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What to do if your travel plans are disrupted.

Part of the allure of the Small Isles is the adventure in getting here. Whether you take the ferry from Mallaig, the boat from Arisaig or arrive by RIB from another island, you are in for a treat with unrivalled views and the potential to spot a great deal of marine life and seabirds. However travelling by boat does mean that we are at the mercy of the weather and when a big storm rolls in, sailings can be cancelled and people stranded either on the mainland or on the islands themselves. Occasionally there can also be an issue with the ferry itself. In the event of this happening you might find the following information useful.


Before your trip

  • Take out travel insurance to cover you for travel disruptions.

  • Check the weather and service status updates before leaving home.

If you are heading to the islands by Caledonian MacBrayne (more commonly known as Calmac) ferry from Mallaig download the Calmac Service status App:

It’s also worthwhile following Calmac on twitter for timely updates on potential disruptions to the service.

Check with your travel provider if you are getting to the islands by other means.


In the event that sailings are cancelled with minimal notice leaving you stranded in Mallaig or Arisaig you might find the following information helpful:


  • Mallaig Public Toilets - Available at West Bay Car Park for a small fee (which can be paid using contactless).

  • Arisaig - Toilets are available within the Arisaig Marina Cafe. Public Toilets are also available just off the B8008 which runs through Arisaig. Open until 8pm.


  • Accommodation options for Mallaig and Arisaig are available on the Road to the Isles accommodation page.

  • Arisaig Bunkhouse is worth a check for last minute accommodation at very reasonable prices.

  • More accommodation options with a wider price range are also available at the nearest big town - Fort William. Options include a Travelodge, Premier Inn and hostel.

  • Camping - there are several camping options south of Mallaig including Camusdarach, Sunnyside Croft and Invercaimbe campsite. All tend to be booked out during peak periods but it is worth contacting to see if there are any cancellations.


A Co-op is available close to the ferry terminal in Mallaig. It is open from 7am - 10pm every day. Other options include The Bakehouse and Crannog (Bakery and Pizzeria), Jaffy's Fish and Chips, The Terrace restaurant and sandwiches and graze boxes from Bloom and Graze.

Things to do

There are a number of scenic walks in the area from the Mallaig circular to the Silver Sands of Morar. More suggestions are available on Walk Highlands.

Pool and spa facilities are available at Mallaig Leisure Centre. Bike hire can also be arranged through the centre.

Pony trekking is available through Silversands Trekking Centre.

Check out Road to the Isles for more suggestions.

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