Someone PM’d me recently after reading my Pre-Trip report from last Fall https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/a-pre-trip-report-an-anatomy-of-our-planning-for-our-upcoming-trip-to-scotland and asked if I ever finalized an itinerary and what it was. After reading so many other itineraries on this Forum, I’ve been curious what people would think of mine, so here goes;
Scotland, first two weeks of June;
Land in Glasgow and make our way to Edinburgh for a 6 night stay at the Fraser Suites.
First day we tend to just wander, take a nap then wander some more. We’ve found it works for us on past European adventures. I never have trouble sleeping while I’m there, but once I get home it takes me a week or two to recover from jet lag.
Royal Mile Tour with Mercat Tours. We love history and always hope to find a guide that can bring the sites to life.
Then Edinburgh Castle on our own. Bought the Scottish Explorer Pass. We estimate with the sites we want to see on this trip it will likely pay for itself. We bought the 1 year membership instead of the 14 day pass. It only costs about £10 more and we’re heading to London and York in the Fall and the pass can be used at some sites in England.
We typically don’t research restaurants and just find something once we get to a location, but we’re always open to suggestions.
Outlander day trip with Rabbies. A bucket list item for my wife. If she finds Jamie Fraser I’m probably heading home alone…
Rabbies day tour to Rosslyn Chapel and Melrose Abbey. I honestly haven’t researched either that much yet, my wife wanted to go and I’m following along.
Stirling Castle, on our own. *New for 2020, it requires a timed entry unless you have a pass.
National Museum and Laundry day. The hotel has self laundry facilities as well as a service, hoping my wife chooses the service so we’re not stuck for a few hours at the hotel. Possibly a ghost tour in the evening, will likely leave that to the last minute.
Check out of hotel, pick up rental car at 10am (I’ve driven on the other side of the road before). Meander to Inverness. First place we need to be is the Leault Working Sheepdog demonstration at 4:00-if there is a chance to see and pet dogs, I'm in. Thinking about stopping at the Highland Folk Museum nearby first. Check in at the Royal Highland Hotel in Inverness.
Culloden Battlefield, Clava Cairns and Cawdor Castle.
Leave Inverness and head to Oban. Probably stop at Urquhart Castle on the way. Possibly a side trip to Eilean Donan Castle. Can’t decide if the 1 hour there and 1-hour back side trip is worth it on this trip or save it for another time when we’ll come back to see Skye. Check in to Barcaldine Castle. This is a bucket list item to stay at a haunted castle, hopefully the ghost isn’t just a marketing ploy…
On the 9:50 ferry to Mull. Stop at Duart Castle, drive to Calgary Beach-bucket list item, my hometown was named after it and I’ve always wanted to go-just because. Short hike to the Kilmore Standing Stones. 2-night stay at the Harbour View B & B in Tobermory.
Up early and drive to Fionnphort and take the first ferry to Iona. Probably also take a tour to Staffa.
9:55 ferry back to Oban, drive to Glasgow via the A82 past Loch Lomond. Nothing in particular booked this day. Want to arrive in Glasgow and drop off car before 4:00. Check into Motel One in Glasgow.
Kelvingrove Art Museum probably find a restaurant in Ashton lane that evening.
Last full day, Riverside Museum, aimless wandering. Maybe find a walking tour.
Flight home from Glasgow at 9:30.