Glasgow to Inverness and Kyle of Lochalsh – Wullie Davidson Bus Pass Rambles

Skye bridge

Today’s trip (Friday, 31 May) would take me from Glasgow to Inverness, then down the Great Glen, past Urquhart castle, on the shores of Loch Ness, before turning right on to the road to Skye, about a third of the way down the glen. I’d get off at Kyle of Lochalsh, and have 1 hour and 18 minutes to walk around and take some photos. I’d then get the Skye bus back to Glasgow stopping over at Fort William for 35 minutes. My main interest was seeing the bits between the Great Glen and Kyle of Lochalsh, and between Kyle and Fort William, as I hadn’t covered them before.

(Views on road to Skye)

road signs

I left Strathaven at 0645, after a Gregg’s bacon baguette breakfast, and left Glasgow at 0810, arriving at Inverness at 1150. I had one and a half hours to do the tourist bit in Inverness. Unfortunately, the castle near the town centre is closed to the public as it’s currently a building site, and won’t reopen until next year. I popped into the small museum and art gallery next to the castle for half an hour.  One exhibit struck me as odd – a stuffed cougar. Apparently, there were reports of a ‘big cat’ in the area in 1980. A farmer trapped the cougar, using sheep offal, and it quickly became clear it was an abandoned pet, as it was very tame. It was taken to the Highland Wildlife Park, and died in 1985, after which the museum put it on display.

Inverness Castle

Inverness Castle

Cougar Inverness Museum

Cougar Inverness Museum

Kyle of Lochalsh

kyle of lochalsh

Khyle of Lochalsh

Kyleakin Skye

The Inverness to Skye bus departed at 1315. After leaving the Great Glen, the scenery was unremarkable to begin with, but soon became quite spectacular, on a par with the best bits of the Trossachs. I got my first ever sighting of red deer stags, a group of four browsing near the road. I’d seen hinds on Rannoch moor and Mull on previous outings, but no stags. The bus arrived in Kyle of Lochalsh at 1523. It’s a small village, and you’re surprised to see that it actually has a railway station. The original Kyle of Lochalsh wooden railway sign was ‘requisitioned’ by Michael Palin on one of his trips. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s got it hanging on a wall in his house. He’s daft enough.

Grey day

Skye Bridge

Kyle of Lochalsh used to serve as the ferry terminal for Skye, before the Skye bridge was built, and the ferry sailed between there and the village of Kyleakin, on Skye. The bridge is a little more than a half mile walk from the village, so I wandered on up to get some photos. It’s a very aesthetic structure, and I’d like to have carried on walking to Kyleakin, but there wasn’t the time.

Fort William

Fort William Main Street

Fort William Main Street

The Skye to Glasgow bus arrived in Kyle of Lochalsh at 1641, and took two hours to reach Fort William. There was a 35 minute stopover, as the bus changed drivers, so I went  for a walk down the High street. Lots of tourists, and Scottish accents seemed to be in a minority. The bus would arrive at Buchanan bus station at 2216, but I got off at Anniesland, to get the train to Hamilton. Got back in the house at midnight



What struck me on the trip back to Glasgow from Kyle of Lochalsh was the sheer number of purple flowered rhododendron bushes. It’s an invasive species, and seems to be running rampant. It was even growing high up the mountain slopes, where only grass was growing. Maybe it likes mountains as its native habitat is the Himalayas. It was everywhere from Kyle of Lochalsh to south of Fort William, but disappeared before Glencoe. In years to come, the mountains of Glencoe will probably be covered in it. The tourists may think it makes them look pretty, but it’s not a prospect I’m happy about, and I think it’s now too well established to be eradicated. It started to appear again at Ardlui, and has spread the length of Loch Lomond, on both sides of the road.


Wullie Davidson, 31 May, 2024

Glasgow School of Art Degree Show 2024
Glasgow School of Art: Open Studio Summer Exhibition 2024

This section: Pat's Home Page Blog, Wullie Davidson: Blogging about Bus Pass Jaunts in Scotland

Written by :

Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

Comments are closed.

Copyright Glasgow Westend 2009 thru 2017

Contact Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End | About Pat Byrne | Privacy Policy | Design by Jim Byrne Website Design