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Scotland and London August, 2022 (Update)

Last October I posted here and received some excellent advice and help with a planned trip to Scotland and short jaunt to London. This is an update on that post to say, firstly, I booked my flights using IcelandAir 8/25-9/15 (3 weeks) flying into Glasgow and back home from London. Traveling via train, bus and tours as I don’t feel confident to drive solo in the UK. Originally, this trip was being planned thinking my sisters would join but, alas, they all have separate plans. I am seeking help to decide on logistics of travel and thoughts on some of the Rabbies tours I am interested in. Here is my plan taking into account that I will attend Edinburgh Military Tatoo on 8/27 and Braemar Highland Games on 9/3:

8/26-30 Edinburgh, sleep (4) hotel booked
8/31-9/2 Inverness, sleep (2)
9/2-4 Banchory, sleep (2) hotel booked
9/5-9 Isle of Skye, sleep (4)
9/9-11 Glasgow, sleep (2)
9/11-15 London, sleep (4)

My biggest decision is whether to (1) travel back to Inverness from Banchory to take several Rabbies 1 day tours or (2) travel South from Banchory to Edinburgh to take the Rabbies 4 day Isle of Skye & West Highlands tour, or from Banchory to Glasgow for the 3 day Isle of Skye tour. The differences in the two tours are: 4 day tour takes in Fort William and Glenfinnan with overnights in Kyle of Lochalsh and the 3 day tour does not seem to go to Glenfinnan with overnights in Portree. I very much want to see Glenfinnan and get the most out of touring the Highlands/Skye. Also, traveling South from Banchory to Edinburgh or Glasgow, I might like to stop off at Pitlochry and see the Edradour Distillery. Another Rabbies tour I would like to take is from Inverness to see Glen Afric, Clava Cairns and Culloden.

Perhaps I could do some of this itinerary without Rabbies but since I am traveling solo, I like the idea of enjoying the sights with other like minded travelers and I wouldn’t have to do all the work of getting ground transportation done on my own. Here are the links to the Rabbies tours that interest me:

https://www.rabbies.com/en/scotland-tours/from-edinburgh/2-4-day-tours/isle-of-skye-the-west-highlands-4-day-tour

https://www.rabbies.com/en/scotland-tours/from-glasgow/3-day-tours/the-isle-of-skye-3-day-tour

https://www.rabbies.com/en/scotland-tours/from-inverness/1-3-day-tours/glen-affric-culloden-clava-cairns-1-day-tour

What do you think, do I have a good balance of city versus small town/country? Keeping in mind that I have 4 full days in London at the end of my trip. Too many Rabbies tours? Should I travel South to Edinburgh for tour Skye or stay up North and tour? Need to make a decision very soon in order to book accommodations on Skye. Thanks again for all your help with this.

Linda

Posted by
5570 posts

I think that if you are a social traveler, your plans make good sense. When I say "social traveler", I don't necessarily mean that a person is big extrovert, only that he/she seems to enjoy travel more when it is a shared experience with others. That describes me. I still travel solo, but I find ways to connect with others while traveling because that shared experience makes a difference to me.

Tours are a great way to do this and eliminate some of the transportation issues. Another way to connect is to text or send pictures to those sisters each day to provide for some shared experiences and a safety check in.

I wanted to suggest Premier Inn Waterloo for your 4 nights in London. I stayed there as a solo traveler and really enjoyed it for its location and ease of transportation connections. I always felt safe walking the block from the Waterloo tube/train station or along the embankment on the Path.

Posted by
804 posts

Carol, I was looking at Premier Inn County Hall near London Eye or the Hub near Westminster for accommodations. Thanks for the endorsement and I’m pretty sure I may have run across Premier Inns through you or someone else on this Forum.

Posted by
5570 posts

Linda, County Hall is just a block away from Waterloo, so I can endorse that as a good location as well.

Posted by
804 posts

Yeah. Accommodations booked in London, Premier Waterloo. Carol, thanks for the recommendation. As far as the idea of traveling from Banchory to Pitlochry and touring the Edradour distillery, that is a no go because the distillery is closed on Sundays (my day of travel). So, instead, I might spend some time in Aberdeen before getting the train to Edinburgh. I will check RS guidebook and the web for things to do in Aberdeen for 3-4 hours. Any thoughts?

Posted by
6484 posts

FYI near your London hotel is the Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel adjacent to Waterloo Station.

Don’t know status of the Vietnamese restaurant inside the tunnel post Covid shutdown but worth a short meander to find out.

Posted by
804 posts

Claudia, I thought maybe you would pipe in with some great advice. I was thinking about that grafiti tunnel some time ago and now, thanks to you, I know it is close by. Thanks.

Posted by
2 posts

you may also want to consider the Hub at St. James - it's almost a stone's throw from the tube station and there are several good pubs/restaurants nearby.