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Requesting help with planning 1st time Scotland Itinerary & Multiple-Day Rabbies Tours

Hi there fellow travelers!
Husband & I in our mid 60's and fairly agile travelers, are working on our itinerary for our September/October 2015 trip to England and Scotland. This will be our 2nd trip to England but first time to Scotland. I'm primarily looking for itinerary suggestions for the Scotland portion. We're planning a week in London, then train to Durham for 2 or 3 days (to include a day trip to York by train); then train from Durham to Edinburgh for 3 days to see those sites. We also would love to see more of Scotland (Isle of Skye, perhaps a few castles, Loch Ness, the Highlands etc.) and we do NOT want to rent a car as we prefer public transport. Based on comments on this forum I'm looking at doing a Rabbies coach tour but can't decide which one. We are NOT hikers or nature lovers, per se, but would love to see more of this beautiful country.

Trying to decide on Rabbies:
(1) The Highland Explorer - Skye & Far North 5 Day Tour; or
(2) The Isle of Skye 3 Day Tour.

Both of these tours spend 2 nights on Skye in Portree which is what we'd like.
Does anyone know if there is a lot of 'hiking' involved? We're mobile and wear good, comfortable shoes but we are not into schlepping through forests and/or mountains!

After the tour we'd end up back in Edinbugh for another night, then we're thinking of taking a train to Glasgow for a couple days, then fly home from there, changing planes in London.
Any recommendations or suggestions?
Thanks so much!

Posted by
3 posts

You're going to have so much fun! :) I've done two Rabbie's tours, but they were only one day tours. We didn't really stop long enough to have an option for hiking and even if we did I expect anyone not wanting to could stay close to the bus as the driver would likely stay with that. I think it would be minimal hiking and you'd feel free to do as much or as little as you wanted.

As for the tour, I recently went to the north (Loch Ness and such) and the West Highlands. I loved the West Highlands so much!! Did you consider the Sky/West Highland four day tour? I think Loch Ness gets all the fame and attention, but I found the West Highlands to be much more scenic and entrancing.

Posted by
5559 posts

Hi Jan,

The five day tour sounds lovely. It gives you a broader look at Scotland than just going to Skye. You get to some of my favorite places in Scotland--Ullapool, Torridon, Dunkeld etc. One thing I notices was that while they list Ullapool as the location of the hotel, they also note that sometimes they have to stay in Inverness due to crowds in Ullapool. While it would not be horrible or bad to stay in Inverness--lots of things to do in the evening--you would have longer bus rides to the west. Ullopool is much better situated to reach places like Applecross.

Pam

Posted by
72 posts

Hi, Jan,
I can't speak to the Highland Explorer tour with Rabbies as I haven't been on it but I've been on four other Rabbies tours including the three day tour to Skye. On the Skye tour there is not much walking to do. The longest walk is to a lighthouse and you don't have to do that if you don't want. It is not really that long a walk but has a major uphill portion. Other stops will have very short walks and again if you don't want to do them you don't have to, just sit down and enjoy the view instead. I don't think you'll have any trouble with the walking. We were in our 60's also when we took that tour. The Skye tour is one of my favorites and I think you'd enjoy it. How much time you want to devote to a tour will probably be the deciding factor between the two. I've also taken the train between Edinburgh and Glasgow and that couldn't be easier. Because we love Edinburgh we stayed there and took the train over to Glasgow for a Rabbies day tour out of Glasgow and then returned that night. We're returning to Scotland this summer for a fourth time and still won't have seen everything we'd like. I'm sure you'll love it as much as I do. Do you want hotel suggestions in Edinburgh?

Judy

Posted by
123 posts

Thanks everyone. I think we'll go ahead and book the 3 Day Isle of Skye tour. It sounds like the perfect 'sampling' for what we want to see and do and includes 2 nights in Portree on the Isle of Skye. Now we're just re-thinking if we'll book the tour from Edinburgh or wait until we get to Glasgow and book the same tour from there instead, which gives us more time in Edinburgh.

Again, many thanks and Happy travels!