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Kyle Rhea

A narrow stretch of water separating the island of Skye from the mainland, Kyle Rhea links the Sound of Sleat in the south with Loch Alsh to the north. Measuring just 500m (546 yards) at its narrowest point, this represents the shortest distance from Skye to the mainland. People have crossed this channel since ancient times, with drovers swimming hundreds of black cattle across every year for centuries en route to markets in the Lowlands. A ferry was first recorded here by traveller Martin Martin in the late 17th Century and Boswell and Johnston navigated the channel in 1773. This remained the principal crossing to Skye until the building of railways to Kyle of Lochalsh and Mallaig in the 19th Century. A vehicle ferry was introduced in 1934 and continues today, in the summer months, as a community-owned service linking the mainland to the settlement of Kylerhea on Skye, 4 miles (7 km) southeast of Kyleakin.


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