Please sign in to post.

Scotland in a week

We plan on touring Scotland, England and Ireland Oct 1-24.2015. Any hints on what to see in Scotland over a week. We are open to all options.

Bob

Posted by
1829 posts

Why don't you buy a copy of Rough Guide Scotland and do a little planning by yourself. Its impossible to help you without knowing where you will be starting and where you will end before going on to England.

Posted by
4957 posts

We had 2 weeks last August, and saw some of Edinburgh, Shetland, Orkney, Skye, and the area between Fort William and Edinburgh. With just a week, you probably only have adequate time for a few days in either Edinburgh or Glasgow and a couple of days outside of those cities. Lots to see and several weeks could be spent in Scotland!

Posted by
3091 posts

What Monte said ! Scotland will fool you , it appears small on the map , but that leaves a deceptive impression both of its true size and the vast diversity of what is to be seen there . You have to make some initial choices based on your particular interests , in order to identify what would most draw you in . A week will just give you a taste . I recently returned from my second trip to Scotland , was there over a month , and was planning when I could reasonably return , while on the flight home from Edinburgh

Posted by
1187 posts

As has been said : do some reading ahead of time. The first time we went to Scotland we tried to go to all the Campbell Clan Castles which led us all around Scotland. If I went back again I would spend more time in Glasgow which has a lot more cultural things going for it then at first glance. Edinburgh is a must for the classic historical stuff; but I think you can see most of that in 2 days. One thing to be aware of is that a lot of the historic sites open to view are preparing to or are closed in October...I would go to Scotland first and go south from there. Most people seem to think that the "Highlands" is where the action is; but there is a lot more historical sites and enough nature stuff south of Glasgow and Edinburgh. Most of Mary Queen of Scots life was in this area. The Borders is very interesting with the Medieval Castles and Ruined Abbeys. After that you can head to Hadrians Wall, Durham and York. The Lake District is too touristy for me. Most of the architecture is Victorian. Don't miss Chatsworth. Bon Voyage!

Posted by
333 posts

Without knowing your likes and dislikes or the number of people you're including in "we", or the full number of days, its hard to recommend anything. Theres golf, hiking, other sports, music, art, ruins... the list is endless. You can do everything from ghost tours to food tours, to looking for "Nessie" at Loch Ness to whiskey distillery tours, castles and abbeys to searching out Da Vinci Code clues at Rosslyn Chapel. Of course there's the beauty of the Scottish Highlands, the Isle of Skye and Isle of Arran, underground vaults, dungeons and museums. There's a sampling for you.

Posted by
1280 posts

To agree with Monte and Steven. It is very easy to underestimate Scotland's size because it looks small on a map. Those mountains get in the way, a lot, when trying to get around.

If you can let us know some of your likes, dislikes, size and possibly ages of party, etc the suggestions will then start to flow.

Posted by
5559 posts

As everyone has said, it would help to know more about your interests.... Here are somethings to think about. It can help to categorize things.

  • Whisky--if you're a single malt drinker then you probably want to visit a distillery or at the very least find some new malts.
  • History--Scottish history is fascinating. From the wars with England in the Borders to Vikings in the west and north with MacBeth, the clearances and so very many castles, kings, inventors, poets and writers there are lots of wonderful places to visit and to see. But we need to know if that's what's pulling you to Scotland. Do you have Scottish family?
  • Music--as there is in Ireland there is wonderful traditional music played throughout the country at pubs, but there is also a contemporary music scene in Glasgow. What's your pleasure?
  • Walking or hiking--Everyone thinks that they need to go north and climb munroes and we can point you to these if you'd like, but there are lots of more gentle, laid back walks that take you through the countryside that are all throughout the country.
  • Photography--the scenery in Scotland is magnificent and photographing it is one of the reason's I go to Scotland. While the west coast and the north are amazing, we can point you to places further south.
  • legends and mythology--Well, there's the Loch Ness Monster, but many other ancient and mysterious sites. Think of all the stone circles...Have you been watching Outlander?
  • Just plain castles--there are so very many! but do you want to see restored castles? Castles that were once great and now impressive ruins? Scenic Castles? Historically important castles? Castles that have been in movies? Your own special castle? Sleep in a castle?
  • Literature--From Rabbie Burns to Ian Rankin and everything in between there are many literary sites.
  • Inventive and Academic Scotland--Scotland has had a lot of inventors, philosophers, economists etc who have made an impact on the world. There are museums to visit about this as well.
  • Wild Scotland--While not exactly wild, there are the Highland Cows, but there are also dolphins otters and lots and lots of birds.

I'm sure I've left something out, but I think this is a good start.

Pam

Posted by
3091 posts

" I'm sure I've left something out , " ---------- Unlikely !

Posted by
5559 posts

And I guess I should add that you clearly can't do all of this in one week! That's why we need more info. Of course, you could also start planning your second trip to Scotland while you plan this one. It can help with the prioritizing. :)

Posted by
11 posts

We haven't been yet but are planning a one-week trip in late March. From EDI, we are dashing south to GB and starting with ~ 24 hours at Hadrian's Wall, staying near Haltwhistle (arrival afternoon and next morning). Then we are staying in the Crieff/Comrie area and plan to see Caerlaverock Castle/Dumfries area enroute from Hadrian's wall. Our interests tend toward history/archaeology/science/engineering type sites. Our last next-to-last morning we are driving to Edinburgh, parking at the hotel and touring the city for the day/evening.

I've planned five one-day itineraries that we can select and head in that direction for the day - I know we will not do everything; no harm. I've checked out all the locations that are available using the Explorer Pass and determined which are not open until April. My one-day itins, as best I can recall since they are sitting on my home computer, are below. These locales form a framework of the things we'd like to take in and if our route strays so items mix/mingle from item to item, no problem. Let me say upfront, I know we will have missed seeing a lot of Scotland but at this point, these are the items that seem interesting to us.

1 - Stirling, Falkirk Wheel, Drymen, scenic driving (I believe there will be a lot of scenic driving/hikes)
2- Glencoe, Glen Nevis, hope to hike to Steall Falls (this is a light itin)
3- Drive over to Isle of Skye, hike, and perhaps hit the distillery there, ferry one way, bridge the other, Eilean Donan Castle
4- Loch Ness, only as viewed from Urquhart Castle, Inverness, Culloden Battlefield, Distillery Land
5- Boat Tour to Staffa to see Fingal's Cave and Treshnish Islands

We plan to make use of this site re hiking/walks: http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/. I've also downloaded the Historic Scotland App and one for trails. Enough, I'm blathering.
T

Posted by
1280 posts

Your itinerary looks good, possibly a little too packed. The days here are only 24 hours long and you will still need to sleep, travel and eat! There are a couple of days at the beginning, either in Scotland or the bit in England and Hadrian's Wall that to me at least look as if there is no wiggle room which might be needed in March with weather, traffic etc.

Posted by
5559 posts

Tam, you should play around with ViaMichelin to make sure your one-day trips are truly one-day trips. I think if you're planning to return each day, you will have some very, very long days. But I maybe I misunderstood.

Pam