I have planned out what is probably my most complex trip ever and could use advice and input. I have not been to Scotland for 50 years, and I am sure things have changed - just a bit.
I have a few hard-set dates, so I will mention those up front:
My conference in Wales is September 4 and 5, so there is no getting past that. Also, I need to be in Rome, Italy, on September 12.
I have these reservations made:
-Ferry from Aberdeen to Lerwick on August 19.
-Hotel in Lerwick, August 20, 21, and 22
-Hotel on Skye, August 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, and September 1, and leave September 2.
What I am confused about is after I get off the ferry in Aberdeen, I want to get to Kyle of Lochalsh to pick up a car. Do I really need to overnight in Aberdeen (after the ferry) or can I get to Inverness and then on to Kyle of Lochalsh that day? Do I really need to overnight in three places (Aberdeen, Inverness, and Kyle of Lochalsh). I am happy to stay in one place until I go to Skye, but don't know if that is possible when I have two trains to take.
My other area of confusion is after I leave the rental car in Armadale, do I need to cross to Mallaig or overnight in Armadale. Do I need to skip right to Ft. Williams where I will catch the night train back to London?
All input is welcome!
Here is what I came up with in the wee hours this morning:
Trip to Scotland
Arrive in London when ever, date not important
August 18 -Caledonian Sleeper - London to Aberdeen
August 19 - Ferry Aberdeen to Lerwick
August 20 to 23 - Shetland Islands (need tours, have hotel)
August 23 - Ferry Lerwick to Aberdeen
August 24 - Aberdeen (need hotel)
August 25 - Train to Inverness (need hotel)
August 26 - Train to Kyle of Lochalsh (need hotel, need car)
August 27 to September 2 - Sligachan Hotel
September 2 - Check out of Skye hotel, drive to Armadale, turn in car (hotel in Armadale or after ferry in Mallaig, or after train to Ft. William)?
September 3 - Night train to London (need reservation)
September 4 - off to conference in Wales