Please sign in to post.

Glasgow, Oban, Skye, then where before Edinburgh?

Please help us choose a one night stop during our driving vacation in Scotland in July 2020! And critique our itinerary. We enjoy outdoor scenery/experiences and short easy hikes (more like walks) and, to a lesser extent, history and small towns. We like take leisurely road drives, but are nervous about driving in Scotland since we are Americans. Would like to tour one distillery, but not a must.

We will be arriving in Glasgow, spending the night and looking around, then picking the car up at the airport, then heading towards Oban for 2 nights. Would like to do a sea Kayaking 1/2 day and a tour of the Hebrides (leaving our car at our B&B). Then leaving Oban to Portree on Skye for 2 nights these 5 nights of accommodations have been booked).When we leave Skye, we will be drive towards Edinburgh airport to drop off the car (will then be spending a couple of nights in Edinburgh without a car).

We would like to spend the night between Skye and Edinburgh and that would allow us to have a scenic drive with stops and perhaps stay someplace "special" in terms of lodging (castle or high end hotel...we like to splurge for one night on vacation). Any suggestions? Any suggestions re routes on our journey? Thank you so much for everyone's input!

Posted by
21300 posts

You are not allowing very much time in Oban or on Skye, though you'll have a car (I didn't), which will help. I think you'll be rushed if you try to spend half a day sea kayaking and tour "the Hebrides" (as opposed to one island) in the time you have. Dealing with ferries tends to chew up time.

I'd be inclined to add the extra night to one of those two locations. The weather in western Scotland is unpredictable but can be very rainy. I had enough rain during July this year to really affect how much I could see while staying in Oban and Portree, and I was in the area much longer than you will be (4 nights Oban, 3 nights Portree, 1 night Kyle of Lochalsh).

Posted by
618 posts

I agree with acraven, I think you’d be much happier with 3 nights on Skye. If you’re taking the time to go up there, it makes sense to give yourself more time to see and do things there. We had three nights on Skye and we got to see a lot but could have used another night. We did quite a bit of hiking - the full Quiraing circuit, Old Man of Storr, Brother’s Point and the Fairy Pools. You’ll be there in July so you can take advantage of the longer daylight hours (we were there in October). We had hoped to do the Loch Coruisk boat trip but the waters were too rough while we were there.

Posted by
459 posts

You would not go wrong with the extra day on Skye, we loved it there and wish we had budgeted more time for more awesome hikes out there so I agree with the others on that. But if you feel the need to move along we enjoyed Glen Coe and that area greatly. We stayed up near Fort William at the Huntingtower Lodge and it ws a great B&B. We drove down to Glen Coe for some awesome hiking and a great meal at between Ft. William and Glen Coe, near Onich. When in that area you also might want to drive down to Glenfinnan and hike up above the viaduct and watch the Jacobite train chug over the viaduct, pretty cool and I was not even familiar with the whole Harry Potter thing. Take a look at the walkhighlands web site for some great guidance of hikes and how to get to the trail heads...also very helpful for out on Skye!!

Posted by
597 posts

Last September we drove from Skye to Edinburgh, and spent a night in Pitlochry. We had time to hike to Edradour for a wonderful tour as well. Pitlochry was a very nice stay, but Dunked (just further down the road) was fun too. We dumped the car in Perth and took the train to Edinburgh to avoid as much city traffic as possible.

Posted by
4 posts

I agree that another night on Skye might be best, but will a drive from Skye to the Edinburgh airport be too much in one day? I was thinking of stopping someplace in between to break up the driving.

Posted by
629 posts


The drive from Skye to Edinburgh airport would take around 6 hours if you go at a steady pace and stop too much for photos along the way.
Personally I would do another night on Skye, but then I would say that as I've chosen to retire here.

Jacqui (Skyegirl)

Posted by
5648 posts

On an August trip a few years ago, after spending 3 days and nights on Skye (surprised how many motorhomes with Belgian or Italian license plates were there, too, not necessarily staying completely in their lane, maybe not used to driving on that side of the road, and driver sitting on far left of the vehicle!), we headed to the town of Fort William for a couple nights. It took some time to get there. Then, leaving Fort William in the morning, headed towards Edinburgh, we drove through Glen Coe in an absolutely pouring rainstorm, with a long, slow line of cars and trucks, wipers on full speed and barely keeping up with the water washing over the windshield. Rain finally stopped and we pulled in for a lunch to calm down a bit, get something to eat, and let things dry out. We stopped at Doune castle in Doune, passed through Sterling, then spent the night at a B&B about an hour west of Edinburgh, so that we were only about an hour from turning in our rental and catching our flight home from the Edinburgh airport.

So we broke up a full drive by staying at least one night in 2 places between Skye and Edinburgh. Weather could slow things down if you don’t get ideal conditions. And while we didn’t stick around after visiting the wonderful castle there, you could do worse than spending a night in Doune.

Driving shouldn’t make you too nervous, if it’s approached with a bit of extra attention. Highways with 2 lanes are fairly wide, but not as wide as on a U.S. Interstate. Skye roads can be very narrow, and having a rental vehicle that’s pretty small can help. Having the person in the front passenger (left) seat remind the driver to not go too far left, watching for the edge of the road, can help. Watch for Passing Places, wide spots on the road, where the car closest to one should pull in (or return to by backing up) if a vehicle’s coming in the other direction, and the road’s too narrow for both to squeeze by. It becomes second nature, quickly. Others will move over for you, if they’re closer to the Passing Place. The other thing to expect will be sheep in the road, when you least expect it. Anticipate the unexpected, watch ahead, and enjoy motoring in some fabulous places!

Posted by
32 posts

Culcreuch Castle hotel is a special treat, it's on beautiful grounds and feels fairly undiscovered compared to other castle hotels. It's near Doune Castle and Stirling.