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VoyagerLA Jan 11th, 2022 07:06 PM

Scotland Itinerary Help
We are attending a wedding in Edinburgh in July. We will spend 4 days in Edinburgh then have one week to explore before flying to Dublin. We've never been to Scotland, so we don’t have a good feel for how difficult the driving will be (i.e. how much longer than google maps says it will really take us) and if we’ve over-scheduled (or if we’re limiting ourselves). We’ll want to see one or two castles and visit one or two distilleries, but we are mainly interested in hiking/walking/nature and good food. This is our tentative plan:

Day 1: drive from Edinburgh to Killiehuntly Farmhouse (alternative would be to drive to and stay at Pierhouse in Argyll)
Day 2: drive from Killiehuntly to The Three Chimneys in Skye (booked for 2 nights)
Day 3: Skye
Day 4: Skye (change hotels)
Day 5: drive to Kylesku Hotel (stay 2 nights) or stay at Torridon Hotel for 1 night;
Day 6: Kylesku (or move from Torridon to Kylesku)
Day 7: Kylesku/Ullapool area; drive to Inverness in evening
Day 8: early AM flight from Inverness to Dublin

Some of our questions:
  • Are we crazy to spend one night at either Killiehuntly or Argyll en route to Skye? Theoretically, it seems like a good way to break up the drive to Skye and allow us to enjoy an area we otherwise wouldn't see.
  • Does it make sense to spend 3 nights in Sky? We’ll have a pretty long drive to get there (according to Google, about 3hrs 45min without stopping) , so we’re assuming the first day will be mostly travel.
  • Are we shortchanging ourselves by not going further north (e.g. to Durness or further to John o’Groats) or is it better to spend more time at fewer places?
  • Our inclination, where possible is to stay 2 nights in one place rather than move locations. Since Torridon Hotel is only available one night, we’re inclined to spend 2 nights at Kylesku hotel and cover more or less the same region from there.
  • Our thought on Day 7 is to continue hiking/walking in the Kylesku/Ullapool area for the bulk of the day and get to Inverness just in time for dinner. Since we’re planning on an early flight the next day (most likely 7am, 11am latest), it seems pointless to stay at very upscale hotel in Inverness. Just want to be convenient to the airport.
  • I understand that both Three Chimneys and Kylesku Hotel are under relatively new ownership. Any intel on whether they are still great places to stay?
Any and all critiques appreciated.

janisj Jan 11th, 2022 08:25 PM

• I personally would break the journey between Edinburgh and Skye somewhere bit not at either Port Appin or Killiehuntly. Both are detours from the direct route adding time to an already long drive. I'd stop over in the Glencoe/Ballachulish area.

• I'd definite stay a minimum of 3 nights on Skye -- especially in summer when there will be a lot of cars on the very narrow roads on Skye. (Do not take google map drive times as gospel -- add between 25% to 75% or even more due to holiday traffic, construction, livestock and wildlife on the roads)

• Going farther north is great but you really do not have the time IMO.

• Both Kylesku and three Chimneys were amazing (a couple of my favorite places anywhere) but have no idea how management changes are going. They are such iconic properties I'd be inclined to think things are just fine.

VoyagerLA Jan 11th, 2022 08:41 PM

Originally Posted by janisj (Post 17321606)
• I personally would break the journey between Edinburgh and Skye somewhere bit not at either Port Appin or Killiehuntly. Both are detours from the direct route adding time to an already long drive. I'd stop over in the Glencoe/Ballachulish area..

thanks very much for your reply. When I check google maps it seems the total drive time from Edinburgh to Skye is almost exactly the same whether I stop at Killiehuntly or Glencoe. Is google wrong? Would you recommend Glencoe anyway?

janisj Jan 11th, 2022 09:37 PM

I'd recommend going via Glencoe and the Mallaig Ferry over, and taking the bridge when leaving the Island. Theoretically the drives are close to equal but the scenery on the Glencoe route (Rannoch Moor, Glencoe, Neptune's Staircase, Glenfinnan, Morar) would be a highlight of the entire trip.

VoyagerLA Jan 19th, 2022 12:02 PM

We're planning to spend 3 nights in Skye. We've booked The Three Chimneys two nights and are inclined to book a B&B in Uig the third night (Three Chimneys is sold out our 3rd night and we felt it would be good to locate in a different area our other night).

Since the Torridon hotel is only available for one night, we've booked the Kylesku Hotel for 2 nights. We'll drive to Kylesku from Skye. Would appreciate any advice on the best route or potential hikes/walks to do on the way. Any advice for the area around Kylesku would also be appreciated.

We're undecided about our first night after leaving Edinburgh and before departing for Skye. We only have one night. We're trying to decide between staying at Killiehuntly Farmhouse in Cairngorms, Kingshouse in Glencoe or The Pierhouse in Port Appin (Airds requires a 2 night min). The total drive from all three to Skye via the ferry is about the same. The tradeoff seems to be that if we stay in Killiehuntly, we see Cairngorns and get to experience what is supposed to be a spectacular property (albeit only for one night). However, on the drive from Killiehuntly, we miss driving through Glencoe. Staying at Kingshouse or The Pierhouse gives us the opportunity to drive through and potentially do a short hike in Glencoe. Would welcome any thoughts on this.


janisj Jan 19th, 2022 01:00 PM

Glencoe vs the Cairngotms . . . no contest IMO. Glencoe and surrounds would top the Cairngorms. The Cairngorms are fine but not better than much of the scenery you'll see elsewhere.

The route I'd take from the NW coast of Skye to Kylesku would be via Pooewe/Inverewe Gardens (the Gardens would be a MUST IMO in July) . . . But it is slow -- nearly 6 hours car time if all goes well. Staying inland would cut maybe 90 minutes from the drive but the longer drive is worth it IMO. Especially since you will have daylight from around 0430 til nearly 11PM

macboo Feb 12th, 2022 08:30 AM

That sounds like a great trip. Northwest Ross is the best to me. So, spending plenty of time near Kylesku, Ullapool and Torridon can't be beat. I'd rather spend extra days there rather than heading to John o'Groats. 3 days in Skye is not too long. I'd agree with Janisj that traveling through Glencoe is wonderful.

If you saved Ireland for next trip... -- adding a ferry from Skye to Harris and Lewis and then Ullapool is a lot of fun!

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