surprisingly good in August last year, although I don't have much to judge it against to be fair; don't let the shit decor or the health hazard lavvy put you off, the food was excellent.



#14 OFFLINE   New POD

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 09:10 AM

When are you thinking? I fancy a wee run out if you wanted to meet up for a blast andd lunch:)

 

We leave on the Friday 18th May - Back home on Spring Bank Holiday Monday.

We have too nights on the North Shore of Loch Ness, before heading past Glasgow for the Sunday Night. That's the only night not booked. We want a pub with rooms and decent food as a stop over, but would like to be within 10 miles of M74 / A74(M)

 

STOP PRESS : Wife is having discussions about which car we go in. (She started this discussion last night as my head hit the pillow)

 

My plan was the Omega. Auto. cruise control Comfy fast and powerful.  Only she won't even think about driving it.

Plus she is concerned that it will break because 190K on the clock.

She won't go in Mx5 because very unlikely to arrive and/or be able to walk.

So then there is HER Juke. Which is MEH. Comfy enough but not as comfy, but not fast, not great handling, and it's unlikely she'll drive much anyway. If at all, It has cruise but is manual. Her thoughts are : Newer and only 40K on clock  so will be more reliable.  

 

We all know that age and mileage have some*** impact on potential reliability, but it's really just down to chance if both are maintained correctly.

 

The thing is this : Now she's questioned the reliability of the omega, if I insist, and it breaks down, I'll get lots of verbal grumpiness - because my fault. If I cave and the Juke Fails to proceed, that'll be just bad luck.

But I can't get the irony out of my head that I've driven 25K without (much) problem, and it's a better car than when I got it.

 

So I guess I'm going to cave in and "Juke it".

 

With regards to breakdown's I need to check but I reckon my RAC membership won't cover being on MULL or Skye. But is Recovery to Home, Wouldn't really want to return with car to home, but It's up for renewal in March so I'll pay for the "hire car option" . 



#15 ONLINE   BavarianRetro

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 12:05 PM

RAC should cover Mull and Skye, I'd have thought?




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