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Family trip to the Highlands. Help!

My husband and I are traveling with our 11 and 6 year old boys to Scotland for 2 weeks in June and I need your help to put this trip together!
Aside from traveling days we'll have 16 full days in Scotland. We want to spend our first 3 days in Edinburgh and then we want to rent a car and spend the rest of our trip in the Highlands. I was thinking we could spend 2 nights in the Isle of Skye and for the rest of the trip I was hoping we could divide the time in two, one part in the western highlands and one on the eastern side. Could you recommend two good locations where we could rent houses or cottages to use as a base?
We are looking for rentals in very scenic and quaint places.
We want to be able to do daily drives to see beautiful scenery, wildlife, nature, villages, castles and just get a taste of life in the Highlands.
We'll try to go to the Highland games in Oban on June 26th.
Thanks for all comments and advise!

Posted by
1239 posts

You really need to be booking now. Accomodation for June will go quickly and you are better looking at a cottage for the whole way through. Where to stay depends on your interests. The West Highlands is the area around Ft William and down into Argyll and Bute, there is no 'East Highlands' as such.

Secondly you need to realise the distances will be deceiving given the geography. If you are based in the top of Argyll then trips over to the islands are doable.

Posted by
30 posts

We stayed in Ft. William and Aviemore. Ft. William is a nice little town with enough dining options to try a couple different places. We went on a hike at Steall Falls about 10 minutes away from the Best Western we stayed at. Aviemore seemed like a cool little ski-town. We didn't do much in Aviemore other than stay the night, but it was close to the distilleries we visited the next day and apparently there is a nice wildlife park someplace around town.

Posted by
78 posts

In the summer of 2014 we rented an apartment at the Highland Club in Ft. Augustus (http://www.highlandclubscotland.co.uk/). They have many apartments of all different sizes. The location is convenient for visiting Loch Ness, Inverness, Ft. William, Culloden, and many other sights in the area. In addition, they have activities for families including an indoor pool, croquet, badminton, tennis, and a playground. It is an easy walk to the town with shops, pubs, and restaurants. We enjoyed watching the locks in operation and took a boat trip on Loch Ness form the local dock. We highly recommend the sheep dog demonstrations at Leault Farm (http://www.leaultworkingsheepdogs.co.uk). It is a bit of a drive from Ft. Augustus but very much worth the trip, especially for the children.

Posted by
1008 posts

We loved Thurso and surrounding small towns and area. We stayed at Thurso Bay Holidays. See: http://www.thursobayholidays.co.uk/

They have Holiday Homes for rent. Perfect for 4 people. You get a full kitchen, dining area and large living room. While there, go to the Orkney Islands. Take the tour bus. Do the full day one. It is worth it. I normally do NOT do tours, but this one is an exception.

On driving. They do drive on the "wrong side". If you rent an automatic trans. car, it will be double or more the cost of renting. Renting a stick shift is way cheaper. Get as small a car as you can, Scottish roads are not renowned for the wideness or signage. Bring GPS with Europe chip and a good Atlas. Use Atlas to decide where to go and GPS to get you there. If you have not driven in UK before, google driving rules in UK and read them. Do not speed. They have speed cameras all over the place. Tickets are expensive.