My husband and I will be traveling in Scotland in September 2016. We will have a condo in Edinburgh for a week and are planning day trips from Edinburgh such as Glasgow, Oban, Pitlochry and an overnight in Inverness. We will depart Edinburgh on day 8 via train to Durham, spend one night at Durham Castle (visiting Hadrian's Wall and Durham Cathedral) and continue to London for 7 nights in London. We would like to use local trains and buses for day trips and also local tours. We enjoy castles and museums and gardens and historical sites and short hikes. We are open to all recommendations of places of interest (including food and craft markets) and best method to get there from Edinburgh, recommended tour companies and routes, and favorite meals. We prefer tours with 8 or fewer people. Should we book tours in advance of our arrival? Are there tour services in Scotland similar to London Walks in London?
You could visit Roslyn Chapel easily and Craigmillar (sp) Castle. Also Tantellon and Dirleton Castles are fabulous.
You are going to be spending far too much time on a train if you attempt all of this. Getting to Inverness takes at least four hours. By the time you get there and get to your accommodation it will be well after lunch if take the earliest train possible. I believe getting to Oban is even longer. Pitlochry is probably only about two hours. There are an awful lot of guided tours you can do from Edinburgh. Rosslyn Chapel, Hadrian's wall, Sterling Castle, Loch Lomond. On the first weekend in Sept,. up in Braemar, there are the annual highland games. Bag pipes, caber tossing, tug of war competitions, and even the Queen pops in.If you are there at that time you can get a day tour to that event. It was fun, if wet. I think you would regret spending so much time on trains when there is so much you can do right from Edinburgh.
If you are in Edinburgh the first Saturday of September, you might want to book a trip out to Braemar for the Royal family's Highlands Games. It's a wonderful event and well worth the trip.