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Itinerary : Edinburgh as a base for short highland visit

I alongwith my wife and my son ( 4 year old) are planning to visit Scotland . We have booked our train tickets from London to Edinburgh ( 11th June) and return trip ( 15th June).
The main purpose of the trip would be to view the natural beauty and visit some parts of highlands.
11th June Edinburgh arrival ( around noon) and check in to the airbnb. Currently booked at Pearce Avenue, EH12 8 SW. Where can we visit the city in the afternoon or evening after a long journey from London. Can we visit Pentland Hills?
12th June Take an organised tour to highland and return in the evening. It is a 12 hours trip. Somehow, the operator is allowing my 4 year old to board the coach
13 th June : hire a car and go for a scenic driving route for 2-3 hours ( short route) and return back to Edinburgh. Not sure where to go? May be loch lomond area
14th June: Visit Edinburgh city ( castle, royal mile ) etc
15th June: Back to london

I am thinking if the main purpose is to be in the highland, should we skip our arduous tour on 12th June and rent a car up to the western highland. I'm thinking of may be staying overnight. What are the options. How about staying in Aviemore? Unfortunately, funicular railway is closed at that time.

Another different option is to go to Glasgow instead of Edinburgh and make day trips from there as it appears closer to the highlands.

Posted by
2751 posts

I would think that renting your own car and skip the tour might be best with a little one. That way you can stop as you please and if little one has a melt down, you would not have to worry about disturbing others on a tour. 12 hours is an awful long time for little ones.
You do not have to go all the way to Inverness to start to see some if the highland beauty.

Posted by
687 posts

I agree that with the little one it would be better to rent the car. This will allow you to make stops when necessary, and go where you want to. Glasgow and Edinburgh aren’t that far apart so I don’t think it will matter too much which one you start with, but I think you will enjoy Edinburgh more, and I think it will have more that will appeal to a four year old. You can start in Glasgow, rent the car there, and return the car in Edinburgh and then spend your last day there before returning to London.

Posted by
33 posts

Thanks for the replies.
What should be the driving itinerary if I start from Edinburgh and if you think going all the way to Inverness is not required. We won't mind that. Would love to do a round trip of 4 to max 5 hours( roundtrip) and return to Edinburgh. May be go to Stirling/ Loch lomond and then towards Glencoe( may be too much) and come back. And on next day venture out towards eastern part and come back. How easy is it for car park at Stirling castle and Loch Lomond?
I was thinking the advantage towards residing in Glasgow is to take a day trip to Isle of Aaran .

Posted by
1118 posts

If it's a taste of the highlands you are after, I urge you not to miss out on Glencoe. Sure it's a fair drive and and back, so maybe an overnight stop in the Glencoe/Ballachulish/FortWilliam area would be sensible, but the drive up Loch Lomond, and through Tyndrum, Bridge of Orchy, and across Rannoch Moor is a classic!

Have a great trip!


Posted by
33 posts

Yeah looks good.

So Edinburgh to Fort william round trip and stay there overnight and come back via A9
I can see there are two options from the onward trip from Edinburgh to Fort William
1) Go via M8 and A82 (slightly longer by 30 miles)
2) Go via M9 (Stirling) A84
Which one is more scenic?
Secondly, please let me know a suitable place (mightn't be at the centre) where we can stay. Currently, Fort william and Glenco hotel accommodation at are over 100 pounds for 12th June overnight.