1263 - King Haakon IV is said to have
assembled his fleet of Longships at Kyleakin
before the Battle of Largs. Haakon's defeat at
Largs led to the Vikings being forced out of
the Western Isles, and later, the Northern
1400s - the Castle Moil seen today is built
for Clan Mackinnon at Kyleakin Harbour.
1500s - Settlements are believed to have
grown at Kyleakin and Kyle of Lochalsh, as it
is one of the shortest crossings from the
Mainland to the Isle of Skye.
1600s - Castle Moil was abandoned by Clan
1746 - the Battle of Culloden by Inverness
was the last defeat for the Jacobite's, final
major Battle on the British mainland.
Bonnie Prince Charlie escaped the Government
Troops at Culloden, then traveled by Boat to
the Isle of Skye where Flora MacDonald
helped him travel to safety in France. This
event led to the Isle of Skye becoming the most
famous Island in Scotland.
1819 - the Road from Inverness was completed
to Kyle of Lochalsh, leading to the main Ferry
route being between Kyle of Lochalsh and
1842 - Queen Victoria takes the first of her
many tours of Scotland, giving great reviews,
leading to many Tourists visiting Scotland.
1884 - the Skye Boat Song
was published with 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 Skye were
inspired to do so by this song.
1897 - the Railway between Inverness and
Kyle of Lochalsh was completed, through one of
the most remote areas of Scotland.
This led to the Kyle of Lochalsh to Kyleakin
ferries becoming the main route to the Isle of
Larger Mail / Passenger Ships were also
introduced at that time, operating between Kyle
of Lochalsh and the Isle of Lewis, about an 80
mile trip by sea.
1956 - Gavin Maxwell
moved to a Cottage at Sandaig, a remote area 28
miles south of Kyle of Lochalsh. Maxwell had an
Otter he brought back from a trip to Iraq. This
led to his book about Otters named Ring of
Bright Water, a best seller, also used for a
1960s - the small Ferries for the short
crossing between Kyle of Lochalsh and Kyleakin
on Skye could only carry 6 cars, leading to
long lines of Cars waiting to cross in
1968 - Gavin Maxwell's Cottage burned down,
leading to him moving to a cottage on Eilean
Ban Island between Kyle of Lochalsh and
1969 - Gavin Maxwell died, with Eilean Ban Island being
converted to a Tourist Attraction.
1970 - new larger Ferries were
added to the Kyle of Lochalsh to Kyleakin
crossing that could carry 28 Cars.
1973 - much larger Ferries for the Isle of
Lewis trip led to Ullapool being used for this
service. Ullapool is 85 miles north of
Kyleakin, with a much larger Port, and
crossings from there are about 30 miles
1995 - the Skye Bridge was completed, leading to
the end of the Kyle of Lochalsh to Kyleakin