We are visiting Scotland for just 7 short days (necessary due to kids' school break) Oct. 6-13. I already know we don't have enough time, so trying to be most efficient. We have first 3 nights booked (Sat.-Mon.) in Ballater (minimum stay for timeshare), but are willing to leave a day early if it makes more sense sense. Tues. night booked in Barcaldine Castle (daughter's request and only availability) between Glencoe and Oban. We definitely want to see Culloden and Loch Ness (kids), and are thinking to do so either on a day trip from Ballater (Sunday or Monday) or 'on the way' to Oban area (if we leave on Monday instead of Tuesday). Will visit Isle of Mull while in the Oban area. We will end up in Edinburgh for Thurs and Fri nights, fly out Sat.
Currently debating: 1) leave Ballater on Monday, stay in Oban area Monday night, castle Tuesday night, maybe stay in Stirling area Wed. night or stop there on way to Edinburgh for an extra night there (Wed.); or 2) leave Ballater early Tuesday morning, head to Oban area, stay in castle Tues, Mull either Tues p.m. or Wed a.m., stay in Stirling Wed. night, then to Edinburgh on Thurs. as planned. We want to see as much as possible and I can't tell which area makes most sense to spend the night (Oban, Stirling or Edinburgh) - hard to judge the distances based on Google maps! :)
We will have a car. I know time is getting short so need to nail down the final details ASAP. I also realize the above is a little vague, but we're really open to suggestions!