Kyle to Mallaig via Skye travel required (and B&Bs on Skye)

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Scooby

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In July, I'm planning on doing the above trip with my 5 year old daughter, and I'm wondering if anyone can offer us some advice ?

The train travel portion of the trip is covered, with us getting into Kyle at 15.39 on the Saturday and then leaving Mallaig at 10.10 on the Sunday. So far so good :D

Can anyone offer us some pointers on how to get across Skye and if possible a recommendation for a B&B for the two of us (either on Skye or in Mallaig). The only real 'must be' is that we are at Mallaig station by 10.10 to get our train !
 
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yorkie

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There are some bus times here (looks like you just miss a bus to Syke when you arrive at Kyle): Guide 4 Skye & Lochalsh.

Not the same as your query but a few years ago we got a bus from Kyle to Armadale, to catch the ferry to Mallaig. The bus was a school bus, the ticket machine broke so we were not charged, it was the most scenic bus journey I've ever made! Also the kids on the bus were extremely well behaved, and when one of them spilt something when alighting from the bus, the driver handed him a broom and he swept it up. Anyway, enjoy the journey! :)

Sorry can't help with B&Bs as we did the Sleeper both the way there and back. Also doing the trip again some time soon.
 

Scooby

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you're right, we do miss out by a few minutes (don't you just love joined up public transport ?). Then we can get to Broadford Post Office, but no further by bus. So it'll be a taxi to Armadale, in time to get the last ferry of the day, arriving into Mallaig at 19.10.

Check into our B&B and find somewhere for tea -- have I missed anything ?
 

bennorthyork

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I'd recommend the Clachain Inn Mallaig for an overnight stay. Rooms up a separate flight of stairs next to the quiet pub so fine for kids. Lovely and clean and very handy for the ferry.
 

Liam

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The train from Inverness arrives at 1559, not 1539. This connects with the 1605 Citylink bus to Portree/Uig. Or you could wait for the 1640 Stagecoach bus. Unfortunately you are travelling at the weekend which limits your options, as there is no Sunday service to Armadale.
 

Johnny Lewis

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I just did this exact same journey for the first time last Friday. The bus service from Broadford to Armadale seems to run a little more frequently on Mon-Fri than at weekends, so I managed to do it without having to resort to a taxi. I hope you are now sorted with some decent B&B accommodation; I stayed in Fort William so I can't help you there.

If you are doing the rail journey from Mallaig to Fort William for the first time, then you are in for a treat - it is simply amazing. Southwards from Fort William to Crianlarich and onto Glasgow is pretty spectacular as well, especially across Rannoch Moor when, for part of the time, the train is the only moving thing that can be seen for miles, (apart from the wildlife of course).

So enjoy!
 

Scooby

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Thank you all for your help and advice (including my proper arrival time !) and I''m now well sorted for our weekend away. All I've got left to do now is book my taxi and arrange a packed lunch for the run from Mallaig to Glasgow.

On the off chance that someone is planning the same/similar trip - I've been quoted a taxi fare of £35 from Broadford PO to Armadale.(not grumbling, but it makes the £44 train fare for the 700 milesish that I'm travlling on the tracks look like the bargain of all time !)
 
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Scooby

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Oh dear

my cake is now dough :(

I've just had a look on the Scotrail website and it looks like our trip around Scotland is going to suffer from the derailment that happened to the Aluminium train last week.

Its totally out of my/our hands, but my daughter will be disappointed to be taking part of her/our trip by bus/coach, rather than by train that she enjoys so much.

Has anyone taken the road from Fort William to Crianlarich and if so, are there anythings that we can look out for, to brighten the journey ?

Finally, and this is a real stab in the dark,Scotrail website says that "may be delayed or terminated at and started back from Fort William at short notice". Does this mean that there is a possibility that trains could be running, or am I merely clutching at straws ?
 

PaulLothian

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Shame about the adjustment to your plans, but the road trip from Fort William to Crianlarich is also a beautiful journey (more so if you aren't the driver and can take your eyes off the road to admire the scenery!)

We have travelled this road regularly for 20 years when going up the west coast, and I'm still not bored with it. Highlights - superb mountain views throughout, especially Glencoe; beautiful views across the lochs on Rannoch Moor; and (nearer Tyndrum) views of the railway line, which looks even more spectacular when seen in the scenery than it does on the train. It's a pity you are even less likely than normal to see a train running!

And the waterfalls should be really good - look out on the right at the narrow bit of Glencoe.
 

sprinterguy

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Oh dear

my cake is now dough :(

I've just had a look on the Scotrail website and it looks like our trip around Scotland is going to suffer from the derailment that happened to the Aluminium train last week.

Its totally out of my/our hands, but my daughter will be disappointed to be taking part of her/our trip by bus/coach, rather than by train that she enjoys so much.

Has anyone taken the road from Fort William to Crianlarich and if so, are there anythings that we can look out for, to brighten the journey ?
On what date are you intending to travel? A potential date for the reopening of the line to Fort William has very tentatively been put forward for the 11th of July.

As PaulLothian has also described, I would feel lucky to be catching the bus (Though it might be different for a five year old!): The road route between Chrianlarich and Fort William along the A82 offers some of the most stunning scenery and mountain vistas that Scotland has to offer, and in my opinion is far, far and away more interesting than the rail route to Fort William, as good as it is. From the road, you get a far better view of the Horseshoe curve that the train negotiates between Tyndrum and Bridge of Orchy, and the pair of viaducts that span the gap between the shoulders of Beinn Dorain (an easily recognisable conical peak) and Beinn Odhar. The ascent to the Black Mount, where the road breaks away from the course of the railway, takes a twisting course that offers stunning views back towards Tyndrum. Not for nothing is there a well established car park and viewing area here!

The road then skirts the edge of Rannoch Moor, its’ bleakness obviously apparent and offset by a couple of nice little lochs, before the beginning of the descent into Glencoe. The brooding, craggy mass of Buachaille Etive Mor stands dominant over the entrance to the Glen to the left of the road, and the road twists and turns incessantly down to the valley floor, passing right by the waterfalls at the meeting of three waters, as both the road and the river are channelled through a narrow gap in the gorge (Known as “The Study”). Along the length of the valley, the present A82 is criss-crossed by the old road, a Drovers’ Road that was constructed in 1786 and was then improved by Thomas Telford in around 1810. It was replaced by the current alignment in 1930, but remains largely intact, including several of its’ bridges and culverts and is popular with walkers.

Further down the valley, the jagged profile of the Aonach Eagach ridge, probably the most challenging mountain ridge on the British mainland, rises high above the road, while on the left is the massive hulk of Bidean nam Bian, the tallest Munro in Glencoe. As the road leaves the Glen and curves round to approach the shores of Loch Leven, the location of the digitally super-imposed Hogwarts Castle in the later Harry Potter films is apparent to the right, and the actual location for the set of Hagrids’ hut, to the right of the Pap of Glencoe.

The crossing of Loch Leven via the Ballachulish Bridge offers excellent views back towards Glencoe village and of the Pap of Glencoe and Bidean to the right, and across Loch Linnhe to the mountains of Ardgour on the left. Even before this, after passing by Glencoe village, look out on the left for an increasingly dilapidated semaphore distant signal planted in the corner of a cemetery, revealing the fact that the current road has been widened along the alignment of the former Caledonian Railway Ballachulish branch. And then it’s a straight run up the shores of Loch Linnhe to Fort William; look out for the famous paddle steamer “Waverley” which performs sailings down Loch Linnhe out of Fort William.
 

sprinterguy

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Sprinterguy - a career change beckons if you ever want to become a travel writer!
Cheers :D It helps that I know that area almost like the back of my hand: I've spent many, many summer holidays up in that neck of the woods, or at the very least passing through it on the way to more northerly destinations, ever since I was very young, and I've spent plenty of time in the intervening years viewing it from both the valley floor and from the tops of the surrounding peaks! I only originally intended to point out a few highlights, but I got a bit carried away :lol:
 

Scooby

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On what date are you intending to travel? A potential date for the reopening of the line to Fort William has very tentatively been put forward for the 11th of July.

As PaulLothian has also described, I would feel lucky to be catching the bus (Though it might be different for a five year old!): The road route between Chrianlarich and Fort William along the A82 offers some of the most stunning scenery and mountain vistas that Scotland has to offer, and in my opinion is far, far and away more interesting than the rail route to Fort William, as good as it is. From the road, you get a far better view of the Horseshoe curve that the train negotiates between Tyndrum and Bridge of Orchy, and the pair of viaducts that span the gap between the shoulders of Beinn Dorain (an easily recognisable conical peak) and Beinn Odhar. The ascent to the Black Mount, where the road breaks away from the course of the railway, takes a twisting course that offers stunning views back towards Tyndrum. Not for nothing is there a well established car park and viewing area here!

The road then skirts the edge of Rannoch Moor, its’ bleakness obviously apparent and offset by a couple of nice little lochs, before the beginning of the descent into Glencoe. The brooding, craggy mass of Buachaille Etive Mor stands dominant over the entrance to the Glen to the left of the road, and the road twists and turns incessantly down to the valley floor, passing right by the waterfalls at the meeting of three waters, as both the road and the river are channelled through a narrow gap in the gorge (Known as “The Study”). Along the length of the valley, the present A82 is criss-crossed by the old road, a Drovers’ Road that was constructed in 1786 and was then improved by Thomas Telford in around 1810. It was replaced by the current alignment in 1930, but remains largely intact, including several of its’ bridges and culverts and is popular with walkers.

Further down the valley, the jagged profile of the Aonach Eagach ridge, probably the most challenging mountain ridge on the British mainland, rises high above the road, while on the left is the massive hulk of Bidean nam Bian, the tallest Munro in Glencoe. As the road leaves the Glen and curves round to approach the shores of Loch Leven, the location of the digitally super-imposed Hogwarts Castle in the later Harry Potter films is apparent to the right, and the actual location for the set of Hagrids’ hut, to the right of the Pap of Glencoe.

The crossing of Loch Leven via the Ballachulish Bridge offers excellent views back towards Glencoe village and of the Pap of Glencoe and Bidean to the right, and across Loch Linnhe to the mountains of Ardgour on the left. Even before this, after passing by Glencoe village, look out on the left for an increasingly dilapidated semaphore distant signal planted in the corner of a cemetery, revealing the fact that the current road has been widened along the alignment of the former Caledonian Railway Ballachulish branch. And then it’s a straight run up the shores of Loch Linnhe to Fort William; look out for the famous paddle steamer “Waverley” which performs sailings down Loch Linnhe out of Fort William.
Sprniterguy, thank you so much for taking the time to write such a helpful and imformative post.
I'm travelling this coming weeken (07/08 July) to the chance of the line being reopened by then seem to be somewehre betwenn non-existant and nil, but at least I can look forward to a scenic bus trip instead of a scenic train trip for part of the journey.

I'm hoping that Scotrail will let me go Fort William to Criaglarich by Bus, then Criaglarich to Glasgow by train, rather than having to do the entire Fort William - Glasgow trip by coach, but I imagine I'll only find that out on the day.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
From my trip this weekend, here are a few things that I found that made the whole trip even more special.
Upgrade to Weekend First for the Glasgow Queen Street to Inverness section - £5.70 for 3 and a half hours is a steal.
The Inverness - Kyle train has a declassified First Class section. You don't get any First Class goodies and the seats are the same size, but you do get a table top power point which may be handy for some.
The bus route from Kyle to Broadford Post Office is Citylink route 915, and the bus leaves just around the corner from KOL station, the fare is £3.00 and it'll take you about 20 minutes. (it's worth checking that the bus timetable is upto date, the one at the top of the thread is from 2010).
Kyle Taxis (01599 534323) will take you from Broadford Post Office to the Armadale Ferry for about £35.
Sea View B&B at Mallaig (01687 462059) is the nicest B&B that I have ever stayed at. Great location overlooking the harbour and a 100 yard walk to the station. Fantastic breakfast and a really welcoming host.

Other than that, how can miles and miles of MAMBA be so enjoyable -- its a wonderful trip to take, absolutely heartily recommended.
 
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