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Trip to Scotland this August

Verona, New Jersey
posts: 92
reviews: 40
Trip to Scotland this August

We are planning a vist the end of August to the Highlands and Edinburgh for two weeks. I've plotted out a tentative itinerary, I'd appreciate suggestions if you think it's doable or not.

We arrive Edinburgh Airport, rent car and drive to Loch Ness area where we're staying for 5 nights as our central base.

Day 1 - tour Culloden, Clava Cairns, Fort George and Inverness - too much in one day? We will be fairly close to Inverness and expect to go there again for dinner as well on another day.

Day 2 - husband and son will play golf at Royal Dornoch while I plan to visit Dunrobin Castle and environs.

Day 3 - visit Glen Affric area, Beauly, cruise on Loch Ness, Urqu. Castle. Since we're staying on Loch Ness, should we forego the cruise and spend more time at Glen Affric?

Day 4 - guided tour to Skye and Glen Webster area, we will not be driving ourselves

Then we're driving to Islay, spending two nights there before we drive to Edinburgh where we will spend 5 nights. I'd love to see Glencoe, is it viable to drive from Kennacraig (where we depart ferry at approx. 11 am) to Glencoe area and then on to Edinburgh Airport (to return rental car by 7:30 pm?) Is that enough time to take in the area, plus the drive itself?

I plan to rent a car once or twice that week for day trips outside Edinburgh (didn't want to keep it since I hear parking is impossible, especially during the festivals period). Any good suggestions for day trips outside Edinburgh?

My 17 yr old son and husband, unfortunately, are not as enthusiastic about castles as I am, but are there some really good ones we should not miss near Edinburgh?

Thanks for all your help, I'm so looking forward to this trip!

The Stunning...
Destination Expert
for Goa, Scottish Highlands
posts: 9,847
reviews: 126
1. Re: Trip to Scotland this August

Just a quick thought for just now but your best bet might be to see Glencoe (just a short detour) on the way to the Islay ferry from Skye.

Verona, New Jersey
posts: 92
reviews: 40
2. Re: Trip to Scotland this August

Thanks, but I'm taking the Islay ferry from Kennacraig and it's a 1pm ferry so I'll never have enough time to take in Glencoe driving there from Loch Ness early that morning. I'm told it's a 4 hour drive with no stopping as it is. I'm wondering if I should go to Glencoe for day another time, maybe a day trip from Edinburgh? And stop in Glasgow too? So many possibilities!

Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
posts: 26,897
3. Re: Trip to Scotland this August

If you haven't booked accommodation in Edinburgh then do it now rather than later and try not to be too shocked at the prices.

Edited: 4:31 pm, May 17, 2011
The Stunning...
Destination Expert
for Goa, Scottish Highlands
posts: 9,847
reviews: 126
4. Re: Trip to Scotland this August

After touring Skye could you stay closer to Fort William/Glencoe rather than going back to Loch Ness?

Edinburgh, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
posts: 4,286
reviews: 212
5. Re: Trip to Scotland this August

Hi, Is your accommodation booked already? What time do you fly into Edinburgh? I think most folk on here would agree that driving up to Inverness, jetlagged, after an overnight flight - is not at all sensible or pleasant! Especially if you are not used to driving on the left hand side of the road! COuld you perhaps see Edinburgh at the start of your trip, then loop round to Mull (via Glen Coe!), Skye, Loch Ness, back to Edinburgh (potentially using the excellent buses and trains between Loch Ness and Edinburgh to make the final leg a little more pleasant!)

Also worth noting that automatic transmission cars are uncommon in the UK, and you will need to specifically request one from your rental agent.

Abs :-)

Verona, New Jersey
posts: 92
reviews: 40
6. Re: Trip to Scotland this August

Thanks everyone! Yes, I've already had my accomodations booked everywhere since January with deposits down, so unfortunately, I can't make any changes in my timetable. We're staying in the same place in Loch Ness for 5 nights (tour to Skye is with them as well). I do have an automatic car booked already and between the two of us, we'll manage. I actually like driving and road trips! We're taking the red eye Edinburgh, arriving at 10AM, hope to sleep most of the way.

London
posts: 5,065
reviews: 33
7. Re: Trip to Scotland this August

Re your proposed final day.

You can include Glen Coe on your return from Kennacraig to Edinburgh, but you'll make it a long day.

It's about 90 miles from Kennacraig to Ballachulish, at the base of Glen Coe. As you'll see when you drive down to Kennacraig, the coastal road via Oban has some great views but it is not a quick drive. Two hours would be very lucky.

Once you've marvelled at the views in Glen Coe, it's about 120 miles to Edinburgh airport, of which only the last third of the journey is on motorway.

As you join the motorway at Stifling, you'll have a fine view of the castle there. You might even "accidentally" miss the motorway turn at that point and drive into Stirling itself (only about a mile detour) and add another castle to your inventory...

Yes do-able. But a lot of driving on roads that demand your full attention.

Verona, New Jersey
posts: 92
reviews: 40
8. Re: Trip to Scotland this August

Thanks rc, this is what I was hoping to hear! And yes, I expect to "accidentally" run into a lot of castles on the road here and there!

Glasgow, United...
posts: 135
reviews: 20
9. Re: Trip to Scotland this August

You won't want to miss Stirling Castle. By the time you arrive they will have completed a major refurbishment of the Royal Palace returning it to how it would have looked when Mary Queen of Scots lived there:

http://www.stirlingcastle.gov.uk/

10. Re: Trip to Scotland this August

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