Scotland Itinerary Feedback

Old Apr 18th, 2019, 10:36 AM
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Scotland Itinerary Feedback

Hi - yet another first timer to Scotland. A bit late in life given that I'm named after the Guardian of Scotland!

About us - late 50's, like history, castles, scenery, 1-2 hour hikes, food/music, mix of higher end hotels & B&B's. We normally like 3 days minimum at a location but I do have a couple 2 nights on plan.

Plan - 16-17 nights in early September 2020 (I like to plan ahead)

Current thoughts - fly in/out of EDI

Nights 1,2,3 - Edinburgh
- City highlights
Day 4 - Braemar Gathering (yes, long day - okay with getting up early)
Nights 4,5,6 - Aviemore/Grantown-on-Spey area
- 1 day in Cairngorn and 1 day Castle/Distillery (maybe 9 holes of golf).
Nights 7,8 - Gairloch
- Inverwe Gardens and scenery
Nights 9,10,11 - Skye/Portree
- Skye highlights
Nights 12,13 - ? Originally was planning Oban but could also do Tobermory, Mull
- From Oban was planning to take all day Skaffa Tour to Mull/Iona
Nights 14,15, 16 - Callander or Cromlix (wife likes Cromlix Hotel idea)
- 1 day in Trossachs area and 1 day in Stirling
Day 17 - Drive back to EDI airport

Questions -
  • Opinion on overall plan?
  • Is Gairloch a good choice for 2 nights in that area? Ullapool, Torridon other options maybe?
  • Should we do Nights 12,13 on Mull or in Oban?
  • We could cut out a location altogether if we need to add nights somewhere?
  • It's possible we could add 1 more night to a location if a place would warrant it. Right now I planned 16 nights but could go to 17. This could help get us to our ideal 3 nights/location in Gairloch area or Oban/Mull. Recommendation?
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Old Apr 19th, 2019, 05:40 AM
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Welcome to Fodor's!

I think it's a workable plan. I might have some different preferences, but much depends on your style. Staying for a couple or three nights in one area is good, particularly if your plan is to use these bases for local day trip excursions. If the plan is just to hunker down, then in a couple of locations you might run out of things to do.

We all have our preferences on areas for focus; in my case I'm quite fond of the northwest (Sutherland in particular) but also Argyll. If it was me deciding on how to spend those "extra" two days, I'd probably allocate them to a loop south of Oban - Kilmartin with its incredible collection of prehistoric sites, and Inveraray and Loch Fyne, then back to Edinburgh via Glasgow.

But since this is planned for September 2020, what I'd do right now is dig deep into the various regions and come up with a list of activities or targets to occupy the days you've allocated. To some people, several nights on both Mull and Skye might seem like overkill, but it won't be if you have some specific things you want to see on both islands. For me, for example, I'd spend a day or two in the far north - Ullapool up to Durness, then back south via Tongue and Altnaharra, but that's me. One could also argue that your itinerary is very Highland-focused, and passes on worthy destinations like the Borders, Fife and Angus villages, the near Northumberland coast, etc.

But first, and at the risk of sounding like a cop-out, I'd move a step back from the trees and examine the forest a bit more, as it were. There are numerous excellent online resources for planning visits to Scotland (my fave is Undiscovered Scotland - ) that would let you look at competing ways you could spend your days.

Again, welcome!
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Old Apr 19th, 2019, 06:45 AM
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Thanks Gardyloo - I will look at some of the suggestions you made.

Other opinions welcome!
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