Tranquil Achnahinich - The Skye Bridge, Kyle - Sunrise at Castle Moil
The images above are of destinations about 5 minutes from the Balmacara Hotel by car.
Welcome to the Balmacara Hotel, opposite the Isle of Skye on the 'Road to the Isles' in the glorious Highlands of Scotland.
These pages will give you a taste of the NW Highland's beautiful countryside; the vast open spaces filled with wildlife, majestic hills cloaked in the bonnie purple heather and remote sandy beaches kissed by sea breezes .... and most importantly the warm welcome offered by The Balmacara Hotel. (click here for the new website, bookings and a full description of the restaurants, function suites and services)
The Balmacara Hotel is ideally situated for those wishing to tour the Highlands and is just a few minutes from The Isle of Skye making it possible to spend all day on 'the misty isle' and return home in the evening to Kyle. We are also just a few miles from the famous Eilean Donan Castle in Dornie and only a short drive or train journey (from Kyle railway station) to the picturesque village of Plockton which was used in the popular television series 'Hamish Macbeth'. You may also like to know that Hamish Macbeth was also filmed in part in the hotel!
The Hotel has 2 bars. A Restaurant and a Large (multi-room) Function Suite, ideal for conferences, seminars and weddings.
Bar Suppers are also served in the public bar.
The Balmacara Hotel, on the 'Road to the Isles' or as we say nowadays the A87, is less than 10 minutes from the Isle of Skye.
Its actually possible to visit the outer islands of Lewis, Harris or Uist in a single day using the Balmacara Hotel as your base or simply pop across to the island of Rassay, Its magnificent scenery dominated by the extinct volcano, Dun Caan.
Kyle is also served by a railway station (to Inverness, thence south to Glasgow / Edinburgh / London), a bus station with connections to Inverness, Skye, Glasgow and of course ferry connections to the islands. Anyone at the Kyle Hotel will be only pleased to furnish you with information as regards timetables for the above.
The Balmacara is less than 5 minutes from the Isle of Skye via the FREE Skye Bridge
Skye and Lochalsh casts a spell over everyone who comes here. The majesty of the heather clad hills, the ever changing seascapes, far flung moorlands and glens... and of course, last but not least, the warmth of the Highland people with our tradition, history and folklore spanning the centuries. Year after year visitors to this wonderful place have found that special unnamable quality of the Highlands that brings them back time and time again and whether you are returning or this is your first visit, let us just say simply ...
Welcome or in the Gaelic .... Failte!
A typical Highland village lying at the foot of the hills on the sea across from the Isle of Skye. A walk out the front door of the hotel will take you out of the village, amidst spectacular scenery where you can watch otters frolicking, graceful deer on the hill or birds of prey soaring on the breeze... The national Trust for Scotland has a beautiful garden overlooking Loch Alsh just a few miles from Kyle. The gardens have many woodland walks and a specialist collection of plants. A very pleasant way to spend any part of the day. Needless to say Balmacara is the ideal base for Walking, Climbing, Cycling, Sailing, Pony Trekking, Orienteering, Castle spotting, Photography, Botany, Geology, Archaeology and much more, all in the midst of some of Europe's most spectacular scenery!
Plockton - 15 minutes
Plockton, also known as the Jewel in the Highlands is one of the most picturesque villages in Scotland. Sitting at the entrance to Loch Carron, Plockton's palm lined main street leads to a small harbour overlooking the Applecross Hills (second oldest mountains in the world) where passengers can embark on hourly seal trip cruises.
Kyle of Lochalsh - 5 minutes
The new promenade and marina with pontoons offers a tranquil setting to sit and watch the prawn fishermen in the loch or the ferry running to and fro from Skye. Seal trips, cruises and a glass bottomed boat leave from the pier here or if you prefer dry land a three minute walk up the Pladaig takes you out of the village on to the road to Plockton that overlooks the Sound of Sleat and Raasay with its (extinct) volcano Dun Caan. On the Ploc of Kyle is a golf course and turning right before you get there takes you up to the viewpoint that commands views to all points of the compass. Kyle is the transport centre for the area and as such has bus and train stations which connect to Inverness and the South, while buses, ferries and the Skye Bridge connect to Skye and the outer isles. Kyle has all the usual shops and banks you would expect, it even has its own heated swimming pool.
Dornie - 5 minutes
Eilean Donan Castle is simply spectacular and a 'must see' attraction in the Lochalsh area. Its so popular with everyone that film and TV companies use the castle in their productions at least a couple of times a year. There is also a recently constructed cafe in the castle grounds.
Woodland Walks - Steam still occasionally runs here - The Jewel in the Highlands
Glenelg - 30 minutes
The brochs at Glenelg are some of the best examples to be seen of iron age architecture anywhere and the mountain road over to Glenelg will simply leave you breathless in awe! There is also a small ferry that sails to Kylerhea on the Isle of Skye from Glenelg.
Kylerhea - 30 minutes
Otters abound here as its the location of an otter sanctuary. It can take a while to 'get your eye in' but patience and simply sitting quietly will enable to to watch as the otters play and hunt.
Skye - 10 minutes
The Isle of Skye is approached via the Skye Bridge and as you drive up to it, the Cuillin Hills can be seen rising steeply out of the Sound of Sleat. Although its possible to drive round Skye in a day, subsequent visits will enable you to explore this magical island in more detail. Places you must see: Portree (the capital) and the Aros Centre, Staffin, The Storr and Quairaing, Flodigarry, Dunvegan Castle, Sleat, Clan Donald Centre, Talisker Distillery, Uig and the Fairy Glen and of course... the wildlife, the Cuillins (try a walk from Sligachan and Elgol or a rope climb to 3000 feet for the more experienced moutaineers), Waterfalls, hidden lochs, wild flowers, fishing, boat trips and golf.
The Outer Isles
Its possible by leaving early in the morning to visit Lewis and Harris in the Outer Hebrides. Check timetables for sailings. The ferry leaves Uig on Skye and arrives a short while later in Tarbert on the Isle of Lewis. For Raasay take the ferry from Sconser, mid Skye.
Applecross (1+ hour) - Over the highest mountain pass in Britain, the Beallach na Ba, lies the time trapped village of Applecross. Driving over the pass with its 3 hairpin bends and steep gradients is not for the faint hearted but the thrill of looking back when you reach the summit is indescribable. Reaching the far side you come to Applecross, a charming shore-side village changed little for centuries. Its worth going on to the end of the road at Toscaig before returning 'the long way round'.
Fort Augustus, Inverness, Dingwall and Fort William are all around 1½ hours distant.