Broadford (Gaelic: An t-Àth Leathann) is a village straggling along the main road across Skye in the Scottish Inner Hebrides. All island routes converge here so you're bound to pass through it. Its name refers to the "broad fjord" of the bay, not the river crossing, but historically it meant only the western settlement around that crossing: Harrapool, Sculamus and Breakish are the eastern extension of Broadford. The population in 2020 was 1170.
By road the usual route is to follow A87 across the toll-free bridge from Kyle of Lochalsh. Or you can take A830 "The Road to the Isles" to Mallaig, car ferry to Armadale, then A851 north to Broadford. Going back, an indicator board at the start of A851 shows the status of the ferry. In summer you need to book your ferry space, as you could face a long wait if you turn up at Armadale or Mallaig without a booking.
See Glenelg for the strange little ferry that plies across the eastern narrows - summer only, and it only fits six cars. (Historically it was for cattle-drovers, with their herds swimming alongside.) This lands you at Kylerhea, not really a village, just a hillside covered with stones and bracken. The lane from the pier crosses lonely moors to reach A87 east of Broadford by the airstrip.
By bus: Scottish Citylink Bus 915 runs twice daily between Glasgow and Skye. The route north is from Buchanan Station via Glasgow Airport, Dumbarton, Loch Lomond west bank, Crianlarich, Glencoe, Fort William and Invergarry, crossing the Skye Bridge to Kyleakin then onward to Broadford; about 6 hrs 30 min. The buses continue via Sligachan and Portree to Uig, for ferries to Tarbert on Harris and Lochmaddy on North Uist.
Scottish Citylink Bus 917 runs twice daily from Inverness via Loch Ness, taking 2 hr 30 min to Broadford then on to Sligachan and Portree.
Stagecoach Highlands Bus 55 runs three times M-F from Kyle of Lochalsh to Kyleakin and Broadford, with two continuing to Torrin and Elgol.
By rail the nearest station is Kyle of Lochalsh, where trains from Inverness connect with the buses across Skye.
The village straggles, but you can walk around it, and to the start of the Beinn na Caillich ascent.
- Wildlife: along the shore, always be on the look-out for otters, seals and birds of prey.
- Pabay is the island a couple of miles out in the bay. Seeing it from shore is all you can do, as it's a private estate with no ferry, and the same for Scalpay a few miles northwest and linked to Skye by a causeway - not to be confused with Scalpay on Harris.
- Raasay is the island you can visit - the ferry sails from Sconser near Sligachan.
- See Elgol for Kilchrist ruined church and other sights along B8083 leading southwest.
- Climb 1 Beinn na Caillich (Red Hills). There are two mountains of this name on Skye, this one is the 732 m (2402 ft) summit behind Broadford, the first big peak you see on the road across Skye. The path ascends from Coirechatachan on A87 (Grid ref NG619227). It's a steep slog, with the path often lost under boulders. (Dr Johnson and Boswell thought about climbing it, but wimped out.) The slope is convex so you don't see the summit until the top. There's a very large summit cairn, said to be the burial place of a Norse princess. From here you can retrace your steps, or continue to the lower summits of Beinn Dearg Mhor and Beinn Dearg Beag then down to the road.
- Bella Jane boat trips sail to Elgol and elsewhere.
- Skye Guides lead rock-climbing and scrambling expeditions over the Cuillin, tailored to your ability.
- Kayaking is pleasant around this coast but bring your own, the local hire facility closed in 2018. See Armadale for the facility there.
- Broadford is your last chance to stock up if you're heading somewhere remote like Elgol or Raasay. There's a Co-op food store (daily 07:00-22:00), Post Office and Tabby's Nook bookshop.
- Craft and gift shops scrummage around village centre. They include Love from Skye jewellery, Nook & Cranny, Sandbank Studio, Old Pier Gallery knitwear, Skye Gift Company, Skye Candles and Skyeline Ceramics.
- 1 Creelers, Broadford IV49 9AE, ☏ . Tu-Su 12:00-21:00. One of the better places to eat on Skye. French country dishes alongside Cajun style seafood. Their Gumbo is both excellent and not for the faint hearted, but you can try before you buy.
- 2 Siaway Fish & Chip Shop, Shore Rd IV49 9AB, ☏ . M-Sa 07:00-20:00. Fish & Chip shop serving a range of fast food, including venison burgers, and local scallops. Eat in or takeaway.
- Cafe Sia, Ford Rd, Broadford IV49 9AB. Daily 08:00-21:00. Pizza restaurant, next door is Siaway takeaway.
- Claymore Restaurant does seafood. It's at 5 Lower Harrapool, open daily 16:00-22:00.
- Harbour Restaurant has Spanish cuisine. It's on Main St, open W-M 17:30-22:00.
- 3 Red Skye Restaurant, The Old Schoolhouse, Breakish IV42 8PY (3 miles east of Broadford), ☏ . M-Sa 10:00-14:30 & 17:30-21:00. Specialises in home-cooked highland fare, gets rave reviews.
Broadford doesn't have a pub. Try the Hebridean Hotel, east edge of the village.
- 1 Camping Skye, Pairc Nan Craobh, IV49 9DF, ☏ . Campsite open Mar-Oct with showers, toilets, laundry and parking. Tent £11, hook-up £25.
- 2 Broadford Backpackers, High Rd IV49 9AW, ☏ . Check-in: 17:00, check-out: 10:30. A cheap and cosy hostel near main road. Has a kitchen, dining room and a separate lounge area with free internet access. Mixed dorm £15-£24, private double/twin £40-£60.
- 3 Broadford Youth Hostel, off High Road, Broadford, ☏ . Check-in: 17:00, check-out: 10:00. Small comfy hostel open March-Oct. Dorm £21 ppn.
- B&Bs and self-catering places line the main road. They're often fully booked in summer.
- 4 Dunollie Hotel, Main St IV49 9AE, ☏ . Mid-village and mid-range with 84 rooms en suite. B&B double £130.
- 5 Broadford Hotel, Torrin Road IV49 9AB, ☏ . Upmarket hotel with restaurant and bar. B&B double from £205.
- 6 Hebridean Inn, Broadford IV49 9AQ (east edge of village), ☏ . Check-in: 16:00, check-out: 10:30. Small hotel with restaurant and bar. B&B double from £75.
- 7 Kinloch Lodge, Sleat IV43 8QY (10 miles south of Broadford off road to Armadale), ☏ . Upmarket seven room lodge in quiet lochside setting. B&B double from £360.
As of June 2022, Broadford and A87 have 4G from all UK carriers. 5G has not reached Skye.
- A lonely road B8083 winds west through the hills to dead-end at Elgol.
- A87 runs northwest to Sconser near Sligachan, for ferries to Raasay. It continues north to Portree and Uig, while a minor road branches off to Carbost, for the Talisker distillery.
- A851 runs south to Armadale, for ferries to Mallaig on the mainland.
- The usual route back to the mainland is A87 east via Kyleakin and over the bridge. You'll pass picturesque Eilean Donan castle near Dornie.
|Routes through Broadford|
|Portree ←||W S||→ Kyleakin → Kyle of Lochalsh|