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Scotland itinerary help

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We'll be in Scotland in September and would appreciate your comments on our rough, so far, itinerary. We will be traveling with one other couple. We're looking for a combination of hiking, history (castles, museums) and local experience (music, distilleries, enjoying being there.)
Our first night is booked in Stonehaven, then we drive to Spittal of Glenshee for 2 nights. This is our home base for the Braemar Games.

We don't have anything reserved yet for the rest of the trip. Our thoughts are:
Aviemore for 2 nights to give us access to hiking, castle visits, and distillery touring. Is there a better town to choose for our home base in that area? Is that the area to see Loch Ness from?
Drive to the Orkney Islands - 3 days including drive days. Or, Isle of Skye for 2 days. We are very intrigued by the Orkneys and don't think we have time for both Orkneys and Skye.

Stay at Ballachulis Hotel, near Glencoe, or in a smaller town near Loch Lomand, for 2-3 days and do day trips from there. Recommendations for day trips and towns to stay in?

We'll drop the car off in Glasgow or Stirling and spend a few hours in that city before taking the train into Edinburgh. We have 4 nights in Edinburgh with some day trips (St Andrews, Crail or . . .)
Thanks for any comments and advice. Dee

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