We are ending our vacation with a short 5 days exploring "somewhere" in Scotland. We will have already spent time in Edinburgh. The dilemma I am having is the lack of time and how best to spend it. I would rather not 'lock in" to my decision but decide after we can see how the weather looks, etc. If the weather is decent, we may decide to stay in one or two areas and spend at least a day hiking. If the weather is poor, we may plan on moving around a bit more and seeing more from the car. Which brings me to my question. Will I have trouble finding reasonable places to stay a couple of days out? The areas I am looking at are Glencoe, Inverness, and the Isle of Skye. I would probably research a few places and take their phone numbers with me. Then, based on the weather forecasts, call ahead a day or 2 in advance. I don't like spending a lot of my day "trying to find a place", but hate to commit with such limited time and no idea what the weather will be like. Has anyone tried this? Did you have trouble getting places. We will traveling September 27-October 1st.
You probably don't need to make a reservation in advance. I've traveled in September in Scotland as a single and have found rooms. I used the Tourist Information Book a Bed Ahead service and for the most part it was fine. In fact I can only think of one time when I was unhappy. And, it will be easier to find a double! The caveats I would make are one, that you look to see if there are any festivals going on in the towns that your thinking of visiting. If there are, you do need to book those in advance. Two, if you do have your heart set on staying at a particular B&B or hotel, then book that ahead.
I love the flexible that this offers me. Scotland's weather is very changeable and varies across that wee, little country in ways that can stun an American.
You can also try the Visitor Information Centers that are located in every town. We used them the first trip there and were very happy. We have been enough times now that we have made many friends in different towns and most times stay with them.
Two of our friends live on Skye. But if they are out of town, we always stay at Peinmore House.
Don & Margaret Greer (love them! and the B&B)
They also have 2 self-catering units if you prefer that. We loved them, too!
Their rooms are HUGE and bathrooms even bigger!!
Thanks for the help. The Ryder Cup is in Scotland over the week end we are there, but I have already booked that Thursday and Friday nights in Edinburgh. I may book a Sunday night where we plan on heading next and then wing it from there. Thanks for the experienced replies!
The Tourist Information office's Book a Bed Ahead program is quite good. Be aware that you pay a deposit. Some of the deposit goes toward your overnight stay, but some of it goes to Visit Scotland. That said, I've used the service many times and found it very good. The best thing is to book the day before, or in the morning. You can do it in any TI. So, you don't need to be in Dunkeld, to book a bed in Dunkeld. If you wan't to be really flexible, but are worried about spending too much time searching for a place to stay, you should plan to get into the town you're staying in before the TI closes. Or, stop off somewhere en route and book your lodging. I've done it both ways.
another spot to check for rooms is airbnb.com
Pamela- Thanks for the tip. Jane- We are using Airbnb for and apartment in Edinburgh. (with the Ryder cup there, hotels really raised their prices. Found a centrally located apartment for reasonable amount). Thanks everyone.
If you still have days to fill, St Andrews Univercity still has rooms available at Agnes Blackadder Hall (very near the Old Course) even though Graduation Week and Reunion Weekend is still happening.