The Road to the Isles begins to the west of Corpach on the A830 and works its way west towards Mallaig, where Caledonian MacBrayne Ferries take visitors to Armadale on the Isle of Skye.
Along this scenic route there are lots of places to stop, enjoy the scenery, appreciate the peace and quiet.
Loch Eil is the first major landmark on your left as your travel towards Fassfern and Glenfinnan
. This sea loch is home to Outward Bound Locheil
- the outdoor adventure centre. Loch Eil is also used to farm mussels which grow well in the cool, clean waters of the loch. Locheilside is a mix of small crofts and dwellings with some nice scenery to enjoy throughout the year. Ben Nevis is particularly impressive from Loch Eil. In the summer months, the Jacobite Steam Train
works its way along the lochside on its way out west - there are a few good places to see the train pass on its journey. (the views of the train in this fantastic scenery would be a lot more enjoyable if someone would realise that the scrub trees need to be cut back every few years.)
At Kinlocheil, near Fassfern there's a train stop and if you take the junction on the left at the head of the loch, signposted A861, there's very pleasant tour around the west shore which eventually takes your to Treislaig, where a small ferry will take you over Loch Linnhe to Fort William, or you can continue down to Ardgour, and cross with your car over Corran Narrows.
Proceeding westwards, the next village is Glenfinnan. This is a terrific place and we have a section all about Glenfinnan
on the site. Glenfinnan and Loch Shiel should be on your "Must Visit" list of places. Check out Loch Shiel Cruises
for fabulous wildlife trips
The road climbs up the hill and after a few miles you'll see Loch Eilt on your left. This is a good place to see the Steam Train.
From Loch Eilt the road takes you to Lochailort and then over a gradual descent, back to sea-level at the viaduct which carries the West Highland Line through the hills to Arisaig. From Arisaig to Mallaig is possibly the prettiest section of the route. Less mountainous, but numerous beaches and great sea views bring in the changes of this interesting journey. If you are traveling on to Skye, your find the ferry at Mallaig going back and forth the Sound of Sleat to Armadale. If not, this area is well worth exploring, including beautiful Loch Morar - a huge fresh water loch..
From Mallaig there are sea routes to the Small Isles and to Inverie on the shore of Loch Nevis. You can also walk over the hills to Inverie to enjoy some good food at the Old Forge - Britain's most remote pub. There is of course a lot more to the Road to the Isles - the history, the geology, the wildlife and of course the people who live and work here.