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Need some advice-in a tizzy

I always enjoy planning my holidays but with Covid, postponements, a demanding non-profit work schedule, and the recent death of my dear beloved brother in law I can't seem to finish up the last few days...full of indecisions, second guessing myself so I would appreciate any tips or suggestions-it's awful.

We are flying into Edinburgh 4 nights-great B&B booked a year ago. Driving to Skye but a quick over night near Ben Nevis to hike and then 3 nights in Skye. After that....well...that is the problem. I'm just plain stuck. We will have Thursday 2 September through Monday 6th (flying out early on Tuesday morning from Edinburgh.

We are an active couple, love hikes, off the beaten track sort of things (though if my husband read this he would scratch out love hikes and replace like hikes), historical places, etc. I guess I am wondering if we should drive up north a bit or head west to outside Inverness and then down to Edinburgh.

Thank you for any suggestions-this old gal is beaten down!

Posted by
1072 posts

You could also ferry on over to Lewis and Harris. I assume you are renting a car; but if not, that would affect some of your choices.

Posted by
911 posts

I second Oban/mull/Iona. You can get a wonderful tour of those 3 based from Oban. Also from Oban we saw Dunstaffnage Castle.

Posted by
7 posts

Our first time (we lived near London for two years three decades ago -husband British) but never got to Scotland). And yes, renting a car. Thank you for the suggestions!!!!

Posted by
12205 posts

If you could adjust your dates to put Skye later, this HF Holidays “self-guided” walking/touring center on Loch Leven is available 31 August to 4 September:

https://www.hfholidays.co.uk/holidays-and-tours/self-guided-walking-glen-coe-4

The country house is near Fort William and provides access to Ben Nevis and other hiking. The program is all-inclusive (room, meals, access to maps and guides for exploration) and you will meet some great people.

Posted by
513 posts

If you really love off the beaten track sort of things, then why not spend longer on Skye? Most tourists only hit what I call the honey pot sites such as Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock, Quiraing, Fairy Glen, Fairy Pools and Neist Point. With a longer stay you could explore equally (if not more beautiful spots) and do some truly amazing hiking with few or no other tourists around you. You could check out Walk Highlands for suggestions of hikes. You could also spend one night on the island of Raasay (off Skye), which is more remote and undiscovered, but has a good hotel as a well as a distillery with accommodation and some amazing vistas and walks. You could also take a boat trip from Elgol on Skye to Canna (one of the Small Isles) and possibly spend a night there for an even more 'off the beaten track experience'.

I would then back towards Edinburgh on the Monday, safe in the knowledge that you will have experienced much more of the real Skye than many a visitor.

best wishes
Jacqui (Skyegirl)

Posted by
2746 posts

Really you can't go wrong anywhere in Scotland if you ask me, but for our days between Skye and Edinburgh we drove to Culloden Battlefield and Cawdor Castle and stayed in Nairn. We then drove via Glamis Castle and stayed in St. Andrews. It was all lovely.

Posted by
228 posts

If you are already on Skye, I wouild suggest a trip to the Western Isles - catch the ferry from Uig. This will either take you to Tarbert on Harris and Lewis or to Lochmaddy on North Uist.

Harris and Lewis would be my choice - Callanais Standing Stones, Dun Carloway Broch, Arnol Black House Museum, Rhodel Church, some wonderful beaches in the west around Uig sands or Luskentyre, the 'Golden Road' with its 'moonscape landscape.....as well as some superb walking.

The Uists possibly have less in the way of 'attractions' and the east coast, especially of South Uist is less accessible, reached down side roads . The west coast is backed by a large area of flat land known as machair.

Have a look at the Undiscovered Scotland website for information and pictures.

https://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/usmapindexes/westernisles.html

Walking ideas

https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/outer-hebrides/

Posted by
513 posts

The idea above to visit the Outer Hebs is a good one, but if you are visiting this year be aware that ferry availability is extremely limited and you need to book well in advance to secure a vehicle booking. I am going to Berneray in September and booked back in April to secure my spot on the ferry. There have also been ferry breakdowns and sailings cancelled at very short notice, which could be an issue if you are trying to get back to Edinburgh for your flight home!

Best wishes
Jacqui (Skyegirl)

Posted by
7 posts

Thanks again for all the suggestions! Hotel accomodations on the other islands are hard to find at this point.....I am leaning toward another day/night on SKye (if I can find a spot) so we are not driving frantically from one place to another-I don't need the stress and really want to enjoy myself. One last question-would you recommend Cairngorms area for an over night or two?

Posted by
9801 posts

Since you're in the area.....how about a castle or two on your way back to Edinburgh. Stirling Castle comes to mind but there are others.

Or perhaps a stay near Loch Lomond. Or even a night or two in Glasgow.

Posted by
513 posts

I think adding in the Cairngorms at this late stage is probably not worth it. It would be a 4 hour plus drive from Skye just to reach the edge of the National Park. If you are struggling to find late availability accommodation on Skye you could check out the Skye Rooms facebook group. People post messages asking for late availability and accommodation providers come back with what they have. There are always nice places in the listings.

Best wishes
Jacqui (Skyegirl)

Posted by
228 posts

You may find at this late stage, where you stay may be determined by where you can find accommodation. with so many people holidaying in the UK rather than abroad this year, places have been fully booked for ages.