Please sign in to post.

First time to Scotland

We will be heading to Scotland in early September for 7 days. Our first two nights will be in Edinburgh. I have been doing research and realize there is so much to take in and beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed. Here is my rough itinerary:
Day 1 and 2: Edinburgh
Day 3: travel to Pitlochry / Sterling Castle
Day 4: Inverness area
Day 5: Isle of Skye
Day 6: Isle of Skye
Day 7: We are staying at Cringletie House Castle/ Peebles
Day 8: Edinburgh Airport
Any thoughts or suggestions. Isle of Skye or something different. Is it too long of a drive between Skye and Peebles ? We enjoy hiking/outdoors.

Thank you!

Posted by
16 posts

It's a quick trip, but doable. Personally, rather than stay in Pitlochry, I'd add another night in Edinburgh. If Stirling is your main draw to that area, it's accessible by train from Edinburgh, and coming back to the city that night gives you some extra exploring time/less time spent that day getting the car. Really you only have one day in Edinburgh (I expect Day 1 is your arrival day? So you'll be tired and lots of time will be spent getting settled), which is enough to do the major tourist things, but another night would give you time to wander/do things you discovered your first two days that you wish you could do.
I fully agree with you only having one day in Inverness, but I do love Urquhart Castle if you have the chance. But, unless you have a reason to be up in Inverness you might consider staying somewhere more directly along the route to the Isle of Skye.

Isle of Skye is lovely, but a bit out of the way. You could spend some time in Glasgow instead, or along the coast there without going over to any islands. But personally, I'd consider your trip more a "Edinburgh and Isle of Skye trip" and just make it happen.
But the drive between Skye and Peebles is quite long, especially if there's a storm or any kind of delay. Have you already booked your flights, or could you perhaps fly out of Glasgow instead? Only a bit of difference in time, but would also mean less "backtracking" of your route to Skye.

Posted by
5 posts

Yes flights are booked. It is through a travel company the nights in Edinburgh and Peebles are are set by the company. We just have to plan the other 4 nights at B&B/hotels . We will be arriving after a week in Ireland.
Would it be too much to travel between Pitlochry to Isle of Skye and explore Inverness/castle on the way?

Posted by
4492 posts

Peebles is a nice town. We stayed right in the town and enjoyed it. It isn’t very large and doesn’t take long to see. Prior to going there we made stops at Melrose Abbey and Jedburgh Abbey. What’s nice is that where you’re staying is an easy drive of only 24 miles to the airport. There are a number of woolen mills in that area.

Posted by
636 posts

I'm not quite sure what Castle you are refering too when you say "Would it be too much to travel between Pitlochry to Isle of Skye and explore Inverness/castle on the way?" (I'm assuming it isn't Stirling Castle!)
You also don't say where on Isle of Skye.

Pitlochry to Portree is going to be about 6 hour drive plus any stops. That isn't going to give you much time to explore anywhere. Don't unnderestimate the time taken to drive in Scotland. It will take a lot longer than you might expect.

Posted by
5 posts

I was referring to Urquhart Castle . I was thinking of staying near Broadford on Isle of Skye. Might be better to stay closer to Inverness on Day 3. Thanks for all advice and insight...

Posted by
5671 posts

You can see Urquhart Castle as a day trip from Inverness very easily. It gives you lovely views of Loch Ness and has a good visitor center that explains the history.

I agree that with your limited time that it is a bit of a haul to Skye. If your heart is set on seeing Skye then you should head straight there from from Stirling and give Inverness a miss. I enjoy Inverness--the history, the food, the music--but with a short trip you need to focus. The link shows the map to do this. You could leave Edinburgh, visit Stirling, stop in Pitlochry (If something good in playing at the Festival theatre that might influence your decision) or push on as far as Spean Bridge. You want to do the drive in day light. It will be beautiful factor in stopping to take pictures. Just outside Spean Bridge is a wonderful monument to the Commandos of WWII. You should stop. Remember them and look around you at the countryside that they trained in!

Here's a map of the whole round trip. It is a lot of driving and you need to think about that and what you hope to see.

Your best bet is to just accept that you will come back to Scotland for at least a second trip. :)

Pam

Posted by
5671 posts

Tell us what you are interested in most. There are many things to think about. Do you just want to soak in the scenery? Do you want to explore some castles? Would you want to take some shore walks (British term for hikes)? Do you want to taste some whisky? Are you interested in history? Do you have family ties? Have you enjoyed some Scottish books and literature? Do you want to see some stone circles? Do you really want to find a beautiful sweater? Do you want to listen to Scottish music?

Others may be able to add some other questions to pepper you with! But maybe it helps your thinking to consider these things.

Pam

Posted by
5 posts

My answer would be all of the above.... Priorities are some history/culture, visiting castles, enjoying local music and taking in the scenery. We enjoy hikes/walks . We like to get off the beaten path somewhat to avoid crowds.

Posted by
5671 posts

So, I will tell you how I would spend 7 days. I would definitely spend time in Edinburgh At least one day, and 2 if you can. There is a lot to see and appreciate.

Since you have said scenery and castles, I wouldn't necessarily go as far north. It's beautiful in the north, but consider the Trossachs. It took me a while to find the Trossachs, but they are quite wonderful. A second idea would be too consider Perthshire. Both places are relatively close to Edinburgh but also clearly not the city! I've spent more time in Perthshire staying in Aberfeldy, Dunkeld and Pictlochry on different trips. In Dunkeld there are wonderful walks and good music. Blair Castle is not far up the A9. If you have a car, Glamis Castle is less than an hour away. There is always music in Dunkeld.

PAm