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Does this trip plan work?

Hello there - If anyone has a chance to review my trip plan I'd appreciate it; I'm trying to see how "doable" it is (it seems like it'll work fine to me). Initially I had way too much packed into my time frame, then I slimmed it down to spending too much time in too few places, so this is my "final" iteration :)

Day 1 > Inverness: Fly from Manchester to Inverness (land at 12:30pm) and get rental car (be "with car" by 1:30pm) and drive to hotel in the city. Expecting to be all squared away by 4. Maybe then will walk around and check out Botanical Gardens or Victorian Market.

Day 2 > Skye: Begin drive to Skye in early morning. Stop at Urqhardt/Loch Ness for an hour or two, drive to Kyle of Lochalsh and spend an hour or two at Eileen Donan, then drive to where I'm staying (currently trying to decide between Portree or nearer to Talisker). I expect the travel time to take about 8 hours. My "allotted" stop time includes 6 hours including the drives but I've been adding a couple extra hours here and there to absorb other delays.

Day 3 > Skye: Fairy Pools (I hear this takes around 2 hours?), Fairy Glen further north, check out a restaurant for lunch, maybe drive around the island a little more. Stay near Portree/Uig at night.

Day 4 > Skye to Harris: This is where things get complicated. Initially this began as a spiritual trip and I'd deeply like to see the stones. I'd be on Skye until 2pm, where I would take the ferry from Uig to Tarbert and arrive on Tarbert at 3:50pm. Then it would just be an hour's drive to Stornoway where I'd stay for the night and explore in the evening hours.

Day 5 > Lewis: quite literally ALL I have for this day is the Callanish Stones. I planned for this to be a lazier day of my trip.

Day 6 > Lewis to Ullapool: would take the 7am ferry to Ullapool and land at 9:30am and drive to Inverness. On the way to Inverness I was thinking about stopping at some of the sites west of the city like Beauly Priory. I also deeply want to do the Fairy Glen walk in Rosemarkie, which looks to take only an hour or so.

Day 7 > Inverness: Culloden, Clava Cairns, maybe stop to see a village. Generally easy day.

Day 8 > either Inverness or Cairngorms: heard about the Reindeer Walk in Aviemore. Might like to see Kingussie or Newtonmore. If we don't go to the Cairngorms I would probably relax and drive around the Inverness area. Maybe go see Dunrobin Castle (even though it will be closed when I'm there).

Day 9 > fly home from Inverness Airport.

How does this all sound to you? I know it's busy but it doesn't seem too busy because, despite there being full days, I have lots of days without much going on.


Posted by
1767 posts

I think your itinerary looks good! You have allowed for time to explore what looks interesting when you get there, but also have sights you would like to see.
We spent 12 nights in Scotland this past July. We loved it. We stayed 3 nights in Inverness and 2 nights in Portree. We also went to Dunrobin castle. The castle is beautiful and we loved the falconry demonstration. If you have any specific questions, we can try to answer. We drove from Inverness to Portree. With stops it took 7 hours, but you could do it in 3 or 4. We took a long detour to see Plockton and had lunch there.
Have a great trip and come back to the forum and do a trip report.

Posted by
4 posts

Ah, I'll be driving from Inverness to Portree (or close by) as well! As an American, I'm a little worried about driving on the opposite side but I'm a good driver here so it shouldn't be an issue. What did you do on Skye at night for fun?

Posted by
1767 posts

Ah, I'll be driving from Inverness to Portree (or close by) as well! As an American, I'm a little worried about driving on the opposite side but I'm a good driver here so it shouldn't be an issue. What did you do on Skye at night for fun?

Don't worry tat all about the driving........easy peasy. And seriously, if I can do it, anyone can! (I was a terrible driver in my youth).
I did ALL the driving on our trip, my husband was the navigator. If the weather is rainy, that can make it a tad more difficult. Just go slow, the roads are not crowded in the highlands.

What did we do at night on Skye??? Why, go to the pubs of course, silly!

Posted by
4 posts

Hrm, but don't all pubs close at midnight?

I suppose If I'm drinking enough Midnight will do the trick

Posted by
2514 posts

that time of year the weather can vary very dramatically in a short time,expect wind and rain and with a very high possibility of snow.
We have a saying about March weather in Scotland. "In like a Lamb out like a Lion or in like a Lion out like a Lamb" just don't know what you are going to get .

Posted by
506 posts

Hi there Eaglebroch
Given that you only have 2 nights on Skye, I would suggest basing yourself in Portree for both nights, thus saving time on packing/unpacking and finding your B&B or hotel. There's more restaurant choice in Portree too, which could be important in March as the season won't really have started and some places will still be closed for the winter. You can drive from Portree to the Fairy Pools in 30 minutes or so, and similar to Uig. The Fairy Glen is an unusual glen with hills and hummocks. There have been many problems with inconsiderate visitors making stone stacks and circles, which is causing soil erosion and reducing the amount of grazing land for the sheep. Recently locals spent a weekend removing all the stones and putting them back where they belong.

Another couple of interesting places in that area are the Quiraing - a fantastic, fairly level, walk along the edge of the Trotternish ridge with wonderful views to the mainland and incredible rock formations, and the Museum of Island Life - a small but lovingly curated museum of old buildings telling the story of life in the 'old days'. The Ferry Inn near Uig is a good pub with great food but whether it will be open for lunch in March I don't know.

Your driving and sightseeing time allowance for Inverness to Skye looks fine to me.

On Lewis, there are other prehistoric sites in the vicinity of Callanish and the wonderful beach at Uig bay (there's an Uig on both Skye and Lewis).

Have a great trip.