After the WIskyfest in Speyside we have 6 1/2 days to explore the Western Highlands. We figure we can drive around and see 2 out of 3 of the areas mentioned, staying at 2 or 3 inns along the way. We will be traveling the first week of May and wish to go as far north as Ullapool in Wester Ross, and traveling through Inverness and Ft William. Don't think we can do justice for all three areas so which two would you select. Any accommodation suggestions along the way would be appreciated - B&B, inns or hotels. Thank you!
Is there any thing you wish to see or do, or any specific interests, history, walking, wildlife. That will help narrow down recommendations. One thing, if you are flying out of Glasgow you will probably want to be closer to there on the last night or two before heading home.
We are into the history, beautiful scenery as my husband is a professional photographer, gardens, hiking, good food - we want it all! We are not into retail therapy. Thanks!
Retail therapy you will not get outside of Glasgow, the best place outside of London in the UK to shop. Landscapes for photography, well, you'll be in Scotland!
So my suggestion is work from north to south in the Highlands. When we refer to the Highlands remember we are referring to the council areas of Eileann nan Siar (Western Isles), Highland, Argyll and Bute, Perthshire and Kinross, with bits of Moray, Aberdeenshire, and Stirling for flavour.
History is my choice, depending on your time and previous experience I would say look a) at Historic Scotland and the NTS deals, and b) look first to the Great Glen. Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness and Eileann Donan maybe on every tourist list, but are both spectacularly placed.
In terms of the islands I would favour Mull over Skye, but if going to Mull add Iona to the time. If history is important you cannot score out Iona. Moving south, the seat of the Dukes of Argyll, the chiefs of Clan Campbell, at Inverary is worth a trip, combine with the jail in Inverary for how the other half lived.
Inverary and that bit of Argyll will also bring you closer to Glasgow. Oh, and do not rule out the Glasgow area because it is a city. There are no other UK cities quite like the Dear Green Place, and Glasgow is home to some wonderful free museums. And if you watch Doctor Who, roughly half of the UK's remaining Police Boxes.
Hotels, Pam is your best contact, though Premier Inns can be found in both Inverness and Ft William.
Oh, and Ft William has a little secret. One to take home, though it may be a bit trite. It has the branch of McDonald's, in the land of the McDonalds with the signs in the language the McDonalds spoke, (Scottish) Gaelic. The signs alone might be worth a photo souvenir if in the area.
Thanks for all those great suggestions, MC. We're saving Glascow/Borders/South Ayrshire and Isle of Islay for next trip - that is why we wanted to travel through the areas north of Glasgow.
We have visited Skye and some of Wester Ross, but haven't been to Mull yet. We thought the most scenic part of Wester Ross was Loch Torridon and the nearby glen. If you base yourself in Broadford, you could visit both Skye, Plockton, and the Torridon part of Wester Ross, then still have time for Mull or some other area nearby. Have you been to Glencoe? You might want to include it - it isn't too far. You said no retail therapy and mostly I agree with you. However, you might want to make an exception for Skye Silver, out near the Three Chimneys.
Thanks for all the replies - we will save the Isle of Mull for another trip and concentrate on the Gairloch/Torridon, Isle of Skye and Ft William areas. Now looking at planning 2 days before Speyside in the Aberdeenshire area.