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5 days in Scotland in December

My husband and I are planning our first 5-day trip to Scotland this coming December, following 8 days in Ireland. I anticipate flying into Edinburgh, though any location that I can get to from Ireland is fine. We are most interested in the highland area, and greatly enjoy being outdoors (we'll pack for the elements - not to worry). We are also great lovers of food, and enjoy the more intimate environments that B&Bs offer.
We welcome any suggestions on itineraries, must-see locations and towns. We are open to driving, and would love to try the steam train at least once. We are not big on group tours or long bus rides.
Thank you! - Ashley & Kris

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5461 posts

It's not the weather, if you're prepared, so much as the day light. You do know that it gets dark pretty doggone early, right?

Sadly, I don't think that the Malaig steam train runs in the winter. But, you can still take the train from Fort William to Malaig and back. The scenery will be just as great from a diesel. :) But, good news! The Strathspey Railroad has Santa Expresses in December!

I think that you'll find that country castles are not open in the winter. However, many of the Historic Scotland locations are open. You will find that Edinburgh and Glasgow have lots for you to see and do. I would recommend Stirling Castle. If you want to go north to Inverness, Culloden will be open, but places Cawdor Castle will not. But Urquhart Castle and Clava Cairns are both open. If the weather is okay, you can certainly do some walks. It looks like Eiliean Donan is open in December, but not in January. You're going to want to check every place for opening hours.

You might want to go to someplace like Dunkeld. You can do some walks and then go sit by a fire or hear some music at the Taybank.

The Pitlochry Festival Theatre will be doing Miracle on 34th Street!

Pam