1200s - the Vikings were forced out of the
Western Isles, leading to Clan MacDonald
becoming the Lords of the Isles. The
MacDonald's were involved in a number of feuds
over the following centuries with Clans on the
1500s - a Settlement is believed to have
grown at the Kyle of Lochalsh, at one of the
shortest crossings from the Mainland to the
Isle of Skye.
1746 - the Battle of Culloden by Inverness
was the final defeat for the Jacobite's, last
Battle on the British mainland.
Bonnie Prince Charlie escaped the Government
Troops at Culloden by traveling by boat to the
Isle of Skye where Flora MacDonald
helped him return to safety in France. This
romantic event led to the Isle of Skye becoming
the most famous Island in Scotland.
1809 - Sir Walter Scott tours Scotland
leading to him writing the books: Lady of the
Lake, and Rob Roy. These books helped promote
Scotland as a popular tourist destination.
1819 - the Road from Inverness reached Kyle
1842 - Queen Victoria takes the first of her
many Tours of Scotland, giving great reviews,
leading to more Tourists.
1884 - the Skye Boat Song
is published contain the section - Speed bonny
boat like a bird on a wing, Onward the sailors
cry. Carry the lad that’s born to be King, Over
the sea to Skye. Many people visiting the area
were inspired to do so by this song.
1897 - the Railway was completed between
Inverness and Kyle of Lochalsh, through one of
the most remote parts of Scotland.
1897 - the large Lochalsh Hotel was built next
to the Railway Station and Ferry Slip.
This led to Kyle of Lochalsh becoming the
main Port for Ferries to the Isle of Skye.
Larger Mail / Passenger Ships were also
introduced at that time to operate between Kyle
of Lochalsh and the Isle of Lewis, about an 80
mile trip by sea.
1956 - Gavin Maxwell
moved to a Cottage in the very remote area of
Sandaig, 28 miles south of Kyle of Lochalsh.
Maxwell had with him an Otter brought back from
a trip to Iraq. This led to him writing a book
about Otters named Ring of Bright Water,
becoming a best seller that also lead to a
1960s - there were often very long queues of
Cars waiting to board the small Ferries for the
short crossing between Kyle of Lochalsh and
Kyleakin on Skye. These Ferries could only
carry 6 cars.
1968 - Gavin Maxwell's cottage burned down,
leading to him moving to a cottage on Eilean
Ban Island at Kyle of Lochalsh.
1969 - Gavin Maxwell died, leading to
Eilean Ban Island
becoming a Tourist Attraction.
1970 - new larger Ferries were
added to the short Isle of Skye crossing that
could carry 28 cars.
1973 - the introduction of much larger
Ferries for the Isle of Lewis crossing led to
Ullapool being used for this service. Ullapool is 85
miles north of Kyle of Lochalsh, with a much
larger port, and crossings from there are
shorter at around 53 miles.
The best known of the Kyle of Lochalsh to
the Ilse of Lewis Ferries was MV Loch
1995 - the Skye Bridge was completed,
leading to the end of the Kyle of Lochalsh to
Isle of Skye Ferries.