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Scotland for 6-7 nights

We are considering Scotland for early June 2017. There will be three of us, flying from France (after 12-13 nights there). We are country folk, not city. We will likely fly Bordeaux to Edinburgh. We want to see the Edinburgh castle and some of the city, but no specific interested other than that. We really want to head into the mountains and rural areas. We also plan to go to Blantyre (near Glasgow) to see Monte's grandfathers house, and maybe knock on the door and see if we can see inside...? Then, we will fly out of Edinburgh to USA daughter and us maybe Norway, or ?

Any suggestions on how to plan our time and where to go to get that "highland mountain experience"? We will have 6-7 nights total for Scotland.

Posted by
5621 posts

North and west of Glasgow is the town of Fort William, at the foot of Scotland's (and the UK's) highest peak, Ben Nevis. Other mountains, plus the nearby ocean, make this a great base. You're also not far from the Isle of Skye, if you wanted more fantastic mountains and rural settings. I'm not sure, but the sheep may outnumber the people on Skye!

Posted by
1839 posts

Thank you Cyn- great information! It looks gorgeous!

I wish we had more time since it seems so rushed. Hopefully, we can see both the Highlands and Edinburgh...and maybe Skye too?

Posted by
1839 posts

Thank you Edgar! Never considered a train, but what a great way for us to see the sites, especially for the hubby so he doesn't have to drive.

I'll look into it further. Thanks!

Posted by
458 posts

totally agree with the ft. william, glencoe, isle of skye for highland mountain experience. that being said if you are hoping to do some hiking in the highlands I believe you will need a car. especially for the areas i mentioned above. driving is pretty intense over there so if you are not ready for that challenge you might rethink the highlands. for me the highlands were the experience of a lifetime so the narrow, drive on the left roads were overcome by the awesome scenery! get a small car!

Posted by
1839 posts

I think we are fine with driving. Last year we drove the Cotswolds in a 9 person van!! So, a small car should be a breeze!

What would you suggest about where to stay and for how many nights? Should we just stay near Fort Williams for 4 nights doing day trips and then 2 nights Edinburgh? Or, 2 near Fort William, 2 on Sky and 2 Edinburg?

Monte wants to see castles and scenery. He loves the mountains and ocean.

Thanks for your help. No better help than from someone who has been there!

Posted by
1839 posts

Unfortunately, I don't think we will be doing any hiking or at least minimally. We will be bringing our daughter who has CP, so her walking is limited. And, for that reason a car usually works better for us rather than walking from a train, etc. But, it would be nice if hubby didn't have to dive. Maybe we can do a train for a day just so he can see the sights better. Or, I guess I could drive too, but I'm not so inclined!

Posted by
691 posts

Near Ft. William and Ben Nevis is Glencoe. Beautiful drive through there with great scenery, hills, a waterfall or two. Just lovely.

Posted by
5621 posts

Kay's suggestion is right on. The day we left Fort William, we drove thru Glen Coe, and the views were stunning, despite the constant downpour as we drove along. It seems to rain about half the time in Scotland.

On Skye, a loop drive along the Trotternish Peninsula is a must, with lots of geological wonders but no castles. I'm not certain whether there are organized tours by minivan or bus that do that drive if you don't want to do the driving, but Rick Steves' guidebook would have more details on options.

Posted by
1839 posts

Thanks for the suggestions!

We are planning to drive, no problem with that.

Should we stay on Skye and Fort Williams for two nights each? Then Edinburgh for two nights?

Posted by
5621 posts

2 nights apiece is a simple compromise, with just 6-7 nights in the equation -- but will you just be fitting in the visit to the grandfather's house on the way someplace? We had 3 nights on Skye, and could've used more, and had a whole week in Edinburgh, which also was shorter that we'd have liked, but you only get so much vacation time . . .
Our Fort William stay was 2 nights and worked for us. One night stands are harder and harder to deal with as the 2 of us get older :-)

Posted by
1839 posts

We really prefer countryside yet want to see Edinburgh too (I've been but hubby and daughter have not). Thinking we will fly into Edinburg or Glasgow (but having trouble finding decent flights from Bordeaux) then Grandfather's house will be west of Glasgow on the way to the highlands. I think we would just plan a short detour, see the neighborhood, knock on the door, etc. and then be on our way to the highlands. We would prefer to get a home base and take day trips for 4 nights, but not sure the best location, or if we really should move to two spots. We rarely stay only 2 nights, so 4 would be nicer. Would the experience be good to just go straight to Skye for four nights then back to Edinburgh for 2? We imagine staying in a B & B out in the middle of nowhere and then driving through beautiful mountain scenery.

Can we find that on Skye and would we be missing a lot to drive past Fort William area and not stay there?