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10 day summer itinerary without car

We are a moderately active early 60's couple. In July we plan to visit family in London for several days, then travel in Scotland for 10 days, then my wife (who still works, I'm retired) will fly home. Then I will join a 10 day tour of the Outer Hebrides and the Orkneys. Since I have longer, I'm sure to have a great time, I want to make sure my wife, with her shorter stay, also gets a flavor of modern Scotland and the beauty of the islands. We like activity, but not rushing, talking to people, enjoying architecture, art, nature,music, pubs, walking, a little bit of history, and don't want to rent a car. She is a vegan, but still a "foodie", and isn't into whiskey. Any comments on our itinerary hugely appreciated!

24-Jul London, fly from London to Glasgow, immediately get train to Oban
25-Jul Oban Long day tour of Iona, Mull, Staffa (I have family from Mull)
7/26 Oban Morning in Oban, Train to Glasgow In Oban, Eat seafood (me), looking at the lovely town. Mostly, we see Oban as a gateway to the islands, and, due to time, don't plan to linger more than 1/2 day here.
7/27 Glasgow Kelvingrove, a Mackintosh walking tour, ALL the lovely buildings by unknown architects, Willow tea rooms, taking buses around the city
7/28 Glasgow See above activities
7/29 Glasgow , then Train to Edinburgh
7/30 Edinburgh Edinburgh Castle, Museum of Scotland, National Gallery, Parliament, Royal Mile, Water of Leith Walkway.
31-Jul Edinburgh see above activities
1-Aug Edinburgh see above activities
2-Aug Edinburgh Wife flies home, then I start my tour.

Thank you!

Posted by
27019 posts

Jane, I think a lot of us looked at your itinerary, thought is was perfectly reasonable, and didn't espond because you didn't seem to be making a mistake! Most first-time posters' plans are hyper-aggressive, so we're sort of accustomed to making "Oh, please don't do that" responses.

In my case, my first trip to Scotland is coming up in July, so I really can't provide any useful comments.

Well, there is one thing: Check the official websites of the places you expect to go in Glasgow to be sure they are open. There are quite a few places in that city that are currently closed for one reason or another, starting with the burned-out Glasgow School of Art. The other closures haven't been so well publicized.

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you both for your comments! Since I first posted, we decided to take the train up to Scotland, instead of flying. After adding up the total travel time/stress of getting to the London airport, waiting, transferring to the train, etc, we thought the train would be more enjoyable and interesting. We can get an off-peak fare, with senior discount, and plan to buy the tickets 90 days beforehand, via Virgin and Scotsrail. That's the best way to do it, right?

Posted by
3200 posts

We spent 12 nights in Scotland last summer. Your itinerary looks good! Jealous you get to go to the Orkney Islands! We wanted to, but with our time frame we couldn’t make it work. We did get to go to Isle of Skye though, which was awesome! We loved Oban and the three island tour out of there. A highlight of our trip!

Enjoy Scotland! Just curious, who is your tour of Orkney with?

Posted by
6113 posts

Oban is a good gateway to the isles, but not a pretty place. A couple of hours maximum there is sufficient, including a stop at the fantastic chocolate cafe. However, if the ferries are delayed due to bad weather .....

August in Edinburgh means the fringe festival (starts 2 August this year), so accommodation will get booked up, if it already isn’t. Book ASAP.