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15 days in early May

My fiance and I have done two 'blitz-style' Europe trips so far (Trip 1: The Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, Scotland, Trip 2: Germany, Austria, Switzerland), but for our honeymoon are doing just the Scottish Highlands and islands.This forum has been an immense wealth of knowledge and help in our travels so far and I'd like to get a round of thoughts on our current ideas. We plan to see at least a few distilleries, as well as outdoor things like prehistoric sites and castles, light hiking, and popping into restaurants and pubs. The thought of windy, craggy shores makes me happy... Flights have been purchased, got a pretty good deal on them. No lodging or specifics have been set otherwise. We do enjoy moving around a lot while traveling, but prefer 2 or 3 nights per city, so as to allow more exploration. Would be renting a car at some point, if not from the start then likely from Thurso to Pitlochry / Inverness (the end of the trip). I welcome any and all input.

5/4/2018 arrive Inverness at 11a - will need to stay outside and moving around, could we visit Culloden battlefield without a car?
5/5/2018 (Inverness) thinking about the Rabbies Black Isle day tour, need ideas for evening
5/6/2018 (Inverness) thinking about the Rabbies Loch Ness day tour
5/7/2018 depart for Orkney Islands with a 3 day Rabbies tour, stay in Kirkwall 2 nights (thoughts on this type of tour??)
5/9/2018 drive along the west coast, ferry to the Outer Hebrides - where to stay?- 2 nights or 3?
5/10/2018 (Outer Heb)
5/11/2018 (Outer Heb)
5/12/2018 ? Unsure if Skye or nearby? or Oban? Like the idea of somewhere "in the middle" (Dornie?)
5/13/2018 ?
5/14/2018 ( somewhere in here must take the Jacobite steam train)
5/15/2018 Islay (Port Ellen?) - must visit Laphraoig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg Distilleries
5/16/2018 Islay
5/17/2018 Islay (unsure if 2 or 3 nights)
5/18/2018 day trip to Isle of Arran (or should we stay a night?) then on to Pitlochry
5/19/2018 Pitlochry
5/20/2018 return to Inverness for one night
5/21/2018 early flight home

Posted by
1446 posts

Reading your list; have you considered a small live aboard cruise? There are some interesting Scottish Cruises I found online that include most of the locations you are interested in, plus opportunities for customizing. It would save time making all those accommodations reservations and making ferry connections; and maybe even save some money and certainly time. Reservations need to be made early. The cruises are from April through September. Puffins nest in May if birds are your thing. Some other posters may have more specific info.