Touring the Scottish Highlands: Driving from Edinburgh to Skye
Being somewhat of a Romanticist at heart, mountains, lakes and rugged valleys have always seduced me—so, naturally a trip into the Highlands was my top priority for my trip to Scotland. Although there are many organised tours wiling to take visitors north, this was one trip that I wanted to organise by myself; so myself and a friend hired a car from Edinburgh airport.
Excited about the journey ahead we left Edinburgh early to make our way through Glasgow, and on to Mallaig on the East Coast. This was where—we had been informed—we could drive the bridge onto the Isle of Skye.
Happily leaving the busy cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow behind, we wound our way up through Glencoe—an area of Scotland recently used for filming the climactic scenes of Skyfall. Driving through the peaceful foothills of the mountains, which are quite possibly some of the most romantic countryside in the world, it is difficult to imagine that the hills of Glencoe bore witness to a brutal and bloodthirsty massacre between warring clans in 1692.
For hours we drove along winding roads flanked by majestic mountains; grandly robed in a cloak of brown, orange and purple, and crowned with snow.
The crisp February air hovered around zero degrees, coating the lakes in a thin layer of crystallised ice that shimmered in the sunlight. Surprisingly, there was even the first hint of warmth in the weak winter sun.
With perfect weather for driving; as well as for viewing the ever-changing scenery, we stopped plenty of times along the road to take pictures. With every turn of the road it seemed that the countryside became more and more spectacular.
By the time we reached Mallaig it was late afternoon and we arrived to see the last ferry of the day serenely sailing out of port. There was no sign of the bridge that we had been promised. A quick enquiry confirmed our suspicions that our informant had been wrong, and that the bridge was a further 3-hour drive away—this was my first indication that the Isle of Skye is bigger than you might imagine.
Despite our detour we managed to drive across the magnificent Skye bridge just as the last remnants of daylight were sinking into the sea, and it is impossible to be angry about a three-hour drive that takes you through some of the world’s most scenic countryside.
Keep posted for more beautiful pictures of the Isle of Skye in my next post.
Have you been to Scotland? Which area should I visit next time I come here–because I will be returning to Scotland, oh yes!