Kyle of Lochalsh is a town on the northwest of Scotland, and home to the Skye bridge. Before the bridge, Kyle of Lochalsh was the main port for the ferry to the Isle of Skye, but the town is now a passing place for commuters heading to Skye or Wester Ross. I can’t help feel a little sorry for the Kyle of Lochalsh, once a busy place with people waiting for the next ferry to the island, but it does have its charms, if you take the time to stop and look before heading straight to the Skye Bridge.
Without the ferry, Kyle of Lochalsh is still a decent transport hub, with a train station offering routes to Plockton, Strathcarron and Inverness, and buses heading as far as Applecross, Glenelg, Skye and much further beyond. There is a very good tourist information shop where you can find all the information you need for any of these journeys by public transport, Kyle tourist information centre, sits in the village car park, that is also free to park, and in close proximity to other shops providing refreshments and gifts. From this car park you can also book many boat trips, to view the stunning scenery and wild life in the area, including Seals, Seabirds, otters and even a 2nd world war shipwreck, if you are lucky you may even see dolphins and whales.
Kyle was one of the major naval bases during the second world war, from here many ships set out to patrol British waters and defend us from any threats. During our modern times you can take a trip out to view the shipwreck of HMS Napier that sank here during the war in 1942, the site is a little further up the coast in Loch na Beiste, and is known as one of the best dive sites in the UK.
If boat trips are not for you there are excellent walking opportunities in the area, with Lochalsh Woodland close by and run by the National Trust of Scotland. The woodlands are only 3 miles south of Kyle on the A87, here you can walk along the loch and in the 2 acre woodland garden, where you will see the native Scots Pine and Oak trees, the Rhododendrons are a special sight during the summer months displaying many colours and varieties.
Close by you also have the lovely village of Plockton, A National Trust for Scotland conservation village, and providing excellent accommodation and hospitality. The lovely harbour in Plockton also provides decent seal trips by boat, or you can simply sit by the harbour wall, eating fantastic fish and chips and admiring the beautiful views across Loch Carron. The village was also the filming place for Hamish Macbeth the very popular TV series.
So if you are ever planning on taking the bridge to the Isle of Skye, or heading northwards to Wester Ross, take a moment to think about the Kyle of Lochalsh, and stop by and say hello, you will always be welcome.