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Itinerary advise: 14 Days in Scotland in July

Hello, we are planning a 14 day trip to Scotland this July, (I know it's quite a busy time to travel but it is the only time we can go). I would really appreciate any input or suggested sites to visit. There are 2 of us, my husband and myself, travelling from Canada. We will be renting a car after our initial few days in Edinburgh (we have driven lots in the UK). I have read many posts on the forums and find them very helpful. I have all of the accommodations booked already so the number of days we spend at each place is pretty much set at this point. The fun is filling in the details! We like walking, exploring, beautiful scenery, good food, and learning about the history of where we are travelling. We did want to see a couple of castles, at least 1-2 whisky distilleries and love to wonder around little villages and do some scenic hikes (weather permitting). Here is what I have so far:

July 10- Arrive Edinburgh: staying in Airbnb in New Town. (I do have a separate Edinburgh itinerary)
July 11- Edinburgh: Royal Mile walking tour 10am only thing booked.
July 12 - Edinburgh
July 13- Edinburgh to Alyth (rental car): Fife fishing village for lunch (Anstruther? Crail?), drive through St Andrew's, visit Glamis Castle (booked). Our stop for the night is only 15 min from Glamis, a well rated guest house (chose the accommodations not particularly the town with this one).
July 14- Alyth to Aviemore: with stop on the way to hike/picnic in Cairngorms National Park (ideas for 1-3 hour hike?
July 15- Aviemore to Skye: on the way see Plockton (Hamish Macbeth fans!), Eilean Donan Castle, take bridge over to Skye and stay Portree (hotel booked for 3 nights). dinner booked at Cuillin Hills Hotel
July 16 - Skye: early hike Fairy Pools, 11am tasting tour Talisker booked, Hike Neist Point trail, time for Dunvegan Castle? Dinner booked at Rosedale Hotel
July 17 - Skye: See Kilt Rock on way to Quiriang loop hike/picnic, then Visit Fairy Glen, dinner booked at Antlers Bar & Grill
July 18- SKye to Glencoe: booked 11:25am CalMac ferry Armadale to Mallaig, picnic Camusdarach beach or the silver sands at Morar beach (good idea?), try to fit in a walk under Glenfinnan viaduct and on to our hotel in Glencoe.
July 19- Glencoe: still have planning to do re: hike/picnic today. Looking for a 3-4 hour hike weather permitting
July 20- Glencoe to North Berwick: Meeting some family from England for 2 nights who have ties to North Berwick. On the way would love one scenic lunch spot in Loch Lomond, not too out of the way & where we can get out and walk around a bit. There may be time to see Stirling Castle on the way? (would like to be in North Berwick for dinner).
July 21- North Berwick
July 22- North Berwick to Airport hotel where we will stay to fly out in the morning.
Hope that wasn't too long! Thanks so much in advance for any suggestions. Liz.

Posted by
4927 posts

On 18 July you want to be at the Viaduct by 1.55 pm to see the afternoon steam train crossing towards Mallaig or just before 3.15 to see the one going the other way. With your ferry time and having lunch at Morar or Arisaig the 2nd train is the more likely.
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Posted by
5 posts

Thank you! Wonderful suggestions! We would love to see the train going over

Posted by
1376 posts

Hi, lizzyj,

Good itinerary! I'd go with Camusdarach Beach over the Morar beach. It's much nicer. Once you cross the little bridge from the car park, the best path is off to the right.

There are no toilet facilities at Camusdarach Beach. The nearest would be in Arisaig or at the Morar Hotel. There is a toilet at the car park for the beach at Morar, but it is not too well maintained. Forewarned is forearmed! :)

Have a wonderful holiday!

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
1771 posts

Some days are more intensive than others and you may need to keep an eye on time to make sure you achieve everything.

July 13th - What time is your tour of Glamis castle booked for? You are talking about lunch in either Crail or Anstruther and a drive through St Andrews. That does seem to be short changing St Andrews which is worth a stop for the ruined castle and cathedral.

July 16 - Is a pretty full day. If Dunvegan Castle is a must then plan to do this before Neist Point. Although the last entry is 5pm with it shutting at 5.30, you s at 5.30. You need to allow at least 2 hours for a visit if you are wanting to see both the castle and the grounds . (I enjoyed the grounds more than the castle itself which I found to concentrate too much on MacLoed family history).

Have you found the Walkhighlands website? It is the walkers bible.

Posted by
993 posts

July 16th you are driving from Portree to the Fairy Pools - approx 45 minutes, going to hike to the pools and then still be in Carbost for your Talisker tour at 11am. I'd say that will involve a very early start indeed. You're going to want a couple of hours at the fairy pools as it's a good 30 minutes from the car park to the best of the pools (so that's an hour there and back) plus time to explore the trail and see the pools. I'd want to be there by 8am to make that work well.

Best wishes
Jacqui (Skyegirl)

Posted by
4927 posts

I'm pleased that the castle concentrates on the Clan History. That is my clan, so I'd be dissapointed if it didn't.
I've not been there in several decades, and keep being frustrated by circumstances.

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you so much for the thoughtful replies.
Auchteriess that is helpful about Camusdarach Beach, those details make things run smoother!
Wasleys, our Glamis tickets are for the whole day, I did email Glamis Castle Enquiries about tour times and they responded that in July they run tours regularly, about every 15 - 20 minutes and we can just join the next available tour. Also, I see what you mean about St Andrew's, we would have liked to have explored the area, I had trouble fitting everything in that one day so just chose what we thought we would like.
Skyegirl, thanks for the realistic time frame regarding visiting the Fairy Pools, we will need to be super organized in the morning and have an early start! I think if I were to do the itinerary over I would have spent one more day on Skye but we are really looking forward to our 3 days there.