Help needed with Scotland itinerary

Dec 9th, 2007, 05:11 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 31
Help needed with Scotland itinerary


I'm planning a 2 week trip to Scotland in May/June (anticipate having 12 full days to sight-see). We're flying into/out of Edinburgh. We're planning on spending the majority of our time in the Highlands/Islands, with a couple days in Edinburgh. I'm trying to nail down our home bases - right now I'm thinking Edinburgh (2 days), Skye (2 days), Wester Ross (2-3 days) and Glencoe (1 day). What other towns would make a central base? A few spots on our to-see list are:

- Glen Affric
- Eilean Donan castle
- Cawdor castle
- Stirling Castle

A few spots that we're contemplating are:

- Oban
- Mull
- Orkney Islands
- Rosemarkie/Fairy Glen
- Kilmartin Glen

As far as lodging, we're looking for basic B&B's. We're also renting a car.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated....
Crossroadz is offline  
Dec 9th, 2007, 05:27 PM
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One other spot on the must-see list is Culloden.
Crossroadz is offline  
Dec 9th, 2007, 11:54 PM
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Cawdor (very nice intimate castle with lovely gardens) and Culloden (very moving historic site) are both well worth a visit and close together , as I recall just east of Inverness on the MOray Firth.

If you are in that area, you might want to visit the "Whiskey Trail" along the Spay river - its a very nice area with a dry climate, attractive towns and many country hotels - tho probably the West is also full of these same things.

jjkbrook is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 04:20 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
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Crossroadz - Sounds like we'll be bumping into each other if you are in Mull about 20th May!
We have no set itinerary as yet but I would like to pass on 2 great tips for your trip.

1. Email Caledonian MacBrayne at and they will send you EXPLORE 2008 which has all the ferry times and costs. This will come in handy when island hopping. Up to 5pm it's one charge but after that it goes up every three hours until 10pm when the cost is almost double.
There are numerous adverts for hotels, B&B's etc as well. (We are hiring a motorhome so will not be worried about accommodation).

2. Walk into you local travel agent and request the Trafalgar Tours EUROPE & BRITAIN BOOK 2007 which they will have no need of as it's the end of the year. In this thick manual you can see how the tour operaters plan there different routes. They know all the highlights of each place and give a little description of what you will see.
I found it useful besides having the 2008 EyeWitness guide to Scotland.
tod is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 04:41 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 253
It always blows me away to see people going to spend 2 weeks in Scotland and not going into the Borders area (the Lowlands) You miss such an ancient and wonderful part of Scotland by only doing the highlands.

It's rather sad that the Highlands have become so popular the last few years when there is so much more to Scotland.

An hours drive south of Edinburgh takes you to Melrose with it's wonderful old Abbey ruins and all sorts of beautiful towns and ruins set among small mountains and very green countryside.

I wouldn't have missed the highlands but neither could I think of travelling to Scotland and ignoring the Borders area.
Timlin is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 04:49 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 253
One castle we especially enjoyed touring is Glamis Castle......the childhood home of The Queen Mother and the place where Princess Margaret was born.

Well worth a stop by.
Timlin is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 07:12 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 66,083
Timlin is right about the Borders - same goes for the Southwest. They are really wonderful areas. However most NA visitors have less than 2 weeks to "do" Scotland. That is simply not enough time to see all corners of the country. It is a VERY big place, w/ slow driving and sites really thick on the ground.

W/ only 12 days, needing 2 in Edinburgh and wanting a couple of days near Inverness for Culloden/Cawdor/etc. there simply isn't time to explore the Borders. Sorry - but that is the reality. You really don't have enough time to get to Orkney - and no time at all for south of Edinburgh.

Which Fairy Glen do you mean - the one on the Black Isle or the one on Skye? I assume you meant the bird sanctuary on the Black Isle near RoseMarkie. If so, you will really need about 3 days near Inverness.

So - where are we? 2 days Edinburgh, 1+ days for Stirling/the Trossachs, 2 days Mull, 2+ days Skye (Glencoe can be visited enroute elsewhere), 3 days around I'ness, 1 day back to wherever you are flying out of is about it.

If you drop Mull (which is lovely) you could spend 2 days in the NW.
janisj is online now  
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