The term 'Road to the Isles' refers to an area on the West coast of North Scotland, from Fort William to Mallaig and Knoydart and the Small Isles of the Inner Hebrides. Although it is a remote area prized by visitors for its sense of security, safety, solitude and scenery access is not difficult by a variety of means. Travel by road, train or air and you will be sure of a journey through stunning scenery with a warm welcome waiting you on arrival.
The starting point for the 'Road to the Isles' is at Fort William, at the head of Loch Linnhe, which is on the A82. This can be approached from the South either via Glasgow and Loch Lomond to Crianlarich and thence to Fort William or by heading for Stirling on the M9 and turning off at Junction 10 to Doune, Callander, Crianlarich and Fort William. Once through Fort William turn left onto the A830 marked 'Road to the Isles' to Glenfinnan, Arisaig and Mallaig for a journey of breathtaking scenery.
Car hire is available in Fort William and also locally from Morar Motors (tel: 01687 462118).
For all Public Transport you are advised to check with the operator. All the information given is correct to the best of our ability but timetables can be changed without our knowledge. A useful web site to visit is Travelinescotland.com which has a journey planner and all the timetables (contact 0871 200 22 33).
Citylink runs daily bus services between Fort William and Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness
Shiel Buses operate a service between Fort William and Mallaig. Tel: 01967 431 272.
To reach north-west Scotland by rail from England, one of the most convenient options is the Caledonian Sleeper. This service departs from London Euston and travels overnight to Fort William (reservations required).
The Scotrail train service runs all year from Glasgow to Fort William and on to Mallaig.
The West Highland Line which runs between Fort William and Mallaig is a famously scenic train ride and is one of the Great Railway Journeys of the World.
During the summer you can take this spectacular ride on the Jacobite Steam Train which is operated by the West Coast Railway Company Ltd. Book your tickets online via their web site or telephone 0844 850 4685 / 01524 732100.
Morning Service (departs Fort William 10.15am):
Monday to Friday from 11 May to 23 October 2015
plus Saturdays and Sundays - from 20 June to 20 September.
Afternoon Service (departs Fort William 2.30pm):
Monday to Friday from 1 June to 28 August 2015.
Caledonian MacBrayne operates a car ferry between Mallaig and Armadale on Skye, as well as one between Mallaig and South Uist (connections with the Barra and the rest of the Outer Hebrides).
They also have frequent sailings from Mallaig to the Small Isles (Muck, Eigg, Rum and Canna). Click here for timetables.
Arisaig Marine runs day trips for foot-passengers to the Small Isles from Arisaig from late April until late September. Tel: 01687 450224.
In the summer months, combined bus/ferry packages are available from Fort William so you can visit some of the Small Isles on a day trip with Shiel Buses and Caledonian Macbrayne. Click here for timetables.
Airlines operating between England and Scotland include British Airways, EasyJet, Flybe and Ryanair.
Main Airports in Scotland:
• Edinburgh Airport
• Glasgow Airport
• Prestwick Airport (30 miles south of Glasgow)
• Aberdeen Airport
• Inverness Airport
You can use the journey planner from TravelineScotland to find timetables for your travels.
For those of an adventurous disposition a helicopter can be chartered for the day from PDG Helicopters (tel: 01667 462 740) at Inverness Aiport. For quotations and pricing of charter contact sales on the above telephone number as there are various suitable landing sites which can be arranged in the area.