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Itinerary in/out if Inverness in March

Hi again! Hubby and I are in our late 30s, well traveled, very comfortable with driving in Ireland/UK, love cold/rainy days and adventures.

We booked incredible flights from San Francisco in and out of Inverness for $400 roundtrip with a 24 hour layover in Amsterdam on our way home.

Here are our plans, and need help with the question marks!! Any ideas welcome!

3/7-3/9 (2 nights) - Inverness (jetlag, Culloden, Loch Ness)

3/9-3/12 (3 nights) - Portree (Isle of Skye)

3/12-3/14 (2 nights) - need advice here! Would love to see Glencoe... Oban looks like a mini Dingle (which is our favorite place in the world), so really interested in staying there, but many say stay in Glencoe... Which doesn't seem to be a great place to stay with much going on? Open to suggestions of other places on the way to Edinburgh from Skye, too.

3/14-3/17 (3 nights) -Edinburgh (note that we'd like to visit the Kelpies and Falkirk wheel, possibly the Stirling Castlw on our way..)

3/17-3/19 -??? Interested in ideas/thoughts?

3/19-3/20 - Inverness before we leave the next morning

3/20-3/21 - Amsterdam

Thanks for your help and ideas!!

Posted by
1552 posts

I can’t comment on Glencoe, we drove by, but it was raining hard so we just kept going. We were on our way to Oban. We liked Oban, it has a blue collar vibe to it. I’ve been to Dingle as well and I don’t think they are similar. We went there primarily to get out to the islands and loved the 3 island tour we did with West Coast tours. A highlight of our 12 nt trip.
In Edinburgh, you should try the Haggis, Neeps and Tatties at the Royal Mile tavern on the Royal Mile.

Posted by
479 posts

Glencoe is all about hiking and there is really not a lot going on other than that. There's nowhere to stay actually in the Glen (it's mountains and a valley - that's a glen in Scots). There is Glencoe Village at the northern (coastal) end of the glen, but apart from a few B&Bs and a pub, you're right there's not much there. You could stay in Fort William, but it's not picturesque, as it's a working town. So I'd probably head for Oban.

Posted by
17017 posts

What about the Glencoe Visitors Center? I believe it has displays about the Massacre, but I'm not sure how significant they are. My travel mate (a Campbell) is interested in going there, but it's a real problem without a car.

Posted by
546 posts

We went to Oban on a day train trip from Tyndrum (while hiking the West Highland Way). It was fine -- enjoyed the distillery tour and walking around for a few hours, but I wouldn't rave about it. If you are into hiking, I would recommend Glencoe for some day hikes. Although we had low clouds and drizzle when hiking over to Kinlochleven, it was still amazing.

When we drove from Skye to Edinburgh, we stayed one night in Pitlochry. Didn't spend much time in town, but it looked charming. But we enjoyed hiking to Edradour distillery -- best tour we took . . . even if you are not into whisky.

Posted by
252 posts

Lizzy, sounds like a great trip. If you get a chance, spend an evening in Inverness city center. It is worth ducking in a pub or two, having dinner, and walking along the River Ness as there are some riverside paths worth a short stroll. The town has a reputation as a Highlands transportation hub but we found the town itself charming. As for your gap in 3/17 - 3/19, since you're heading from Edinburgh up to Inverness for departure on 3/20, look into the area around Pitlochry. We loved Pitlochry, an adorable and very small town with easy access to many hiking trails (some of them starting in town) and the nearby Cairngorms National Park with its scenic and mountainous terrain. Aviemore is another town in Cairngorms National Park worth looking at, but while both places are touristy we preferred Pitlochry's charm to Aviemore's convenience. Either choice is right on the way from Edinburgh to Inverness and will leave you with a short trip up to Inverness on your return. Happy travels - Scotland is amazing so you really can't go wrong.

Posted by
80 posts

Pitlochry/Dunkeld/Aberfeldy are nice. St Andrews is another option for 3/17-3/19 something different on the coast - not just golf by any means!

Alternatively, if you want another city you could do Glasgow 3/17-3/19. Less touristy than Edinburgh but more urban and hip - and more representative of modern Scotland imo.

It looks like you'll have a car in Edinburgh - ditch it if you can! Driving and parking in Edinburgh can be a nightmare - one ways, bus lanes with cams to issue automatic fines etc. I live about 90mins away and used to live thereand even I avoid driving there if possible!

Lastly, you'll almost certainly be OK, but bear in mind you may encounter snow in the Highlands. The main A9 road north to Inverness is particularly prone to snow closure, so if you the weathers looking dodgy and snowy you might need to head up early to Inverness to make sure you're not stuck at one end of a closed A9 whilst your flight departs from the other!

Posted by
550 posts

Another thing you could probably fit in during your first 2 nights in Inverness is the Clava Cairns standing stones. They are quite close to Culloden. They are of historical interest in their own right, but are also the setting for the "Outlander" series of books and TV series.

Posted by
46 posts

What do you think of this itinerary?

3/7-3/9 (2 nights) - Inverness (jetlag, Culloden, Loch Ness)
3/9-3/12 (3 nights) - Portree (Isle of Skye)
3/12-3/14 (2 nights) – Drive through Glencoe... stay in Oban, or Stirling?
3/14-3/17 (3 nights) -Edinburgh
3/17-3/19 – (2 nights) Pitlochry ??
3/19-3/20 – (1 night) Inverness before we leave the next morning
3/20-3/21 – (1 night) Amsterdam

Note that we'd like to visit the Kelpies and Falkirk wheel & possibly the Stirling Castle, even just on the way into or out of Edinburgh if we don't stay in Stirling.

Really just need help with where to stay from 3/12-3/14 & 3/17-19