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Highlands Itinerary Advice

Planning a trip to Scotland for late May 2018. There will be 4 of us (me, wife, son (13), daughter (11)). We are taking a transatlantic cruise that will end in Barcelona on morning of Saturday May 26. Plan is to take an evening flight to Edinburgh and start touring the next day (Sunday). Goal is basically a road trip to see the landscapes, visit a few castles, and enjoy time away. Wife and I have been to Stirling and Edinburgh once before. Itinerary as follows:

Day 1 Edinburgh

Day 2 Edinburgh

Day 3 Stirling

Day 4 Drive from Stirling to Mallaig - stops in Ft William, Glenfinnan and anywhere that looks interesting

Day 5 Ferry to Isle of Skye

Day 6 Isle of Skye

Day 7 Isle of Skye in morning, drive to Inverness in afternoon

Day 8 Explore area around Inverness (Loch Ness, Culloden Battlefield)

Day 9 Drive from Inverness to Edinburgh (stop anywhere interesting)

Day 10 Flight home to US

questions: a) Planning to take train from Edinburgh to Stirling. Would you do this evening of Day 2 or morning of Day 3?

b) Day 4 - would you plan on staying in or near Mallaig or take ferry onto Isle and stay there?

Any other thoughts on this plan are welcomed. Thanks!

Posted by
487 posts

I assume you are picking up a car in Stirling so I'd probably recommend taking the train first thing on Day 3. I'm definitely partial to Skye and would personally skip Mallaig. However, since you must have a reservation for the ferry this will lock you into a timetable. So if flexibility is most important, leave arriving on Skye for day 5.
Overall, looks like a nice plan - just bear in mind that it will take you longer to get to your destinations than you think!!!!

Posted by
5461 posts

I agree. It looks like a great plan. It will take you longer than you think, but you've not pushed it and have left time to enjoy the places that you are visiting.

I think I would try to do a ferry and spend the night on Skye. From what I've heard, that while the road to Mallaig is beautiful, the town is a ferry port and not much more. :) If you were to drive straight through to Mallaig you would want to allot four hours to be safe. It looks like the last ferry is at close 6 PM, so you should be able to do it, with a reasonably early start and planning. The ferry ride is less than an hour and you've lots of light so you'll still be able to see the island.