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Road trip to include the West Coast,Skye and Durness

My wife and I are going to do the above in early May 2018.
We’re going to drive from Birmingham up to the Lakes and then head for the Borders.
Would be very grateful of some advice as to what to do next ie which are the best roads and maybe some accommodation recommendations.
We hope to drive up the West Coast to Oban then across to Skye and then pick up the NC500 to Durness.
Then the return leg thru Inverness and Edinburgh then home.
Any suggestions gratfully received.
Many thanks.


  • HorizonsHorizons Member, VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2017
    @Chrisone The route looks good. Tonnes to do on the way. What I am worried about is time, I'd spend ideally about 3 weeks on that itinerary and no less than 2 weeks (from Birmingham and back).

    I can probably write a couple of pages worth of recommendations but as I am a Brummie too, I can make you an offer of buying me a pint (or 2) and I can chat about things to do on the way based on my experiences for free. There's a number of other threads I have given recommendations in and high-level, I would have you not miss Glencoe, Staffa + Iona, Skye attractions (Part 1, Part 2) and Perthshire attractions (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3).

    Another major recommendation I would suggest is hopping on to Harris from Skye, seeing Harris and Lewis and taking the ferry back to Ullapool for the NC 500. It will be 100% worth your time is the weather isn't horrible. 
    I'm Anirudh, an Indian travel blogger who has explored a lot of Scotland by public transport. My blog. Find me on Facebook | Instagram

    Best of Scotland in 1 week itinerary (fully by public transport)

    My Scotland travels (includes EdinburghSkye, HarrisMullArranOrkneyLoch Lomond, Islay, Oban, DunoonSpeyside)

  • ScathachScathach Member ✭✭
    The drive from Oban all the way up to Skye is gorgeous. You can drive through Fort william and you might want to have a side trip to Glen Coe, which is a spectacular glen. Heading north you have a few options:
    You can go all the way up to Fort William and then head west and drive up till Mallaig along what is called the Road to the Isles which is stunning (amazing beaches). Once in Mallaig you can catch a ferry over to Skye - it's about 45 mins trip and it's really lovely. The carrier is Calmac.
    Another option that I tried last year was to take the Corran ferry in Fort William and you can drive to Strontian and then up to Lochailort and join the Roas to the Isles from there. I absolutely loved it there. 
    Another option in to keep going after Fort William, reach Invergarry and then head off to Skye via the bridge. In Dornie you can visit an amazing castle - Eilean Donan castle.

    If you want to join the NC500 from Skye you can come back on the mainland an then venture north via the small roads and perhaps stop in Plockton, then up to Achnasheen and then the main road up to Ullapool and continua to Lochinver.
    Once you are in Lochinver don't go to Durness via the main road but explore the coast via Achmelvich and Clachtoll (two incredible beaches). This will take you to Drumbeg where I remember a stop with an incredible viewpoint. And then continue to Kylesku (lovely bridge) and then you are on the road to Durness.
    In Durness don't miss the Smoo Cave.

    The road back from Inverness to Edinburgh it's stunning. It will take you through the Cairngorm National Park. You can stop in Aviemore for example... or when you are south there are some lovely villages like Pitlochry or Blairgowrie.

    Hope this helps.

  • ChrisoneChrisone Member
    Hi Nadia.
    Thank you so much for your reply.
    It has been very helpfull and I very much appreciate you taking the time.
    Best wishes.

  • ChrisoneChrisone Member
    Thanks very much Horizons.
    Im going to check out your recommendations
  • SmidgeSmidge VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭

    This is an amazing trip you are taking, many people head straight for the North Coast 500 and miss out on this part of Scotland. Have you thought about ferry hopping? 

    You can travel to Oban, catch the ferry to Mull, then across to Ardnamurchan and then onto Skye befor joining the NC500 there. I have a wee guide to the trip here (I did it last Easter and it was amazing!)

    (My trip was North to South, but it is easy to flip it around!) 

    Kate - Scotland / outdoor blogger at Love From Scotland
    Climbs hills, takes pictures. Likes remotes places.
    Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

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