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Itinerary help. June

We arrive from ireland into Edinburgh on june 2nd at 1:45 pm.

We planned to stay in Edinburgh the night of the 2nd and the night of the 3rd.

On the 4th, 5th and 6th we wanted to explore some of the North. Possibly iverness area??

I really want to see the highlands and some castles. This is kind of an open canvas here. We don't necessarily need heavily traveled tourist areas, but we do love to wowed by scenery.

So looking for some suggestions on where and what to spend our time on. There will be 4 of us all adults and good health.

We do love small town pubs, beer and food..

Our flight out of Glasgow is at 2pm on the 7th.

(We will have already spent a couple days in Glasgow before we go to Ireland for 10 days so we don't really need to spend any time there)

Posted by
1190 posts

Check out Visit Scotland and Historic Scotland on-line sites to see what castles you might like to see. A lot of the "Castles" in Scotland are Victorian or remodeled in that era. Of course the Industrial Revolution made a lot of rich families who built some fabulous homes that are worth seeing. If you want to see ancient or medieval castles you may find more of those and Abbeys closer to Edinburgh and to the south and west near England. The islands probably have the most spectacular and stark scenery; also the more blustery weather. The Highlands of course are famous for the struggles of the Clans, the Jacobite wars ,etc. and have many evocative sites to visit. If you want to follow the history of Mary Queen of Scots start with Edinburgh, Sterling and Linlithgow Palace. I like Galloway and Dumphries because it seems to be off the main tourist trail and has a lot of charming small towns. It also has a National Park that is a "Dark Sky" area so you can really see the Milky Way, etc. There are lots of Pubs, not all Ye Olde style but good beer (they like it room temperature)...order the Ploughman's Lunch. And don't forget the Whisky Trail. Scotland has a lot of little specialty railroads for excursion trips. But I would make the best of your time by driving yourself .

Posted by
7124 posts

I hope you are planning to hire a car.
4th Drive via Stirling to Pitlochry
5th In the Highlands. Drive to Fort William.
6th Drive via Glencoe & Loch Lomond to the Trossachs
7th Drive directly to Glasgow Airport.

Posted by
2772 posts

The Secret Scotland website has suggestions for realistic driving itineraries that won't leave you exhausted.

http://www.secret-scotland.com/

A day's drive north from Edinburgh will take you to Inverness or, better yet, Nairn -- near Cawdor Castle, Culloden Battlefield, and Clava Cairns.

Leaving Nairn or Inverness, drive along the north shore of Loch Ness to visit the Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition (a fairly scientific immersion in the history of "Nessie" sightings) and Urquhart Castle, which has walking tours and costumed interpreters included in the entry fee. Note that Urquhart is a ruin so you'll be outdoors; dress for the weather.

From there follow the A82 through Fort William and Tyndrum and south along the western shore of Loch Lomond. If you stop in the village of Tarbet you can take a boat ride on Loch Lomond. https://www.cruiselochlomond.co.uk/ The tiny village of Luss is very charming too.

At the southern end of Loch Lomond is a hotel & restaurant Duck Bay which has a commanding view of the loch. From there you are about an hour to Glasgow airport.

You may know that there is both a Holiday Inn and a Holiday Inn Express within walking distance of the terminal at Glasglow airport. I've stayed in both; the Holiday Inn is a little nicer but both are fine.

Posted by
380 posts

If you wish to use Inverness as a base a place we really liked was the Strathness House. It is so well located, especially for day trips. You can have a clean, simple room with updated bathroom. It is situated right next to the river with a lovely and quiet promenade that runs along both sides of the river. They will make you a hot breakfast cooked fresh just for you. There is a lovely living room/lounge area where you all can sit and plan. At the end of the day when you return, there are many good food options. Some of them are just steps away. The main sites of Inverness are just steps across the bridge. The owners (Joan and Javed) are a wealth of information, and could give you excellent tips about the best way to get to/organize the sites you want to see. http://www.strathnesshouse.com/
Culloden Battlefield is a tremendous experience. Inside there are numerous corridors with story boards describing the history. If you aren't a "reader" there are docents inside who run stations with artifacts based on themes such as "Medical Care on the battlefield" and "Weapons". Outside is the actual battlefield. You are given a GPS headset which recognizes your position on the field and has excellent narrative associated with that location. We only had a couple of hours there, and I think you could easily spend a full half day. There is a cafeteria and gift shop as well.
If any of you are Outlander fans you will want to visit the sites in Inverness, Clara Cairns and the village of Culross. Cawdor Castle has a couple of interesting features. First, it is still lived in and the tours are used to keep it open. Also, the storyboards created in each room by the original (and now deceased) owner are very cleverly written. I also felt like the gift shop there had good quality and good value souvenirs.
If you venture as far as Oban, we highly highly recommend the Glenburnie House. It is right next to the water, close to restaurants in town and perfectly decorated with attentive service from the owners.
From Oban you can catch a ferry to Iona.
We took a boat ride on Loch Ness and arrived at Urquhart Castle that way. The ruins are impressive, but you really must see the short video in the visitor center first. It has a remarkable ending that I won't give away so as to not spoil it for you.
You will enjoy every minute you spend in Scotland. PM me if you want any other specific information.

Posted by
75 posts

If you love CASTLES get a Scottish National Trust pass . It's pretty inexpensive for two. They send you a book and a map. I plan my itinerary around it. Castle Frasier is one of my favorites. Of course all castles are not included like Edinburgh , but I think there are about 300 sites that are and at £10 it gets expensive.