My next ALR, want to do Skye Circular

Discussion in 'Trip Planning & Reports' started by James Wake, 17 Apr 2015.

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  1. James Wake

    James Wake Member

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    Hi all,
    In June I'm hoping to do another ALR and do the Skye Circular, perhaps staying in Inverness on the Thursday or getting the sleeper up, then 0855 train to Kyle on the Friday, then want to get to Mallaig. I can't find any information on the Stagecoach 51 yet, when is it released for the summer? Are there any other ways of getting from Kyle to Mallaig via Skye or the mainland?
     
  2. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    We got stranded at Kyle after the train in was late and the 51 left. it wont wait. We had a taxi booked as a back up (for multi ££££!) and he dropped us for an airport run.

    Only option was to get the train back to Inverness
     
  3. les.

    les. Member

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    We did this trip last year in August and we caught the 51 bus from Kyle to Armadale.

    As you say, there doesn't appear to be a timetable available at all for the 51 at the minute although there may be a private bus company on the island that does a similar trip. I did find a winter timetable for a company called MacLeans but it was from 2013 but was only for October to March.

    I'm surprised that the 51 isn't running yet to be honest and I can't see anywhere where it says when it will be starting up again but I'm sure it will be by June.

    Sorry I can't be of anymore help but hope all goes well when you do the trip, it is definitely worth it for the stunning scenery up there.

    EDIT.

    If you click on this link then the 2nd one down will open up a PDF of the timetable for the 51 from last year. It says "from 26th May 2014" so I assume it will be around that same time when the service starts running again. Whether the times will remain the same though I don't know but I'm sure they will be kept similar to link up with the train.

    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=k...-8&oe=utf-8&gws_rd=cr&ei=jwMxVYfHMNfUauGogbAG
     
    Last edited: 17 Apr 2015
  4. Liam

    Liam Established Member

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  5. Buttsy

    Buttsy Established Member

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    The 152 runs to Ardvasar from Broadford at 16:21 most days (also at 06:50). Ardvasar is but a 5 min walk from the ferry terminal if teh bus doesn't actually go into the terminal.
     
  6. Liam

    Liam Established Member

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    Only on school days. The 52 runs 25 May-25 October 5 times per day on non-school days (3 on school days, plus the 152) from Broadford to Armadale, with most starting in Portree.
     
  7. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    The Skye circular is my favourite rail trip :D

    In summer there's a direct bus which I think in previous years departs at something like 1335.

    During the winter timetable take the 1215 Scottish Citylink 916 service from Kyle to Broadfoard Post Office arriving at 1235. Cross over the road and get the 1316 Macleans Coaches 601 service for Armadale which arrives at 1348.

    As for an exit if things go wrong there's the Scottish Citylink 916 service to Fort William which leaves Kyle at 1625 arriving Fort William at 1820. You could then pick up the sleeper south at 1950.

    Buses on Skye are often depend on whether the schools are operating so check carefully!
     
  8. 37038

    37038 Member

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    Sad thing about the bus bash from Kyle to Armadale is that it completely misses the best of Skye! I usually bus up to Sligachan or Portree before heading back to Armadale. At least if you go to Slig you can have a top quality pint with the best views around before heading back south :D
     
  9. philjo

    philjo Established Member

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    I'm planning a Highland rover trip. but not sure what is the best way round to do things. I am intending to end up in Inverness to be able to do the Chieftain southbound the day after the rover has expired.

    Is it feasible to do the Mallaig-Kyle journey northbound - the connections don't seem to be very convenient.
    I would probably be staying in Fort william so could use the 08:30.
    or maybe get eh nortbound sleeper to Inverness and do it kyle-Mallaig and stay in Fort william.
    Or I may stay a night in Portree.
     
    Last edited: 22 Aug 2015
  10. crispy1978

    crispy1978 Established Member

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    This was a major stumbling block in why I didn't do this route en route to Thurso via Skye - the unreliability/infrequency of the bus service put me off, as it happens the whole trip has been postponed, but it would be the simple route via EDB and INV now.
     
  11. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    I did a Mallaig-Kyle journey earlier this year but I stayed overnight in Mallaig and caught the 0830 ferry (I think it was 0830 anyway!)

    It is easier to do it the other way simply because the last train from Mallaig is later than from Kyle, and the longest part of the journey is getting to/from Mallaig.
     
  12. gazthomas

    gazthomas Established Member

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    I think an ALR is a waste for this trip. In the past I did advance from London Kings Cross to Inverness, then train to Kyle, pus to Portree, a few days in Skye including a higher car picked up in Portree then a bus to Armadale for ferry back to Mallaig. I then took the steamer to Fort William for a coach back to Inverness for the HST back to London. We didn't take the sleeper as we had free GNER loyalty tickets to/from Inverness. This is not a good use of your ALR, better getting an advance to Carlisle/Berwick for a Freedom of Scotland
     
  13. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    It depends on what you want to get out of your ALR.

    I did it on an ALR a few years back. I got the Chieftain to Inverness and stayed there overnight. The next day I took the train to Kyle, popped over to Skye and took the 1715 ferry from Armadale which connects into the 1815 from Mallaig which in turn connects into the 1950 sleeper from Fort William. The following morning I was in Euston. I considered this to be a decent use of a days worth on my ALR.

    On the other hand if I'd have stopped for the night at Mallaig or Fort William ten the joruney would have taken two days of my ALR and this would not have been such a good use of it.

    Given the infrequent nature of the trains there is little advantage to walk on tickets so Advance tickets can represent good value. Freedom of Scotland is an option although it's not he cheapest ticket at £120 although admittedly it's a 4 in 8.

    It's also worth considering the Local Scottish Easements if travelling from south of Edinburgh/Glasgow. Tickets valid to Kyle may be used from Mallaig which is useful if doing the circular.

    Unfortunately the useless Serco are refusing to recognise the Local Easements on the sleeper at present (no problem with Scotrail) although I suspect this will ony be temporary.
     
  14. alex17595

    alex17595 Member

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    I used a highland rover when I did it. It pays for Aviemore-glasgow via mallaig. Except for the bus on skye whoch is about £6.
     
  15. James Wake

    James Wake Member

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    I have actually sent Stagecoach Highlands a tweet, and they say the fare from Kyle to Armadale will be £4.80 for a single, so reasonable, add on the ferry and I'll get a bit of change from a tenner.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I consider it to be an excellent couple of days use of the ALR, anyway I am now thinking about changing trains in Edinburgh, to get an Inverness bound 158 or 170 that is going over the Forth Bridge, just means I need to leave on the 1045 from London on the 13th, not the 1145 Chieftain. Then of course I have the Chieftain as a backup from Edinburgh if the 1550 doesn't run.
     
    Last edited: 25 Aug 2015
  16. Buttsy

    Buttsy Established Member

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    I did it coming back on a single from Aberdeen to London of £79 1st class in the days of East Coast DOR so free drinks & food too!
     
  17. philjo

    philjo Established Member

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    A couple of questions regarding the Highland rover on the Calmac ferries.

    Do we have to get a free ticket before boarding the ferry or just show the rover when boarding ? (thinking e.g at Armadale where there isn't much time between the bus arriving and the ferry leaving!)

    Is the ferry travel only valid on he 4 days marked for rail use or can it used on any of the 8 days even if not marked for rail use (as you can on the buses in Wales on the Welsh rovers)
     
  18. IanXC

    IanXC Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    When using either Freedom of Scotland or Highland Rover on Caledonian MacBrayne you simply show your Rail ticket at the time of boarding (that said its worth checking CalMacs timetable as a small number of routes require booking https://www.calmac.co.uk/calmac-summer-timetables).

    In terms of the validity for Freedom of Scotland and Highland Rovers (and its worth noting I've not found this in writing) I've been told that the inclusive validity is only for the specified days as per the rail validity, but that the discounts available with these tickets are available for the whole period. Whether that's correct I'm not sure!
     
  19. philjo

    philjo Established Member

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    Thanks for that.

    I have emailed Stagecoach buses with a couple of queries regarding the bus connections on Skye. mainly asking about the 11:40 from Armadale (which I think goes through to POrtree) - connecting off the ferry that connects from the 08:30 train from Fort william - this bus gets to Broadford at 12:10 - the same time shown for the bus to Kyle so I have asked them to clarify if this is a guaranteed connection.
     
  20. Blindtraveler

    Blindtraveler Established Member

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    Nowhere near enough to a Pacer :(
    My querie is about the recommended Kyle train from Inverness. Which on is recommended to guarantee the bus?
     
  21. philjo

    philjo Established Member

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    When I arrived at Mallaig I was told by the Calmac staff they I had to obtain one of their tickets before boarding. The ticket office issued a nil cost Calmac highland rover 10 day return Mallaig-Armadale ticket - you have to hand in the relevant portion when boarding the ferry as they use it to know how many passengers are on board.
    I didn't need the return portion as I was going back via Kyle.


    I did the journey sourth to north with a detour to Portree a couple of weeks ago.
    Day 1 after using the Euston to Glasgow sleeper (FTW one was fully booked) I travelled on the 08:21 to Fort William.
    Fortunately I was not going on to SKye that day as high winds meant the ferry departures at Mallaig were delayed/cancelled.
    Day 2 I caught the 08:30 train from Fort william to Mallaig then caught the 10:45 ferry to Armadale (incidentally for car passengers this & the next 2 sailings were fully booked)
    The 11:40 bus was arriving at Armadale as I came off the ferry - plenty of time to catch that.
    If anyone is going to Kyle this bus gets to Broadford at 12:08 and the 12:10 connecting bus from there to Kyle is waiting across the road - it normally won't leave until the bus from Armadale arrives (the driver said it only goes if the one from Armadale is more than 15 mins late as that bus connects into the train at Kyle).
    I stayed on the bus until Portree where I had lunch - I then caught the 15:23 Citylink coach to Kyle where I had 55 minutes for tea (there is a good tea room round the corner from the bus stop) and a look round before the 17:13 train to Inverness. The next day was to Thurso & back.
     
  22. IanXC

    IanXC Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Thats interesting, I've asked the question at 2 terminals (Armadale and Ardrossan) and been told that I did not need to obtain a separate ferry ticket. I presumed that the tickets handed in at the bottom of the ramp, would be balanced against the crew member at the top of the ramp who was using a 'clicker' to count the number of passengers. Probably always worth asking seeing how close boarding times can be from departure times!
     
  23. James Wake

    James Wake Member

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    It connects with the 1346 to Inverness, so has plenty of time, however from 1230 to 1338 is the drivers meal break, that has to be a certain length.
     
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