Iconic routes across Scotland
Written by Jeremy Hawkings
Every so often, you will want to get out of your car, look around and give thanks for experiencing such a beautiful part of the world. The Road to the Isles follows the route that drovers used to take their livestock from the Western Isles to market. It runs from Fort William to Mallaig. It is 50 miles long and has some of the most spectacular scenery in Scotland.
Leave Inverlochy Castle Hotel and drive six miles south on A82 to Fort William, then turn right onto the A 830. You will cross The Caledonian Canal just below Neptune’s Staircase, which is an impressive flight of locks. You will follow Loch Eil, an open sea loch which offers great views of Ben Nevis. Just after Loch Eil, at the head of Loch Shiel you will find Glenfinnan with the Glen Finnan Viaduct, made famous by many films including Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Nearby is The Glenfinnan Monument where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised the standard for the Jacobite Rising. You may catch a glimpse of The Jacobite Steam Train which operates in the summer months. There is also a little church at Glenfinnan, notable for the different coloured stone used in its construction.
The road continues to Arisaig and offers wonderful views out to the Small Isles. If you take the B8008 coast road which runs between Arisaig and Morar you will find The Sands of Morar and some of the finest beaches in Britain. Loch Morar has the deepest body of freshwater in the UK. At Mallaig, which is the end of the tour, you will find the ferries that take you over the Sound of Sleat to Skye where you can overnight at Kinloch Lodge Hotel before extending your trip to the nearby islands of the Inner Hebrides.
First published 27 June 2019. Information correct at time of going to press.