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What to do in 4 Days in Scotland?

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London, United...
posts: 8
What to do in 4 Days in Scotland?


I am travelling with my sister to Scotland for 4 days in September and first we wanted to know if we want to see:


-The Cairngorm mountains

-Melrose Abbey

-Staffa and the Treshnish Isles

-Jarlshof, Shetland

-Mousa, Shetland

-Calanais, Lewis


How many days we need?, which would be the best order to visit them all?

or which would be the best way to visit most of them or the best ones.

We also read that in September it could be possible to see the Northern Lights so we obviously want to give it a try , we saw that the best place to try to see it is in Orkey Island. Would you recommend any other places to see it? if not, do you think on our way there we could see some places from the list ?

Hope you are able to help us,

Thank you!


Manchester, United...
Destination Expert
for The Hebrides
posts: 4,742
reviews: 44
1. Re: What to do in 4 Days in Scotland?

Those places are about as far apart as you can get and still be in Scotland, and you certainly won't be able to visit them all in four days! Will you have a car?

Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
posts: 4,563
reviews: 81
2. Re: What to do in 4 Days in Scotland?

Do you already have flights booked?

If not, then try to fly direct to Aberdeen or Inverness because that will minimise ongoing travel.

The easiest way of getting to Orkney and Shetland would be with Northlink Ferries, from Aberdeen. http://www.northlinkferries.co.uk/ If you decide to do this, abandon the rest of your itinerary, or decide to extend your visit to a week or more.

An alternative would be a train from Inverness to Thurso, and the ferry to Orkney. Inverness also gives you access to Aviemore and the Cairngorms.

Eigg? That means a ferry from Mallaig. How to get to Mallaig? From Inverness you can take the train to Kyle of Lochalsh, travel across Skye, then take the ferry from Skye to Mallaig, followed by the ferry to Eigg. THis is starting to sound complicated ...

Lewis: you need to get a ferry from Ullapool or Uig in Skye. So maybe that means heading from Kyle to Uig for the ferry ... and back again.

Staffa - that means you head to Oban, and the easiest way would be Bowman's Tours who will take you to Mull, Ioan, and then to Staffa.

You cannot get directly from Mallaig to Mull - you either have to drive across the remote but beautiful area of Morvern, followed by a short ferry ride to Mull, or take road or train from Maillaig - Fort WIlliam - then a road or train to Oban.

Melrose is South of Edinburgh. You can get a train from Mallaig or Oban to Glasgow, a train from there to Edinburgh and a bus to Melrose.

All of which is impossible within 4 days. You need much longer than that, or you need to be selective.

I suggest you need to pore over online maps and timetables so you can visualise which places can combine together without having to spend a lot of time travelling.

A start would be to look at Calmac's routemap and timetables. http://www.calmac.co.uk

For travel on the mainland, there's a useful website: Traveline Scotland combines road and rail and will suggest appropriate public transport. travelinescotland.com/journeyplanner/enterJo…

It's difficult to suggest 'the best of your itinerary, as we don't know why you picked these particular locations. Knowing what interests you would make it much easier to help you work out priorities.

If, as might be the case, youare interested in neolithic history and stones, you have missed Kilmartin, South of Oban, and there are other places with that sort of history, like Arran.

posts: 2,292
reviews: 55
3. Re: What to do in 4 Days in Scotland?

And you can fly to Kirkwall airport in the Orkneys from Inverness, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh.


Then I think Loganair have flights from there to other islands too.

Stanley, Falkland...
posts: 27,986
reviews: 54
4. Re: What to do in 4 Days in Scotland?

Anyone one of those places would be worth 4 days, so why not pick one, and we can tell you how to get there, and make the most of your short time.

What about St Kilda?

London, United...
posts: 8
5. Re: What to do in 4 Days in Scotland?

Thank you so much for your answers , I think we would like to see more natural things and the castles.

We thought about Eigg because the views showned in pictures are very beautiful , then something like the Eilean Donan Castle , the Dunnotar Castle or the Stalker castle are different from the castles you normally see in other countries, that's what we were looking for.

Someone mentioned that we could see the northern lights there so we don't know if in one place you could see the highlands and also try to see the northern lights.

We could rent a car, take the train, or book a flight, we could increase the days of our stay to 6.

Thank you also for the maps , I am looking into them to be able to make a better decision.

Thank you very much!


Manchester, United...
Destination Expert
for The Hebrides
posts: 4,742
reviews: 44
6. Re: What to do in 4 Days in Scotland?

As I mentioned before, I think you need to narrow this down to fewer places which are not too far apart. Looking at your priorities ('we would like to see more natural things and the castles.'), you might go for Eigg, Castle Stalker, and Eilean Donan. A possible route with a car might be to pick up the car in Glasgow and drive to Oban (very scenic, and a good castle to visit en route at Inveraray). Overnight at Oban then head north to Castle Stalker on day 2. Then on to Arisaig near Mallaig (overnight). Day 3 do a day trip from Arisaig to Eigg, (see www.arisaig.co.uk), return to Arisaig for another night. Day four cross by ferry from Mallaig to to Skye, tour island (more castles here!) and stay overnight. Day 5 drive back to mainland across Skye Bridge, visit Eilean Donan, and then head back to Glasgow.

London, United...
posts: 8
7. Re: What to do in 4 Days in Scotland?

Thank you so much for all your answers, at the end we are not going to do this trip as it was very rushed. But I went to Edinburgh by myself a couple of weekends ago for a long weekend, and it was amazing!!!! the weather was great so did a day trip to the Highlands and then came back for the closure of the Military tattoo... it was amazing... the highlands, the lochs, the mountains loooked beautiful all green and sunny , it was a great long weekend....

8. Re: What to do in 4 Days in Scotland?

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