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Scotland and Cornwall in the same trip - should we even consider it?

Mom and I are planning on a trip to Cornwall in the next year or so, but we'd both really like to see Scotland as well. I fully realize they'd both be better done as separate trips, but if we can only fit in one good trip together (health issues might prevent Mom from travelling much longer), would combining the two be worth considering? I've dreamed up an idea that sounds feasable, but I'd appreciate a reality check in the form of others' experience and/or opinions. Here's my idea:

  • Fly into Edinburgh - 3 nights (mostly sights along the Royal Mile and the Royal Yacht Britannia)
  • Take a Rabbie's mini-coach tour of either Mull/Iona & W. Highlands, or Isle of Skye & W. Highlands - 3 nights
  • Spend night in Edinburgh upon return from Rabbie's trip - 1 night
  • Fly to Exeter; visit cathedral in afternoon - 1 night
  • Pick up car, stay in east Cornwall B&B and visit Lost Gardens of Heligan, Lanhydrock House, Eden Project, Fowey & any other villages we have time for - 3 nights
  • Drive to Penzance or St. Ives; visit Penwith Peninsula/W. Cornwall sights - 4 nights
  • Drop car in Penzance, train to either London or Windsor - 2 nights
  • Fly home
Posted by
977 posts

Go for it Beth. My daughter and I are visiting Scotland and Cornwall in April this year. Your schedule looks very doable. Plenty of stops and 3/4 night stays. We are spending 10 nights in Scotland and 4 nights in Cornwall. Like, you hiring a car. We are training it from Edinburgh to Aberystwyth in Wales picking up a car having 4 nights in Wales and then heading on to Cornwall staying Boscastle. Have booked for a Sunday lunch at Rick Stein's Seafood Restuarant in Padstow.

Posted by
13211 posts

Why not? We ( four family members) recently went from Scotland ( Glasgow) to Shropshire to Wales to Cornwall, spending three nights each at the intermediate stops, all by train. We range in age from 60 to 70. We spent a week in Scotland first, and then only two nights in Cornwall, but we wished we had more time. We only went as far as Port Issac. Next time it will be St. Ives and/or Penzance.

Posted by
934 posts

Had friends who did LEGOG....
Thats Lands End(Cornwall),to John O Groats (northern tip of scotland).68 days of walking...
You will be fine,

Posted by
112 posts

Thanks for all of the positive reinforcement! I appreciate hearing that several of you have done similar long journeys. And my plan sounds MUCH easier than walking Land's End to John O'Groats!

I don't believe this would be too much for Mom. Her biggest issue is with walking long distances or up hills, and we should be able to avoid that. I've also considered taking the train from Edinburgh to York (instead of flying into Exeter directly), spending two nights there, then train to Penzance and spending a week in the far west of Cornwall. Travel time would be longer, but there appear to be a couple of trains a day that go direct from York to Penzance. Any thoughts on which would be easier - train or fly?

I should mention that we're thinking of doing this in May 2016, so we have lots of time to plan.

Posted by
1681 posts

That's our plan for September. (8th trip to the British Isles). We considered flying from Exeter to Scotland, but there are several places we wanted to revisit between the two "main attractions" and DH enjoys driving. So, Salisbury one night, St. ives 3, Fowey 2, Wells 1, Warwick 1, Grasmere 1, Glencoe 3, Mull 2, Skye 3, Loch Maree 1, Thurso 1, Orkney 2, Glenmorriston 1, Aberfeldy 1. Return car in Edinburgh, train to London 3. We have visited Edinburgh several times, so we are skipping it this time. If you wanted, you could skip Mull or Orkney and add Lewis 2 after Skye. The route is laid out in a linear fashion so you can skip any piece you wanted to and you could also do the trip in the opposite direction.

Posted by
112 posts

Cynthia - that sounds like a great trip! I'm trying to keep ours pretty simple. We took a trip last May that covered a lot of ground and included several tours and lots of public transportation, and it was great, but we were both exhausted by the last few days. Three years ago we stayed in two locations for one week at a time and had a car for one of those weeks, and we found that to be more relaxing (well, not the driving, but being settled was relaxing). This time I'd like to combine the two approaches, which is why I thought we'd take a multi-night tour from Edinburgh in order to see a bit of Scotland in a short time, then have a more relaxed itinerary in Cornwall.

If we had more time, I'd probably drive from Edinburgh to Cornwall and stop in the Lake District, Cotswolds, etc - similar to what Cynthia is doing, but since we'll likely only have 15-17 nights at the most, I thought we'd focus on the two areas. Actually, my original intent was to focus only on Cornwall - but now I'm encouraged to try to see both Scotland and Cornwall!

Thanks all - I'll come back with more specific questions.

Posted by
16883 posts

I think you've already "solved" the issue with the flight in the middle, assuming you found one that you liked.