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Planning your trip

Hi from Glencoe!

My wife and I live in Glencoe and could help with some 'general' guidance for anyone visiting Scotland. We are part of the travel industry and so come across the same questions and itineries all the time. Here's our tuppence worth that may help...

Travel time/Itineries: Where and what do you really want to see and do? High on the agenda are all the usuals, Edinburgh, Inverness, Skye, Glencoe, and there is usually a rush of questions (once customers have arrived) about how long it will take to get there, ferry times, buses etc. A lot the time the agenda is just too tight. The ferries may not run, the roads are sometimes single track (especially the Highlands) and invariably the holiday turns out to be a hectic medley of planning/travel and very little relaxation and sighseeing. Google the destination and travel times, add in your contingency. as well as questioning what you want out of your visit. There is an incredible amount of quiet mountains, valleys and experiences not in the general guides. Allow time to reflect and soak up the culture and landscape, there's plenty of it,

Accomodation: Scotlands villages and cities can be very 'community' based. Booking.com and the other large travel channels may bring up the usual suspects....but, not every hotel or B&B can (or want) to use them (it's the commission). In summer a lot of accommodation is taken off. Check if the location has its own website. There's usually a huge resource of other activities or events posted there (as well as most of the accommodation), something that Googling may not easily bring up. Check or phone the hotel directly, you'll get fantastic help from everyone. Use Google maps to help locate smaller B&B's or hotels.

If I think of anything else, I'll see if I can add edit this

We wish you all the best in your travel plans!

Posted by
14 posts

Good Morning LC
My relatives backed out so I'm on my own for Scotland in September.
I will pursue the Rick Steve's Scotland tour but I truly wish more 'wide open space' time in the Highlands and will inquire if time for single side trips away from the group are factored in to the overall package. I still have a keen interest in some of the Outlander filming sites/castles. Thank you for your help and I will email with any more questions as they come up.
Jill
WA USA

Posted by
8077 posts

"will inquire if time for single side trips away from the group are factored in to the overall package."

I've done the Rick Steves Best of Scotland tour and it is excellent for a short overview of the country. It's a busy tour with not much free time. You can opt out of any activities you want but that really only works on a day you are not in transit to another location. You could potentially skip the full tour day when you are staying in the Kenmore/Dunkeld area (but I really enjoyed the visit to the Crannog) or you could skip the full day in the Inverness area (but again, I loved Clava Cairns - where Diana Gabaldon supposedly got the idea of the split rock- and Cawdor Castle). The full day in the Oban area is Mull/Iona. The other days are transit days between locations so not being with the group on those days is not really going to work.

Not sure what you mean by if side trips away are factored into the overall package? Are you asking if they would lower the price if you were not with the group for a day or two? I'd say no, it's a set price.

You could easily arrive early or stay days after the tour. Edinburgh deserves more time than is available on the tour at either end plus whatever side trips you might be thinking of.

Posted by
14 posts

Thank you Pam....I was referring to side trips on guided stops but I see what you mean about being in transit. You are either on the bus or not and being left standing alone in Glencoe would not work. I agree that Edinburgh will be worth staying over for two more days. I wanted to see Fort William and Lallybroch and the Doune castle. I would love to sleep overnight in a real castle. It appears much is yet to be discovered in Edinburgh.

thank you for your advise.
Jill