This guide on Broadford on the Isle of Skye in the Inner Hebrides provides information to help you travel in and around the town with ease. The guide includes information on how to get to there, sights, sleeping & eating, self catering cottages in Broadford, transport, and other essential details. Also included are details about the nearby villages of Kyleakin and Kylerhea.
Eight miles west of Kyleakin is Broadford (An t-Ath Leathann), Skye's second largest village, which basically consists of a mile-long main street strung out along a wide bay,which offers ample scope for interesting coastal walks that will take you close to the fabulous wildlife of Broadford. This bustling village lying in the shadow of the Red Cuillin Mountain has a fair share of tourist attractions. The main street has many interesting shops to explore including the Skye Jewellery Showroom which crafts local jewellery. Do not miss out the exciting cruise aboard a Glass Bottom Boat around Skye or to the Mainland; take a stroll down the memory lane by exploring Dunscaith Castle, or Caisteal Maol which conjures images of the rich past.
Broadford may be low on charm but it's high on tourist facilities, with plenty of accommodation and places to eat, a tourist office, garage, supermarket and bank (with ATM). There are also a few interesting, and unusual, things to do when it rains, which is always a bonus.
Phone code: +44 (0)1471
Bank of Scotland with ATM by the shops opposite the road to the new pier. Next to the Esso station is a Co-op supermarket, and there's a laundrette in the petrol station shop (open 24 hrs).
LOCAL COMMUNITY WEBSITE: www.kyleakin.com
The opening of the Skye Bridge (crosses Loch Alsh), linking the island with the village of Kyle on the mainland (Lochalsh), has turned the former ferry terminal of Kyleakin (Caol Acain) into a much more peaceful and laid back little harbour village. The village remains an active fishing harbour and attracts many yachts during the summer season. The reduction of road traffic makes it a quiet place to stay, and in addition to the many B&Bs and 3 Hotels, the village is now also a favourite with backpackers, who have 4 hostels to choose from!
The village provides tourists with a friendly and relaxed base for touring both the island and the mainland, being as it is, right next to the Skye Bridge! You will discover the Bright Water Centre at the end of the pier, where you can find out about Gavin Maxwell and the local flora, fauna & marine life. The centre also offers walking tours of Eilean Ban, which is the island underneath the Skye Bridge where Gavin Maxwell spent some time while writing his famous Trilogy (Ring of Brightwater). Visitors can also take a walk round to Castle Moil, which was originally Norse until claimed by the MacKinnon Clan, before becoming the ruin it is today! The views from the village are fantastic, in many directions - views both up and down Loch Alsh, with mountains on every side! Don't forget to keep a look out for the local wildlife - otters, seals, heron, oyster catchers, shags & cormorants to name just a few! During the summer it has even been known for dolphins to pass by the end of the pier - although this is more of a rare treat!
Phone code: +44 (0)1599
About four miles out of Kyleakin a road turns left off the A87 and heads southeast to Kylerhea (pronounced Kile-ray). The bridge may be the most convenient route to Skye, but the best way to cross is on the small car and passenger ferry that makes the 10-minute crossing to Kylerhea from Glenelg. Near Kylerhea is theForestry Commission Otter Haven. An hour-long nature trail takes you to an observation hide where you can look out for these elusive creatures. Info - Daily 0900 till 1 hr before dusk. Free. Tel. 01320-366322.
From Broadford to Portree
The road north to Portree runs between the fringes of the Red Cuillins and the coast, giving good views across to the Isle of Scalpay. The road then turns west along the shores of Loch Ainort to the turn-off for the Luib Folk Museum, another of Peter MacAskill's island museums and now sadly derelict.
The road runs north to Sconser, departure point for the ferry to Raasay , then runs around Loch Sligachan and heads north to Portree. On the opposite side of the loch from Sconser are the crofting communities known as The Braes, who successfully opposed their landlords' eviction notices and brought the crofters' cause to the public's attention.
Local Sights & Activities for BroadfordSightseeing
One of the most incongruous attractions on the island, or elsewhere in the Highlands, is the Skye Serpentarium, where you can see, and touch, all kinds of snakes, lizards and other reptiles. Info - Easter-Oct Mon-Sat 1000-1700 (also Sun in Jul/Aug).Tel. 01471822209.
When the weather's clear you can take a boat trip to the island of Pabay with Family's Pride II. Trips last an hour, and leave daily from the main pier, April-October. Tel. 01471822037.
Broadford Hotels & Accommodation
Sleeping in Broadford
The SYHA Hostel is by the new pier, Tel. 01471822422. Open all year.
Finding a room shouldn't be a problem, except maybe in the peak months.
Self Catering Cottages in Broadford
Sleeping and eating in Kyleakin
The Kyleakin Youth Hostel (SYHA) is the largest hostel in the village and is centrally located, but like many B&Bs/hotels/hostels on Skye, it closes during the winter months, so do phone in advance if travelling out of season!
You will also find Skye Backpackers Hostel and the Dun Caan - both of which are far more homely/cosier than the SYHA Hostel - simply due to the fact that they are converted houses and therefore considerably smaller and more personable - both hire out cycles for a small charge, although the Dun Caan offers this service for their own guests only.
Saucy Mary's is another village hostel, which also provides 1 of the 3 local bars in the village, along with the Castle Moil Restaurant/Haakon Bar and finally the King's Arms Hotel Bar/restaurant. All 3 serve reasonably priced bar meals (along with live music at weekends & some week nights) and in addition the King's Arms has a separate restaurant for those preferring more formal dining.
Just as you enter the village you also have the MacKinnon Country House Hotel, which again has a more formal restaurant along with a hotel bar/lounge. The Taste of India has now replaced the Crofters Kitchen by the roundabout at the top of the village - very good restaurant and takeaway menus, which is open every evening until very late and is open all year round!
The White Heather Hotel is the smallest of the 3 hotels in Kyleakin and is situated right on the harbourside, down by the Bright Water Centre at the end of the pier. The hotel offers Bed & Breakfast only, but has 2 comfortable guest lounges and a drinks licence which covers resident guests only. In addition to this, there are numerous excellent B&Bs and Guest Houses which are located throughout the village and accommodate every budget. The best source of information regarding Kyleakin (including contact info. for all the companies mentioned here) is actually the village's own Community website:
Self catering Cottages in Kyleakin
- Waterside Cottage Sleeps 6
Eating in Broadford
The best place to eat is the Seagull Restaurant, at Breakish, south of Broadford on the main road to Kyleakin, Tel. 01471822001. It serves excellent local food with a European twist. Mid-range. For cheap to mid-range bar meals, try the Claymore Bar-Restaurant, at the south end of the village, Tel. 01471822333.
Travel Directions to Broadford
Getting to Broadford
The Tourist Information Centre is by the Esso petrol station, which also has internet access, Tel. 01471 822361. Open Apr-Oct Mon-Sat 0930-1730; Jul-Aug Mon-Sat 0900-1900, Sun 1000-1700.
Daily Citylink buses run to and from Portree, Inverness and Fort William. Waterloo buses run daily to and from Kyleakin, Portree (£6 return) and Armadale/Ardvasar. For car hire try Sutherlands at the Esso Garage, Trl. 01471822225, Fax. 822759, who charge from £30 per day. You can rent mountain bikes from Fairwinds Bicycle Hire, just past the Broadford Hotel, Tel. 01471822270, for about £7 per day.
Visit www.rapsons.co.uk and www.citylink.co.uk for full timetabling
All Citylink buses run through Kyleakin
Rapsons run daily services between Kyleakin, Kyle, Broadford, Armadale, Sligachan & Portree.
Currently (2007), Rapsons bus service across the Bridge, to and from Kyle, runs every hour from early morning until 11pm. This can also be combined with Citylink buses.
Kyleakin Private Hire (Tel. 01599 534452) offers friendly and informative guided tours of the whole area.
Car Hire - Kyle Taxi Company based across the Bridge in Kyle - they will bring cars to Kyleakin for visitors staying in the village.
Cycle Hire - Skye Backpackers and Kyle Taxi Company