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question on itinerary/suggestions welcome

Are we trying to do too much? We want to do the cities in this order:
Edinburgh 2 or 3 nights
Oban 2 nights
Ft. William 2 nights (have reservations for the Jacobite afternoon train the 2nd day)
Portree 2 nights
Inverness 2 nights (too long?)
Pitlochry 1 night
St. Andrews 1 night
Edinburgh--fly out or spend the night, depending on our flight time
We have already been to Stirling, Falkirk, Glasgow and The Kelpies.

Posted by
15539 posts

How are you traveling?? Rental Car? Public Transport? Chaufferred Limo?

Posted by
358 posts

Perfectly doable by car - but whether it is too much will really depend on how you visit places and areas. Personally I would want at least 3 days in Edinburgh, and wouldn't worry at all if I missed Inverness itself

Posted by
27351 posts

Two nights seems painfully short for Portree, even allowing for the extra efficiency of having a car.

Posted by
8 posts


my wife and I are planning a Scotland trip as well by car. 12-13 day trip. We are choosing Portree as a potential base as well. How many nights would you recommend? 3 is good? 4?


Posted by
1652 posts

We are currently in Scotland, and I would recommend 4 nights in Edinburgh just to see Edinburgh. It is a lovely old city with a lot to see and do, and walking around the old neighborhoods is wonderful. I highly recommend visiting the Royal Botanical Gardens; they are spectacular! Book a walking tour of the Royal Mile with Mercat Tours. Our guide was excellent; very knowledgeable, warm and friendly. And you learn the Royal Mile is a lot more than shops and restaurants.

We are leaving Edinburgh tomorrow for Anstruther on the Fife Coast. We do have 4 nights reserved for Portree. I’ve been told one should plan on 4 nights in case you have some inclement weather. This way you have a better chance of some nice weather by spending more days.

If anyone is interested, I can recommend these wonderful restaurants in Edinburgh:
Cafe Royal
Mussels Inn
Makars Mash Bar
Ka Pao

We enjoyed all of these restaurants and you will have lots of diversity.

Posted by
3289 posts

Agree with Kmkwoo. Spend more time In Edinburgh. We only had 2 full days and left wishing we could have stayed longer.
Isle of Skye is fantastic. If you like hiking and the outdoors spend more time there as well. We did not make it to St. Andrews and don’t feel like we missed anything.

Posted by
27351 posts

I like the idea of 4 nights, and the weather risk is a major reason. But weather is unpredictable; your list of sightseeing targets is something you probably already have in mind, so that's where I would start. How many nights does that list suggest? Then you can decide whether to add at least one night for meteorological contingencies. Folks with cars have an advantage--there's always somewhere to go if you find you have an extra day. It doesn't work like that for folks depending on public transportation, some of which has to be pre-booked if you're traveling during peak season.

I had hoped to take the Bella Jane boat trip and a van tour around the island. The weather just wasn't conducive to either one (or rather, I wasn't willing to pay for either one on days with really rainy weather), so I ended up substituting Dunvegan Castle and a couple of loops of the Trotternish Peninsula, both via public bus. The third day (trip to Plockton from 4th-night base in Kyle of Lochalsh) went off as planned.

Posted by
8 posts

Kathy -

While in Oban I would highly recommended taking the short ferry to Kerrera and walking to the tea house and castle ruins. It was one of our favorite spontaneous Scotland adventures.