The Sleat peninsula is the gently rolling southern part of the Isle of Skye in the Scottish Inner Hebrides. Its main villages are Armadale (Gaelic: Armadal) around the ferry pier and Ardvasar (Gaelic: Àird a’ Bhàsair) just south. Accommodation and amenities straggle along the main road north A851, notably at Saasaig and Isleornsay; points north of there are described under Broadford.
Calmac ferries ply between Mallaig on the Scottish mainland and 1 Armadale pier. They take 45 min and sail daily, April-Oct every hour or two 08:00-18:00 but only a couple per day Nov-March. Return fares are £21 per car plus £6 per person including the driver (Dec 2019). This was the usual route to Skye before the bridge opened, and it's still a good route if you want to tour the "Road to the Isles" via Glenfinnan, but don't come this way by accident. Satnav may misdirect you to Mallaig instead of the bridge, but you could have a long wait for a ferry space if you haven't booked.
By bus: Stagecoach Bus 52 runs 3 or 4 times daily from Armadale pier (connecting with the ferries) to Broadford, Sligachan and Portree. M-F in Broadford it connects with Bus 50 to Kyleakin and Kyle of Lochalsh bus and railway stations.
It's a short walk between the pier, the two villages and Armadale Castle, but you need wheels to get elsewhere around Sleat.
- 1 Armadale Castle and Museum of the Isles, Armadale Sleat IV45 8RS. Apr-Oct: daily 09:30-17:30, Mar & Nov: M-F 10:00-15:00. The castle, an 18th/19th-century mansion, has long been a ruin and you can't go in. It's surrounded by gardens; the Museum of the Isles covers the area's extensive history. Adult £8.75.
- The views from the village and pier towards the mainland are attractive.
- 2 Dunscaith Castle (10 miles north of Armadale, take lane west to Tokavaig then hike). Always open. Fragmentary ruin on an outcrop of rock on the wild west coast of the Sleat Peninsula. A drawbridge once connected the outcrop to the mainland; you can still scramble across or climb from the beach, but both ways are hazardous, only nettles await you, and the views are just as good from shore. Free.
- Visit the whisky distillery at Torabhaig, on the main road four miles north of Armadale. They're open daily 10:00-16:00, standard tour £10, minimum age 13.
A string of little craft shops near the pier include Ragamuffin knitwear, Under the Rowan gifts, Grumpy George / Skyelark gifts, Maggie Zerafa gallery and Nigel Grounds gallery.
- The Shed, Armadale Pier IV45 8RS, ☏ . Daily 09:00-17:00. Small cafe with indoor and outdoor tables, right by the ferry landing.
- Gasta bar & restaurant at the entrance to Armadale Castle is open daily 10:00-15:00, F Sa 17:00-21:00, Su 12:00-16:00. The bar has live music F Sa 17:00 till late.
- Hotel Eilean Iarmain (see Sleep): the main restaurant is closed in 2019 for kitchen renovation, but they still do bar meals.
- Gasta bar and The Inn are the choices in Armadale, the other hotel bars are some way north.
- Armadale Castle (listed above) has self-catering lodges and suites from £150 / night.
- 1 The Inn @ Àird a' Bhàsair (formerly Ardvasar Hotel), Ardvasar, Sleat IV45 8RS, ☏ . Upscale 3-star with restaurant, now owned by Eilean Iarmain Hotel. B&B double £155, dog £15 per stay.
- Three small B&Bs near the ferry pier. There's nothing south of the village down the dead-end lane to Aird of Sleat.
- 2 Sabhal Mor Ostaig Halls of Residence (2 miles north of Armadale), ☏ . Sabhal Mòr Ostaig is a higher education college where, uniquely, all teaching is in Gaelic. Rooms are available during the college holidays. The penthouse tower has the best views. B&B, evening meals also available.
- 3 Flora Macdonald Hostel, 3 Kilmore, Sleat IV44 8RG (3 miles north of Armadale), ☏ . Self-catering hostel with private rooms for two, three, four, six and ten people - they no longer have a dorm, and the smaller rooms sell out early. No local amenities so bring supplies. They can pick you up from the ferry with advance notice. Double room from £60.
- Toravaig House Hotel is four miles north of Armadale. Saasaig village has a few self-catering cottages.
- 4 Hotel Eilean Iarmain, Isleornsay, Sleat IV43 8QR (10 miles north of Armadale), ☏ . Upmarket hotel looking onto island of Ornsay. The restaurant is closed for kitchen renovation, but Praban Bar has food and live music. B&B double from £260.
- Isleornsay also has a cluster of self-catering cottages, the Duisdale House Hotel, and (without which no Hebridean remoteness is nowadays complete) Yurts. See Broadford for Kinloch Lodge just across the bay.
- The road north leads you to Broadford. From there you could return to the mainland on A87 via Kyleakin, the Skye Bridge and Kyle of Lochalsh, or continue north to the most scenic part of Skye beyond Portree.
- Or take the ferry to Mallaig on the mainland to reach the Small Isles, Glenfinnan and the Ardnamurchan peninsula.