Keep Left – Driving In Skye and Lochalsh
You may be forgiven for thinking that driving in Skye and Lochalsh will be a doddle….but add in car hire, driving on unfamiliar roads, maybe even driving on a different side of the road to the one you are used to…plus sheep… and all that distracting scenery ….and suddenly its a whole other ball game!
Our roads are very different to driving on a motorway or in a city! For a start, there are fewer visual clues. Some main roads don’t even have road markings! So you will need your wits about you. Not only do our roads get busy with other visitors (in those unfamiliar hire cars) but also local drivers who need to get to and from work…not to mention those ninja sheep and cows!
Just remember to drive on the left. And don’t get too distracted by the stunning views around every corner!
If you want to take pictures – pull over and park in a sensible place – preferably a designated parking lay-by.
Same goes for using your mobile phone. (it’s illegal to use your phone whilst driving in the UK – so do please pull over). And when you resume your driving – remember to keep left!
A WORD OR TWO ABOUT SINGLE TRACK ROADS
Here in the Highlands we do things a little differently and you will encounter many miles of single track roads. Often these will lead you to the best places….
- keep left
- use the passing places to let other cars pass you
- let those behind you overtake (by using the passing places – even when this means reversing back into a passing place that you have just driven by)
- thank drivers who let you pass – a quick flick of the indicator will suffice if its dark but a wave is good in daylight!
- think ahead – stay at least one passing place back from the car in front to ensure that traffic can keep flowing
- watch for non-human road users – sheep (and lambs during April-May time), cattle and other wildlife may just wander onto the road – so do keep an eye out for them – they may not have read the Highway Code!
- read the booklet Single Track Driving Etiquette emailed to all our guests before their arrival!
- stray to the right – if the passing place is on the right, let the other vehicle pull into it
- park in passing places (or stop in the middle of the road to take pictures!)
- drive too fast – there are likely to be sheep and cattle as well as other road users!
- tailgate or get yourself into a convoy of cars – this makes using the passing places much more of a challenge! There is usually only room for 2-3 vehicles at one time so if there is a queue its easy to get into a jam that will involve a lot of reversing and possibly some choice language!
- use grass verges to allow cars to pass other vehicles. Single track road edges are not always stable – there are often ditches and it might not be safe and it just creates a nice muddy rutted mess when it rains. You are much better to stop and reverse into the nearest passing place.
Follow our Single Track roads Do’s and Don’ts and enjoy the adventure!