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Reserving places to stay in the middle of May.

We are flying into Edinburgh and out of Glasgow during a two week vacation. The first 3 nights, the last two nights and one night in the middle we have reserved our hotels/B&B's. We want to travel through the Highlands and Western Scotland but don't want to be to strict on our itinerary. Do you think we need to book everything ahead of time or can we find places as we go if we find a place we want to stay as we need?

Posted by
3551 posts

I would not chance it as many B&B s have few rooms. Big cities ok but not sm towns or villages. U would end up stressing just to find aplace every night.
I have traveled by car in West scotland off season and was glad i had pre- booked.

Posted by
2774 posts

I concur with the previous post, many of the places to stay out in the countryside only have a few rooms. Even if a given place has an available room, it may not be what you want in terms of cost, size, bed arrangement, bathroom, view out the window, etc.

In western Scotland, if your itinerary includes Inveraray, I can recommend Brambles for lodging and daytime meals, and the George Hotel for dinner/pub. In Tarbert I can recommend the Stonefield Castle Hotel (not really a castle; dates from 1830s, a country house with beautiful view of Loch Fyne).

In the highlands I can recommend the Dornie Hotel near the Isle of Skye (walking distance to Eilean Donan Castle) for lodging and restaurant/pub. In the town of Nairn, just west of Inverness on the Moray Firth, is an excellent B&B called Tali Ayer.

Posted by
1832 posts

I would really hesitate to book on the fly at the height of tourist season. If you were doing shoulder or off-season, you could do it. If you do not pre-book you will be staying where others did not want to and spending time driving around and calling places on your vacation. Just my two cents.

Posted by
142 posts

You can usually find a place to stay on short notice, but not the nicest places and not the less expensive places. One month ago I finished booking all our reservations for end of May, beginning of June in Scotland. The most recommended places in Skye were already booked but I still found BnBs I liked. I doubt you’ll find good accommodations on Skye at the last minute. I was surprised how many of Rick Steves recommended BnBs throughout Scotland were already full.

Posted by
360 posts

If you are in an area with limited inventory, like Skye, I would do it in advance. If you don't really care how far you might have to go, then you might be fine (esp. outside the main season). We were there in late Sept/early Oct and there were plenty of B&B vacancies along our drive, but you just have to be flexible in case the location you want is booked.