Newest Review: ... like to support small enterprises, there is an additional reason to choose this service. The Glenelg ferry is a community-owned service ... more
The genuinely most scenic way to get to Skye
Skye Community Ferry
Member Name: gooeyuk
Skye Community Ferry
Advantages: Beautiful scenery and a community-owned enterprise
Disadvantages: It's £10 more expensive than the bridge but well, well worth it
If you must go down to the Isle of Skye, or even just want to, most people think of two routes. You can drive to Kyle of Lochalsh and take the (now) free Skye Bridge or you can drive to Mallaig and take the CalMac ferry.
But, between Easter and October, 10am to 7pm, there is a third and, in my humble opinion, much more scenic and memorable way. And that's the Skye Ferry from Glenelg. There's been a ferry here of one sort or another for over 700 years and a car ferry since the 1930s.
For those of us who like to support small enterprises, there is an additional reason to choose this service. The Glenelg ferry is a community-owned service with profits being returned to the local community.
The ferry itself, the Glenahulish, is unique in Britain in that it's a turntable ferry. One drives onto the ferry - it holds six cars - and the whole car deck gets rotated through 180 degrees (by hand). You then get taken across the Kylerhea Narrows and drive off the same end of the boat you got on!
The trip takes approximately 5minutes, depending on water conditions and tide, so even if you just miss the ferry (as we did) then allowing for turn-around time you only have a 20 minute wait (or so) before it comes back again.
If you have to wait for the ferry, you can help yourself to a tea or a coffee and put your money in a box on trust.
The crossing costs £10 one way, or £15 for a return.
To find the ferry from the mainland, follow the A87 as thought you were heading for the bridge at Kyle of Lochalsh. When you get to Shiel Bridge, go past the shop and garage and look for the signpost on the left. Follow the signs and follow the winding and unbelievably picturesque alpine-style mountain pass - constructed in 1815 - over the hills for a dozen or so miles to Glenelg. The road on the Skye side winds over more gorgeous mountain scenery to rejoin the A87 just outside Ashaig. If coming from the Skye side, head for the bridge on the A87 and look for the sign on the right just after passing through Ashaig and (obviously) before you get to the bridge.
CalMac sell their (more expensive) ferry crossing as the scenic way to get to Skye. No it isn't. This is. Take the Glenelg ferry, help the community and have a journey that you'll remember for years.
Summary: Just take the Glenelg ferry. You won't regret it.
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