Scotland Itinerary Help

Dec 24th, 2017, 09:52 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 17
Scotland Itinerary Help

The last week of May 2018, my sister and I will be flying in to Edinburgh from Dublin as a college graduation trip (I'm 22, my sister is 20). Our plan is to spend 3 nights in Edinburgh, 1 night in Isle of Skye (tentative), and then 3 nights in Inverness as this is where our flight departs to return to the United States. The issue we are having is the best method of getting from Edinburgh to Skye and then from Skye to Inverness. As for getting from Edinburgh to Skye, we were thinking about taking ScotRail to Fort William, Jacobite Steam Train from Fort William to Mallaig, and then the ferry to Skye from Mallaig. If there is a more straightforward way of getting to Skye we are more than open as this seems like a full day of travel and that's assuming all the departure times line up. The next issue is getting from Skye to Inverness. We'd like to rent a car once we're in Inverness so it would be optimal if there was a way we could drive from Skye to Inverness and then drop off the car at the Inverness Airport when we leave. If this was not an option though, does anyone have a suggestion as to how to we could get from Skye to Inverness?

Our Skye/Inverness portion of the trip is flexible and by this I mean the original plan was to travel to Inverness only and take a day trip out to Skye. However, I realized this is a bit of a loooong day trip so as a solution I thought we could stop at Skye first before going to Inverness however it seems to be like we'd spend more time traveling than actually sight seeing. Any insight into this itinerary or traveling advice would be much appreciated! We are also trying to travel on a budget so we didn't figure we could hire any drivers, we would just drive ourselves. Thank you!!
cait_mags is offline  
Dec 24th, 2017, 10:18 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,523
Only have a moment,but you don’t have time for Skye with your present itinerary. Skye needs and deserves more timerhanyou’ve scheduled. The only place you can rent a car near Skye is at Kyle of Lochalsh and don’t know if you’d be able to return it to Inverness. Personally, I wouldn't want to be in a Inverness for 3 nights and, certainly, not if I didn’t have a car.

BTW, the Jacobite SteamTrain will takeouts a lot of your time, the train from Glasgow to Fort William and onto Mallaig runs along the same track. Unless you’re a steam train enthusiast, I’d pass. Also once you get to the ferry port on Skye ( Armadale) you will need a car or you’ll have to rely on the bus which is sketchy and time consuming at best. There is a train from Kyle of Lochalsh to Inverness.
historytraveler is offline  
Dec 24th, 2017, 10:19 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,523
Note that Skye without a car is very difficult.
historytraveler is offline  
Dec 24th, 2017, 10:27 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 17
We're open to instead spending 2 nights in Skye and 2 in Inverness if that would perhaps give us more time to see Skye. We just have to finish in Inverness because we have departure flights booked out of the airport already. If we are in Inverness or Skye, the plan is to rent a car at each to see the locations however the issue is renting a car to get from Skye to Inverness because there's few (if any) options that allow for a pickup point around Skye and drop off point at Inverness.
cait_mags is offline  
Dec 24th, 2017, 10:29 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 17
Also, how difficult is the route to get from Edinburgh to Skye instead of the train concept? I'm open to driving on difficult roads and have experience driving manual but I have heard these roads (especially the A9) can be a bit of white knuckle driving.
cait_mags is offline  
Dec 24th, 2017, 10:39 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Easy to drive from Inverness to Skye via Kyle of Lochlaglash bridge. And a beautiful drive. But listen to a Scottish expert IME historytraveler's take on your plans. You can take trains via Ft William to Maillaig and see wonderful scenery and things associated with Harry Potter films like the famous viaduct. If interested in trains check www.seat61.com for great details and general info www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

The Inverness-Kyle of Lochlash rail line is also very scenic.

Consensus on Fodor's seems to be that Inverness is a dud - maybe end up there for just a night.
PalenQ is offline  
Dec 24th, 2017, 10:47 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Kyle of Lochlaglash>

Kyle of Lochalsh Bridge.
PalenQ is offline  
Dec 24th, 2017, 10:55 AM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 17
Yes, I haven't seen many good reviews focusing on Inverness. The plan was more so to use Inverness as a jumping off point for a day trip or two into other destinations in the highlands.
cait_mags is offline  
Dec 24th, 2017, 11:20 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,664
>>then 3 nights in Inverness as this is where our flight departs to return to the United States.<<

Are you sure about that? I'm not aware of any flights from Inverness to the States. It's just a wee airport with mainly domestic and a few European destinations.
Gordon_R is offline  
Dec 24th, 2017, 11:22 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Sounds like the are coming from Ireland in OP.
PalenQ is offline  
Dec 24th, 2017, 11:27 AM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 17
To get to Scotland, we will be coming from Dublin. To leave Scotland, we will be flying from Inverness > Heathrow > Philadelphia.
cait_mags is offline  
Dec 24th, 2017, 11:54 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 65,794
OK -- not enough time for all that much - especially by public transport.

One night on Skye is basically useless since it takes much of a day to get there and then you'd be leaving the next morning so you would see nothing at all of the Isle. Plus you'd want to see Glencoe etc. en route. Two nights on Skye is not much better. Driving/touring on the Isle is time consuming -- driving over from Edinburgh you'd do better with 3 nights on Skye. (not that I'm recommending that for such a short trip.

What I might suggest is one of the tours out of Edinburgh with Rabbies that includes the Highlands and/or Skye plus Inverness. These are small group tours, nothing at all like the big tour buses you might imagine. https://www.rabbies.com

I would contact them by phone and explain you'd want to leave the tour in Inverness because you are flying out of there - hopefully the timing works for this.

If none of their tours fits your times -- I probably would skip Skye (sorry -- it is wonderful but you are too rushed and if the weather doesn't cooperate you wouldn't see much anyway)

OR -- since you won't have jet lag -- two nights in Edinburgh would be (barely) OK. This would give you an additional night allowing 3 on Skye and 2 in Inverness.
janisj is online now  
Dec 24th, 2017, 12:27 PM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 17
Hm yes, after all this feedback I'm thinking we have to skip Skye altogether (which breaks my heart but we will return!) and instead do a 4 night road trip that'll start in Edinburgh after spending three nights there. We can make our way up to Inverness at out own pace then and maybe get the more "off the beaten path" experience we are looking for. Thank you everyone for your feedback and help! Any other advice for less-touristy sights or experiences between Edinburgh and Inverness would be much appreciated!
cait_mags is offline  
Dec 25th, 2017, 11:28 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Any other advice for less-touristy sights or experiences between Edinburgh and Inverness would be much appreciated!>

Loch Lomond for sure. Big lake not all touristy.
PalenQ is offline  
Dec 25th, 2017, 11:35 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 65,794
>>Loch Lomond for sure<<

Huh -- Loch Lomond is not on any route one would take from Edinburgh to Inverness.

>>Any other advice for less-touristy sights or experiences between Edinburgh and Inverness would be much appreciated!><<

Need your definition of 'touristy'. Almost no place in Scotland is what I would consider 'touristy' other than the Nessie Exhibition on Loch Ness and a couple of ghost tours in Edinburgh. But you will find 'tourists' at most any site that is worthwhile. Especially during the last week of May which has a bank Holiday weekend.
janisj is online now  
Dec 25th, 2017, 12:07 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Meant Loch Ness - always get mixed up though.

Almost no place in Scotland is what I would consider 'touristy' other than the Nessie Exhibition on Loch Ness and a couple of ghost tours in Edinburgh.>

Edinburgh Castle - Royal Mile?
PalenQ is offline  
Dec 25th, 2017, 01:29 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 1,615
We had a Scottish Aunt Kirsty who made mistakes on purpose. She said it kept the conversation going. Except one day no one corrected her and we got lost.

RIP Aunt Kirsty.
xcountry is offline  
Dec 25th, 2017, 01:43 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 65,794
>>Edinburgh Castle - Royal Mile?<<

Yes tourists visit the castle but it's certainly not someplace I'd call 'touristy'.

(Unlike Madame Tussaud's and the London Dungeon you are always on about)

Edinburgh Castle and the Royal mile have been there for hundreds (and hundreds) of years. Sure, there are some T-shirts and fridge magnets on the Royal Mile - but also St Giles Cathedral, Gladstone's Land, ancient closes, etc etc.
janisj is online now  
Dec 25th, 2017, 02:45 PM
  #19  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 17
I guess when I say “non-touristy” I mean more off the beaten path. Places only the locals know about. We often find destinations, hotels, restaurants only the locals know about to be the highlights of our trip.
cait_mags is offline  
Dec 25th, 2017, 03:52 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 65,794
>>Places only the locals know about.<<

I can think of MANY places off the 'beaten path' . . . but essentially none that are 'secret' to locals. My guess is you don't have an accurate concept of rural Scotland. But honestly - Skye and Inverness are just about the MOST beaten path anywhere in the country after the Royal mile, and they are the places you wanted to visit. With so few days you are not going to get to any remote areas waaaay up north or on outer islands. With the May Bank holiday you will run into people - no way to avoid it.
janisj is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:17 PM.