Need Help w/3 Day Highland Itinerary

Jan 21st, 2007, 04:38 PM
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Need Help w/3 Day Highland Itinerary

I'm stressing out trying to plan a route that will allow us to see some of the highlands in the short time available.This trip is a gift to my brother and 13 yr. old niece so I'm trying to keep expenses down. After 3 days in Edinburgh, we will pick up a car on Wednesday and will depart on a sleeper train from Inverness to London on Friday eve. This gives us only 3 days. Our interests are stunning scenery, seaside villages, and history. If it's possible to get a bit of both east and west highlands in, that would be great.

Any input on planning these 3 days would be greatly appreciated. I sure hope this is doable.

Thanks so much,
Jan 21st, 2007, 04:59 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,879
W/ just 3 days you really need to pick one - east or west. The west side will get you more "bang for the buck" and you really do have time to see quite a bit.

I wouldn't bother going to Skye - it would be doable for sure, but there is just so much you can see and do in a short visit.

On Wed. morning you could drive from Edinburgh through the Trossachs to Glencoe the first day. You'd see some terrific scenery, a couple of waterfalls just off the road so short walks, Killin/Falls of Dochart, some lovely lochs and the amazinf Rannoch Moor. Stay the night in Glencoe/Ballachulish area. If you are interested it would be a short detour over to Balquhidder to see Rob Roy's grave. (I might pick uo the car Tues night so you can get an early start Wed. w/o messing about at the car hire agency)

On Thurs you could see Nepti=une's Staircase, Ben Nevis, Loch Lochy etc. and then up the west side of Loch Ness to Drumnadrochit. See Urquhart Castle and then head west into Glen Urquhart and Glen Affric (AMAZING scenery) and stay Thrus night maybe in Beauly or nearby.

Then on Fri you have all day to go to the Black Isle and/or Culloden and/or Ft George.
janisj is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 07:01 PM
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Janis, thank you. This is exactly what I'm looking for!!

Could I fit Wester Ross - Torridan, Applecross & Ullapool in here somewhere?
I know I need to come back for a month to do this area justice.

Jan 21st, 2007, 07:27 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,879
Whoa - just saw all the typos in my post!

Anyway - I really would not plan on going all the way to Applecross/Ullapool. If you had 6 days (maybe 5 in a pinch) - then sure. But w/ just 3 days you would spend more time sitting in the car than out seeing anything.

IMHO it is much better to take a little time and be able to clamber over a ruined castle, have a pic nic, walk to a waterfall, than to drive 6 or 7 hours a day.

Just factor in that on many roads you will be lucky to average 40 mph - often much less.

I tend to spend 4 or 5 days or a week in one location and use it as a base to explore w/i about a 50 mile radius - so even this "short" itinerary over 6 days would be extremely rushed to me. But it is a LOT better than some of the mad routes some folks plan covering half of Scotland in 3 or 4 days.
janisj is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 08:03 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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My first trip to Scotland was when my daughters were 11 and 13. One of our favorite things was to walk up to Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh. With 3 days, you should have time to fit that in - will take a couple of hours. It is an amazing hike up a large and fairly rugged hill right in downtown Edinburgh. Great views to be had from the top and from the cliffs down over the Holyrood palace.

Janisj has some great suggestions. If you go to Rob Roy's grave, keep driving down the loch for some lovely views (although the single track road can be a bit nervewracking).

Leave time to stop along the road on Rannoch Moor and Glen Coe (to drink in the views and take pictures), as well as at the Glen Coe visitor's center. It's a fairly short stretch of road, but the scenery is very cool.

Glen Affric was one of our favorite places. As you drive back in there, the road becomes single track. Leave enough time to stop for the breathtaking scenery. This is not on the beaten track, but well worth the time.

Loch Ness didn't hold a lot of attention for us, but my girls did go in a gift shop and get some Nessie socks - just to say they'd been there.

Culloden is interesting and very moody - at least it was when we saw it at dusk. There are some neolithic stones nearby at Clava Cairns (I think - we didn't get there as it was too dark by then).
noe847 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 08:19 PM
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LCBoniti is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 07:54 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Torridon, Applecross and Ullapool are also eminently doable, but instead of not as well as.

Were it me, I'd do that instead. It's more off the beaten track, and much more grand and different!
sheila is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 07:28 PM
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Thanks so much to everyone for their responses. It gives me lots to work with!! I really have my heart set on trying to see parts of Wester Ross so I'm going to see if I can work that in.
You guys are the best!
Jan 23rd, 2007, 10:51 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,156
OK, then drive north to Perth, then Blair Atholl, then Dalwhinnie and turn west down through Laggan to Fort William to Mallaig and cross on the ferry to Skye. Spend the night on Skye.

The driving bit of that is about 5 hours. If you choose to shorten the driving, then go north at Spean Bridge to somewhere in Kintail- Shiel Bridge, maybe or Plockton.

Thursday, go up to Lochcarron, over the Bealach nam Bo to Applecross, north through Torridon and spend the night in Gairloch or Poolewe.

Day 3 drive north to Ullapool and back to Inverness.

If that appeals, come back and we'll flesh out the routes for you.
sheila is offline  

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