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Advice on Scotland itinerary needed--too many options!

Hi, I would love some advice on a trip my family of 4 is taking and I'm feeling pressure to maximize the opportunity :) We have 2 boys--15 and 11. Planning to spend 3 days (or so) in Edinburgh and then go west. I am not clear how much time (roughly) these places would take. I'm trying to strike a balance between not being rushed/on the go all the time and my boys not getting bored with all the driving. After Edinburgh:
Day 1: Drive to Stirling, with stops at Forth Bridge, Linlithgow Palace, and Falkirk
Spend night in/near Stirling (any recs?)
Day 2: Go to Bannockburn, Falls of Dockhart in Killin and then drive to Oban, spend afternoon tooling around Oban
Spend night in Oban
Day 3: get up early and do a 3 isle day tour--Mull, Iona and Staffa (seems like Fingal's Cave is a must)
Spend night in Oban or thereabouts?
Day 4: Drive to Glencoe and onto to Glasgow
Spend night
Day 5: take train to York where we will spend 2 days.
OR....
take train from Edinburgh to Fort William (someone said it was a pretty ride?) , pick up rental car there and go around the other way.
I'm looking for a combination of pretty scenery, cool/fun stuff for 2 adolescent boys, castles etc. I am also looking to spend a night somewhere along the way in a castle for the boys.
Thanks so much for any and all advice!

Posted by
244 posts

Are your boys Harry Potter fans? If so they may like the steam train ride from Fort William to Mallaig. here.

Posted by
5669 posts

I would say think about going to Mull and staying there instead of in Oban. There is a lot to see there and you can take your car over--I did-- and you'll have more flexibility. You can drive down to Fionnphort and take a boat tour to Staffa and Iona, or you could go up to Tobermory and catch one of the wildlife boat tours. Or you could just go to the castles. Duart Castle has fantastic history. You see it from the ferry from Oban and its so evocative of the times when the Vikings with their longboats ruled the western isles. Your boys might catch that particular fever. ; )

Pam