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Sample Trip Agenda - Fort William (and eventually back to Edinburgh)

For those that do your own trip planning, here is an free-flow agenda we used for Fort William a few weeks ago. A follow-on to my posts about Edinburgh and Inverness. We (group of 4....my wife and I and two young adult children ages 18 and 20) stayed just outside of town in the Glen Nevis area, but the Fort William area in general worked out well as a great place/base to spend 3 nights.

Day 7: (Arrive Fort William) - blazing sunshine, Hike Ben Nevis
Day 8: (Fort William) – blazing sunshine
• A day of rest and recuperation (after Ben Nevis hike).
• Got up later, late breakfast. Wife and I went for walk to Nevis vistors center and along the river. Sat on the benches in the “contemplation” park. Young people stayed at hotel did facebook posts, etc.

• Took a few small day trips that might be better in good weather – Glencoe, Neptunes Staircase, saw the famous viaduct of Harry Potter fame, also Glen Nevis.

Day 9: (Fort William) – cloudy and drizzly
• 9amish - Took my son (age 20) out (without my wife and daughter) so he could drive on the left, try the single track roads, etc. We drove around for about an hour (even though Hertz would frown on this) and by the look on his face, for him it seemed better than going to an amusement park. We did several loops in some of the early roundabouts, but he got the hang of it.
• Went to downtown Fort William, shopped, ate, enjoyed the rain
• Ended up driving to Oban, having breaks in the clouds, walked around and explored the town in separate groups, my wife and I went to the tower and the weather broke for a few minutes so we could enjoy it.

• I know it sounds boring but just sometimes just sitting on a bench downtown, watching people pass by, and watching everyday life happening sometimes gives you a great sense of a place.

Day 10: (Fort William to the Airport Doubletree) – cloud and drizzly
• We took an incredibly scenic ride back toward Edinburgh on the 82, 85 route (don’t remember all the route numbers honestly) through Glencoe. Stopped at a few pull-offs and hiked up paths to get better views. Better weather would have been nice, but I still enjoyed the mountains poking in and out of the clouds and the sweeping vistas. Rain or shine, this was a great drive.
• We stopped in Stirling for a late lunch, took a walking tour, and then headed out to our hotel which was at the airport.

Day 11 (Edinburgh):

• Our flight on Delta to Boston actually left on time. A Miracle. Although they tell you to arrive 3 hours early, we only did 2 hours early and we were fine and still hanging around for an hour waiting to board. But you should plan based on your comfort level with air travel. I fly almost every week and we didn't check any bags, so I'm familiar with the system.

Safe and happy travels to you all!

Bob

Posted by
583 posts

Thank you for posting. We'll have 4 nights in the Fort William area in a few weeks and now I am really looking forward to this trip.

Posted by
520 posts

Hello Bob
I'm enjoying reading your trip reports and very glad you had a good vacation in Scotland. Just one question about your son driving the rental car. You say Hertz would frown on this. Do I take it from this that your son wasn't insured to drive the vehicle? If so, then this is something I would strongly discourage. If you had had an accident or a fender bender with another car, the other party would find it very difficult/impossible to claim against Hertz's insurance if your son wasn't insured to drive the car. This would probably result in them having to claim against their own insurance and losing their 'no claims' bonus.

If I've misunderstood the situation then please disregard this post.

Posted by
38 posts

Thanks Skyegirl. Great wisdom from you as always. I incorrectly assumed that the risk was only to me (being from a state in the US where insurance isn't required and we cover ourselves in some cases without penalty) and hadn't considered other drivers. So yes, Hertz won't allow you to register drivers under 23, so despite our own insurance coverage, I can see now this was probably a mistake and we should footnote this post with the right information. Travel enlightens us on many fronts, this is just another great example.

Posted by
583 posts

Bobtrabucchi: did you wear hiking boots or hiking shoes for Ben Nevis? Also did you use poles? We’re trying to decide what to pack. Thanks!

Posted by
38 posts

I brought only two pairs of shoes on the trip. The pair I spent 90% of the trip in were a pair of Columbia waterproof day hikers that I had broken in pre trip. I added an extra gel foam insert for comfort. We all had something similar and so yes, he had hiking shoes but I didn’t shlep my usual over ankle boots. These shoes where adequate especially if you add the stabilization you get using hiking poles.

With only carry on luggage for our trip over, we couldn’t take our hiking poles (check Tsa requirements online). But my wife and I purchased a pair of poles for each of us in an outdoor superstore in Inverness for 5 pounds per set (that were anti-shock too) that did the trick. We turned them in at the doubletree hotel the day we left and asked them to give them to a charity shop. We did this the year before when we climbed Snowden and Scaffel Pike and it worked out well then too.

Hope this helps,

Bob

Posted by
38 posts

FYI. The name of the stores where we bought the poles was GO OUTDOORS in Inverness. But there are a few in Fort William too that probably have cheaper pole options.

Posted by
583 posts

Bob: thanks for the info! Exactly what I needed. We also travel with carry on only and planed on finding inexpensive poles to buy once we arrived. The ankle boots versus shoes was the problem. Really didn’t want to use the big Osprey 46 if i didn’t have to.