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Glen Shiel, Great Glen, Stromness ferry - your Scotland experiences

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On an earlier post you guys helped with some plans for riding the West Highland Railroad and walking on Rannoch Moor in June. Now my husband has gotten interested in the trip and decided his must see in Scotland is the Orkney Islands. Actually, I think it is great--we both love remote places and history. It also means we have to drop some destinations (St Andrews and East Neuk, island trip from Arisaig), but that is OK.

I am wondering if the boat trip on Glen Shiel is worthwhile/lovely? I've found limited experiences. We could possibly take a boat trip on Loch Lomond or Loch Ness instead or drop that too. Which brings me to my other questions:

We are probably going to fly to Kirkwall from Edinburgh, rent a car, and spend 1.5-2 days exploring the sites. Then to get to the Fort William area we can either go by ferry from Stromness and then overland to Inverness and through the Great Glen, fly to Inverness, then overland through the Great Glen, or fly to Edinburgh or Glasgow and do a return on the West Highland. There are limited connections ferry or air to Inverness whereas flights to EDI are most frequent. However, it would be nice to avoid too much backtracking.

My questions are:
Has anyone taken the ferry from Stromness? Is the scenery enroute so great that we should devote the time? Is the overland route on to Inverness different from what we will see further south near Fort William? From Google it looks like rolling farmland.
Otherwise, we will save that time via flight in order to have more time on the ground at destinations.

How about the drive down along the canal from Inverness to Fort William? I understand that much of the way the road is cut into the hill and there are trees blocking the view of the loch, but still scenic?

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