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2 weeks Scotland family trip 1st time! Need help on Isle of Mull, Oban & Loch Lomond

2 weeks Scotland family trip 1st time! Need help on Isle of Mull, Oban & Loch Lomond

Old Jan 13th, 2024, 10:06 AM
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2 weeks Scotland family trip 1st time! Need help on Isle of Mull, Oban & Loch Lomond

Hello all, its our 1st time visiting Scotland & our 1st time doing a road trip! Would appreciate some suggestions/advice on my itinerary, as I'm not sure if I cater sufficient time for stopping for pics etc? as we wish to enjoy the trip without rushing through everywhere

We would also like to visit both Isle of Skye & Isle of Mull too, but I'm unsure of how to plan for the portion from Oban to Isle of Mull. Considering between staying in Oban & taking 1 day trip to Mull OR staying in Mull for 2N?

On the last leg of our trip, we like to explore Loch Lomond and Trossachs area, particularly Loch Lomond since we skip Loch Ness. Any suggestions on the route?

Below is my itinerary
, appreciate your help & insight. Thanks in advance!

26-29 Apr Edinburgh
29 Apr Mon: Pick up car from Edinburgh Airport >> The Kelpies >> Falls Of Dochart & LUNCH in Kilin >> Glen Etive for James Bond Skyfall rd >> stop along the way for viewpoint of the Three Sisters mountains of Glencoe >> sleep Glencoe 1N Clachaig Inn/Glencoe inn
^ Question: did I cater enough time for stopping for pics? Particularly did I cater sufficient time for the drive to Glen Etive? As google map is showing quite a handful of viewpoints along the drive to Glen Etive especially on A82, which we found most of them beautiful & would like to stop to admire.
If needed, we can skip Falls Of Dochart & drive straight to Glen Etive. Any suggestions for Lunch long the way?

30 Apr Tue: Glenfinnan Railway Viaduct >> LUNCH >> 2pm reach Mallaig port 245pm ferry to Isle of Skye
^ Question: any other suggestions to spend the remaining time before heading to the port?

30 Apr 4 May Isle of Skye sleep Portree 4N
4 May Sat: leave Isle of Skye via Skye Bridge >> Eilean Donan Castle >> Fort William for Neptune's Staircase & Steall falls hike >> sleep Fort William 1N
^ Question: any recommendations for lunch/rest for food on the route to Fort William?

5-7 May Isle of Mull sleep 2N in Oban or Mull?
5 May Sun: Fort William >> Castle Stalker >> Oban >> Mull? Explore Tobermory OR sleep Oban & explore Oban
^ Question: Is there a need to have back up plan in the event of bad weather, & ferry get cancelled or delayed?

6 May Mon: Day trip to Staffa & Lunga
7 May Tue: Mull? Oban? >> scenic drive along Inveraray to Luss
7-8 May sleep Luss 1N
Explore Luss, Loch Lomond + take a boat ride on Loch Lomond

8 May Wed Luss >> Glasgow return car at GLA
^Question: we wish to explore Loch Lomond and Trossachs area, particularly Loch Lomond since we skip Loch Ness. Any suggestions for 7-8 May?

9 May Thu Morning flight out from GLA
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Old Jan 13th, 2024, 10:38 AM
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Welcome to Fodors.

Just some preliminary comments.

I think your Edinburgh to Glencoe day is fine. It will be a long-ish day with LOTS of scenic stops along the way but totally doable. With googlemaps, do add a fair amount of time to their calculations -- IME they don't allow time for sheep on the road, construction, or getting stuck behind caravans (travel trailers)

Re the islands -- I LOVE both Mull and Skye. However in April you will definitely want a plan B (or Plans B, C & D) because neither is a place I'd want to be if it was raining sideways and blowing crazy high winds.

Assuming the weather gods shine on you I'd consider taking the bridge to Skye and the ferry back giving you more scenic bits. After the Armadale > Malaig ferry visit Glenfinnan then backtrack to Lochailort and drive a bit of zigging and zagging but a beautiful drive south to the Lochaline > Fishnish Ferry to Mull

I personally would not try to do Mull as a day trip from Oban
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Old Jan 13th, 2024, 09:41 PM
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Thanks janisj for very fast reply!
Yeah, Edinburgh to Glencoe day is going to be a day packed with beautiful views. We are thinking to split some of the stops to the next day, particularly the Glen Etive since we have decided to sleep in Glencoe 1N.

Yes! We love both Skye & Mull, we are split between the 2 hence including both islands in this trip! However for Mull I'm not too sure on the places of interest, still going to work on it as we wish to do a Day trip to Staffa & Lunga, weather permitting. We are taking your suggestion & have started looking at Mull accomodation, would appreciate if you have any tips for Mull!

Okay I got to go think about wet weather plans, perhaps switching to castles or museums if possible. Praying for good weather nonetheless!


After the Armadale > Malaig ferry visit Glenfinnan then backtrack to Lochailort and drive a bit of zigging and zagging but a beautiful drive south to the Lochaline > Fishnish Ferry to Mull

^ is this drive difficult with the zigging & zagging? I am still reading up & researching on all the possible convenient drive to Mull

Many thanks!


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Old Jan 13th, 2024, 10:19 PM
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No, the drive isn't difficult - Just a bit slow. Mallaig to Lochaline is about a 2.5 hour drive or could be less. It is through really rural countryside.

Two things I meant to post before - great if you can book in to the Clachaig Inn - Good food and super location in Glencoe. And whatever your final itinerary, don't stay in Ft William.

My favorite accommodations on Mull is here https://iona-bed-breakfast-mull.com but AFAIK the don't have a family room so you'd need two room. It is a very short walk from the Fionnphort pier for the foot ferry to Iona and for boats to Staffa. Amazing breakfasts and right next door to the pub. But you'd probably have to contact them to see if any of their rooms would work.



Edit -- the link didn't work so I'm looking fo a better one . . . Fixed the link

Last edited by janisj; Jan 13th, 2024 at 10:24 PM.
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Old Jan 13th, 2024, 10:35 PM
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Oh - one more thing "Okay I got to go think about wet weather plans, perhaps switching to castles or museums if possible. Praying for good weather nonetheless!"

By having a Plan B, I meant a really different plan - like not going out to the islands at all. Yes - there are Dunvegan on Skye and Duart on Mull and a couple of museums on Skye but both islands are mostly for being outside . . .
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Old Jan 15th, 2024, 04:14 AM
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Thanks for the alternative drive route to Mull. Will be studying this & decide. Your advices are really helpful, am going to take time off over this weekends to look through my whole itinerary again
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Old Jan 15th, 2024, 06:33 AM
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At the risk of rewinding a bit, can you describe your family composition? A couple, kids, ages, where from...? Not trying to pry, but it might make a difference in terms of priorities and especially in terms of possible alternatives if indeed you need to invoke a Plan B or Plan C. It would be good to know if there are particular interests beyond sightseeing: history, food, etc. You talk about wet weather (which you can count on, the only question being "how wet?") leading to changing your focus to castles and museums... from what?

While I certainly acknowledge that Skye probably has the edge (a slight one) over Mull in terms of breathtaking scenery, I do find myself wondering if the difference justifies the additional time needed to give Skye its due, especially given that some of the scenic highlights - the rock formations, for example - can easily vanish in the mist and clouds.

In my mind a big advantage that Argyll and Mull have over Skye is the diversity and variety of sites in close proximity to one another, sites which are relatively less vulnerable to things like poor weather making them uncomfortable or downright inaccessible. There are pretty villages like Inveraray, castles like Stalker, Inveraray, Kilchurn, Duart; amazing prehistoric sites like Kilmartin Glen... From Oban you can easily take day trips on the mainland - to Glen Coe, Glenfinnan, to the bottom of Loch Etive (where Harry, Hermione and Ron jumped off the dragon's back) and to all sorts of other sites. And of course, there's Iona, Staffa (probably with puffins) as well as all the beaches, waterfalls and stunning mountain vistas on Mull itself. There are distilleries, lots of food options... in short, plenty to fill the days even if the weather's poor.

If you were to pass on Skye (and I'd also say don't worry, you'll be back) then you could also add a day or two in the Central Belt or lowlands - maybe some coastal villages in East Lothian or Fife, easily accessed from Edinburgh, or touring some of Glasgow's rich architectural heritage, or visiting the Perthshire Highlands - stunning in the spring.

So just some out-loud thoughts on my part along the lines of "what if." Happy planning!

PS If you haven't found it already, Undiscovered Scotland - Undiscovered Scotland: Home Page - is a terrific resource.


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