We are going to be in Scotland June 20-28 and wanted to spend our first two days in Edinburgh and the next two in Glasgow - taking the train between Edinburgh and Glasgow and renting a car at the airport in Glasgow for a trip to Oban, the Isle of Mull and Iona and then to the isle of Skye. From Skye we are open on our return to either Glasgow or Edinburgh and then a train to London and flight home to Chicago. Can you recommend good hotels in Edinburgh and Glasgow and how long would yo recommend a stay in Skye - we were thinking of staying two days. Coming back from Skye we thought of going to Inverness and then what appears to be the long drive back - any recommendations would be greatly appreciated and thank you in advance. Our confusion right now is the best route after the Isle of Skye to return to either Edinburgh or Glasgow.
The drive from Skye to Inverness is quite beautiful no matter which route you take! The drive back to Edinburgh on the A9 is close to four hours. If you are taking the day to do it, you could stop at Blair Castle on route for a break or at Dunkeld for a walk in the woods and look at the Cathedral. Lunch at the Taybank or other restaurant in town. Be sure to take a tea break at Queen's View. The view is worth the stop. :)
Or you could ditch the car in Inverness and take the train back to Edinburgh. This would eliminate dropping it off at the Airport and catching the bus into town and then another bus or walk to your hotel. The drop off charges are not bad in my experience.
I have to places to think about for hotels in Edinburgh. First, the Inverleith Hotel. It's near the Royal Botanic Gardens and so is a bit off the beaten track, but close enough to walk or catch the bus up the hill to Princes Street or the Royal Mile. The Walton is a guest house that I've stayed in that is in New town and thus closer to the train station and many restaurants. (I see a note however that they were up for sale recently and I could not find their website, so maybe look further.) In Glasgow I've stayed at the Premier Inn on George Square which is convenient to the train station and the bus to the airport.
I would definitely spend two days on Skye. It's a big island and you won't be able to see all of it in that time. You might want to think about having flexible plans. You're traveling in June and so there shouldn't be any problem find a room for a night. If the weather is very bad in the west, sometimes it is good to just cut your losses and head east where the sun shines through the rain clouds a bit more often. You need to watch local news to catch this, not weather out of London. The London BBC tends to just put a black cloud over all of Scotland. :)
Thanks Pam for your response - as always you are very insightful and it is appreciated for a "newbie" Scotland traveler.