This will be our first trip to Scotland. Every summer we go to Ireland and we will be continuing on to Ireland after our a 8-10 day trip here. We want our daughter to check out the 3 universities (Glasgow, Edinburgh, St Andrews) take in some sites (fishing and nature) and maybe head up to the Highlands. Any suggestion or guidance would be so helpful. Thanks.
If you are looking at the universities (there is also Aberdeen of the older ones, plus Strathclyde, Stirling, Dundee inter alia of the newer) you are probably best to base yourselves in Edinburgh itself. Glasgow and St Andrews are around an hour by public transport from Edinburgh. After that it really depends what you want to see.
Thank you for the tips about the universities. So we could see the three easily basing ourselves in Edinburgh and then head north to the Highlands.
Basic geography to eliminate what might become confusion regarding 'Highlands':
Historical definitions have included clan and no-longer existing county boundaries.
Tourist definitions I've never understood.
Which geographically and geologically leaves the area north of the Boundary Fault. The fault runs in a pretty straight from about the middle of Arran to Stonehaven which is just south of Aberdeen. The topography changes rather abruptly as you cross the fault.
Thus, for this thread:
Glasgow is not in the Highlands, but is within spitting distance.
Aberdeen is on the north side of the line.
Saint Andrews and Edinburgh are south of the line,
The fault runs pretty close to Perth, which is an easy hour's drive from Edinburgh.
There's probably no need to make the education reconnaissance separate from the Highland Adventure.
My suggestion would be yes. Glasgow is more of the transport hub in Scotland as a whole than Edinburgh, but St Andrews and Fife in general is better served from Edinburgh.
BTW you know that that fishing in Scotland usually involves staying in hotel that has licenses, right? Here's a link to the fishing page on VisitScotland and then their even more specific page here. I think that the state that describes the situation best is: "To fish in Scotland you do not require a rod licence from the government or environment agencies. The costs and rights to fish in various waters are controlled by landowners, fishing associations, angling clubs and commercial fisheries." There is a great novel about poaching in Scotland, The Return of John McNabb by Grieg.
There is a great book Wild Scotland that I have found helpful in exploring nature in Scotland.
You might see Rick's brief article on some highland highlights, though that doesn't list everything that's recommended in his Scotland snapshot book.
Actually, there is another resource that you should check out in addition to Rick's article and Visit Scotland. There is a great website called Undiscovered Scotland that will give you the highlights of towns and areas. I find it really helpful. Here's there page on fishing links. And, here's the page for for St. Andrew's.
I was just in Scotland toward the end of May, and found the Highlands stunning; half of my mind is still back there. We drove to the Isle of Mull from Edinburgh via Stirling (great castle, Bannockburn Battlefield), Doune (the Monty Python castle, my favorite of those we saw), Callander, Crianlarich, Tyndrum (great VisitScotland visitor center with bathrooms and an amazing variety of maps), Glencoe and the Corran-Ardgour ferry to the Morvern Peninsula. From there we took the Lochaline-Fishnish ferry to Mull, which was wonderful. Everywhere you looked (on this whole trip) was visually arresting, from cute buildings or quaint towns to bucolic, beautiful or just plain awesome scenery. From Mull we went to the Isle of Iona, another spectacular place with ancient buildings, great beaches and lots of great birds (we're birders). The details of this particular route may not be for you, but I can't recommend the Highlands too strongly. Another interesting thing which we did not see, in case you're into engineering, is the Falkirk Wheel, near Stirling.