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shoonye Oct 23rd, 2012 06:38 PM

Help with just five days in Scotland
We will be visiting Scotland in late May 2013 and have 5 days total to work with. We will arrive into Edinburgh after a 2 week vacation to Turkey. We are a couple in our early thirties with a child (will have turned 4 when we travel). My tentative plan is as follows

5/21/2013 Day 1 10:30 AM arrival into Edinburgh (from IST)
5/22/2013 Day 2 Edinburgh
5/23/2013 Day 3 Edinburgh
5/24/2013 Day 4 Rent car and drive to Fort William (via Stirling)
5/25/2013 Day 5 Drive along Loch Ness to Inverness (via Urquhart castle)
5/26/2013 Day 6 Fly from Inverness to London 9 AM.

Aside from feedback on general itinerary

a) Do I need three nights in Edinburgh or a day and half is sufficient and I spend the extra day elsewhere in the Scottish Highlands. If so, what would you recommend.doing with th extra day
b) After Scotland we will be in London for 5 nights. Should i reduce London to 4 nights and add the extra day to Scotland. If so, what do you recommend doing with the extra day

indy_dad Oct 23rd, 2012 09:23 PM

Depends on what you want to do. We've done a 3-night trip to Edinburgh and a 8-night trip to Callander/Skye/Loch Ness. Here are some photos and commentary if that helps:

Given the limited time, I probably would not do both the Edinburgh and Stirling Castles as they are similar (but both worthwhile; just not on this trip IMO).

janisj Oct 24th, 2012 09:12 AM

I'd do it differently. But first - please don't stay IN Ft William. It is as close to a dump as one will find in rural Scotland. Not terrible just nothing to write home about.

Since you won't have jet lag to deal w/ I'd arrive at EDI and collect a rental cat first off. W/ a 10:30 arrival you'd be on the road well before noon. Visit the Falkirk Wheel if it interests you ans Stirling and/or Doune castles (IndyDad is correct re Stirling and Edinburgh castles being similar but I'd 'try' to see both if possible.)

Stay the first night in/near Callander.

Next day drive up through the Trossachs and Glencoe and stay the 2nd night somwehere north of Ft William (Ft Augustus/Spean Bridge/etc)

The next day you can take your time and only drive as far as Inverness - leaving most of the day to see Urquhart Castle, Culloden, etc. Stay the 3rd night near Inverness.

Next day drive down the A9 - stop at places such as Blair Castle and end up at EDI. Turn in the car and take the bus into the city. Spend the rest of your time in Edinburgh and either take the train (my choice) or fly to London.

shoonye Oct 24th, 2012 05:36 PM

Thanks janisj, thats a lot of helpful advice. A couple of questions

a) To confirm you are suggesting I spend two nights in Edinburgh not three

b) Is the A9 drive particularly scenic or the stops interesting? Else would flying out of Inverness direct to London make more sense

tower Oct 24th, 2012 07:51 PM

shoonye...yesterday, I sent you some selected Turkey pics in answer to your query, hoping they would give you some ideas of places to visit throughout the country. I'll do the same here for Scotland (the above pics carry over to England's Lake District and to Wales).

Many of the places shown so dramatically in Indy Dad's blog, are among my scanned pics. I first visited Scotland in 1980 and have been back twice...always enjoyable and meaningful. Janis has traveled Scotland countless times and I believe she also lived in the UK, so heed her advice and you can't go wrong. Happy journeys. (Indy, among others your photo of Killin brought back fond memories for me also. Certainly one of Scotland's prettiest villages)

janisj Oct 26th, 2012 07:48 PM

"<i>a) To confirm you are suggesting I spend two nights in Edinburgh not three</i>"

Unfortunately - yes :) Heck, 5 days would be better. But w/ limited time one needs to prioritize. If you want to travel around that much - you need to cut time in the city. Ideally you'd have 7+ days but you don't. So that means either not seeing as much of the countryside - or - spending less time in Edinburgh. W/ a short time in the city - concentrate on the old town (Castle, Holyrood, Museum of Scotland, Royal Mile, etc.

"<i>b) Is the A9 drive particularly scenic or the stops interesting? </i>"

Most of it is very scenic and the stops are very worthwhile. But then again - most drives in Scotland are scenic.

Huggy Oct 27th, 2012 07:40 AM


janisj Oct 27th, 2012 09:30 AM

Huggy - I'm curious . . . what the heck does 'Hr' mean?? You seem to post to lots of threads but mostly w/ the same 'Hr'.

(If it is a way of topping a thread to read later - see the star up at the top of the page? Clicking that will bookmark/save a thread to your favorites)

shoonye Oct 27th, 2012 10:39 PM

tower - thanks for sharing the photos both for turkey and scotland

janisj - got it...makes sense. I am following your itinerary almost as described except I don't think we will be spirited enough to take a car and head out right after a 4 hr flight from istanbul :)

janisj Oct 28th, 2012 10:48 AM

"<i>except I don't think we will be spirited enough to take a car and head out right after a 4 hr flight from istanbul </i>"

Understood -- but just to put your mind at ease - EDI to Falkirk takes barely 1/2 an hour. A very easy drive.

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