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planning an october trip

Okay - we are booking internal transportation and accommodations for an October trip. Our biggest question right now is whether we do 2 or 3 nights in Islay (my husband's must see) or 2 or 3 nights in Inverness? Suggestions?
Thanks so much,

Posted by
1213 posts

Well there's not a lot to see in Inverness. It's useful as a base for exploring the highlands and Speyside I suppose, but personally I wouldn't want to spent 3 nights there...

Posted by
618 posts

Whereas I think Inverness is one of the coolest places I've visited in my life and could happily live there! But it's true that there aren't many "must-see" tourist spots in the city.

I've not yet visited Islay (though I've consumed a fair quantity of its distilled product), but I'm looking forward to doing so. Bottom line: Inverness is an actual city, and many interesting tours depart from there. Islay is an island unto itself, and whatever its charms is probably not a great central spot from which to explore other parts of the Highlands. Priorities will dictate your decision.

Posted by
2061 posts

What are your plans for Inverness? It is a bit of a marmite place - people either love it or hate it. I've always enjoyed it. Three nights will only give just over two days to explore the area. There's lots of things to do and see. Below are just a few suggestions...

Explore the town on foot following the town trail. Walk along the River Banks to Ness islands. Go and find Leakey’s secondhand bookshop in a disused church and the largest second hand bookshop in Scotland.

Then there are places like
Culloden - site of the last battle fought on British soil that put an end to Jacobite hopes of putting a Stuart king back on the throne.

Clava Cairns are close by and believed to be the inspiration for Craig na Dun in Outlanders

Fort George built after the Battle of Culloden to control the Highlands and crush any future Jacobite rebellions is one of the largest and most largest and most impregnable fortifications in Europe.

Ruined Elgin cathedral and Spynie Bishop's Palace, seat of the bishops of Moray for 500 years

Dunrobin Castle - home to the Earls and Dukes of Sutherland and one of Britain’s oldest continuously inhabited houses dating back to the early 1300s.

Ballindalloch Castle - a splendid example of a Scottish Baronial Castle with lovely gardens and yet to be discovered by the tourists (Much nicer than Cawdor Castle too!)

Dornoch is a delightful small town with its cathedral where Madonna had her sopn baptised in 200O. Go and visit the museum and pick up a town trail leaflet.

Spend a day exploring the Black Isle

Glen Affric - possiblky one of the prettiest Glens and still off the tourist beat.

Of course there is always the biggest tourist trap of all - Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle. Possibly do a cruise on Loch Ness?

The Undiscovered Scotland Website is a wonderful resource with lots of ideas of things to do and see in the area.

Posted by
4 posts

thank you so much everyone - the bottom line is that 10 days is just not long enough for this trip! I really appreciate the feedback. I think we're going to leave Edinburgh Sunday and get into Islay Sunday night instead of Monday morning - it won't affect our time in Inverness but give us 3 nights in Islay!