Posts filed under isle of skye

Pack Your Bags | Isle of Skye

Back in the day, you’d often find the two of us on the Isle of Skye each summer. In the days before kids, we would find ourselves enjoying the long summer days up on the Western coast of Scotland… and, to be honest, we made some really sweet memories. It’s been a few years since we made it up there- but this summer, we came back up for a few days to help with one of our student groups and we got to see just how special this place is with fresh eyes again.

The Isle of Skye isn’t the easiest place to get to if you visit Great Britain. For example. It’s not an easy day-trip from a major city… you’d need at least 4-5 days, in my opinion, to get up there and really make it worth your time. It may not be the best trip for a first-time visitor to the UK, but if you’re a repeat visitor looking for a way to experience this gorgeous country a bit deeper- this may be the perfect spot.


HOW TO GET THERE?

INVERNESS TO KYLE OF LOCHALSH |  The easiest city to use as your base for a trip to the Isle of Skye is Inverness. You could fly easily from London or take the cool Caledonian Sleeper to Inverness. From there, you’ll want to rent a car. (Luckily, there is a Hertz just outside the main train station or rental agencies at the airport to make this breezy.) Now, I don’t normally recommend renting a car if you visit Britain- as trains/public transport are so good- but this is area of the country that just can’t be done without one. The good news is: the roads are so empty, you’ll not feel overly stressed if you are used to US driving.

This route will take you by the famous Eilean Donan Castle that sprawls out over the gorgeous loch. You’ll be able to stop here and see the famous castle that has been pinned over and over again on Pinterest in person. Along the way, you’ll also get to enjoy the scenic lochs. Stop by Fort Augustus for a ride on Loch Ness to spot Nessie, too. If you take this way to Skye, you’ll be able to cross the bridge from the mainland to the southern part of Skye and then drive up.

 -  or  -

FORT WILLIAM & THE JACOBITE TRAIN | If you have a Harry Potter fan in your house, this is the option for you. First, take the overnight train to Fort William… or you can go during the daytime via a bit of a longer route. This tiny town has a cute high street tucked with small eateries and charity shops, but the main draw is the Jacobite steam train that departs every morning. This train, often referred to as the “Harry Potter” train, will chug you up along a scenic route to the coastal town of Mailleg. You’ll cross over the Glenfinnan Aquaduct (from the HP series), and land in Mailleg where you can eat lunch before hopping the short ferry to Armadale, Isle of Skye. 

Once you arrive, you’ll need to coordinate getting a rental car to meet you in Armadale. There are local “car hire agencies” that offer this service, and make it easy for you to arrive by ferry and leave with a newly rented car.


Once you arrive, you’ll have one of the most stunning landscapes to explore. (Find ideas on where to go on my previous Skye posts or my travel guide.) When you’ve had your fill of roaming in the wilderness, taking photos of hairy coos and cuddly lambs along the roadside, and stopping to climb along waterfalls- you can either relax at a country hotel (like the Flodigarry Hotel, where we stayed) or head into the main town of Portree for some socialising. 

The summers on Skye are magical, but be sure that you book early if you plan to visit. (Seriously, at least six months or you’ll find yourself scrambling for something decent.) 


If you're looking for more posts on the Isle of Skye, look here, or find more in my travel guides to the Isle of Skye and Scotland. Or take a trip through our Instagrams under my hashtag #KnightsSkye


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*images original to Aspiring Kennedy

The Hills Are Alive!

The hills are 

alive.

with the sound 

of an airplane landing at Heathrow...

Tyler lands this morning 

after being apart for 16 days.

That's a long time, guys.

She's so beary excited.

That's, like, 17% of Viola's life.

I'm already doing a happy dance

about him being back...

Special thanks for my mother-in-law

for being the wind beneath my wings for the past two weeks

helping with le bebe while I worked,

doing endless loads of laundry,

and never judging me for sleeping in

until 11:20 yesterday & today.

{Or 

at least, not letting on if you did!}

Today's going to be great for me.

I hope it's awesome for you, too!

How do you function on when you're on your own?

Better Off 

or Better Not?

*All images original to Aspiring Kennedy. Taken in Glen Brittle, Isle of Skye.

Isle of Skye | Jacobite Steam Train

 

Does a "Jacobite Steam Train" not sound completely dorky? The answer is to the above question is: Obviously. 

It sounds like train carrying freight in librarians, bearded men wearing cargo shorts and socks with sandals & young snotty-children clutching to obscure toys like rock collections.

I guess if you notice all the grey-hairs sitting around you on the train, you'll realize your aging social life will sooner find you on an Alaskan cruise than any bikini-clad summer pool parties reminiscent of MTV Spring Break in Panama City. Then again, if I'm honest with the person I really am, I probably feel much more comfortable over there anyway...

So it was no surprise that I was more than giddy to spend a morning on this train working my way up through the hills of Scotland a few weeks ago. Because while it may sound lamer than girl scouts without any cookies,a trip on this old steam train is, actually, totally awesome.

While this train isn't actually on the Isle of Skye, it does run from Fort William to the tiny port town of Maillaig. From Maillaig, you can take the ferry to Skye and start your trip there in fabulous style.

Recognize this view?

It's the bridge that the Hogwarts Express goes over in Harry Potter.

All aboard!

PS. Scotland is really pretty.

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy

Posted on June 27, 2012 and filed under "scotland", "travel", isle of skye, scotland, travel.

Oh, Hi There.

Hi, 

I'm Lauren.

I write a blog called Aspiring Kennedy.

I live in England,

but travel around quite a bit.

Sometimes I travel so much, in fact,

that I neglect my blog.

But if you regularly read my blog,

you already knew that.

I've been doing some VERY cool stuff

and seeing some VERY cool things...

here are some instagram pics to give you a peek.

Scotland's Isle of Skye is absurd.

How can this place exist?

It is everything L.L.Bean has ever wanted to be.

But forget dramatic Scottish cliffs

& seaside picnics with buckets of artery-clogging food.

Today I just want to show you this website,

Kate Middleton for the Win.

It's entirely based around fake captions

to pictures of Kate Middleton.

Like this:

I'm in Paris for two more days

and then head back to London.

If I don't write before then, remember:

Even if I can't blog on the road,

I can always Instagram.

(Take the hint! My username is aspiringkennedy) 

So the real question is:

 What have you been up this week?

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy