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Trip Report Scotland: Rabbies, Kids, and Potter-mania

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My family (2 adults, 2 children ages 10 and 14) took a ten-day trip to Scotland at the end of June, and we benefited greatly from advice on this forum (thank you, thank you!). I lurked instead of asking questions, but now I feel like I have some answers to common questions that may be of interest to others. Here goes...

We flew into and out of Edinburgh. We rented a great apartment from this company: http://innercitylets.com/ (recommended in my hard copy of Fodors' Scotland), and I would definitely recommend them to others. Our apartment was right on the Royal Mile, and an easy walk everywhere. We stayed there six nights, and did one day trip to Glasgow (via train) and one day-trip with Rabbies to Alnwick Castle, where they filmed early Harry Potter films and some episodes of Downton Abbey. This trip was one of two with Rabbies (the other was the three-day Isle of Skye) and we enjoyed both. The trip to Alnwick was long, especially for the ten-year old, but they loved the castle--despite the fact that it was pouring rain. Really pouring. The castle and setting are spectacular.

We did a few tours in Edinburgh including the Potter Trail tour (a huge hit! the guide was fantastic), the Ghost bus tour (the kids loved it, and we had an excellent guide, but it was pricey), and the Mercat Tour (another great guide).

For our last three days in Scotland, we did the Rabbies 3-day Isle of Skye tour. We really loved it. we were on the bus for a long time, but we got to see a lot of the country we would not have seen otherwise. My experience of both Rabbies guides was that they were wonderful storytellers, so it did not feel (at least to those 14 and up) that the drives were too long. Everyone really loved Skye, even though we had another downpour and some mist. We stayed at a B & B in Portree arranged by Rabbies--I suspect they only serve Rabbies--and it was very comfortable with an excellent breakfast. We had two bedrooms right across the hall. Portree is really busy in the summer, and dinner reservations or a willingness to wait are key. We saw some great scenery on the way there and back, with plenty of stops for bathrooms and sightseeing. I would definitely recommend this tour to others.

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