Still need help with Highlands

Mar 21st, 2007, 11:26 AM
  #1  
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Still need help with Highlands

Hello.........Oh, I still need help with my Scotland itinerary part of our trip. So overall we only have 6 days in Scotland. We are doing 2 in Edinburgh and then going to venture to the Highlands and back to Edinburgh. Please help me eliminate anything that isn't Realistic.

Must Sees:
GlenCoe
Eilean Donan Castle
Urquhart Castle
Loch Ness
Skye

Maybe Hopeing to fit in:
Wallace Monument
Glennfinnan
Stirling Castle

I'd really like to stay in one place for all 3 nights. Right now I have Spean bridge as the main candidate. But, don't know if there is a better area to stay that will have us doing the least amount of back tracking.

Does this breakdown work?? And if so, can someone help me with the actual road routes?

Day1: Arrive by train early - Edinburgh
Day2: Edinburgh
Day3: Get Car - Drive to Stirling (Castle and Wallace Monument?) Continue North through Glen Coe. Overnight Spean Bridge....Question. Will I be able to see Striling Castle, the Wallace Monument and Glencoe in 1 day?
Day4: Day trip to Skye (Eilean Donan Castle) and drive back - Overnight Spean Bridge (I doubt going to Mallaig and taking the ferry, and then the bridge off in 1 day is realistic, but I'll ask anyways - Is it doable?)
Day5: Drive up Loch Ness (Urquhart Castle) and back - Overnight Spean Bridge
Day6: Drive across to A9 and then back to Edinburgh (Through Perth) - Overnight Edinburgh
haydeedoll is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 12:50 PM
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I'll leave it to others to fill in the details, but in my experience this is much too ambitious. You can drive by the Wallace Monument and Eilean Donan and see all there is to see, but Stirling Castle is half a day itself. You can drive to Skye but you can't conveniently drive to Skye and take in Glenfinnan.

But the real problem is that you can't make anything like the time you expect to make on these roads. In short, the big roads are usually crowded with traffic, and the small roads are narrow, really narrow. I would allow twice the time you would allow for the same distance in the US. If I get a chance I will post more about trying to get all this stuff into some logical routes, but others will no doubt get here faster with better information.
Ackislander is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 01:03 PM
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I think this is way too much to do in 6 days.
You have your driving distances way off.
The distances are much too much for this.
For example Spean Bridge is over 3 hours from the main town in Skye.

We were in Scotland in October.
We had 8 days. 2 were spent in Edinburgh - and 6 on the road driving through the Trossachs region up to Skye. We are "doers" and dont like to sit in one place for too long....but even for our tastes we spent a lot of time in the car (and we didnt do Lochness)! It took a whole day to drive around Skye to see the scenery and, the drive back from Skye took more than half of a day of marathon driving.

I would spend your 2 days in Edinburgh and focus on areas a bit closer to the city. Stirling, St. Andrews, the Trossachs/Lakes region.

There are many experts on this board who can help you more, but I would definetly be open to drastically cutting this itinerary.
steviegene is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 02:35 PM
  #4  
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I'd be willing to cut out Stirling Castle, and the Wallace Monument, they aren't neccesary for me....I've seen many posters talk about taking Day Trips to Skye. So, from where is that Doable from? Some people have mentioned Beauly...Although that seems even farther out of the way.
haydeedoll is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 09:45 AM
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bm
kakijalan is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 12:01 PM
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Cutting Stirling Castle/Wallace Monument doesn't save you all that much time, and they are so easy to fit into your itinerary because of their central location.

On the other hand, Skye is more than a sight where you stop for an hour or two. I'd imagine that the only way you could do Skye as a day trip is to be starting out and finishing up within around an hour's drive, and even then you wouldn't get to see all that much in a partial day.

On our first Scotland trip in 1999, we made the mistake of trying to visit Skye on a day when we were driving from Drumnadrochit to Spean Bridge. We We drove to Skye via the Five Sisters and toured Eilean Donan Castle, (which I don't recommend - instead just stop for a picture or two of the exterior). We only had a brief few hours on Skye, didn't get very far or see very much, and then we had to leave (we had dinner reservations in Spean Bridge). We left via the ferry and the Road to the Isles, passing Glenfinnan (no time to stop.)

I don't consider that I've been to Skye, really. My recommendation: do an overnight if you are going to go to Skye.
noe847 is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 04:33 AM
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I was trying to post to this last night, but it kept kicking me out.

The logical order to see your Must sees is

GlenCoe
Skye
Eilean Donan Castle
Urquhart Castle
Loch Ness


IMHO, you can easily fit Glenfinnan between Glencoe and Skye. I think you need to decide if staying in one place is more important than cramming too much into one day. If you decide staying in one place is more important, keep gong and stay somewhere like Kyelakin.

If you can cope with one night difference, then stay about Glenfinnan and then at Kyleakin or Plockton. If you're gong to do the latter you'll have time for the Stirling stuff too. If not, you won't.
sheila is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 10:41 AM
  #8  
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Thanks Sheila...This is helpful. I'm beginning to realize that to do it all, we will need to do each night at somewhere different. Glencoe - Skye - Near Inverness...
Was your suggestion to break it up into 1 night Glencoe, 2 nights Plockton? Because that would work as well.
Is Plockton near Skye?


haydeedoll is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 11:58 AM
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Plockton is near Kyle of Lochalsh, which is adjacent to the bridge from Skye. Eilean Donan is just east of Kyle and southeast of Plockton.
Mimar is offline  
Mar 24th, 2007, 05:22 AM
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I was suggesting you stayed at Glenfinnan, rather than Glencoe. But Glencoe would work too.
sheila is offline  
Mar 25th, 2007, 03:09 PM
  #11  
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We're going to do one night near the Glencoe/Ft. William area. And 2 nights in Plockton...This will be near the beginning of the first May Bank Holiday, going back to Edinburgh on Sat (Hotel already booked for that night). Should we book the B&B's in the highlands already?
haydeedoll is offline  
Mar 27th, 2007, 04:57 PM
  #12  
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What about doing it this way.

Day1: Edinburgh
Day2: Edinburgh
Day3: Pick up Car - Drive through Stirling (maybe stop) on to Glencoe - Overnight in Invergarry
Day4: Drive up Loch Ness and back - Overnight in Invergarry
Day5: Drive to Skye - Overnight Plockton
Day6: Drive back to Edinburgh

This makes the drive back to Edinburgh longer, but it breaks things up a bit.
haydeedoll is offline  
Mar 27th, 2007, 05:08 PM
  #13  
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Awww - I'm stressing a little again, haha.
I'm thinking now, that maybe I should just skip Skye. I want to see Highland scenery (hills covered in green) and I want to see a Highland Coo . Am I still getting that without going to Skye?
So, maybe the farthest we should go is Eilean Donan (I'm a Highlander fan, I gotta see it).
haydeedoll is offline  
Mar 27th, 2007, 06:01 PM
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WHY do you want to drive up Loch Ness and back?? It is not a lovely highland Loch. Urquhart is is interesting but there are much better castles in prettier settings. Instead of wasting a day following tour buses up and back on the busy A82 - use that time to explore arounf Plockton/Skye instead. As long as you are determined to go to that side of the country - why not see some of the best bits instead of Loch Ness?
janisj is online now  
Mar 27th, 2007, 11:11 PM
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Whilst I wholly agree with janis about Loch Ness, I'm not that great a fan of Skye if it's just for a look round, either. You will certainly get Hielan scenery and coos outside that island. But, just stop a minute. Go back to your original post. Look at your list of "must sees". What's changed?

They wouldn't be my list, but don't compromise for us. Do it your way.
sheila is offline  
Mar 27th, 2007, 11:16 PM
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I agree completely w/ sheila that Skye requires more time to see/appreciate. I meant - as long as you are determined to go that far in your few days - spend it somewhere breathtaking instead of at Loch Ness.

If it were me (and I'm just talking about me personally)I'd go where reasonable in the time available instead of tring to cover half of the country.
janisj is online now  
Mar 28th, 2007, 05:29 PM
  #17  
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Thanks guys.
We've talked it over and are now leaning towards the staying at a different place each night. I didn't want to do this originally because afterwards we have another 3 days that are "one-nighters" in different locations. Which total would make it 6 days in a row.
But, I guess it's not that terrible to overnight at different places. And it cuts the driving during the day.

Right now I want to have a basis outline but sort of 'play things by ear'...But, it is near a bank holiday and wondering if I should book beforehand?
haydeedoll is offline  
Mar 29th, 2007, 07:03 AM
  #18  
 
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If you know where you want to stay and when, book. Otherwise don't. Finding somewhere decent will not be a problem.
sheila is offline  
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