We will spend almost one month in Scotland on the tiniest budget in the universe (what I've scrounged over ten years). There is so much to see and do so I need advice.
We'll be there from Mid August to Mid September (the first two weeks of July and the last two weeks of September in Ireland and England/Wales from mid July to Mid August.)
What is worth the expense?
Skye, Shetland, Orkney, and Lewis islands look so cool but it really worth the extra $$$? (we've been to Sequoia, Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Hoh rainforest, Oahu, Maui, etc. in the US but that was more for me than her). I want to visit some Neolithic sites and they seem to be everywhere in Scotland. Are Skara Brae & Maes Howe a must see? (We also climbed Chichen Itza but, again, that was more my thing than hers.)
Should we hunt for Nessie?
Any warnings about travel in Scotland? Crazy serial killers, gangs, terrorists, etc.?
What about the weather? We are from Southern California where it's 86F (30C) in January.
I will be with my seventeen year old daughter who will have just graduated High School. I want to spend time with her before she's gone for college.
I am not interested in a party type scene but I want it to be fun and interesting for her too. What are some of the Scottish traditions we can experience during this time.
I want to take her to the Highland Games. Is it worth it?
She's an American girl so of course she likes to shop and loves music but she is also writer and a bibliophile. She consumes books and has read everything from Ayn Rand, Dorothy Sayers, Austen, Dostoevsky, Tolkien, Lewis, etc. to contemporary authors as well. Of course we want to see some Burns, Rowling sites while we are there.
I know the legal drinking age is 18 but it's 21 in the US. I'm not against her having a rare champagne toast or Margarita-ish drink with dinner but definitely no drunkenness.
What are the places and things that we should definitely not miss?
Any random advice? Off the beaten path memory makers?
Most importantly....where can we hunt for faeries?