Local Information for the Old Schoolhouse
On this page we’ve tried to pool some information that might be of use or interest to you, whether you are thinking of booking one of the cottages, or whether you have booked and are making plans. We also leave a pack of information in the cottages with many brochures and leaflets on tourist attractions and facilities.
The main shopping centre is in Portree about 18 miles away. There is a Co-op there that is open 7 days/week and there is also a good Co-op in Broadford on the main road which is open 7 days/week until 10.00pm on weekdays. Beside it is a 24 hour petrol station selling milk and a few other essentials. This can be useful on the day of your arrival, as you pass through Broadford on your way from the bridge or either of the mainland ferries (from Mallaig or Glenelg). There is a well-stocked small village shop (newspapers, petrol, diesel) in Carbost, open Mondays to Saturdays with variable hours. Carbost also has a post office currently open from 8am – 4:30pm Monday to Friday. It sells stationery and a range of kids colouring books etc. and has a cash machine.
The Oyster shed is a couple of minutes walk down towards Carbost village, is open every day and as well as oysters it sells a good range of fresh fish, venison and other local meat.
Struan (about 11 miles) has a shop which is open odd hours, often late, and has good veg and whole food.
Banks – Royal Bank of Scotland, Bank of Scotland and Clydesdale Bank all have branches and cash machines in Portree. Broadford has a Bank of Scotland with cash machine.
There are post offices in Portree and Broadford.
The main tourist information centre is in Portree (open from 9.00am to 8.00pm on weekdays, 10.00am to 4.00pm on Sundays. Tel: 01478 612137), but there are also smaller ones in Broadford and Dunvegan. A folder with some general tourist information and brochures is left in the cottage.
The Old Inn in Carbost is about 10 mins walk down the hill from the cottage (that means up the hill at the end of the night!). It is very popular for bar meals and is open all day (it closes at midnight. Breakfast is available from 8.00am but you should telephone (01478 640205) if you are going to be that early.
Taigh Ailean in Portnalong (about 5 miles away) has recently changed hands but had a very good reputation. (Tel: 01478 640271)
A bit further afield there is the Sligachan Hotel, with bar meals, a wet weather centre and a good children’s play area. (Note that the hotel is now closed over the winter from 1st November – 1st March.)
There is a café and excellent 2nd hand book shop in Struan.
The nearest doctor is in Carbost (01478 640202). There are hospitals in Portree and Broadford.
Churches – Carbost has a Church of Scotland and Free Churches. Portree has these and Episcopalian and Roman Catholic services. Jehovah Witnesses meet in Sconser and the Bahais in Broadford.
Beaches – Glenbrittle, Fiscavaig and Talisker are the closest sandy ones
Golf – There is a 9 hole course at Sconser about 11 miles away.
Swimming – the burn has a lovely pool below the waterfall, and the sea is never far away, but if you long for chlorine and warmth then Portree has an excellent fairly new public swimming pool.
Fishing – in season river loch and sea fishing are available locally (ask us for details). The distillery pier, about 10 mins walk from the cottage, can be fun for crabs and mackerel.
Boat Trips – are available from a number of places, including Portree, Broadford, and into Loch Coruisk from Elgol (highly recommended for those who don’t want to brave the walk!)
Talisker Distillery is just down the hill in Carbost and runs tours. Check on 01478 640203 for times and please note that children under 8 are not allowed on the tours.
Cottage Facilities – see The Old Schoolhouse pages for more details.