Please sign in to post.

Help Planning Scotland

We will be flying into Edinburgh and I need help planning my time! We will only be there for 2-3 days. So much to see, so little time!
I'd love to see Isle of Skye, but I don't think that it would be possible.
Thank you!

Posted by
3262 posts

We just returned last night - had 17 days total, which allowed us to drive to Skye for 3 days. We shared the narrow roads with lots of visitors from other countries, plus a few sheep and cattle. If your 2-3 days is all you have for Edinburgh AND Skye, then Skye probably needs to wait for another trip. If you have 2-3 days in Edinburgh, then have additional time beyond that, then Skye has a lot to offer.

For your 2-3 days, are you intersted in historical locations (castles, homes and sights from certain periods), outdoor settings with animals and scenery, pubs/music/entertainment, dining, shopping? The queen's former yacht, Britannia, is popular and we really enjoyed touring it for part of one afternoon. You can get more specific suggestions for a quick visit if you share what you're most interested in seeing/doing.

Posted by
5 posts

Well, I think Skye will probably have to wait. I think we are more interested in seeing architectural wonders and landscape sights rather than shopping and entertainment. We want a mixture of tourist sights with non-tourist sights :)

Posted by
484 posts

If you only have 2-3 days, I would do Edinburgh Castle and St. Gile's together. Castle in morning - find lunch, St. Gile's and go for one more site before dinner. (national museum of Scotland?). You may want to take a day trip tour with a company like Rabbie's to pack more in and get out of Edinburgh for a day. You could easily spend all your time just in Edinburgh. I would look at an Edinburgh tourist site to see a list of attractions and plan your time from there. The literary pub tour in the evening is popular.

Posted by
5461 posts

Hi Penny,

If you only have 2-3 days and want to see Skye, then either head directly to Skye and skip Edinburgh or plan on another trip. :) I would advise the latter.

If this is your first trip to Scotland, then Edinburgh is a wonderful place to spend some time. You can enjoy the culture and the history of Scotland and get some notion of Scotland today. It you truly have three days, you should think about a day trip outside the city. There are the all day bus rides to the highlands, but I am not a big fan of them--I don't like to spend that much time on a bus for the small amount of time off the bus.

If you want to get a feel for the countryside you can:

  • Take a train ride to Dunkeld/Birnam and take a walk in the woods and check out the small town of Dunkeld.
  • You can take tour of the borders. You'll see the Abbeys and more. The borders played a key role in the back and forth between England and Scotland.
  • You can take a tour of the Trossachs. This is the land of Rob Roy McGregor and includes beautiful lochs and hill sides.
  • You could take a trip to St. Andrews by train and see the Old Course and the other charms of the city.

You have lots of choices.

Pam

Posted by
3262 posts

In Edinburgh, near the southern end of the Royal Mile, the Scottish Parliament Bldg is modern and architecturally different than anything else, and nearby is the Arthur's Seat hill, the remains of an ancient volcano from which you can get great views of Edinburgh and the surrounding countryside, plus out towards the sea, and its Salisbury Crags cliffs, which are impressive from down by Parliament. Another good vantage point is up on Calton Hill. The free Museum of Edinburgh (just up the street a few blocks from Parliament) is housed in several old houses that were knit together, so the building itself is interesting, along with its displays, and worth a visit.

Posted by
5461 posts

And you can visit Holyrood! I found it very interesting. Here's the main link. It's open, as is our Capitol, but you can also do guided tours on select days. I went on a tour a number of years ago and really enjoyed it.

I do find it interesting that some of the things I heard in my tour are not on the website. :) When we were in the debating chamber, the guide pointed out the whisky bottle shaped cutouts on the sides. He said that they were actually designed to represent the people looking in and keeping an eye on their parliament. The other thing that was mentioned was the building was designed to look like a collection of boats. So, I am not sure if I had a very enthusiastic and creative guide or if they have just decided to stop talking about these things.

Pam