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Skye Bridge

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The Skye Bridge is 75 miles northwest of Fort William, 81 miles southwest of Inverness, 33 miles south of Portree, largest Town on Skye. Postcode: IV40 8BH

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The image top is from the old Ferry Slip at Kyle of Lochalsh looking north to the Skye Bridge. Before the Bridge was built in 1995, this was the main Ferry crossing to the Isle of Skye, from Kyle of Lochalsh to Kyleakin village on Skye, about a 2 mile crossing.

Part of the Bridge was built on Eilean Ban Island, once home of the Author Gavin Maxwell, best know for the book and film Ring of Bright Water. The Island is now a Visitor Attraction that can be visited by appointment.

Skye Bridge History

1746 - the Battle of Culloden by Inverness was the final defeat for the Jacobite's, last major Battle on the British mainland.

Bonnie Prince Charlie escaped Government Troops at Culloden by traveling by Boat to the Isle of Skye.

Flora MacDonald from Skye helped him return to safety in France. This romantic event led to Skye becoming the most famous Island in Scotland.

1819 - the Road from Inverness was completed to Kyle of Lochalsh.

1842 - Queen Victoria took the first of many tours of Scotland, giving top Reviews, leading to more Tourists.

1884 - the Skye Boat Song was published including 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 from Inverness reached Kyle of Lochalsh, through one of the most remote and scenic parts of Scotland. This led to Kyle of Lochalsh becoming the main slip for Ferries to the Isle of Skye.

1956 - Gavin Maxwell acquired a Cottage in the very remote area of Sandaig, 28 miles south of Kyle of Lochalsh. Maxwell had with him an Otter he found while on a trip to Iraq. This led to him writing a top selling book about Otters named Ring of Bright Water, that lead to a Film.

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, with him then moving to a Cottage on Eilean Ban Island at Kyle of Lochalsh.

1969 - Gavin Maxwell died, with Eilean Ban Island then becoming a Tourist Attraction.

1970 - new Larger Ferries were added to the Isle of Skye crossing that could carry 28 Cars. These Larger Ferries were soon struggling to cope with the vast numbers of Tourists visiting the Island in summer.

1995 - the Skye Bridge was completed costing around £25 million, leading to the end of the Kyle of Lochalsh to Isle of Skye Ferries.

The Bridge was built with private money, with Tolls set so the money could be recouped by the builders.

1999 - the Scottish Parliament was set up to deal with local issues, with the Skye Bridge Toll being one of the top issues of the time.

2004 - the Toll to cross the Skye Bridge had increased to about £6 each way, leading to the Islanders protesting more vigorously and refusing to pay. The company running the bridge was accused of having made about £33 million on Tolls by that time.

2004 December - the Scottish Parliament stated they had bought the Skye Bridge for £27 million, with the Tolls stopping immediately.

2005 - Luann Nichols from Oklahoma could not believe there was a Bridge to the Isle of Skye. One of her main reasons for wanting to visit Scotland was to get the Boat to Skye, as in the song.

There is still a Ferry from Mallaig on the Mainland to Armadale on the south of Skye, for those who just have to visit the Island by Boat.

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