Thanks everyone who gave me feedback on my first itinerary which included the Isle of Skye. After more consideration, I thought it might be better to save Skye for another trip and combine it with the Isles of Lewis and Harris and fly round trip in and out of Inverness, time better spent overall than trying to drive back and forth from Edinburgh this trip.
I've been working on a new itinerary that gives us a variety of experiences in the short amount of time we will be there. I'm strategically attempting to break up driving days with other interesting activities. I'm more interested in seeing the western landscape than the Cairngorms so that is why we aren't spending any more time in that area. I didn't want to split up our stay in Edinburgh at the beginning and end of the trip so I wanted to find a location we could get to with relative ease to start our trip; Pitlochry seemed like a good fit.
I'd appreciate your thoughts on where to pick up the rental car. Edinburgh airport is obviously the most convenient but I am concerned it may be stressful and congested. I found the town of Kirkcaldy which has an Enterprise; we could either take public transportation or possibly a taxi from EDI and pick our car up there. It is outside of Edinburgh and just south of Falkland so it is convenient. We have driven on the other side of the road before and will rent an automatic. I'm not crazy about driving the day of arrival but we have done it before for short distances in both Ireland and France. We're in our 30s so we have good energy levels yet.
October 4: Arrive EDI 9:10 am. Pick up rental car at either Edinburgh airport or Kirkcaldy. Visit Falkland Palace, drive to Pitlochry for the night. Visit Edradour Distillery.
October 5: Falls of Bruar walk in morning after breakfast. Drive to Oban via Fortingall. Would like to pick a nice, scenic location to hike somewhere on this drive.
October 6: Three Isles Boat Tour from Oban
October 7: Oban Distillery Tour in the morning. Drive up to Fort William, visit the West Highland Museum. Steall Falls and Nevis Gorge Hike.
October 8: Jacobite Steam Train
October 9: Drive to Edinburgh - scenic stop at Glen Etive. Visit Doune Castle and drop rental car at either Edinburgh airport or back at Kirkcaldy.
October 10-12: Edinburgh
October 13: Fly home
If we get an early start on October 9, it looks like we could visit either Linlithgow or Culross village. Both look interesting. OR, we could make a bee-line that day to get back to Edinburgh as soon as possible for sight-seeing. If we did this, we could use one of our Edinburgh days to go on a Rabbie's "Outlander" tour that covers Doune Castle, Linlithgow Palace, Culross, Blackness Castle, and Midhope Castle. I love castles so this seems like an exciting day out but am also a little worried that it may be a whirlwind.
I've been perusing the Walk Highlands website but if anyone has particular favorite hikes in the vicinity of our itinerary, I'd love your recommendation.
I've heard mixed feedback on staying in Fort William - if anyone has suggestions for somewhere else to stay that works with our itinerary, I'd definitely appreciate it.
My husband prefers to do the driving but that means he misses out on some great scenery at times. I'm thinking the train would be a great way to enjoy the scenery in a relaxing, fun way together. Yea or nay?