My husband and I are traveling next April and renting a car. We were planning on a trip for England/Scotland/Wales and realized not possible in our time frame. My husband on a trip to the north of Ireland feel in love with the Poisoned Glen and Glenveagh in Donegal. He describes them as the Irish Highlands (not sure the Irish do) and has now decided he wants to spend our time in Scotland in similar type surroundings. He is most uncomfortable in cities so while I know we are missing out, that's the way it will be.
We are interested in castles, historic homes/gardens, woolen mills, military, and he is fascinated by the Falkirk Wheel (only to view not to ride). He would also like to see distilleries especially those with historical architectural uniqueness- I'm sure he will also find a way to enjoy the beverages as well. We are not golfers or hikers. Trying not to drive for more than 3-3 1/2hrs a day.
We fly to London and on to Belfast for two days/nights. (Yes, I know that Belfast is a city! He wanted to go to the Titanic museum and we did an overnight last year...now we must go back and spend more time as he loved it so much!) Then to Edinburgh and drive to Alnwick for two nights.
When leaving Alnwick plan on stopping at Lochcarron Visitor Center and either Floors Castle or Hopetoun House possibly spending night in Falkirk or Stirling.
Next day a bit of time in either or both and headed to Glencoe. Most likely staying in Ft William at the hotel at Neptune's Staircase. What would be a better route for scenery? Would Callander be a nice for a shorter stop?
From here we are thinking 2 nights Torridon/Ullapool.
2 nights Inverness or Nairn (someone on this forum suggested in another post as alternative to Inverness) to visit Loch Ness (just to take a peek) Fort George, Cullonden, Cawdor and would like to do the funicular railway if we have a nice day.
2 nights Rothes for whisky touring
3 nights Pitlochry (as it looks lovely and seems so much to do in an easy distance)for Scone Palace/Glamis Castle/Blair Atholl perhaps Balmoral but am considering drive from Rothes-Ballater-Pitlochry to cover this. I've heard it may not be the best royal palace but when eliminating cities seems like a thought.
Final night outside Edinburgh or Stirling if not at beginning of trip.
I believe this leaves us one extra night where would you add? I was thinking it might be good to add to Torridon/Ullapool in case there is bad weather during that part would give us a more leisurely visit and not be driving challenging roads in challenging weather. I am also thinking of Dunrobin after Ullapool or perhaps Dundee after Pitlochry to see the new V&A and the Discovery.
I've read many of the itineraries and advice on this forum and I realize that I may be missing a lot by not going to Skye or the other islands but it didn't seem like we have enough time to do them justice and we are from coastal Massachusetts in a pretty fishing village are avid boaters on our ocean and lakes. In addition most of our travel has been coastal Ireland. Our last trip to Ireland was way too ambitious and I do all the driving so am looking to go at a more reasonable pace this time. Please read this not only as explanation but also apology. I realize I am asking your help and don't want you to think I am not valuing the advice you've previously given. Just looking for something else for this trip but invite your thoughts on our plans. Please let me know what further information you need and thank you so very much!