My husband and I are taking our first trip to Scotland in September to celebrate our 20th anniversary. We've booked our tickets and are beginning to make plans, so I would love some feedback from the experts! We're flying into London (Gatwick) and will spend 2 nights in London before flying into Inverness. From there:
(Inverness 2 nights)
Day 1: We land at 10pm, so straight to hotel/B&B - any suggestions for a reasonable place that will allow late check-in are appreciated.
Day 2: Culloden, Clava Cairns and town of Inverness. We'd like to check out Hootenanny that night for some music.
Skye (3 nights)
Day 3: Drive from Inverness to Skye, stopping at Urquart Castle and any other sights that catch our eye along the way.
Days 4-5: Check out Skye, including the Quiraing, Museum of Island Life, Fairy Glen, etc.) Is Portree the best home base?
Day 6: Leaving Skye, head toward ferry to Mallaig, stopping at Armadale Castle (I have MacDonald ancestors) before catching ferry. Drive to Oban, stopping at Glenfinnan, Elean Donan Castle and Glencoe along the way.
Oban (2 nights)
Day 7: Oban 3-Island Tour - should we self-drive to Fionnphort and take the boat trip to Staffa/Iona from there (so we can spend a little more time on Iona than the tour allows for), or is the tour worth it?
Day 8: Drive to Loch Lomond, stopping at Kilmartin, Inveraray, Luss along the way (time permitting). We're planning on staying at a B&B on Loch Ard (long story, personal connection) overnight.
Loch Ard (1 night)
Day 9: Drive to Stirling, visit castle, Bannockburn, Wallace Memorial and Doune Castle, then to Edinburgh.
Edinburgh (3 nights)
Days 10-11: Castle, Royal Mile, Rosslyn Chapel (William Sinclair is my 15th great-grandfather!), Greyfriars Kirk/cemetery, National Museum, etc.
Day 12: Early flight home :(
Any feedback, suggestions, favorite "must see" places, restaurants or B&B recommendations are much appreciated!