Our vacation started June 3rd in Scotland and we spent the first three days in Edinburgh. We stayed a short distance from town at Ardenlee B&B http://www.ardenlee.co.uk/. It was a good place to stay although the walk to town was uphill but buses were convenient. We did the usual Edinburgh tours and took a bus tour around the city on Majestic Tours the first thing, their ticket is good for 24 hours. We walked the Royal Botanical Gardens, Edinburgh Castle, Royal Mile and Palace of Holyroodhouse http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/page559.asp. For lunch we really enjoyed the Globe restaurant and it was close to our B&B. I don't think I would drive across town to go to it but the food was great. We also walked down Dundas Street to Interleith Row and took a left for a block to the Orchard restaurant and had a great first dinner in Edinburgh. There are several interesting restaurants on this block but once again I would only go if it was convenient. You can buy an all day pass for buses and that was a good thing for us to do. The number 23 and 27 bus line stopped one block from our B&B. Both bus routs went by the Edinburgh Castle so we got on the bus and it dropped us off for the tour of Edinburgh Castle tour. After that tour we got back on the bus and took it to the end on the line. Someone overheard us talking and recommended we get off and eat at the Hunter's Tryst. We enjoyed the restaurant and the food but were surprised that a sign said, no children under 14. We got back on the bus again and went to the other end of the line and could see the Firth of Fourth. We decided to walk down to the water, it was a long walk but nice. The bus trips were a very nice addition to our vacation. I would recommend the bus day pass in Edinburgh.
BTW, if you like to dance they have Tango dancing in Edingurgh on Tuesday night. It was above The Counting House on West Nicolson Street edinburghtango.org.uk/tango/tangomilongas.ph… Susie's restaurant is across the street if you like vegitarian food.
After 3 days in Edinburgh we rented a car and I drove towards Kingussie. We made a 16 mile side trip to Culross and I would recommend it to people that like small old villages. We hiked up to the Abby founded in 1217. The towns small botanical garden was open and it was lovely. We ate at a small tea room in Culross and loved the food. Maybe we were just lucky but it was a great addition to our trip.
We went on the Kingussie and stayed at Greystones. http://www.greystonesbandb.com/Book.htm It was a great place with a large shared bathroom. The largest bathroom on our holiday and we were the only ones there.
We bypassed Inverness but it looked like it would have been a nice place to stay. We wanted to get to a remote part of Scotland and found it in Cannich. A small town with no gas station but a surprising number of places to stay in the countryside around the town. touristnetuk.com/Sc/…cannich.htm
I was a little worried because I hadn't booked in advance. Many places close in were filled up but I got a recommendation and found that the country roads were filled with B&B's. Kerrow House looked good but was filled up http://www.kerrow-house.co.uk/ and they recommended Carnoch Farm http://www.carnoch.btinternet.co.uk/. We hiked Glen Strathfarrar first then we hiked around Glen Affric on a long 10 mile 4 hour hike. It was beautiful but tiring hike. For people that love to hike, this is a great place to go but I think you leave the good restaurants behind.
After 2 days in Glenn Affric we went on to Ullapool. We stayed at Riverside B&B and it was great but had little charm. I t was a little like a small hotel. Their restaurant was great for breakfast. http://www.riversideullapool.com/index.htm Ullapool is a small seaside town with lovely drives on small remote countryside roads and several great hikes. We went to Corrieshalloch Gorge http://www.ullapool.co.uk/gorge.html and it is much bigger and higher than the photo, very pretty, the Lael Forest Garden walk http://www.ullapool.co.uk/lael.html it is lovely and the trees are named. We drove down to Poolewe for a day trip to Inverewe Garden www.aboutscotland.com/land/inverewe.html , it is a large 50 acre garden and it is beautiful. They are also open late. We did a boat trip out of Ullapool and I might pass on that. We drove up to Lochinver by way of Storer and then hiked to the Bone Cave. Very nice short hike. knockan-crag.co.uk/RockRoute/BoneCaves.asp
Next we moved on to Skye and stayed at Scorrybreac http://www.scorrybreacbandb.com/. We had two rooms, which was the whole upstairs with a small kitchen and sitting room to ourselves. They had window blinds that closed off the light at night so that you couldn't see your hand. If you like a dark room at night, this is the place, of course you could open the blind a little to let in some light. We drove up to Portree to look around and have dinner. I got a recommendation from a local and got to the Arriba Cafe in Portree about 10 minutes to 6:00, second floor. travelpublishing.co.uk/CountryLivingScotland… got a window table overlooking the bay and had a wonderful meal. I had the Salmon and it is the best I have ever had. My desert was the Belgium Waffle with honey and maple syrup, wow. The next day we drove to the small port of Elgo on very narrow road and did a hike along the way from Kilmarie to Camasunary grianaig.blogspot.com/2006/08/camasunary.html beautiful strenuous 4 hour hike.
I would have liked to have more time for the islands and could see a tour that was exclusively the islands. We had to leave for Stirling and our trip home. Striling is a wonderful small town with a great castle and the Wallace monument. Too many other things to mention. Good shopping too but they seem to close most of the stores downtown at 5:30. We stayed at a good B&B in Stirling that has only been in business for two weeks. It is at 64 Causewayhead Road and the phone in 07847364828. The beds were great and the place has beed newly remodeled. It was 30 Pounds per person, which seems fairly common. It was within walking distance of the Wallace Monument.
The owners are James and Ann Kirk are they were very thoughtful. BTW, we got in some more dancing in Stirling at Alberts Hall http://www.cerocscotland.com/