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21 days broken into 3 segments, maybe 4?

Planning a trip to Scotland for 21 days in July 2021. I have been researching for the past month and I am stumped on where the best places are to segment my trip. Best places as defined as a home base where day trips are less than 8 hours round trip. Plus a home base that is interesting and fun to walk about. I have selected Edinburgh as one segment. Thinking 7 days (3 days dedicated walk about/exploring Edinburgh, day trips to St.Andrews (train+bus), Stirling (train), Rossyln Chapel (bus), North Berwick (train)).

My initial thought was to break the trip into 3 segments to minimize packing and unpacking and really try to absorb the culture as much as we can. We love taking pictures, walking, taking public transportation, and eating where the locals do. Like sitting at the bar and swapping stories. Do want our own bathroom, and room to move around. We also love cities as well as the countryside. We do not plan to rent a car unless necessary given how we spread out the trip.

I would appreciate input on where to stay (cities, hotels, b&b) and for how long. Maybe my idea of 3 segments needs to be modified.

Thank you advance!

Posted by
1699 posts

Plockton puts you within two hours of Skye, Eileen Donan Castle, and Torridon.

Thurso puts you within reach of Orkney and the north coast of Scotland.

Melrose puts you within reach of all of the Border Abbeys, lots of ruined castles near Sainr Abbs and even Northumberland and the Lakes District of England.

I have no idea about public transportation options for these small towns. We always rent a car so we can be in charge of our schedule, not waiting around for connections.

Posted by
21924 posts

Public transportation to Plockton is unfortunately very, very limited. I'm spending 3 nights in Portree on Skye and one night in Kyle if of Lochalsh, and I'm not sure Plockton is going to work out for me. I don't think it's a practical base unless you will have a car.

From my pre-trip planning I can tell you your life will be much, much easier if you rent a car for a substantial part (or parts) of the trip.