After time in Spain and France next summer, I will head to Scotland on July 5 for 26 nights. A friend (also retired) will join me (not jetlagged) on July 12 and accompany me for the rest of the trip, beginning with 19 nights in Scotland. We will then head south and ultimately fly home from London. I’m trying to pin down our Scottish itinerary so I can book accommodations for this peak-season trip.
We will absolutely not rent a car, and we are not interested in distilleries or nightlife.
We both like pretty towns, pretty countryside and contemporary glass. Rural walking will be extremely limited to non-existent for both of us. I like art, ceramics and other contemporary crafts, really good gardens, architecture through the early 20th century and lots of urban walking. My friend prefers castles, historical sites, historical and museums, and jewelry. She can do moderate urban walking but needs to minimize stairs and hilly terrain because of knee issues.
I’ll have to cover some of my targets in both Edinburgh and Glasgow before she arrives, requiring two stays in Edinburgh. This is what I have sketched out:
Jul 5: Edinburgh (3 nights; Rosslyn Chapel)
Jul 8: Glasgow (6 nights; Helensburgh. Friend arrives Jul 12 for 2 nights)
Jul 14: Oban (4 nights; Kerrera, Mull, Staffa, Iona)
Jul 18: Skye (Portree?) (4 nights; Trotternish Peninsula by public bus and 1 or 2 day-tours)
Jul 22: Inverness (2 nights??)
Jul 24: Dundee (3 nights; St. Andrews, Perth?, Arbroath?)
By bus via East Neuk villages to:
Jul 27: Edinburgh (4 nights; Arts Festival July 25-29)
Jul 31: Head south
Friend needs at least 3 nights in Glasgow; we are considering what to tweak to allow that. I’d happily give up Inverness, but so far she really wants Loch Ness, and the Black Isle seems worth a day for me.
- Which RR route from Inverness to Dundee is more picturesque: Nairn/Elgin/Aberdeen or Aviemore/Pitlochry/Perth? I know the Aviemore route is quicker.
- Am I missing a relatively simple scenic side-trip? Is there a non-direct route we should take somewhere for better scenery?
- Given the basic areas we plan to stay in, is there an obvious one-day (or even two-day) bus tour I should include?
- Other suggestions?
Thank you for your comments.