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Scotland on a whim possible?

We're going to Ireland and Scotland in April. We are renting a car. Ideally, we would like to drive without any schedule. Is it possible to find places to stay (hotel/airbnb) last minute? It's our first time and we'd like to see sights, but don't like to have to commit to a timetable.

Posted by
658 posts

Hi, heyitsmebethy,

To answer your question, yes. April shouldn't present a problem for hotels and regular B&Bs. However, many of the Scottish school holidays run from the 6th. through the 21st. of April, so there may be a bit more competition for accommodation in more tourist oriented areas, i.e.: skiing areas.

AirB&Bs are generally booked in advance, so if you're traveling without reservations, you'd probably want to stay in regular B&Bs. In April, you shouldn't have too much trouble even on Skye, although you may have to stay outside of major population areas (Portree, Broadford, etc.). Kyleakin is a good place to look if you're out of options.

If you're having problems finding a place to stay, you can always go to the tourist information (TI) offices. Take a list of them with you, as you can also give them a shout on the telephone.

Best wishes for an enjoyable holiday!

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
1749 posts

Years ago, we went in May and the only place we had limited choices was Portree but that was because we got into town late in the day. Doubt you’ll have much of an issue in April.

Posted by
3017 posts

Yes! Booking.com is your friend. I use it all the time and it makes it very easy to book lodging on the fly.

Posted by
202 posts

I think you might be OK in early April, but once the Easter holidays start things will get busy and families will have already booked their accommodation. Skye is now busy year around, and the 'season' as such can really be said to start at the beginning of April and run through at least until the end of October.

Posted by
2866 posts

The first 3 weeks of April are UK school holidays, so places will get booked up well in advance. You may be luckier the last week of April, when things will be a bit quieter. Personally, I would book now, particularly if you want to visit Skye or other popular tourist spots.

You will be probably be ok without booking far in advance for the cities where there is more accommodation choice.