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Planning June 2019 trip

My friend and I are planning a trip next June for @ 10 days. We want to see as much as we can. Mostly interested in Edinburgh, Highlands, Inverness and Glasgow. Any suggestions on planning where, when and how to see?
Thanks,
Kathy

Posted by
3580 posts

First, get a copy of Rick Steves' book covering Scotland. Whatever questions are still unanswered, ask here again.

Posted by
200 posts

Thanks for the suggestion. I have bought the book and am planning to buy a second copy to "tear apart". It is FULL of information. I was just wondering if anyone else has done this type of trip and had any suggestions on what to see most and what may be a "miss". Again, we want to see the most and best during our trip.
Thanks!!
Kathy

Posted by
1768 posts

There is no most and best. Everyone is different and wants to see different things. Read your guidebook and look at visitscotland.com
Then ask specific questions.

Posted by
200 posts

Thanks diveloonie. I was looking for suggestions from people who have been to Scotland on what are really good places to visit and not miss as there are hundreds of places to visit. Since we are there for only @ 10 days and not wanting to visit all museums, maybe someone can suggest some "out of the way" places. Rick Steves ' book is great, but wanted to hear from those who have also been to Scotland. Others have asked similar questions and have gotten good responses, I was hoping for same. So here is a specific question for you...Which Ghost Walk Tour is the BEST one to take??

Posted by
1768 posts

Hi Kathy, so ghosts are one of your interests? Please share with us your orher interests so we can advise you.
For myself, I love history and castles. I would not miss Edinburgh castle and Stirling castle.

Also, out of Inverness, Cawdor castle and Culloden Battlefield and some easy hikes in the highlands.
Again, if you give us more info, we can advise you better.
Happy planning!

Posted by
552 posts

You will find that 10 days is not a lot of time to cover all that you want to see as it takes a lot longer to get around than it might seem just looking at the map. I hope you are planning to rent a car as attempting this by train or bus will not work well. Fly into one city and out of the other (Edinburgh/Glasgow) to save some time and then just do a loop tour. In order to do justice to both Edinburgh and Glasgow I would suggest a minimum of two days each (I spent six in Edinburgh and four in Glasgow) that will only leave you six days to get up to Inverness and back and it's a drive of several hours if you don't stop anywhere. I took ten days to do a loop tour from Edinburgh up to Inverness across to Isle of Skye and back down to Glasgow and still felt I was rushing. So, if you only have total of ten days you won't be able to cover anywhere near as much ground especially if your arrival and departure days are included in the ten days. If you can't stay for a longer time then you will have to set some priorities and concentrate on seeing just your top ten places otherwise you will just be rushing from place to place and not have time to really enjoy yourself.

Posted by
1586 posts

We have enjoyed several driving trips in Scotland. Here is one suggested route for you to consider. You could also do it in reverse order. Order the Michelin map of Scotland so you can get a good overview. Rough Guides are good guidebooks for the UK.

Fly into Edinburgh and pick up your rental car. Us google maps to plot this route. It totals about 550 miles. Aberfeldy.- head west to Glencoe, then Invermoriston, Broadford, Mallaig, Tobermory, Glencoe, Stirling, back to Edinburgh. Turn in your car. Allow one full day to explore Edinburgh.

I would skip Inverness unless you really want to visit Clava Cairns or Culloden.

Glencoe is so beautiful it deserves being driven in both directions.

Fort William is an excellent place to stop for lunch and a bit of shopping.

Broadford is a more convenient location than Portree for Skye. From Broadford you can easily visit all the peninsulas of Skye and also head back to the mainland and do a driving loop which includes Eileen Donan Castle, Plockton, and a drive up to Loch Torridon. ( Portree gets a lot of publicity due to that picture of the pretty colored houses but that is its only scenic bit.) Book Skye accommodations ASAP because Skye has suddenly become insanely popular.

Mull is good for one full day. Tobermory is a pretty little town, but skip Mull if you don't have enough time.

After Stirling Castle, you could easily go to Glasgow instead of Edinburgh. We have never visited Glasgow. If you want to do that, maybe visit Edinburgh when you arrive, then get the car. Or do the drive in reverse.

I can suggest accommodations and provide more details about worthwhile stops if you are interested.

Posted by
200 posts

Thank you Cynthia! I would love to get more suggestions about accommodations. I do want to spend one night in a Castle though. Since everyone says 10 days are not enough days about how many would I need to take? I am not sure my friend can go for a large amount of days, so I might have to do some days on my own. I would need to plan what would be good sight seeing for one person.
Thanks again for the info!!!

Posted by
200 posts

Thanks diveloonie!! Yes I am interested in Castles, Culloden, and beautiful scenery. This will possibly be the only time I 32ill get to go to Scotland , so I want to do as much and see as much as I can. So, how many days do you think I would need?? Do you know anything about car rentals? Would it be netter to reserve from the U.S. or wait until I get there?

Thanks, Kathy

Posted by
200 posts

Cynthia, Do you know which Michelin map to get? When I googled, several came up.

Thanks!!

Posted by
1586 posts

I use the map for planning and take it on the trip. For actual driving, buy a AA road atlas or similar brand - they are readily available in Scotland. If you want to drive using the Michelin map, take a couple of binder clips so you can fold and secure it to the area you need to use that day. We did not need a GPS for driving in the Scottish highlands - there aren't that many roads to choose from! But if you go solo, you might want one.

Michelin Map Great Britain: Scotland 501 (Maps/Regional (Michelin)) Map – Folded Map, March 8, 2018

Driving is part of the sight-seeing. Most places only need one or two nights, but I would book four nights (three days) for Skye - two days for exploring Skye, one day for the Plockton - Loch Torridon loop. If you added another day, you could do a day trip (avoid Sunday) to Harris/Lewis from Uig ferry port on Skye.

If you had more time, the borders region south east of Edinburgh is fun to explore. Lots of ruined castles and abbeys.

Most of our accommodations were $150-200 per night. If that is your price range, I will look for the list.

We have always used Hertz in Scotland with no problems. Buy the full insurance coverage - you will probably scratch the car driving on very narrow roads on Skye or Mull. No problems taking the car on the ferries.

Posted by
200 posts

Thank you Cynthia!! I also use Hertz and will definitely buy full coverage insurance. Planning this trip is becoming more interesting all the time! I know we will do The Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle, Sterling Castle and Culloden, you know the "main attractions", we just wanted to know about visiting others. Thanks again!!!

Posted by
200 posts

I am a huge Outlander fan! Does any other fan know where the scene in which Dougal took Claire to drink to see if she was lying, is located or what it may be called? (First season after he took her from Randall after he beat her? I love the scenery inn that show!! Would love to see more of it.
Thanks!!

Posted by
1177 posts

Historic Scotland web site has several "Outlander" properties and info.

Posted by
696 posts

You didn't say if you plan to drive or use public transportation. I would take exception to the notion that you can't visit Scotland without driving. My wife and I traveled in Scotland from April 28 to May 14. We too visited Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness (Edinburgh for 3 days and nights at the beginning , Inverness for a day and a half and 2nights, and Glasgow for another 3 days and nights at the end). For the balance of our time there, we traveled through the highlands on the train using a Spirit of Scotland Pass. It was great for us. We felt 3 days and nights in Edinburgh and Glasgow was about right (for us at least), and the day and a half in Inverness worked out well too.

Using Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness as your "gateway" stops, you can take day-trip to visit the countryside. For example from Inverness a day-trip to Loch Ness, and the Great Glen, or Ft. George/Culloden, or maybe Nairn, or even down to Ft. William. For these day trips you would have to take a bus, or a day "tour" but you'd be traveling without luggage so this wouldn't be an inconvenient thing to do. While in Edinbugh or Glasgow, by all means arrange a day-trip to Stirling/Falkirk, and/or also when in Glasgow a day-trip to Loch Lomond (Balloch) would provide you with a good balance between urban venues and lovely places outside the cities. These day trips I mentioned from Edinburgh and/or Glasgow can be done using the train. As an example we took a morning train from Glasgow to Stirling, then a short taxi to the Castle, then another taxi to the Bannockburn venue, a taxi back to the Stirling train station, then the train from Sitrling to Falkirk, a taxi to the Falkirk Wheel, a short taxi to the Kelpies, a short taxi to the train station, then the train back to Glasgow. We're in our late 60's and were not "rushed" during the day. It only requires a bit of planning to know the railway timetables and plan your day accordingly. If you go to Falkirk by train note which station you will arrive at and which station you'll depart from (they may not be the same).

Unless you have a burning desire to drive in Scotland, the trains are quite pleasant and run frequently between Edinburgh, Inverness and Glasgow so you won't need reservations, etc. If you want to see Glen Coe, this will requre a car (or a bus). In our case we hired a private driver (AKA taxi) and it didn't break the bank. Driving in the highlands in June may not be a "motorist picnic". We were told by several of our taxi drivers, when the flood of tourist arrive from later-May through August, the narrow roadways are quite busy, and parking space at the major venues will be quite dear/scarce. For the price of renting a car, insurance, GPS, fuel, etc. etc. (to say nothing of finding parking), I suspect you could use the train and hire an occasional taxi and come out ahead.

Enjoy Scotland

Posted by
200 posts

Thanks Jon!! I am debating about renting a car or not. I have read both that you can get around easily by public transportation and no, it is not easy to get around. I want to be able to get where I want to go and take pictures without "wasting time" on long buses and trains that will not offer that opportunity. But if it's easily available that might be a good choice. I read about the bus pass that lets you ride as much as you want on all three buses and includes admission to 3 major attractions. It's called the Majestic Bus" or something like that for @ 55 Scotland price. Do you know if that would be worth it or just go individually to each attraction?Are there opportunities for picture taking going the way you traveled?

Thanks!!

Posted by
200 posts

THANK YOU JG!!!!!! I really wanted to see that. It looked like beautiful scenery on tv. Can you get there by public transportation, do you know?

Posted by
200 posts

Geez JG you were busy!!! I want to visit several of the places you visited also. I doubt I will get to stay 22 days, but maybe more than 10. Thanks for the info and sharing your visit!!

Posted by
200 posts

Ok ALL, I think (for now at least) I have decided to have three major stops: Edinburgh, Inverness and Glencoe or(?) Oban. I believe I can take day trips from Inverness and/or Glencoe to see lots of places. What would you recommend as the length of time for the two cities besides Edinburgh, where I will probably stay 2-3 days. My time maybe limited to @10 days, not counting arriving or departing. BTW, Thanks everyone for your responses. They have really been helpful!!!!!!

Posted by
122 posts

Hi, Kat!

Glad to see you've settled on a few places already. You're already so far ahead of the game! We visited for nine days (plus 2 to travel) in May of this year, and while we wished we could have stayed longer, I think you will find if you plan well ten days should give you plenty of time to get a nice taste of Scotland. (For example, we wanted to see the Orkneys, but realized it would have severely limited our time elsewhere, so we added it to our plans for next time!) You may have a different travel style of course, but ours is more that we like to keep on the move, and most of the time we stayed only one night in each area. (Several times we stayed for two nights). Main point is, we never felt rushed. And I would highly recommend renting a car. It gave us so much freedom!

Everyone has different goals for their trip, and you certainly don't have to do what we did, but here's what we managed to see in our nine days:

Day 1: 1/2 day touring Edinburgh; we arrived from Heathrow around 10 am and once we got out of the airport, spent the rest of the day touring around the city

Day 2: more Edinburgh, including castle and an evening Cadies/Witchery Tour

Day 3: picked up a rental car (I would like to suggest Arnold Clark, using Celtic Legend online; awesome service! I can give you more info if you'd like) and drove to St. Andrews; toured there, then drove to Pitlochry for supper and to spend the night

Day 4: drove first to the Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore (Outlander tv series, Season 1 Episode 5 filmed here; I too am a fan); leave extra time to stop and view scenery along the way - it's spectacular; drove next to just south of Inverness (Daviot), dropped luggage at b&b and toured Culloden Battlefield and Clava Cairns

Day 5: visited Urquhart Castle in morning and Cawdor Castle in afternoon; stayed again overnight in Daviot, same b&b

Day 6: drove to Skye (b&b 10 min. outside of Portree) via bridge; along the way we stopped many times to enjoy the scenery, stopped at Eilean Donan Castle to take pix and small snack break; ate late lunch in Portree; checked into b&b; visited Neist Point Light

Day 7: drove Trotternish Peninsula, including 2-hour hike of Old Man of Storr, and stops to see Lealt Falls, Kilt Rock, Flora McDonald gravesite, as well as lots of stops for photos

Day 8: left b&b; stopped for a bit at Sligachan Bridge; left Skye by bridge; stopped for several hours in Glenfinnan, touring and watching Harry Potter train go by; several hours driving down to Glen Etive (BEST PART of the whole trip!); and finally on to Arrochar for the night

Day 9: toured Doune and Stirling Castles; hotel tonight about 10 minutes from airport

Day 10: leisurely breakfast, drop off rental car just outside airport, 1:50 pm flight to Heathrow, then on to home (Philadelphia)

I'm in the process of posting my trip report now

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/trip-report-scotland-in-9-days-or-we-ve-never-met-a-sticky-toffee-pudding-we-didn-t-like

so feel free to follow along if you'd like. I hope to have it done in the next few days or so. (But warning, it's long with lots of details!)

Let me know if you have any other questions I might be able to answer.

Posted by
200 posts

Thanks joncatmantim1 !!! Your trip sounded great!!1 There are several places you visited that I want to as well!! I am pretty sure we are going to get a car. But I was wondering if it would be cheaper to reserve it here in the U.S. for pick up there. I think I checked for a week and it was a little over 300.00(and automatic!! Heaven forbid me in a manual!!! :(( How did you like the B&B's?? I have never stayed in one as I usually prefer hotels. I do want to spend a night or two in a castle if possible.

Thanks!!!

Posted by
278 posts

If you can add a few days, I would, just because it did take us some time to get over the jet lag. We spent 18 days between England and Scotland in 2012, and by day 15, we were looking forward to going home. We spent the same amount of time in Ireland two years later, and if it wasn’t for the change in pace at the two-week mark (other family members had to return home, Mom and I stayed another four days), we probably would have had that same feeling of “Fourteen days is long enough.”

We spent 3 nights/2 days in Edinburgh, then drove a day and a half through the Highlands—big mistake! Should have added a few more, but I wanted to spend time in Orkney instead, so we had 4 nights/3 days there.

We are planning to return in 2020 and just spend the two weeks in Scotland, skipping the cities in favor of the countryside and a return to Orkney (looooove that place!).

To plan, I used some travel books for the library, the Undiscovered Scotland website to find destinations https://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk , and TripAdvisor to find B&Bs and hotels.

Edited to add: the website has some excellent suggestions for day drives. I took their suggestion for the Oban/Glencoe drive and saw some terrific places, including a great side trip up a lonely single-track road to Loch Etive, just south of Glencoe. https://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/ustours/oban-glencoe/index.html . I got one of my favorite photos of the entire trip at the Loch by taking a panoramic shot of it from the side of the road. Rick covers the same road on one of his tv shows, btw.

Personally, I loved the B&Bs, as long as I researched to find the best ones, since the quality can be spotty. My favorite two on the entire trip were the Pottery House just outside of Inverness right across the road from Loch Ness, which was built as a B&B and had roomy bathrooms as a result (most are shoehorned into existing rooms in converting to hold customers), and the Mill of Eyrland in Orkney, just outside of Stenness. That one was a converted 1830s grain mill with a lot of the mill equipment around and a pretty mill race (creek) alongside the building.

But, we did stay at a Premier Inn outside of Newcastle in mid-trip, and I will admit that the comfort of an chain hotel with two big beds, an elevator, and a decent restaurant across from the check-in desk was a nice familiar sight at that point of the trip! But just for one night to tide us over.

Posted by
200 posts

Thanks Kathy - Great name by the way :))
I like your itinerary. I do want so see spend a few days in the Highlands along with the major cities and sites. If I had to pick between Isle of Skye and Orkney, which is better do you think as far as site and photo opportunities (landscape pictures)?? I read that driving by Loch Ness is just as good as doing the boat tour. Any comments?

Thanks!!

Posted by
278 posts

Well, I have not been to Skye, but from the photos I have seen of it, Skye definitely wins in the Drop Dead Gorgeous Scenery department over Orkney, which is more rolling hills and flat farmland/sheep pasture and only occasional stunning locations, usually right on the coast.

As an archaeology buff though, Orkney reigns supreme for me. The cliche there is, “If you scratch Orkney, it bleeds archaeology.” I am following multiple digs there online right now, including an Iron Age fortified village called The Cairns broch, and one of the most important sites in all of Northern Europe, the Neolithic temple complex the Ness of Brodgar, 5000 year old buildings that put the nearby tomb and stone circles in context (I missed seeing this dig in person on our trip, but really want to see it next time). In 2012, we saw both the tomb (Maeshowe) and the stone circle the Ring of Brodgar, the Neolithic village of Skara Brae, then the slightly more modern Viking village at Birsay, the really neat 500 year old castle ruins at both Birsay and downtown Kirkwall, across from the town’s St. Magnus Cathedral, and then the even newer WWII-era Italian Chapel, which is a beautiful little building made by Italian POWs.

However, with limited days on your trip, Orkney is definitely a bit of a haul from the main Highlands, and if you are looking for landscape potential, I would go with Skye instead.

As for Loch Ness, it is a very long lake, with lots of trees alongside it and thus relatively few excellent viewing spots from the road. A boat ride is probably the best option for prime photo opportunities. Urquhart Castle might be your best chance for lake photos from the shore. I actually preferred Loch Etive for stunning photos, since it was quiet with no one else in sight, and beautiful hills sweeping right down to the shore. Others with more familiarity with the region will have their own preferred loch, I am sure!

Posted by
200 posts

Thanks Kathy, I appreciate the info. Your trip really sounded interesting though!!

Posted by
122 posts

We used Celtic Legend (celticlegend.co.uk) online when making our rental car reservation prior to leaving for our trip. They exclusively use a dealership called Arnold Clark when providing a rental. By using CL, we did get a few extras that you wouldn't get if you booked direct with AC. We got another driver added to the agreement for free, we didn't have to put any money down when we reserved, they were a bit more flexible with return time, giving you an extra hour or so free if you ran into delays and we got unlimited miles (some charge per day after reaching a certain number of miles ), really good for us since we drove over 900+ miles in a week.

With CL, all our emails were answered within an hour or two, and I feel they were very transparent about costs, etc. They emailed us an itemized cost list once we knew our pickup/drop off times and all we had to do to reserve was acknowledge that it was acceptable. Also, we got an almost brand new SUV (only 10k miles), very well equipped and sparkling clean, with an awesome gps. Yes, definitely reserve ahead to get an automatic!! And if you do get a rental, I would also recommend getting the full excess waiver. With CL/AC, it only cost 70 pounds for the week, and gave us huge peace of mind.

As for b&bs, I agree with Kathy, they are wonderful, as long as you can do research on them ahead of time. We like them because we feel we can connect more with our fellow travelers, particularly during breakfast each morning. And we felt like we were much more pampered while staying at them. Not sure about staying in a castle. I've heard it can be done, but I'm not sure where.

If you want to see Loch Ness, I would simply stop at a few places along the shore for photos; I would agree with those who say it isn't the most picturesque loch in Scotland for a boat trip. Were you planning on stopping at Urquhart Castle? You can also get some really nice shots down both lengths of Loch Ness from there.

Posted by
200 posts

Thanks for the car info. My friend and I are leaving today for the Highland Games at Grandfather Mountain, NC We will be discussing the trip while we are gone and will make decisions. I will definitely check out your recommendation for the car.
Thanks again!!! All this info is wonderful. I am going to let my friend read all the responses too!

Posted by
278 posts

Yes, chatting with your fellow travelers at breakfast is a great plus about b&bs. When we stayed at one (a beautiful 18th century Georgian townhouse) in Edinburgh, we met a really nice young Canadian couple in the breakfast room. When we bumped into them later that day at Holyroodhouse, it was a nice jolt of, “Hey, we know you!” The even bigger surprise was seeing them on our flight home from Heathrow a week later!! We talked in the plane’s aisle for a few minutes, then longer while getting our luggage.

In Orkney, everyone shared one table, which was even more fun for chatty people like Mom and me. I had terrific talks with a young German couple, a retired woman and her friend from England, and then helped a Belgian teen practice her English while she translated for her family over the course of four mornings.

Edited to add this link from VisitScotland.com for castle accommodations: https://www.visitscotland.com/accommodation/unusual-places-to-stay/stay-in-a-castle/

Posted by
200 posts

OMG!!!! Joncatmantim1, those are beautiful photos. Any more?? That is the kind of scenery we want to see whole we are there.

Posted by
200 posts

Thanks Kathy. My friend and I do like to talk to new people. Of course I ike to talk perood.😁

Posted by
122 posts

Kat,

Thanks! There was so much gorgeous scenery like that, it was hard not to get nice shots. If you want to see pix of our whole trip, you can find a link by clicking on my profile and then the Scotland tab once you get onto my blog page. Due to forum rules, I am not allowed to post the actual link here. If you have problems, feel free to PM me.

Posted by
200 posts

OMG!!! Absolutely Beautiful!!!!! Love them. I wish I could go tomorrow. Loved also the way you planned your trip. We may model ours alot like yours. Thank you gor sharing!!!

Posted by
200 posts

Okay my fellow travel friends I need advice. I have seen two different itineraries that I really like, one, stop Nnight by night, the other making 3 homebase stops and then taking day trips from there Which do you think would be be better, traveling night tonight or stopping in three different cities and doing day trips?? And we will be having a car. Thank you guys for all your help is very much appreciated!!!!!!!!
Kathy
P.S. we will be traveling from Edinburgh to Inverness and back and we want to see lots of sights in between.

Posted by
552 posts

It doesn't have to be one or the other. Plan longer stays in places that have more to see nearby, and shorter stays to break up the driving. Just try to limit the one night stays so you aren't constantly packing up every day. For instance, when I left Edinburgh I drove to St. Andrew's stopping a couple of places along the way (including Glammis castle), then when I got to St. Andrew's I toured the town sights, spent just the night and moved on the next day. I did this sort of thing all the way up to Inverness moving slowly northward making a couple more stops until I got to Inverness where I spent more time to see the nearby sights. Then when I left Inverness I broke up my drive to Skye with a one night stop, then made a longer stop on Skye.

Posted by
200 posts

I've thought of another question you all may can help me with. I am going to look into buying a new camera for the trip. Any suggestions on the type or size to get? I want something where I can get long distance shots as well as up close. Thanks for any suggestions or opinions!!

Posted by
552 posts

The camera question has been asked quite frequently so I'm sure if you search the forums you will find a lot of information. having said that, it really depends what you are going to do with the photos when you get home. If you want to get some enlargements made then you will not want to go too cheap, but if you want something of a smaller size, too, then you may want to look at a mirrorless camera. I still have a 35mm digital camera because I can switch out the lens from the 18-55 it came with to a 70-200 for longer range. But, the problem with 35mm equipment is that it can be a hassle when going into museums and art galleries as most places will want you to check bags over a certain size. This means that if you want to take photos you will have to check your camera bag and then carry your camera with you, and go back to get your bag before leaving. This can be a pain in the butt in some places as the exit is a long way from the entrance. I've been looking at mirrorless cameras as they come down in price as they are smaller than a regular 35mm, but offer all of the same features. What I would recommend is that you spend some time on this web site https://www.dpreview.com/ as read through the camera buying guides and the reviews before you buy anything.

Posted by
200 posts

Thank you Anita for the site. I will definitely read it. I am not sure what a mirror less camera is, but I am going to find out. my ex brother in law said something about one too. I'll take him shopping with me :))

Posted by
200 posts

Ok, maybe I have the "route" now. Tentatively set - Edinburgh - 3 nights, Stirling - 2 nightsm Oban - 2 nights, Inverness - 2 nights and Arith Castle - 2 nights. I am hoping this will give us time to see the sights and throw in a whale watching trip from Oban. Is this a workable itinerary do you think??

Thanks for the advice!!!

Posted by
940 posts

Hi, katsinca,

In answer to your "Outlander" question, the location where Dougal took Claire to find out if she was lying is the Devil's Pulpit in Finnich Glen. It's not too far from the village of Drymen. There's a website.

We're just back from 30 days and 2,100 miles in Scotland, and barely scratched the surface. But if you plan it really well, you can pack a lot in to 10 days. Is day one your arrival day? If so, and if you don't sleep on the flight, it's best to get an hour's kip somewhere, so that you're not totally knackered on your first night.

I'd also recommend going with car hire. It takes a couple of hours to get used to driving on the left and shifting gears with your left hand. If you're not used to driving a stick shift, splurge for an automatic transmission. It's not as much fun, but it'll give you more time to concentrate on the road.

Best wishes,

Mike (Auchterless)

p.s.: In addition to the RS guidebook, also pick up the Lonely Planet guide to Scotland. It covers much more of Scotland, in fuller detail, than the RS guide. It also has some useful driving itineraries.

Posted by
200 posts

Thank you auchterless! Yes I am renting an automatic car. I am hoping it won't take me long to acclimatize myself to driving on the "wrong side" of the road :))) better known as on the Left Side. Lord, if I could drive a huge school bus with 60 screaming kids, driving the car there shouldn't be a very serious problem(hopefully). I have advice on the Lonely Planet before. I believe I will look that up after replying to this message. Our itinerary has changed again, and may change again. Here it is and I would like opinions if it is doable or should I pick different Stopping points or "bases".
Edinburgh - 3 nights, Stirling - 1 night, Oban - 3 nights, Inverness - 3 nights and Airth Castle - 2 nights. I am hoping to do Finnich Glen somewhere in there as whale as a Whale watching tour. Any advice is welcome!!!!!
Kathy

Posted by
278 posts

A lot of people stress out about driving on the “wrong” side of the road. But, in my two trips to the British Isles, I really didn’t have any problems at all. The only struggle I had was dealing with a larger car than I was used to on smaller roads than I am used to (got an unwanted free upgrade in York because they didn’t have another automatic on the lot, even though I had booked one). I did go a bit slower than I normally do on the twisty roads of Ireland, but I was at the point of not caring if the drivers behind me got upset.

Scotland’s roads aren’t as twisty, but do allow yourself time to pull over for your own viewing pleasure, even if you are driving. I wish I had taken more time in Glencoe to enjoy it myself.

I do want to drive at least part of the North Coast 500, especially the northwest corner with the Applecross Pass, if the weather allows. See this article about the NC500 for gorgeous photos: https://mashable.com/2015/12/03/driving-the-north-coast-500/#R35Qa02HbsqH

Posted by
940 posts

Hi, Chicagoland Kathy,

The farther north you get in Scotland, the more winding and twisty the roads get. The road from the new bridge at Scalpay is one of the scariest I've been on, and most of the roads on Harris (the Golden Road and the road to Huisinish in particular) are nightmarish. I've driven narrow roads around the Ring of Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula, and I have to say that mile for mile (or kilometer for kilometer), I have to say that the Scottish roads win for narrowness and blind curves hanging out over cliffs.

The Scots and English are merciless tailgaters (no, not the kind of tailgater who parties before a football game!). I've had many experiences in Scotland where I'm driving at or close to the speed limit, and had cars following me so closely that I though the front seat people were in the boot of the car I was driving. Landrover drivers are the worst.

You'll enjoy the Applecross road, as well as most of the NC500. The view from the top of the pass, looking back toward Loch Kishorn, is simply amazing. As a word of advice, which I should have followed, the next toilets after you leave Lochcarron are at the campsite behind the Applecross Hotel. :(

A' the best!

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
940 posts

Hi again, katsinca,

Your itinerary looks good, except for the fact that Stirling is less than an hour's drive from Edinburgh, so you could actually eliminate Stirling, as you're staying at Airth Castle at the end of your holiday. Airth is also less than an hour from Stirling, so you could visit Stirling from there. That would free you up to spend an extra day in Inverness or Oban. I'd recommend Inverness, are there is more to do from there. You can have some incredible day trips from Inverness. Even Skye is doable in a day, although you'd have to leave at the crack of dawn to see as much as possible.

Speaking of the crack of dawn, you'll have scads of daylight in June. You can read a newspaper outside until 11 p.m., and the period of gloaming ends around 3:30 a.m., when it becomes broad daylight again.

Whale watch tours are pretty much a crapshoot. There's never any guarantee that you're going to see any whales, although they do frequent Scotland's West Coast. We were fortunate to see an orca from the Uig to Tarbert ferry, but that was down to luck rather than planning.

If you can drive a school bus, you should have no problem in Scotland. However, if you're starting out in Edinburgh, hire your car from the airport, not in town. Central Edinburgh is no fun for driving. If you're going to be in Edinburgh exclusively for the first few days of your holiday, you don't even need a car. It's a liability in the city, between finding parking and navigating the maze of streets.

I drove school buses for 33 years. Still have my license, but I have no desire to start up again. The kids have just gotten too wild.

Hope your planning continues to go well!

Best wishes.

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
200 posts

Thanks for the advice about Stirling. I wanted to stay an extra day in Inverness and now maybe I can. I agree with you about the kids. I no longer drive the kids, I try now to teach them. Mainly the elementary "babies" now. Ok, back to see about changing reservations (again) :))
Thanks!!!

Posted by
940 posts

More info - You could easily have a day trip to Stirling from Edinburgh during the days before you hire your car. It's less than an hour by train or bus. If you wanted to visit Doune Castle, that's easily reached by bus from Stirling. If you're planning to visit Midhope Castle (Lallybroch), it's between South Queensferry and Blackness Castle (where Black Jack Randall gave Jamie 100 lashes). If you're going to Midhope, you have to pay 10 pounds for a pass, but you can avoid the fee by arriving after 5 p.m. You'd need a car to visit Midhope, but Blackness is on a bus line.

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200 posts

Hi Mike thank you for the info we have reserved a car picking it up when we leave Edinboro on the 22nd and then we'll return it when we come back to Edinboro on the 30th we're thinking about taking the card when we go to the Isle of Skye but now I want to visit those two castles you just told me about thank you!

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3337 posts

I wanted to focus in on the Oban portion of your trip. We stayed at the Royal Hotel. The public areas were a little dated when we were there last year, but we had a room that had been recently renovated which was very nice. What I liked best about the hotel was its location near the train and near the ferry. There was also a large grocery store about 1 block away. Since you have a car, location may not be such a key point for you.

I did want to suggest the 3 island tour from west coast tours. You take the ferry from Oban to Mull, bus across Mull, boat to Staffa (cave -northern end of giants causeway and puffins!!!), boat to Iona- walk around and visit the Abbey, short ferry back to Mull, bus to ferry, ferry to Oban. Okay, you can see it is a full day, but it is a great trip and you will enjoy it. Here is a link to the site
http://www.westcoasttours.co.uk/great-days-out/tour-mull,-iona-and-staffa/
If you scroll down the page a bit, they have a video about the tour.

Posted by
200 posts

Hi!
I actually read about that tour. It sounded great. Probably will try that one and then drive around Isle of Skye if there is time. Thanks for the site!!!
Kathy

Posted by
940 posts

Hi again, Kathy,

Midhope and Blackness are just outside of Edinburgh, so you could visit them just after you pick up your car. Both are just off of the A904 (exit 2 off the M9). Both are down single track roads with passing places. Midhope is not marked on many maps, as it's an uninhabited ruin on private property. But if you follow the signs for Midhope, which comes up just before the Hopetoun Garden Centre, you'll find it easily. The man at the booth outside the castle leaves at 5:00 p.m. If anyone stops you, plead ignorance. :)

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
200 posts

Hi Mike,
I have always heard it is better to ask for forgiveness than for permission :)) Thanks for the info on out of the way places. We like to visit places that are not so crowded or at least I do. And by the way, the comments before about the meals from B&B's - fried Green tomato's?? I'm southern, those are a natural for us just like sweet tea. Do they drink iced sweet tea in Scotland or is it just whisky, lol!! I want to try a drink or two while I'm there. But most definitely when there is no chance for me to be behind the wheel of a car!!

Thanks for writing!! I look forward to your responses :)))
Kathy

Posted by
940 posts

It was fried tomatoes, not fried green tomatoes. They slice a standard red garden tomato in half (or quarters, depending on the size of the tomato), and add it to the fry up. It's nowhere as good as fried green tomatoes.

Iced tea is definitely looked upon as an American abomination. Although on this last trip I was surprised to see 12 oz. bottles of iced tea in the refrigerated section of one of the supermarket chains.

And speaking of supermarkets, most of the supermarkets have what's called a "meal deal," which includes a sandwich, drink, and potato crisps or dessert for somewhere between 3 pounds and 3 pounds 50. If you're doing a lot of traveling, it's a handy (and inexpensive) way to have lunch on the go. Most of the sandwiches are so big that they can be shared, but then you have to buy a separate drink and sweet for the sharee. M&S have the best sandwiches, plus you can get a section of millionare's shortbread for your dessert. Yum! Co-op comes in second. They also have the millionaire's shortbread. Tesco comes in third. They are not as imaginative in their choice of dessert.

Damn! Now I'm wishing that I was back in Scotland again!

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
200 posts

Thanks for the correction on the tomatoes! If they are straight out of the garden, I like them sliced and a little salty. Ok, what is "millionaire shortbread"? I don't think I 've heard of that. Sounds good though. I like that we can get a "meal deal" to take on the road with us. Maybe we can find a picnic spot to take a break and take some pics. Maybe it won't be long before you can get back to Scotland. Sounds like you've been there lots of times!! I appreciate all the advice. Do you have any for packing? I was thinking about the RS bag that he says he uses when he travels. I was wondering if it really holds enough to cover 2 weeks of travel. Have you ever used one??

Kathy

Posted by
940 posts

Hi, Kathy,

Millionaire shortbread is a layer of shortbread covered with soft caramel and then a thick layer of chocolate. It's to die for!

My wife and I just got back from 30 days in Scotland. It was so hot that we had to do our laundry about every five days, instead of the usual 8 to 10 days. Here's a tip for you - we asked at our B&Bs and hotels where the nearest laundrette was. They offered to do our laundry for us. So out of the six times that we did the wash, four were done by our hosts. The other times (Falkirk and Stornoway) we went to a coin-op. I can't guarantee that you'll find the same hospitality, but if you look pathetic enough... Laundrettes are getting increasingly harder to find in Scotland. Especially coin-op (self service) ones. You'll find more laundrettes that will do the wash for you (usually costs about 10 pounds), but sometimes you have to leave the wash there all day.

As far as packing, we usually pack light, so that we can bring back a lot of things. We both have standard 24 inch suitcases, and good sized carry-ons, which, while not full, fit in to the 21x14x9 inch official dimensions. However, that's on the way over. On the way back, well, watch out! Also you're allowed one additional carry on item which will fit under the seat in front of you. Well, mine barely fit! I went over with a suitcase that weighed 24 pounds. It was just under 51 pounds (the weight limit) on the way back.

Glad to see that you're making plans early.

Keep asking questions. We're all here to help and to make your holiday as enjoyable as possible!

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
200 posts

I absolutely love your responses Mike!!!! You write very enjoyable comments. As for the shortbread, you had me interested at caramel and had me at chocolate. I am going to look and see if I can buy some here (I hope so). As for packing, I usually have one large suitcase when I travel to another state and that usually holds 2 weeks worth of clothes, toiletries, swimsuit, beach towel, and anything else I can cram in it. I don't worry about weight as I drive everywhere go. I love to plan early (hence the 11 months before the trip). I still need to get a passport. That is next on my agenda and I'm gonna hate it as I take a horrible picture!! But oh well. On the trip home from Scotland, aren't you allowed to have so much (worth wise) before you have to pay? I have no idea the kinds of souvenirs that Scotland has and I have no idea what I want to get except a shot glass that was asked for specifically. Can you answer this...when you visit sights and they have guide books, are they "paper" books you can buy and keep or are they only on audio? I like the books that has pictures and info. I think they help keep memories alive well after the trip is over. I do tend to collect odd things........

Kathy

Posted by
200 posts

Hi again Mike,

I forgot to say that I am going to do a practice packing session with everything I think I want to take and see how that goes or how I can layer things in the smaller suitcase sized "stack". If I don't do the packing cubes, maybe I can layer the clothes so they fit together better. I was reading about other clothing women took and made several different outfits with just a few pieces. I like that. Also, it gives me a reason to shop!! Cool, now I get to look for clothes and a camera :))
Kathy

Posted by
940 posts

Hi, Kathy,

Every guide book I've ever seen for a tourist site (castle, town, loch, etc.) is in softcover book or brochure form. You should have no problem accumulating a stockpile of them. The "Making of Outlander" book is in hardcover format, however.

You can bring up to $800.00 per person back with you. The next $1,000.00 is taxed at 3%. So unless you plan to smuggle Sam Heughan back in your suitcase, you should be okay.

A friend told us that if you roll up t-shirts and jeans before putting them in your suitcase, it makes more room. We tried it, and it seems to work. It also provides more padding in case you bring back fragile items (which you should put in your carry on).

As far as clothing goes, t-shirts and jeans are perfectly acceptable. Scotland is very accepting of casual dress. Especially in the summer months. The only exception would be if you attend a church service in the Highlands or Outer Hebrides. Or eat at an "upscale" restaurant. Then something slightly more conservative would be in order.

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
200 posts

Now Mike,
I would only smuggle him back if he goes back to looking like young Jamie and has "Formal" his kilt on :))
I also doubt I will be spending $800.00 on souvenirs. Just something for me to remember Scotland by and something nice for the parents. Shot glass is for god-daughter. Glad about the books!!! They make good keepsakes!!

Kathy

Posted by
940 posts

Also, when you're researching flights, consider heading down the road to CLT. It's a hub for American Airlines, and AA has direct flights to Glasgow from a couple of U.S. cities, including Philadelphia. It might be cheaper to fly out of CLT, even with parking for 11 days in long term, as opposed to flying out of Piedmont.

Good luck!

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
278 posts

Hi again, Kathy!

As Mike said, guidebooks are available at just every site’s gift shop, and the paperback ones pack nicely flat and have beautiful photos. The souvenirs I like to get are fridge magnets and Christmas ornaments, as well as jewelry. These all are small and cover a wide range of prices. My favorite things from Orkney in 2012 are the necklace and earrings I splurged on, the yarn I found that my sister knitted into a hat and scarf for me, and the very inexpensive magnet I got at Skara Brae that depicts the iconic dressers each of the houses has.

Posted by
200 posts

Hi Kathy,
Great minds think alike!!! I also collect magnets for the fridge. They do make cute and colorful souvenirs!! The books are good for looking back and reminiscing later and to show others where you've been. I like earrings and LOVE rings, so that might be an option!
Thanks Kathy (Great name, btw)!!!

Kathy

Posted by
200 posts

Ok here is another request of those experienced Scotland travelers,
In case my friend can't go for some reason, any suggestion for lodgings for solo travelers? Hopefully not really expensive, but decent and safe?? Planning on staying in Edinburgh, Oban, Inverness and I'm keeping Airth Castle reservation regardless!! I am going to stay in a castle at least 1-2 nights!!!!
Thanks!!
Kathy

Posted by
940 posts

Hi once again, Kathy,

You shouldn't have any problem obtaining solo accommodation in Scotland. Many B&Bs have rooms set aside for solo travelers. The cost is slightly less than a double in some cases, but there are times that you'll have to pay the full double/twin rate. You're renting a room, not a bed, so the owner would be losing by charging a separate (lower) rate for one person. (Even though they're preparing one less breakfast) Just like if you stayed at a Comfort Inn in the U.S. They don't have a separate rate for single accommodation.

You may also want to have another look at the Premier Inn hotel chain. If you're booking this far ahead, you'll get excellent rates. They have hotels in Edinburgh and Inverness. Travelodge is also another nationwide chain, although they are generally a bit downscale from Premier Inns. Generally, any B&B that has its own website, and is mentioned in guidebooks, is going to be decent and safe.

Scotland is one of the safest places in the world for a solo female traveler. However, you still want to take the same precautions that you would anywhere in the U.S. There are some sections of Edinburgh that you want to avoid after dark, and if you're doing some late night drinking, make sure that you're close to your lodging.

Hope all of this information is helping.

Best wishes,

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
200 posts

Hello Mike,
Yes all this information and advice is greatly helpful. One of the things I probably will not be doing a lot of drinking , I'm not much of a drinker but I would like to do at least one of the whiskey tastings. Not really sure which flavor or brand I would like but I did read one that had a little bit of a honey to it that might be good. Do you by any chance have the link for those Premier Inns I tried looking it up but I'm not sure I got the right one the rates I did check or a lot higher than what I've already booked but I'm willing to look again if I can get the right website. Since everything is booking up so fast I thought about going ahead and booking a room or two and as a solo just in case and once I find out for sure I can cancel either the solo looking or the booking with my friend. The reason I'm asking you about solo is she is supposed to have surgery in November so not sure health wise or money-wise she making continue with this trip but I'm hoping she can. I just want to say thank you to everyone who's responded to any of my questions, those responses and pieces of advice are very very much appreciated.

Posted by
940 posts

Hi, Kathy,

I hope that your friend can go with you. It's fun traveling solo, especially if you're in Scotland, but it's always better to have someone with you to share the adventures.

I'd forgotten about Premier Inn charging the usual rack rate this far out. The prices will get cheaper later in the year, but then will get progressively higher around March of next year. I was able to get rooms in Dundee and Aberdeen for about 35 pounds a night, but they went up exponentially the closer it got to the actual dates. I waited too long for Falkirk, and had to pay 65 pounds a night. You can save more by going with their "Saver" rate, as opposed to their "Flex" rate, but you can't get your money back with the "Saver" rate if you have to change or cancel your reservation.

Travelodge Inverness isn't bad. We stayed at the Travelodge Fairways for 49 pounds a night, and that was with making reservations only about six weeks ahead for a mid July stay. That Travelodge is a little bit out of town, but it's closer to Culloden, and a very easy drive into central Inverness via Culduthel Road. It's the only hotel where we stayed that provided a fan in the room due to the hot weather. Most hotels and B&Bs in Scotland don't have air conditioning, with the exception of a few hotels in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Best wishes,

Mike (Auchterless)

p.s.: As far as the guides to individual sites go, you can also pick up a lot of wonderful guidebooks, brochures, and area maps at the tourist information (TI) offices. You could fill a suitcase with those alone.

Posted by
200 posts

Thanks Mike! I will keep an eye open for hotels and rates periodically over the next few months to see about rates. If I get better rates, that's great, but if not ok. I'd really like to get a good price for a flight without it taking forever to get to Scotland. I read somewhere that @50 days out would be a good time to buy. I'll keep checking flights too! I'll make sure to visit the tourist offices while we are in Scotland1 I would love to get info books!!

Kathy

Posted by
200 posts

Hi All,
Has anyone bought either the - The National Trust for Scotland or the Historic Scotland's Explorer Pass?? There are several sites on both of these listed that we want to visit and wondered if it was worth buying one or the other?
Thanks, Kathy

Posted by
200 posts

Hi all again!!
Since we will be traveling for several days and I will need to pack accordingly, can anyone tell me how to correctly pack prescription medicines?? I have read elsewhere to pack the bottles they come in, others have said put them in baggies with labels. I usually just pack an AM/PM pill box when I travel here in the US. Is there a specific way to pack or is there a website I can go to to see how?? I would greatly appreciate any advice about this. Thank you all again for your responses!!!!
Kathy

Posted by
940 posts

Hi once again, Kathy,

You don't need to keep your prescription medicine in the original container, but just to be on the safe side, it would be best if you had the medicine in the original container with the pharmacy label, which should show your name and the name of the medication. That would also come in handy if you have to renew your prescription in Scotland. If that's the case, you may have to go to a walk-in clinic to get a new prescription issued. Don't worry, you don't have to pay for the clinic visit, and you'd end up paying a lot less for your meds in Scotland.

Keep your medications in one of your carry-on pieces of luggage. Especially if they are critical to your health. If you have a lot of medications, the less essential ones can be put in your checked baggage.

If your medicine is in liquid form, you should place it in a clear plastic zip lock bag, and declare it before you go through the screening procedure at the airport. That's one case where you definitely need the label with the name of the pharmacy and your name.

OTC medicines are readily available in Scotland. The brand names may be different, but they're the same thing. Boots the Chemist and Superdrug are the primary drug store chains in Scotland, but there are many independent chemist shops (pharmacies) who will be happy to help you.

All the best,

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
200 posts

Thanks Mike!!
There are only a couple that I really need to take on a daily basis. I'll take the Prescription bottles to be on safe side. Maybe the pharmacist will put them into small bottles if I ask. You are such a wealth of information!!! I am so glad you are willing to pass along your experiences!! Thanks so much!!!

Kathy

Posted by
8213 posts

Depending on how big your pills are, you might go with the ziplock route. I purchased small ziplock bags in Michaels Craft store. The are 3"X4" and in a pack of 150 for maybe $4? I had also previously gotten some about half that size for my purse but I couldn't find them this time. They are in or near the bead section. I use these for OTC meds for my purse and wallet. They also pack down smaller than even small pill bottles.

Your pharmacy should also be able to print out labels for each prescription.

This last time my SIL just used her 14 day pill container and put enough pills for the time we were to be gone plus a few days extra in that - so she had 2 weeks worth of pills stacked in one week and 3 weeks in the other week if that makes sense. DO put this in a ziplock bag as she's had them pop open before.

As Mike says, DO pack them in your carryon. Do not put them in checked luggage.

Posted by
200 posts

Thanks pam!
That was why I was asking, I have had different people tell me different ways to pack meds. I just want to make it through the security checks at the airport with the meds and wanted to go the easiest and simplest route. And I am always using the snack size baggies. They are great for everything, aren't they?? I do like the idea of keeping them in my pill box if possible, that way I can more easily keep track of whether or not I took them :) Baggies with labels sounds good too. I am actually going to the pharmacy tomorrow and I will ask about getting labels printed for the trip. If they say yes then I'll go back closer to the trip and get them.
Thanks!!!
kathy

Posted by
126 posts

Thought I'd reply as we're planning a similar trip (minus Edinburgh) in May. I'm booking hotels now, but making sure that they are refundable and 'pay at the hotel.' If rates go down, we can cancel and rebook, but if they go up, we're locked in to a lower rate. Days can also make a difference. The Premier Inn at Fort William varies by about $30/night for our time, so we'll be planning tours around the cheaper nights. What we save on hotel will just about pay for one of our tours.

Kathy, also wanted to be sure that you've looked at some of the reviews on the castle stay. We were going to book there as well, but most reviews on Trip Advisor (I know...) state that the hotel isn't the castle itself, but a different building. Ratings overall are mediocre or lower, with the rooms being noisy and far from what was expected. Anyone been there recently who can weigh in?

Posted by
200 posts

Hi Terri,
Thanks for the info on the castle. I will recheck it out. I am also looking into different hotels to possible change locations due to change in travel. We are going to visit Isle of Skye and am looking for stays somewhere there or close by. My friend and I are interested in doing a whale watching tour out of Oban, but am getting suggestions to do the West Coast Tour of the 3 Island. Whales may only be a hope, but some wildlife should be a given and seen on the WCT, animals such as Puffins. Skye and traveling to and around it seems to be time consuming. Actually there is a castle there that takes stays, but not sure they offer twin rooms. My friend and I are really good friends, but we really need our own beds:))) I have read so much about Skye and where to stay on or around, that I am getting confused as where to stay and when to be able to see everything we want to see. As of now we are staying 2 nights in Oban then moving to Isle of Skye for 2, Inverness for two and then to Airth. But things may(and probably will) change. Any advice or suggestions from your trip planning?? Wishing you safe travels!!!!

P.S. Read a few others responses questions asked. They have wonderful advice!!!! Ex: auchterless, mpaulyn and joncatmantim1 (they have wonderful pics from their trip on their page).

Posted by
126 posts

We are flying in to and out of Inverness, then doing the trains/buses/ferries around the Highlands. We'll spend a couple of days in Inverness to check things locally, make a loop around some of the Highlands and back to Inverness for our flight back. We're planning on doing Skye and then down to Fort William and then Oban and the three island tour. I think we'll also be taking the steam train just to say we did it and check some of the gorgeous scenery. I'm still doing a lot of research. Been reading the forums, checking sites and taking a ton of notes with links to schedules, attractions, hotels, B&Bs, etc.

I saw a post about staying at the castle which sent me to the site, which sent me to check the reviews. That's when we decided to scratch it from the list.

What I have learned is that many attractions either haven't updated for 2019 yet or they're already sold out (unlikely).

So, for now, we're planning on what we want to see, booking tentative hotel reservations in the general area (we tend to stick close to train stations) and mapping out our route. I've also posted in the forum asking for suggestions on various train options and passes.

If you go to Edinburgh, I HIGHLY recommend doing the Hairy Coos tour. We did it last year and it was one of the best days we had. https://www.thehairycoo.com/tour/1-day-free-scottish-highlands-tour-from-edinburgh/ They're not kidding! It's totally free (other than having to buy your lunch and any souvenirs). You pay only as a tip - and it's completely up to you. No hard push at all. In fact, he wasn't even looking to see how much he was being given as people got off the bus and dropped their tip. If we have an extra day and get to Edinburgh, we'll do it again.

Posted by
200 posts

Hi Teri,

Thanks for the info on the tour. I hadn't seen that one. We are thinking of staying an extra day or so. if e do, we will definitely be doing that tour.

I have made our reservations, but will continue to look again off and on to see if we can get better deals. Still looking into castle stays though :)) We really want to stay in one.

Thanks again,
Kathy

Posted by
506 posts

Hi Katsinca

You mention both Skye and a desire to stay in a castle, so you might want to check out either the Kinloch Lodge or Skeabost Hotel on Skye. While not huge castles, both are lovely. The Kinloch Lodge is a hunting lodge style hotel, with rooms in the main building or a newer (but still castle style) building. The food is fantastic too. It has views over the water. It's in the south of the island.

The Skeabost is nearer to Portree (main settlement on the island - about 8 miles away) and also has sea views. It is decorated very much in Scottish highland style with lots of dark wood, tartan and tweed. I have not stayed there but have eaten there and seen the public rooms (the coffee lounge is great with a big open fire).

Anyway, just a thought that you might be able to kill two birds with one stone!

Posted by
200 posts

Hi Skyegirl,

Thanks for the suggestions. Both places look great. One does not have the room type we want available and the other has no availability. But if I ever get the chance to go back to Scotland after this trip, I'll keep them in mind. By any chance do you know about how long ot might to drive from the Isle of Skye to Tulloch Castle? We are in no hurry, we just wanted an idea of how long it would take.

Thanks again!!!!
Kathy

Posted by
506 posts

Hi Kathy
I reckon on around 3 hours with no stops from the Skye Bridge to Tulloch castle.
Best wishes
Jacqui

Posted by
200 posts

Thanks!! Skyegirl (Jacqui),

I appreciate the info. At least now I know that we don't have to rush :)) Hopefully we will have some beautiful scenery to see along the way!

Kathy