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Scotland for 8 days - too much or just right?

Hi everyone,

My girlfriend and myself will be taking the train from London to Edinburgh 8/27 and then doing the following itinerary. Please let me know any must sees im missing or any helpful hints. Thanks so much!

8/27 - London to Edinburgh (stay edinburgh)
8/28 - Edinburgh
8/29 - Edinburgh
8/30 - Pick up rental car then: Edinburgh-Inverary Castle-Kilchurn Castle?-Oban-Glencoe (stay in Glencoe)
8/31 - Glencoe to Portree
9/1 - Portree (explore skye)
9/2 - Portree to Glasgow or near Edinburgh (worth going to loch ness or any must sees on the way back?)
9/3 - Back to Edinburgh to return rental car and fly out

One last note that we love hiking so we will take any chance to get out of the car and take a few hours hiking! :)

Posted by
21080 posts

The usual reason to go to Oban is to take the CalMac ferry over to Mull and Iona (and maybe also Staffa). You won't have time to do that, so I'd suggest skipping Oban to save a bit of time for Inveraray Castle and Glencoe. Routing yourselves via Oban is adding about 30 minutes of driving time to the trip, according to ViaMichelin.

Posted by
611 posts

You are allowing yourself only one full day on Skye, which is a big island with poor roads. You'll find it frustrating trying to see the island in a day. You certainly won't manage any meaningful hiking. I'd suggest finding a spot nearer to the Central Belt, e.g. around Glencoe or Loch Lomond and basing yourselves there instead of racing up to Skye.

Posted by
5669 posts

So I agree that you might want to stay a bit further south rather than trying to get to Skye on this trip. Have you found this website? They give great information on the hikes. An area that's beautifully scenic and a bit closer is Perthshire. Check out this site and Dunkeld. And another place is Aberfeldy. Here's the Undiscovered Scotland Feature page for Aberfeldy.

There are also some wonderful drives in the area. This one takes you over the mountain a lovely road to Loch Rannoch and out to the Tea Room on the edge of Rannoch Moor. This one takes you through Glen Lyon and then back along the north shore of Loch Tay. If you go east of Dunkeld you can get to Glenshee and do some more vigorous walks. I've done this drive all the way to Balmoral. You would keep going past Glenshee.

Skye is beautiful and well known, but Scotland is beautiful everywhere! There is a lot of history everywhere as well.

Posted by
2940 posts

I second the recommendation to skip Oban to allow time for Inveraray and Glencoe. The way you have that day planned, you wouldn't have time to see Inveraray Castle. It's not really visible from the road -- you have to pay at the gate to enter the grounds. It's a beautiful castle, both inside and out, in my opinion. Much of it was rebuilt after a devastating fire in the 1970s, but all the architecture, furnishings, and artifacts on display are historic. The gardens are very lovely too.