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12 Day itinerary question regarding Loch Lommond, Oban and Glencoe

We have a trip scheduled in May for 13 days. I've only scheduled one day to drive from Glasgow through Oban and then to Glencoe. Should we add a day? And if so, in which town should we overnight? It seems a lovely drive with a few stops to view, stop for lunch, but maybe there is much more to see and I should take a night from Edinburgh and spend more time in this area. We are more nature lovers than city lovers.

Glasgow 1 night
Glencoe 1 night
Skye 3 nights
Inverness 2 nights
St. Andrews 1 night
Edinburgh 3 nights
Glasgow 1 night


Posted by
1446 posts

Skye gets booked up. Make Reservations Early. I question spending three nights in Skye unless you are taking day cruises to see the Birds or Mountain climbing. If you've never been to Edinburgh I would not short change it. It is in a lovely setting and has wonderful architecture and historic sights; especially the Castle. Look at the Visit Scotland Web site for some excellent videos and touring ideas.

Posted by
3122 posts

Driving from Glasgow to Glencoe, why go out of your way via Oban? You can just go right up the A82 which takes you through very scenic areas of the western highlands. Since you are nature lovers, you might enjoy stopping to take a cruise on Loch Lomond for a couple of hours (see Cruise Loch Lomond or Sweeney's Cruises). We took the criuse out of Luss, a charming little village about an hour and a half from Glasgow airport.

BTW, leaving Glasgow in your rental car, be sure to ask the agent which signs to follow to get going northbound toward the Erskine bridge on the M8. The signage at the roundabouts is not self-explanatory, IMO.

What are the things that interest you in St. Andrews? That is where I might say to skip a night and add one to either Inverness or Edinburgh. South of Inverness, the town of Aviemore is very oriented to hiking and other outdoor activities. The TI office is large and very helpful. But if you want to see the North Sea coastal area and/or you are golf enthusiasts, then of course keep St. Andrews. The Old Station Guest House is a couple of miles out of town on the road to Anstruther, very scenic and with nice accommodations, helpful hosts.

Posted by
11 posts

Thank you both.

We put that much time in Skye because it just looks amazing and we want to drive to the peninsula and all around the island. Maybe even go over to Lewis to see the standing stones. We only have two full days there.

Is the scenery more lovely just staying on the highway into Glencoe and not going up the coast from Oban?

Do we need a night to enjoy this area (Glasgow/Loch Lommon/Glencoe) instead of driving all the way to Skye in one day? It seems that way to me, so Oban seems to be a delightful town to stop in, Glencoe doesn't seem to have much interns of lodging and restaurants. So we thought about one night somewhere before progressing through Glencoe/Ft William onto Skye.

St. Andrews because my husband is hoping to earn a spot to play. If not, a lovely little town.

Posted by
3122 posts

In St. Andrews, there's plenty to see/do related to golf even if your husband isn't lucky enough to get a tee time. The Old Course walking tour is great for golfers (mostly standing around on the 1st/18th fairway listening to anecdotes about famous tournaments & players, not a lot of actual walking). If you're lucky your guide will get you a photo opportunity on the iconic Swilcan Bridge. Tour ends at the gift shop where you get a merchandise discount. The British Golf Museum has excellent exhibits, great for anyone with an interest in history whether golf or general, and a lovely cafeteria upstairs with huge picture window overlooking the 1st/18th hole. Playing the "Himalayas" (Ladies' Putting Green) is fun and a real bargain. You don't have to have actual golf shoes, just no high or spike heels. Note there are no lockers or other facilities to hold your belongings while you play. You can also walk along the seashore right by the Old Course clubhouse, and of course the town has other sights related to the ruined cathedral, the university, etc.

Posted by
8346 posts

The main reason to go to Oban is to also see the nearby islands. It is a delightful town on its own, but I would not drive too far out of my way if that was all I was going to see.

Loch Lomond was probably the biggest disappointment from my last trip. I'm not sure what I expected, but I felt let down. It is in fact, just another Lake. Perhaps I thought that there would be highlanders standing around singing??? (LOL) Choosing between Loch Lomond and Oban, I would go with Oban.

I had a blast on the Himilayas course at St. Andrews. It was just a pound or two and I was "golfing" directly next to the Old Course and close to the lovely beach.

Posted by
849 posts

Most people go to Oban in order to take a tour out to the islands. If you aren’t planning on doing that then Im not sure it makes sense to go that direction. If you are planning on going hiking then go to Glencoe, if not then I would look at another option between Glasgow and Skye. I spent two nights on Skye and it was enough, but one more wouldn’t have hurt. I would not spend three nights in Inverness, though, as the town itself is not that interesting. There are some nearby sites that are, such as Culloden and Clava Cairns, but they can be done in a day. I did spend a night between Inverness an Skye as I drove all the way up to Ullapool, taking my time to stop and enjoy the scenery and go for walks. I would also suggest you stop for a night somewhere between Inverness and St. Andrews or that will be a long day of driving. The Secret Scotland web site is also a great source of information.

Posted by
11 posts

This is terrific help!

Thank you all for helping me. Still need to sort out two spots:

Glasgow - 2 nights

Somewhere??? between Glasgow and Skye - 1 night

Skye - 3 nights

Inverness - 1 night

Pitlochry? or somewhere along way to St. A - 1 night maybe at Fonab Castle? (didn't realize it was a long drive)

St. Andrews - 1 night

Edinburgh - 3 nights

Back for one night in Glasgow to catch flight out..

I'm still struggling with the Glasgow to Skye leg. We weren't too interested in Loch Lommond. We definitely want to see Glencoe and the Neptune staircase and the viaduct at Glenfinnan on "the road to the isles".

Should we stay in Stirling instead of Oban and see that town and castle and Doune on our way to Skye? Or does it make more sense to see Culcross, Stirling and Falkirk on the way to Edinburgh?

Is the coastal road lovely from Oban to GLencoe or is the approach better coming from - or what about Doune Castle?

I just was under the impression that the drive would be tiring with all the turns. Even though I've done distances and time between all these places it is hard to imagine it all plus the stops to make along the way.

PS - great idea about playing the other course if my husband doesn't get in the lottery or can't fit in as a single on the old course. We'll be staying at the Old Course Hotel so should be able to easily see it all, do the tour, etcetc.

Posted by
1446 posts

I found Stirling to be an interesting stop because of the Castle. It was the Royal Palace for several Scottish Kings and Queens, including Mary Stuart. It also has the Wallace Memorial. It also has the Church of the Holy Rude founded in the time of King David in the 1100s; enjoyed an Organ practice there...the sound of the impromptu concert was very moving. Oban is a quaint seaside village with lots of accommodations for the ferry riders.