Driver Diary Part Nine – A Snowy Trip to Skye

Our Tour Leader Andy shares his experience on a snowy Skye tour this winter.

Day 1

A 05:45am start to check over my coach before I head out to Edinburgh. Our first group of passengers join us at Waterloo Place. After they have joined us at 8am it’s on to Glasgow where we meet everyone else. We leave Glasgow at 9:30am. Giving some history of the city and pointing out buildings and statues of interest as we pass. It takes us around 45 minutes to reach the Trossachs National Park and Loch Lomond; where we take our first stop at Luss. The passengers disembark the coach here and explore the lovely village.

Leaving Luss we continue our journey along the loch and I share stories and songs written about it. I explain about the abundance of trees in the park and all the great activities there are to enjoy there.

In Rannoch Moor we stop to capture some photos of wild deer. We then also stop to capture the beautiful snow capped mountains as we journey into Glencoe Valley.

We all enjoy some lunch at Glencoe Visitor centre; here my passengers can learn some more about the history of the valley. The short film about the fate on Clan McDonald in 1692 is always popular.

After lunch, we travel onwards through Fort William. We view the train station where the Jacobite Steam Train of Harry Potter fame departs in the summer. We enjoy views of Ben Nevis and pass the Well of the 7 Heads where more of clan McDonald lost their lives. Carrying onward through Glengarry we encounter heavy snowfall. We stop to capture some amazing pictures of the tall conifers topped with snow.

When we are all back and warming ourselves up on the coach we travel down to Eilean Donan Castle. My passengers stop for some photos here of the lit castle against the starry Skye. It’s a short trip over the infamous Skye bridge to Kyleakin where our accommodation waits. I show everywhere where they can enjoy an evening meal before dropping them off at their B&B’s.

Day 2

We leave Kyleakin and travel through the village of Broadford, where some of the passengers opt for a morning coffee. A photo stop at Moll Falls is next, which is a fast flowing waterfall at this time of year.

It’s then on to the Fairy Pools which is always a passenger favourite, no matter the time of year or what the weather is like. We spend around 1 1/2 hours here where passengers get to go a hike into the Black Cullin mountains and are well warned not to go wandering off with the fairies!

Departing the Fairy Pools we travel to Talisker Disitllery. My passengers head in to the visitor centre and have a little dram to warm up after their hike. Taking the scenic route towards Dunvegan we stop for a few more photographs before our lunch stop in Portree. Portree has an array of places to eat and shops to buy momentos or special gifts. Many of them have been hand painted or crafted.

After lunch, we head round the Trotternish peninsula taking in the breathtaking sites of the Quiraing, Kilt Rock, Lealt Falls and the Old Man of Storr. Opportunities to feed Highland Cows and pet some Hebridean Sheet are also on offer and enjoyed by the group. Some beer tasting in Uig at the Isle of Skye brewery tops off the day before we travel back to Kyleakin in the early evening.

Day 3

We get all packed up and have one last hearty breakfast, before we leave Kyleakin, once again travelling over the Skye Bridge. We journey back to Eilean Donan but this time the passengers can explore inside the castle and the visitor centre too. They then return to the coach and we travel onwards to Fort Augustus.

Fort Augustus is at the southern tip of Loch Ness. Here, some of the passengers choose to have a 1 hour cruise on the loch while others enjoy a stroll and some shopping. There is also time here to grab a spot of lunch either by the loch side or on the banks of the Caledonian Canal which passes through the town.

After lunch, we travel south and then cross the country travelling into the Cairngorms National Park, the largest National Park in the UK and home to some of Britains Highest Peaks. An abundance of wildlife also call this park home. Snow capped mountains and a wild herd of deer can be seen and a few photo stops are taken to capture the views.

Our last stop of the day is in Pitlochry where some passengers choose to have a snack and drink while others finish up their gift shopping to take home with them.

We then head back to Edinburgh crossing over the beautiful Queensferry Crossing road bridge and into our nations capital. It’s a quick drive to Glasgow where our final passengers disembark the coach and I can travel back to our offices to end my day too.

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