Kyle of Lochalsh in Scotland is considered the ‘Gateway to the Isle of Skye’, making it a great holiday destination before you head into Skye proper. Kyle of Lochalsh is a main commercial centre with a busy harbour, so before you leave to cross Skye Bridge, give some time to explore the many things to do in Kyle of Lochalsh.
Kyle of Lochalsh is the shopping and transport centre for this area of Scotland. It is home to a railway station, bus stop, maritime harbour, a main street and attractive collection of shops, accommodation, and services. If you intend to carry on to the Isle of Skye or elsewhere, Kyle of Lochalsh is one of the best places to stock up or hop on transport!
That’s not all, though! Read on to find out the top…
Things to do in Kyle of Lochalsh
Kyle of Lochalsh is home to quite a few attractions and sights that will make any time spent here enjoyable before continuing en route to your destination.
Attractions like the Eilean Donan Castle and Skye Bridge are the main draws of this town in the Highlands. There are also a few hidden gems in Kyle of Lochalsh and the surrounding area just waiting for you to discover them.
To find out about these hidden gems and help you plan your visit, see our guide to the top things to do in Kyle of Lochalsh.
Spanning over Loch Alsh, this bridge connects Mainland Scotland to the Island of Skye.
If you’re crossing over to the island (which we highly recommend), you will likely do so through this bridge. Built in 1992, it has a pleasing arch, making it stand out against the rugged coastline.
The Skye Bridge also used to have the highest toll fair for its time, costing £5 to cross! Fortunately, determined local protestors alleviated the toll, and you can now drive to Skye for free.
Eilean Donan Castle
If you’re heading to Kyle of Lochalsh along the A87, then make sure to stop by Eilean Donan Castle.
Come and see the most famous castle in the Highlands. It has superb volunteer guides who can take you through the well-preserved architecture and instil a deeper understanding of its history.
The views of the castle and its surroundings are breathtaking, and it’s no wonder Bishop Donan chose this location to build. Eilean Donan Castle is one attraction you need to see and is equipped with a bright visitor centre, gift shop, and even a restaurant.
Falls of Glomach
When in the Highlands, you can experience some of the best hiking trails in Scotland.
The Falls of Glomach are one of those incredible trails but be warned; it’s not for the faint of heart. This strenuous hike takes you 12 miles into the wild Scottish mountains and ends at the Falls. This cascading waterfall is one of the highest and most isolated falls in Scotland and is utterly magical to behold!
Bring a bicycle with you, and you can breeze through the early part of the trail, which takes you through a farm track.
Hop Aboard the Kyle Line
Considered to be one of the most scenic railway journies in Scotland, travelling aboard the Kyle Line is an absolute treat.
The line travels between Kyle of Lochalsh and Inverness, so if you’re without a vehicle, this line is one of the best things to take. All along the journey, you’ll be treated to spectacular views of the Scottish Highlands, castles, river banks, wildlife, and much more!
The railway station offers regular services and plentiful amenities along the way!
To see Caisteal Maol, you’ll need to cross Skye Bridge to reach this attraction.
Caisteal Maol is easy to see from Kyle of Lochalsh as it sits just on the opposite side of the town across Kyle Akin. This castle was built by a Norweigan princess who was the first to enact a toll between the two areas.
Nearby, the town of Kyleakin is a great place to grab breakfast any morning and has a few shops to see within walking distance of this attraction.
Kylerhea Otter Hide
Also near Kyle of Lochalsh, the Kylerhea Otter Hide is your chance to see the cuddliest creatures in Scotland.
This hide is accessible through a quick tour along a forest path and has informative signs about the local wildlife. The Otter Hide lets you see these amazing creatures as they frolic and play in the sheltered bay.
Cross to Skye and try out the beautiful Cnoc Trail, or Cnoc a’Mhadaidh Ruaidh, to give it its full name.
Cnoc Trail is next to Skye Bridge and should take about an hour to ascend, perfect for a quick trip for the family. You can see incredible sights of the country from the summit – both the Mainland and Skye.
The Cnoc Trail is one of the best sites to start your trip.
Balmacara Estate Visitor Centre
Head east along the A87 to Balmacra, and you’ll find the Balmacara Visitor Centre.
The National Trust of Scotland maintains the estate, and a visit allows you to explore the fantastic history of the Highlands! Learn about crofting, and see the ancient village of the region and coral beaches in the 2,500-hectares that compromise the estate.
Climb Sgùrr na Coinnich
One of the most prolific sights you can see from Kyle of Lochalsh is the towering Sgùrr na Coinnich – which you can climb.
After a short cross over the bridge, you can hike up the mountain and treat yourself to some of the best views of Kylerhea, with Kyle of Lochalsh in the near distance – talk about a panorama!
The stunning Attadale Gardens are a stone’s throw away, easily accessed by driving north along the A890 road, which borders Loch Carron.
The 20-acres that make up the Attadale Gardens hold an impressive amount of plant life and sculptures, leaving you with something to see as you turn every corner! Children will love exploring the kitchen, Japanese, and tranquil water garden.
Make sure to add this to your list if you have limited time in Kyle of Lochalsh.
Strome Castle is a haunting visit to one of Scotland’s most exciting relics, built in the 1400s.
Reaching Strome Castle is a real adventure, as the area around it is not as well maintained as other historic attractions. Nevertheless, once you reach the ruins, you can see some of the best views of Loch Carron and stand amidst the crumbling walls of this fort.
The Scottish Highlands offer bountiful scenery for outdoor pioneers, and Leitir Fura is one you can’t miss out on.
This natural woodland trail treats you to a look into the essence of the Outer Hebrides while being shaded by towering oak, birch, and hazel trees. Seeing the views from atop the hills of Leitir Fura is undoubtedly one of the best activities you can undertake.
Just down the road from Kyle of Lochalsh is Murchison Memorial, a memorial dedicated to Colonel Donald Murchison.
The memorial was made in 1861 by Colonel Donald Murchison’s great grand-nephew and is a grand attraction to see on your way to Kyle of Lochalsh. This towering memorial is pristine and highly informative to a unique point in the Scottish past.
See the Isle of Skye
This guide has mentioned a few places located on the Isle of Skye, but there is an island of attractions to explore if you delve deeper.
The Isle of Skye is one of the most popular attractions in Kyle, right up there with Loch Ness and the capital cities. With how close Kyle of Lochalsh is to the Isle of Skye, it’s a great way to continue your holiday on a fascinating island in Scotland.
Explore Loch Alsh
This stunning loch is an ever-present attraction you can see at many of the beautiful places around Kyle of Lochalsh.
The loch is like a giant swimming pool, so if you’re able to enjoy the cooling waters of the loch, then a trip here is well worth it! Otherwise, relax along the loch’s beaches on a warm holiday!
You can even enjoy fishing or catching a ferry to some other towns dotted across the loch.
Other Things To Do in Highlands
- Things to do in Arisaig
- Things to do in Aviemore
- Things to do in Beauly
- Things to do in Caithness
- Things to do in Carrbridge
- Things to do in Drumnadrochit
- Things to do in Fort Augustus
- Things to do in Fort William
- Things to do in Gairloch
- Things to do in Invergordon
- Things to do in Inverness
- Things to do in Kingussie
- Things to do in Lochinver
- Things to do in Loch Ness
- Things to do in Nairn
- Things to do in Newtonmore
- Things to do in Strathpeffer
- Things to do in Thurso
- Things to do in Ullapool
- Things to do in Wick