Scotland itinerary help

Old Nov 16th, 2016, 12:42 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 46
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Scotland itinerary help

Looking for some guidance on 8 day Scotland itinerary for my husband and I. We are planning on renting a car, though open to transit if it makes more sense? We are flying into Glasgow but immediately heading to Edinburgh so only 1/2 day there the first day. We are planning on spending another day (maybe 2?) more and then thinking generally of heading North to Inverness, West to Skye and back to Edinburgh. We want: beautiful scenery, hikes and walks, a distillery or two, quaint villages with pubs/restaurants and a castle or two. We'd also like to find/stay in a place near Oban area where we have ancestral roots. We would love to stay in towns where we could walk to dinner/pubs and see some music, etc. but also hope to go off the beaten path a bit, so maybe a mix of the two. Questions are: where should we stay, and what are your opinions on "must sees" or stops given our interests?
wendyanne75 is offline  
Old Nov 16th, 2016, 12:53 PM
  #2  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 46
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Forgot to mention this is for June 2017...thanks!
wendyanne75 is offline  
Old Nov 16th, 2016, 01:15 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'd only rent the car upon leaving Edinburgh -no need for one there- town is best seen by foot -very compact central castle area with most sights in or near it.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Nov 16th, 2016, 01:33 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 72,783
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
You have a very ambitious plan. Please clarify -- you say 8 days -- is that from arrival at GLA to departure day? If so that will really only be about 6.5 days since one can seldom do much on departure day. You don't really have enough time for Edinburgh/Inverness/Skye and Oban.

I would re-think things a bit. It seems the Oban area is a must -- so instead of Skye, Inverness and (sadly) Edinburgh, I suggest you to consider Mull instead.

You could do Glasgow, Oban, Mull/Iona and maybe as far north as Glencoe and a bit of the Trossachs. That would be a decent week's trip.

But - if Edinburgh is also a must (I suspect it is) -- I'd head there immediately (even better would be to fly into EDI instead of GLA) Then after 2 nights in Edinburgh (only one full day really), collect a car and drive through the Trossachs (1 or 2 nights) on to Oban and ferry to Mull for one night, then ferry back to Oban for two nights (for both Oban and Kilmartin) then back to GLA to depart.
janisj is online now  
Old Nov 16th, 2016, 02:01 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 6,134
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Agree with janisj, you don't have enough time to include Edinburgh, Inverness, Skye and Oban. The suggestion of eliminating Skye and Inverness and switching to the Trossachs, Oban and Mull makes more sense.

For Oban please look at a trip out to the island of Kerrera. Rather than trying to explain all the positives for a visit there, I've included their website. www.kerrera-ferry.co.uk. A walk around the island will cover most of your wish list. Sorry no distillery. There is one in Oban, but I've never been there.
historytraveler is offline  
Old Nov 16th, 2016, 02:02 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 46
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We technically have 7.5 days - I didn't count departure day, and we depart at 1pm so are thinking of staying close to Glasgow the last night and taking a train in that morning for our flight. Day 1 and 2 definitely Edinburgh, that is a must, but everything else is open including Oban. Most important is to get in some spectacular sights and hikes. Given that...thoughts?
wendyanne75 is offline  
Old Nov 16th, 2016, 02:23 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 72,783
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
OK -- 7.5 is better but still not really enough for Edinburgh/Inverness/Skye. Because of the time it takes getting to/from Skye one really should stay 3 nights which would give you basically 2 days on the Island. And that is almost 1/2 of your time in Scotland. Travel on Skye is very slow.

Not to worry -- 2 days in Edinburgh and the rest for Oban/Mull/Trossachs/Glencoe will give you PLENTY of spectacular scenery.
janisj is online now  
Old Nov 16th, 2016, 02:36 PM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 46
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you! Would you recommend one home base for Oban/Mull/Trossachs/Glencoe area? Or split it up...and if so - where would be the best place(s) to stay?
wendyanne75 is offline  
Old Nov 16th, 2016, 02:55 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 72,783
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
Not one base but 2 (or 3 if you decide to stay ON Mull).

One base in/near Callander, one base in Oban. Mull can be done as a day trip from Oban via ferry/coach. But IMO taking the car and staying over night in Fionnphort is better (pricier though). That would give you time for Iona, and driving around and seeing some of the spectacular beaches and such. 'Perfect' would be 2 nights Callander, 2 nights Mull, 2 nights Oban but that would cut Edinburgh a little short.
janisj is online now  
Old Nov 18th, 2016, 06:02 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 46
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ok - back after some more research! I am struggling because I am really looking for more diversity on our trip vs staying in one area outside of Edinburgh. While Loch Lomond looks spectacular I might feel like we are missing out if we don't explore some of the other areas that appeal to us outside of just the hiking and scenery? Here are my thoughts revised. I don't want to rush too much, yet I also definitely want to make sure we see some more highlights outside of the Trossachs/Loch Lomond area (which after researching more, I can't seem to find specific spectacular hikes or points of interest....what am I missing?!) Please offer suggestions.

Day 1: Arrive in Glasgow @ 11:00am, take train to Edinburgh, stay in Edinburgh

Day 2: Explore Edinburgh, stay in Edinburgh

Day 3: Late morning in Stirling, stop at Glenturret distillery for late lunch/tour and settle at St Andrews/Fife for Late afternoon/evening

Day 4: St Andrews AM, Dunnotar Castle early afternoon, drive to Ballater or Pitlochry or somewhere else (place that offers something to do in late afternoon/dinner/pubs, etc)?

Day 5: Hike/Drive....stay in Ballater or Pillochry or somewhere else (somewhere also close for good hikes/scenery)?

Day 6: Drive through Glencoe to Oban, stay in Oban.

Day 7: Explore Mull, Stay in Oban

Day 8: Get to Glasgow by night to have dinner/get rest for next day flight

Day 9: Depart Glasgow

Questions:
1) I am drawn to Fife and Dunnotar castle from pics - in your opinion are they worth it? Technically both are "out of the way", but we don't mind driving for sights/experiences that are worth while...

2) If we go to Dunnotar, where should we head after for 2 nights to stay that could meet our needs for something to do at night but also offer close hikes by day?

3) Overall - do you think we are absolutely crazy or just a bit aggressive with this itinerary?....please make suggestions as you see fit!
wendyanne75 is offline  
Old Nov 18th, 2016, 06:23 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 72,783
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
1). Of COURSE they are worth it. But they are all the way across the country from Oban.

2&3) you only have 7.5 days. Do Edinburgh and EITHER the east coast or the west coast. Scotland is a big place with spectacular scenery EVERYWHERE. You can drive all day for 5 days and tick places off a list . . . Or actually see something.

My original plan gave you three bases besides Edinburgh, so not 'all the same' at all.

If you decide on the east coast, two night in Fife, two nights on Deeside, and two nights near pitlochry or in the Trossachs.

You need to cut back your expectations OR add about 4 days to your trip.
janisj is online now  
Old Nov 18th, 2016, 06:55 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 46
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Lol I appreciate your honesty ....I have planned many trips but this might be the hardest. I can't seem to get a good feel for the areas/regions or sights based on what I am reading. I am having trouble figuring out what we would do during our stay in Collander and Oban if that's the area we choose (seems like mostly hiking...any points of interest you would recommend)? We live on an island, and while we would have interest in visiting Mull, I think we would be more interested in touring lochs, distilleries, and perhaps staying in a quaint village near a pub or two and experiencing local culture.

It appears we have to choose between coastline/Castles/Villages and distillaries (East Coast). or Scenery/wildlife/hikes (west Coast)? That is ultimately what I have gotten a feel for, but I could be wrong. Where (if anywhere) can we get a flavor for it all in 8 days?
wendyanne75 is offline  
Old Nov 18th, 2016, 07:23 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 72,783
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
Nope . . I'm sitting in an NBA arena with iffy wifi so I'll just post quickly and will come back later.

There are castles, distilleries, lochs, and spectacular scenery in EVERY corner of Scotland . Not many / any distilleries on the east coast though.
janisj is online now  
Old Nov 18th, 2016, 08:09 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 6,134
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes, you are wrong about having to choose between Scotland's east coast and west coast to get all you want. Besides castles and distilleries the east coast provides great opportunities for hiking. For the area around Pitlochry look at the Linn of Tummel...good walks. In fact I have done several walks from the town itself. Also the Hermitage trail just outside Dunkeld is nice too. Nearby is the River Tay and Loch Tay a little further west. Near Pitlocty is Loch Rannoch. Plenty of absolutely breathtaking scenery and, I've hardly touched on all your options.

For the west coast, you have several opportunities for castle visits. Just a few miles north of Oban is Dunstaffnage Castle and the ruined Dunollie Castle is a short walk from the center of Oban. On Mull there's Duart Castle and Iona Abbey is just a 5 minute ferry ride from Fionnphort. Kilchurn Castle is close by too.

Finally, you really do need to trim your itinerary.
historytraveler is offline  
Old Nov 18th, 2016, 08:34 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 6,134
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
BTW, my if you look at my link to Kerrera, you'll find the island has a castle ( 16th century Gylen Castle ) along with plenty of wildlife...a seal colony, otters, dolphins eagles, an Iron Age Hillock and a tea room. It offers a lot of what you want to see and do.
historytraveler is offline  
Old Nov 18th, 2016, 10:49 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 158
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Dunnotar castle is certainly atmospheric but perhaps a bit out of the way. Glamis Castle( childhood home of the Queen Mother ) is more on your way to Pitlochry and is not a ruin so you can see what life was like to live in one of these places. Pitlochry is lovely and there are lots of walks possible from there.

https://www.pitlochry.org/outdoors/local-walks.html

If you go from Pitlochry to Oban via Glencoe I think your plan is do-able if a bit rushed. Remember you will want to stop and look around/ go inside these castles and ruins so you need to factor this in to your time management. Though the long days will help with travelling time between accommodation, castles etc still close around 5 or 6 pm.
Helsie is offline  
Old Nov 19th, 2016, 01:37 AM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 46
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ok, thank you very much for your input, the link you sent on Pitlochry was very helpful and Kerrera looks right up our alley, which makes me re-think and add my 3rd night in Oban - going back and forth on that one though so suggestions welcome. Overall does this sound better? Also - is a stop/hike in Glen Etive do-able on our way to Oban?

Day 1: Arrive in Glasgow @ 11:00am, take train to Edinburgh, stay in Edinburgh

Day 2: Explore Edinburgh, stay in Edinburgh

Day 3: Late morning in Stirling, stop at Glenturret distillery for late lunch/tour - stay in pitlochry

Day 4: Hike/Walk from Pitlochry, stay in Pitlochry

Day 5: Drive through Glencoe to Oban, stay in Oban (hike Glen Etive?)

Day 6: Explore Mull or Kerrera, stay in Oban

Day 7: Explore Mull or Kerrera, Stay in Oban

Day 8: Leisurely drive to Glasgow with stops (suggestions?) arrive for check in to hotel, dinner

Day 9: Depart Glasgow
wendyanne75 is offline  
Old Nov 19th, 2016, 01:49 AM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 46
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hmm...and now after some more research it appears that many people feel Oban is "not worth staying in"...should we take the car to Mull and stay there for 3 nights? Wherever we stay for 3 nights we would want to be in walking distance to pubs/music/restaurants. If Mull logistically is too much, perhaps we tack the 3rd night back on to Potlochry and just use Oban as a base for Kerrera?
wendyanne75 is offline  
Old Nov 19th, 2016, 05:46 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,585
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ttt
MissPrism is offline  
Old Nov 19th, 2016, 05:48 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,395
Received 79 Likes on 8 Posts
My own view of Oban is that it's pleasant enough, but its chief asset is that it's convenient for access to Mull and the other islands. It serves more or less the same function as Fort William farther north, although IMO Oban is much more attractive as a town. I think you'd have enough to see on Mull to stay there rather than commuting, which would also be expensive.
Gardyloo is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -