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As always, someone here needs itinerary help

We will fly into and out of Edinburgh
We are using frequent flyer miles, so not a lot of options to fly into Edinburgh out of Glasgow, or into Glasgow out of Edinburgh which would have been my first choice, and keep us from backtracking.

Arrive Edinburgh and spend 2-3 nights exploring the town
Travel via train to Glasgow, spend 1 night there
Train to Ft Williams to start a 10 day self guided hiking trip (hiking The Great Glen Way - Ft Williams to Inverness)
End in Inverness, spend one night
Rent a car in Inverness, OR take a train to Portree, rent a car there (where is better to rent, Inverness and drive to Skye, or train to Portree, rent there --- your suggestion)
Explore Isle of Skye for 3-4 nights- hiking where we can, with freedom of our own transportation
Drive, or train back to Inverness, then catch train to Edinburgh
One night Edinburgh to catch flight home

Feel free to start a PM conversation with me-

Posted by
13228 posts

Sounds like a trip we would enjoy.

I would hope that people responding would post their suggestions here rather than by PM, so all of us may benefit from the advice.

Posted by
4792 posts

Ellen,

Edinburgh is a beautiful city!

My daughter spent 5 months there (studying) & I enjoyed having her as my personal tour guide.
Make sure to check out the beautiful Princess Street Gardens, Calton Hill for amazing views of the city, and the Royal Botanic Gardens, if you have the time.

If you're looking for unique souvenirs, you may like the small Royal Mile Market: http://www.royalmilemarket.co.uk/

If you happen to be in Edinburgh on a weekend, you may like going to one of the food street markets, we got the best brownies ( Woods Brownie Company) at the Stockbridge Market: ​http://www.stockbridgemarket.com/grassmarket.html

Edinburgh is a very walkable city, but if you get tired, you can always take one of the many buses: https://lothianbuses.co.uk/getting-around/journey-planner

I took the Airlink bus from the airport to the city center & it was very easy:https://lothianbuses.co.uk/timetables-and-maps

My daughter traveled to Isle of Skye on an organized university trip & she loved it!

Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
244 posts

You would be better off renting the car in Inverness. Public transportation on the Isle of Skye is not that great. You can drive from Inverness to Portree stopping at some beautiful spots including Eileen Donan Castle. Then drive over Skye Bridge towards Portree. Absolutely beautiful drive!

Posted by
9363 posts

Edinburgh and Glasgow are only an hour or so from each other by train, so you aren't backtracking much to get back to Edinburgh to fly out.

Posted by
697 posts

Priscilla, thanks for posting those links. We are going to Edinburgh next May and the Market especially sounds great.

Ellen, enjoy your trip!

Posted by
7719 posts

I don't think you can take a train to Portree. You can take a train from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh, which is supposed to be one of the most spectacular train routes in Scotland. Then you can get a local bus up to Portree and rent a car there for sightseeing on Skye (or pay a fee and the Portree company will bring your car to you in Kyle of Localsh).

When you finish, there's no need to go back to Inverness, it's out of the way. Turn your car back in Portree (or drive down to Armadale and have them pick it up), take the ferry across to Mallaig, and then the train back across the Highlands via Fort William to Glasgow (supposedly the most spectacular train ride in Scotland!).

Glasgow and Edinburgh aren't terribly far apart, so it doesn't really matter flying into one and back out of the other like it would for some destinations.

Posted by
1118 posts

I envy you - we did almost the opposite trip this June :-)

Don't forget to stay an extra day in Fort Augustus and visit the Clansman museum and take a trip on Loch Ness. Don't linger in Drumnadrochit - it is only worth a short visit IMO.