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Best of Scotland in 13 Days--April 11-23 (add on to end of trip)

Hi, All!
We have booked the Best of Scotland in 13 days for April 13-26 next year. We will be traveling from Cincinnati to Glasgow. We are considering adding a couple of extra days at the end of the tour. We welcome any thoughts about add-ons for this trip. We are interested in visiting the Isle of Skye. Also, any thoughts about flying into Glasgow and flying out of Edinburgh vs flying back out of Glasgow?

Posted by
583 posts

Skye is a long days drive or train plus bus to reach from Edinburgh where your tour ends, plus at least two days there and another days drive back to Edinburgh or Glasgow.

Re flights. Edinburgh and Glasgow are only an hour apart by train or bus so maybe not a huge difference in fares. Depends on what flights are most convenient for you. Don’t forget you need at least 3 hours prior to departure to be at whichever airport you choose.

Posted by
15 posts

Thank so much! I have been researching some flight options today and the costs seem comparable, so likely will depend on what we decide to do and convenience of the flights/times.

Posted by
6048 posts

I was researching open jaw tickets and found that flying into Glasgow and out of Edinburgh was going to cost several hundred dollars more, which wasn't that big of a deal but also was changing my options for stops and times, which I did not like. I wound up booking the Delta flight in and out of Glasgow (from MSP). In fact, when I checked EDI to EDI vs. GLA to GLA, the Glasgow flight was around $150 cheaper. Not a dealbreaker but nice to have.

By the way, say hello to Cincinnati for me! It's my hometown and I still miss it. :)

Posted by
544 posts

I grew up in Lexington, KY and still have friends and family there, but now live in Louisiana. Lexington is one of the most difficult places to fly to/from, so I understand why Cincinnati...which as you know is really in Kentucky. They put it there because it is God's country. :)

All that said, l just looked at the itinerary of your tour and was surprised at how little time you have in Edinburgh. I just returned from a 10-day golf trip to Scotland with most of the time in St. Andrews, but we did take the train to Edinburgh for the day because my friend had never been there. 10 years ago, I took my wife and her 86-year-old mother (now 98) to Scotland and England for 12 days and went in four days early to try to play the Old Course in St. Andrews. We were in a B&B in Edinburgh for four nights and in all honesty, that wasn't nearly enough time. You can spend a half-day in the Edinburgh Castle alone. I highly recommend for your tour that you fly into Glasgow and out of Edinburgh. Someone mentioned that would cost $150 more than round trip. While that might be true, you are not likely to go back to Glasgow from Edinburgh on the same day as your departure, so the additional cost of travel, lodging and food alone would be more than that, plus the inconvenience. Although you don't want it in Edinburgh, another thing I'd consider during your extended stay would be to rent a car at the airport and see the surrounding area. Driving over there is now as difficult as some say, and there are many small towns, castles, churches and the like. If you rent a car at the airport (book before you go), it's pretty easy to get out and back into. I rented from National for our golf trip and a room at the Doubletree Hotel by Hilton Airport for the night before we came home. Ironically it turned out that the National car return lot was literally across the street from the hotel (two-minute walk), and the hotel provided a free shuttle to the terminal which was 10 minutes away. Hope you have a great trip. Please let me know if I can help. Friends who have been on one of Rick's tours say they're great, but I haven't because he taught me too well how to independently plan my own. Maybe someday.....

Jim

Posted by
15 posts

Hi, Jim,
thanks for your reply. We actually live in northern KY (you are correct--it's God's country!). I appreciate your thoughts about spending additional time in Edinburgh, which we could easily do. I have not yet booked our flights, so can still choose to fly out of Edinburgh. My husband is an avid golfer and would be thrilled to play at St. Andrews, but I do not play, so he would be solo. I am sure there are plenty of things to do in and around Edinburgh. We are choosing the group tour as it will be our first European trip. I suspect that once we gain some level of comfort, we would consider a self-planned trip to other locations. I will take a look at some of the things to see around Edinburgh and maybe look into golfing for my husband.
Betsy

Posted by
136 posts

Although we are doing the RS The Heart of Scotland Tour August 21st, we are also taking the Wee Red Bus 3-day tour (Heart of Scotland company) to the Isle of Skye tour leaving on Wednesdays from Edinburgh. We found this tour when the RS tour wasn't available last year - then, of course, everything cancelled. SO we decided to do both so we could get to the Isle of Skye. You pay for the transportation on a small bus with drive/guide. Then you can decide to stay at a hostel, B&B or hotel and you pay for the accommodations (reservations made for you) and meals.

Posted by
2 posts

My wife and I took that tour in May of this year 2022. We loved it. By the way she is from Mercer Co KY. We live in TN now. We stayed a few extra days in Edinburgh. We landed in Glasgow and flew out of Edinburgh. It made the trip home easy. There is more than plenty of things to do in Edinburgh even after Rick's tour. We took 1/2 day hike to Authors seat. You can visit Holyrood Palace at the bottom of the Royal Mile. A 2nd day to see the royal mile on our own was nice as well. As far as going to Skye it is possible but it is a full days travel from Edinburgh. Suggest 1 day for travel. 1 day for sight seeing. 1 day travel back to Edinburgh. We absolutely loved our trip Rick tour was amazing. Our guide James is the best. I hope you get him as well. Bring a few wash clothes with you. Several of the hotels did not provide them. Out favorite stop was Oban and Edinburgh. Best of luck.

Posted by
15 posts

Dear Marna and Runniontravel,
Thank you both for your thoughtful replies. I am so grateful for the advice folks are sharing here. We have been planning this trip for a long time and we are so excited to finally have it booked!
Betsy