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4 days in Scotland, where to fly into

We only have 4 days in Scotland and I can fly into either (Edinburg or Glasgow) airport. I need to make the most of a short amount of time. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank You


Posted by
588 posts

I'd say it depends on what you plan to see/where you plan to go. We flew in/out of Glasgow because we were walking the West Highland Way and it starts just north of Glasgow. Otherwise I'm not sure we would have gone to Glasgow. That being said, it is only about 45 minutes by train between the two cities.

Posted by
12 posts

Edinburgh Airport lies west of the city. If you are renting a car from here you have access to motorway routes to Glasgow, Stirling (for Glencoe and Fort William) and Perth (for Inverness). You don't have to drive through the city. If you fly into Glasgow you also have access to the motorway but to reach most areas you need to travel through the city.

However if you are flying from North America these flights are overnight and arrive at around 8am UK time, 3am east coast US time. You are highly likely to experience jetlag so I would strongly recommend staying a night in either city to reset your body clock and pick up your rental car the next day. Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
462 posts

Concentrate on the area around Glasgow and Edinburgh rather than spending nearly a whole day driving to Skye/Inverness and nearly another day driving back!

If you want an 'island fix' there is Arran which is easily reached from Glasgow. Alternatively head for Oban and do Mull.

Otherwise plan on spending your time around Loch Lomond, Trossachs (Callender is a good base), Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish Borders or Fife

Dumfries and Galloway along with the Scottish Borders tend to be ignored by most visitors which is a shame.

Ideas for Dumfries and Galloway - Threave Castle Gardens and the ruined Threave Castle set on a small island in the river, Caerlaverock Castle, the delightful ruined Sweetheart Abbey. There is Culzean Castle, Dumfries House and Drumlarig Castle. For scenery there is Galloway Forest Park and Glen Trool. Loch Trool is worthy of Highland lochs...

Ideas for Borders - ruined abbeys of Melrose, Jedburgh and Dryburgh. Ruined castles of Tantallon, Dirleton and not forgetting Smailholme Tower. Stately homes - spoilt for choice (Floors Castle, lennoxlove, Mandertston Mellerstein and especially Traquair house - don't miss the Bear Gates and find out about their story!) Do a boat trip out to Bass Rock. You could even get as far south as Northumberland!

Ideas for Fife - The small university town of St Andrews with its ruined castle and cathedral. Find the ruined Elcho castle and also Castle Campbell (sometimes referred to as Castle Gloom!) There are the Fife fishing villages. Visit Falkland Palace and village (used for some of the Outlander shots). Take a boat trip to Loch Leven Castle on an island in the middle of Loch Leven. Go and find the tiny Royal Burgh of Culross...

The Undiscovered Scotland website is a wealth of ideas and covers all sorts of places ignored by the usual guide books. Start with the map pages and follow the links to the text pages with lots of information and pictures.

Posted by
1246 posts

Thanx Wasleys! your recommendations for Scotland are brilliant! We drove thru Scotland 2 times and enjoyed Dumfries and Galloway, the Borders and Fife with all the layers of History; not just 1745! Doing my Genealogy now and have discovered a Knight of the Garter, Sir Ralph Eure, who died at the Battle of Ancrum Moor, Roxburghshire, Scotland the 17th of February 1545,as part of Henry VIII's "Rough Wooing" of the Scots. He's buried at Melrose. Most American's have only heard of the "Highlands" and are now over visiting Skye. Since we drove from England we were glad to discover Scotland has so much more to offer away from the tourist trail.

Posted by
462 posts

Thanks Kathleen. It worries me the way so many visitors are like lemmings and all head for the same places. There is so much more to be discovered - and I've hardly scratched the surface with the ideas I gave.

Posted by
2940 posts

I just want to say au contraire to the statement "If you fly into Glasgow ... to reach most areas you need to travel through the city."

Glasgow airport is in Paisley, northwest of the city (downstream on the Clyde). If you're headed to the highlands you'll get straight onto the Motorway, cross the Erskine Bridge, and follow signs for Loch Lomond and the Trossachs. At the big roundabout in Balloch you can choose to head eastward toward Stirling or continue along the western shore of Loch Lomond. You won't be driving through the city of Glasgow at all.