I know its kinda hectic for most of the audience but this is what we do. We are flying into Barra from Glasgow, staying the night in Barra then heading to Lochboisdale to catch the ferry the next day to Mallaig and then on to Ft. William. We are staying two nights and climbing Ben Nevis. This is where I need help. After Ben Nevis we are heading to Inverness. We have 3 days. I need Itenerary suggestions, we are definitely going to visit Lochness and travel to Thurso. ( I love surfing and I have to see it for myself. I guess my question is, how long do you need to spend at Loch Ness? then should I do any hike at John o groats or dunnethead?
Since you won't have a car, your best bet would be to take one of the many boat cruises that sail Loch Ness. You have a choice of a non-landing cruise, or the landing cruise which allows you a tour of Urquhart Castle. However, as you'll be taking the bus from Fort William to Inverness, if you sit on the right side of the bus, you'll see all of Loch Ness that you really need to.
While you're in Inverness, there are good walks along the River Ness and the Ness Islands. You could check out the WalkHighlands website for some suggestions www.walkhighlands.co.uk That would also be a good website to check for the Thurso/Dunnet Head area.
On a clear day, you can see the Orkneys from Dunnet Head, so that will give you some incentive for your next visit to Scotland. John O'Groats is worth a miss, unless you just want to say that you've been there.
Next time, you'll need to visit Tiree.
Thanks for the info, to clarify we will be renting a car once we actually get to Inverness. Is Tiree better than Barra? I can always go there instead.
Well, that will make things a lot easier! You can drive out to Dunnet Head, which is a fair hike from Thurso. If you want to see more of Loch Ness than you've already seen from the bus, without taking a boat cruise, you could drive down the east shore of the loch, via Dores and Foyers, then back up the A82 from Fort Augustus. The lock system at Fort Augustus is worth a visit while you're there.
I'd still say that John O'Groats is worth a miss, as it's not the most northerly part of Scotland.
We’ve decided we will stay one night in Inverness, then we will stay 3 nights in Thurso as a base to explore that region we will definitely hit Dunnethead what else should we explore?
What else to see? It depends on your interests, but if I got a chance to visit that region of Scotland I'd want to go see both Dunrobin Castle and the Castle of Mey.
We love Castles and we love hiking/walking, we also love beaches. On our last visit to Scotland we hiked from Stonehaven harbor up to Dunnattor Castle in perfect sunshiny weather, we also found the most amazing beach completely on accident!
Hi again, ocean_barrel,
If you're going to be in Thurso for three days, you should definitely take a day trip to the Orkney mainland. There are some amazing historical sites there. You'd need to book the ferry ahead of time. You have two choices for the ferry - Scrabster to Stromness, or Gills Bay to St. Margaret's Hope. You could go out on one, then back on the other, allowing you to spend more travel time on Orkney.
There aren't many castles that far north. Epitd already mentioned Dunrobin and Castle Mey. Wick has two - Sinclair Castle and Old Wick Castle, plus the Old Pulteney (sp?) Distillery.
If you're interested in the Highland Clearances, there is an excellent interpretive museum at Bettyhill. you could then drive down through Strathnaver to the site of one of the worst of the clearances. After you reach Altnaharra, you could head back north on the A836 to Tongue, then complete the circuit back to Thurso.
Best wishes once again for your travels. It sounds like quite an adventure!
p.s.: If you love beaches, there are two good ones farther west - Balnakeil Beach and Sango Bay, near Durness. Also near Golspie. One of the best is at Lossiemouth, north of Elgin, if you happen to go that way.
Thanks again for the info. It would be nice to compare the beaches on the Hebrides to the ones on the Orkney islands. Im really interested to see how the surf scene is that far north in Thurso. Are the Orkneys something I can do on foot or will I need to bring the car over on the ferry?
hey if you are in Fort William on a Tuesday evening be sure to take in the live music at the Ben Nevis Inn, pretty fun!!
Unfortunately no Tuesday, we are staying Friday and Saturday night.