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Scotland Itinerary June 2017

Hi! I have been doing a lot of research with guidebooks and looking through the posts in this forum (which have all been very helpful!). This is the itinerary that I have come up with for my trip. I was wondering if this is feasible? Any recommendations or changes that I could make? This is my first time going to Scotland and I'm planning on using public transportation. I enjoy a variety of things: history, hiking, museums, castles, sports, etc.

Day 1: Arrive in Edinburgh - Royal Mile
Day 2: Edinburgh - Edinburgh Castle & John Knox House
Day 3: Edinburgh - Arthur's Seat & Palace of Holyrood House
Day 4: Stirling
Day 5: Inverness
Day 6: Inverness - Culloden Battlefield
Day 7: Inverness - Isle of Skye Tour
Day 8: Oban (just leaving this as a travel day)
Day 9: Day Trip to Iona, Mull, and Staffa
Day 10: Glasgow
Day 11: Glasgow
Day 12: Glasgow
Day 13: Leave to Ireland (which I am currently researching/planning)

Thank you for your help :).

Posted by
1193 posts

Your itinerary covers a lot of territory. The distances in Scotland do not look that big on the maps...but the time to travel will be greatly extended when you use public transportation. Traveling to the Isles is especially time consuming. I admire your choices but I would make sure there is timely public transportation available. One solution would be to look at some of the mini-tours from the big city/town locations. An example is boat trips from Inverness on Loch Ness. Both Glasgow and Edinburgh are both good walkable cities with lots of museums and galleries plus historic sites. Stirling is fairly small but has lots to see. Culloden...can be evocative if you have Clan that died there but is way out of the way otherwise. If you are a student I would check with the local Universities for travel and accommodations that may be available to you at discount. Check Visit Scotland and Historic Scotland online sites for Pass info and a lot of ideas.

Posted by
977 posts

Good advice re length of travelling time e.g. Inverness to Oban is 6 1/2 hours. Again good advice re taking day trips. From Inverness you could do day tours of Culloden and Skye. This way you will get the most out of your time in this region. Enjoy. Scotland is a magical place.

Posted by
918 posts

Add Dunstaffnag Castle to your time in Oban as well as Tobermory. One less day in Glasgow for this. While near Edinburgh I recommend Cragmillar Castle and Roslyn Chapel.

Posted by
7124 posts

Scotland really is a place where travelling by car is preferable.
I think you must definitely stay on Skye.
Glasgow is not worth 3 nights.
Pitlochry in the Highlands is wonderful.

Day 1: Arrive in Edinburgh - Royal Mile
Day 2: Edinburgh - Edinburgh Castle & John Knox House
Day 3: Edinburgh - Arthur's Seat & Palace of Holyrood House
Day 4: Stirling
Day 5: Pitlochry
Day 6: Inverness - Culloden Battlefield
Day 7: Isle of Skye
Day 8: Isle of Skye
Day 9: via Glencoe/Fort William to Oban
Day 10: Oban (Day Trip to Iona, Mull, and Staffa)
Day 11: via Loch Lomond/Trossachs to Glasgow
Day 12: Glasgow

Posted by
4883 posts

Sorry, but I think that your itinerary looks to be too optimistic by public transport.

If you are going to Skye, don't do it as a day trip from Inverness, as it is the best part of three hours each way to Portree, which doesn't allow time for much else. Either scrap it or stay there and if the latter, you really need three days to cover it. You could have a night less in Glasgow.

I would scrap Inverness - the city itself isn't anything special. Culloden is just a field, although it has an interesting history, but there isn't much to see there. Of most relevance if you have family history that is connected. Spend this time on Skye.

You will need to book all your accommodation well in advance, as it will be busy in June and the midges will be putting in an appearance then, so bring some protection.

Posted by
552 posts

If you aren't renting a car this will be difficult to accomplish as others have said. Going up to Arthur's Seat can be quite time consuming, and with only a couple of days in Edinburgh where there are so many other things to see I would drop this activity. You can walk up Calton Hill, which is right beside Holyrood, and get a great view of the city. Getting to Inverness on public transit will take up most of one day. I enjoyed the visitor center at Culloden so I would recommend a stop there if you can. They have some great displays, battle reenactment videos, and a gps device you take with you onto that battlefield, and as you walk narrative is triggered by your location (reenactments of actual reports of the battle). Getting to Skye from Inverness and back on a day tour will be a very long day, but I know there are tour companies that do it. If your only reason for going to Inverness is to see Culloden and Skye, though, I would probably drop Inverness/Culloden and go straight to Skye from Edinburgh and spend a couple of nights there. Also, getting from Inverness to Oban is a long day, but I really enjoyed the day trip out to Mull. I Iiked Glasgow better than some people here as I spent four nights there. Lots of museums, it's a great walkable city, and the Willow Tea Rooms and the School of Art are worth a visit, and the shopping is pretty good. You could also save visiting Sterling until you get to Glasgow and do a day trip from here, then you could use the other day you have planned for visiting Sterling to add to some other location, maybe tack a day onto Edinburgh or some place in between Edinburgh and Inverness, or between Inverness and Oban.
I had done a three week trip in Ireland on a train/bus pass before going to Scotland. While doing the research on how to get around in Scotland I realized that the best thing to do was to just rent a car. It just doesn't have the rail/bus system Ireland has.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you for all your replies, I will look over your suggestions a bit more closely when I'm finished planning Ireland. I am quite adamant on public transportation. It is a way for me to meet people as I will be traveling alone and there are a few other reasons. I have gone on the transit websites in Scotland (before posting this itinerary here) and so I know that on one day the bus only comes every 3 hours, etc, and the length of time it will take to get from each place. I'm trying not to jam pack my days, but have a good blend of seeing quite a few things, but also having some relaxing days as well. Thank you again for your suggestions and I will ask some more specific questions when I have a closer look at my notes :).

Posted by
7124 posts

Sorry, it was not evident you were travelling solo, so I agree that public transport makes sense as your best option. Maybe try Stirling as a day trip from Edinburgh. I'd still urge you to stay on Skye.

You have excellent public transport links along the route.
Train: Edinburgh > Pitlochry > Inverness
Bus: Inverness > Isle of Skye > Fort William > Oban
Train: Oban > Glasgow