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20 days trip may/june 2022

Hello
Coming from Belgium, I plan a trip mainly in the highlands and would like to know if I have planned enough time between places. We are two adults fond of photography mainly landscapes and birds.

J1 Bruxelles – Edinbourg
J2 Edinbourg
J3 Edinbourg
J4 Edinbourg – Anstruther - Island of may
J5 Anstruther – Balmaha Loch Lomond
J6 Balmaha Loch Lomond and the Trossachs
J7 Balamaha – Glencoe
J8 Glencoe
J9 Glencoe – Portree
J10 Portree
J11 Portree
J12 Portree – Gairloch
J13 Gairloch
J14 Gairloch – Lochinver
J15 Lochinver – Handa – Durness
J16 Durness
J17 Durness
J18 Durness – Inverness
J19 Inverness – Loch Ness – Edinbourg
J20 Edinbourg – Bruxelles
Thanks a lot
Louis

Posted by
228 posts

Presumably you have a plan as to what you want to do at each of the different places? It looks OK to me as you have at least a full day built in for the different places.

Posted by
13 posts

Thank you. Yes I have planned plenty of things to do. The two points where I have more difficulties is the drive from Portree to Gairloch and Gairloch to Lochinver. Do I have enough time knowing the road are more difficult? Another difficulty is a good accomodation in those places either hotel or B&B

Posted by
13 posts

I have three days to drive from Portree to Lochinver so would you arrange the tour differently

Posted by
228 posts

Portree to Gairloch is about 160 km. Google maps reckons about 2.5 hours so it is easily done in a day even on slow roads .

Gairloch to Lochinver is a similar distance. So again, no problems.

It is a lovely area and if you are wanting to photograph that gives plenty of time to allow for the right light conditions/weather etc.

It makes a change for someone to be travelling slowly and not trying to cram everything into a day!

Posted by
513 posts

Your timetable looks good to me. In terms of finding B&Bs in the Highlands and Skye, you might find that many have not opened their diaries for bookings for 2022 yet. Speaking from personal experience, I usually open my diary around Christmas time for the following summer.

Best wishes
Jacqui (Skyegirl)

Posted by
13 posts

Hello

Thank you for your reply. I didn't know about booking. So I still have some time to prepare my trip...
Do you think a SUV Peugeot 3008 or similar is a good car for that tour and Arnold Clark a good company

Posted by
228 posts

Arnold Clark gets good reviews on places like Trip Advisor.

Also book early as there is limited accommodation in some of the places you are planning to stay and it can get booked up quickly

Posted by
513 posts

You will be fine with Arnold Clark and a Peugeot 3008. I live on Skye and drive a Citroen C5 Aircross (basically the same car with a different badge).

Posted by
13 posts

Many thanks to all of you. I hope the dirty little beast called covid won't bother us anymore

Posted by
13 posts

In skye, I plan to visit old man of storr, The Quiraing, Fairy Glen, Talisker Bay Dunvegan, Neist Point, THE FAIRY POOLS AND GLEN BRITTLE, I'm fond of photography so if thre are some good advice...

Posted by
13 posts

First of all, I have to tell you that this forum is one of the best on Scotland. Thank you all for your information. Yes I had a loo at these two sites which are very interesting. Hope to visit your beautiful country next year
Louis

Posted by
513 posts

Dear Louis
The sights you mention on Skye are the main tourist spots and they do get very busy. I would plan to visit early or late in the day to avoid the worst of the crowds. I would also recommend the undiscovered Scotland site that you've been pointed to, and also Walk Highlands to search out other less busy sites. Everywhere on Skye is stunning - you simply can't go wrong.

Best wishes
Jacqui (Skyegirl)

Posted by
13 posts

Dear Jacqui
My trip starts in late may, 2021. I chose that time to benefit from better weather, to be less bothered by the midgets and for the birds (Fond of puffin: That's why I put May and Handa Islands on my list) ). Is it a very busy period?
The sites that I chose to visit are indeed very touristy but they are often the best places and difficult to ignore them for a first visit afterwards if we return to Scotland we can deepen.
I saw one of your answers and you said that it was difficult to find a restaurant without a reservation?

Best wishes
Louis

Posted by
513 posts

Dear Louis,

By early or late - I actually mean in the day, not the time of year. May is when it does start to get busier, but if you go to the Fairy Pools (for example) early in the morning or in the evening it should be less busy.

You will be fine as far as midges are concerned - they should not be around in May.

But yes if you want to eat in restaurants you should book well in advance. For the really good places (Edinbane Lodge, Lochbay, Kinloch Lodge, Three Chimneys) you probably need to book in early February to get a table in May. Other places a week or so in advance should be fine.

Best wishes
Jacqui (Skyegirl)

Posted by
18913 posts

Trust Skyegirl on this. The demand for tables in perfectly ordinary restaurants exceeds the supply. If you don't have a reservation somewhere, your best bet is to show up at a restaurant at opening time. Sundays in Portree looked especially difficult because a lot of restaurants were closed but the tourists still wanted to eat. As of 2019 there was a Chinese carry-out in Portree that was quite OK.

Posted by
13 posts

Many thanks Jacqui

Early or late time is also the right time for photography.
I don't think of going to these quality restaurants but a bit expensive if you have to add it to the price of the trip. I haven't done any intensive restaurant research yet but In Portree, I had noted scorrybreac but but I will come back later for information on the restaurants.
Best wishes
Louis

Posted by
13 posts

Thank you but I won't be in Portree on sunday and as she sais I book one or two weeks in advance

Posted by
13 posts

By the way, I'm gonna stay around Loch Ness the day coming from Dunress and the following day , what is the best place to stay and what are your tips for making the most of these day and a half knowing I drive back to Edinburgh after
Best wishes
Louis

Posted by
228 posts

Clava Cairns would be top of my list. They are about 6-7 km east of Inverness. There is a large car park and free access anytime. They are best photographed early morning or evening as the light is better then. They are also quieter then as they can get busy as they they have been made famous by the TV series Outlander.

https://www.sloweurope.com/community/threads/clava-cairns-near-inverness.5740/

My other favourite place to visit is Fort George, which is a bit further - 20km north east of Inverness. This was built after the Battle of Culloden to control the Highlands and crush any future Jacobite rebellions. By the time it was finished (late and well over budget) the Highlands were relatively calm and it never saw any military action. There is a story, maybe apocryphal, that one shot was fired by a jittery soldier on night duty who thought he saw a Jacobite soldier creeping up to the fort and fired at him. Next morning the guards found the dead body of a cow....The fort is still used by the military and soldiers are seen around the site.

It is an amazing structure with ramparts and ditches and would have been invincible. It juts into the Moray Firth with views across to the Black Isle. Bottle nose dolphins are often seen from the ramparts.

Official website

https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/fort-george/

There is loads of information and photos here. You do need to allow at least two hours for a visit and maybe longer...

http://wasleys.org.uk/eleanor/presocialhistory/socialhistory/social/social/george/index.html

The other alternative would be to stop off at the ruined Urquhart Castle, near Drumnadrochit on the banks of Loch Ness. It is popular with visitors because of the Loch Ness Monster story...

Official website

https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/urquhart-castle/

Lots of pictures here

https://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/drumnadrochit/urquhart/index.html