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Yet another trip itinerary

We are in the very early stages of planning a trip May 2024. We are 2 couples in our 60's and pretty fit for walking. First idea.

Fly from US to glasgow, pick up a car and drive to Oban.
Oban- 2 nights
Portree 3 nights
Inverness area- 1 night. Turn in the car. Our friends fly to Orkney for a few days. and meet us back in Edinburgh. We train to the next stop
Pitlochry 2 nights, train to
Edinburgh - 3 nights
Fly home. We only have 11 nights max. Is this feasible?
They are interested in rugged scenery and wildlife. We like quaint towns, walking around and pubs. Thank you.

Posted by
1652 posts

We recently returned from Scotland. I am by no means a Scotland expert but I would recommend, if possible, that you spend a night or two in Glen Coe. The scenery is spectacular, and is a walkers/hikers paradise. Of all the places we visited, Glen Coe is our favorite for beautiful scenery with Skye a close second. While in Glen Coe, we drove down the 12-miles long Etive Road to Loch Etive. The scenery is stunning especially with all the rhododendrons in bloom, which I think they will be in May.

Are you planning on visiting Mull? From what I understand, Oban is not that interesting but makes sense if you are visiting Mull for a day. We didn’t go there but that is what I was told while planning my trip.

For the Inverness area, I recommend staying at the Sunny Brae B&B in Nairn by the seaside. The Sunny Brae was our favorite accommodation. Very pretty rooms overlooking the sea, large sunroom to enjoy drinks, wonderful hosts, and delicious breakfasts.

Posted by
1977 posts

From what I understand, Oban is not that interesting but makes sense if you are visiting Mull for a day. We didn’t go there but that is what I was told while planning my trip.

Perhaps unsurprisingly a lot of people would disagree with that comment, especially if they have actually been there.... Oban regularly features on itineraries and for good reason. Not only is there the town to explore with a walk up to McCaig's Tower for the views. There is Kilmartin Glen just a short drive with perhaps more prehistoric sites in a small area than elsewhere in Scotland. There is Mull with Iona and all its early Christian history. Alternatively there are the islands of Kerrera or Lismore - see isn31c's suggestions for them on this thread

Glencoe is always popular, especially for those wanting to walk and there is some serious walking you can de from there.
BUT I'm not sure that I would replace Oban for it. You will see stunning mountain scenery on Mull if you do a day trip there and also on Skye. If adding it, then something else would have to give.

The logical placce would be between Oban and Skye but that throws the rest of the itinerary out. The other alternative would be to take out Pitlochry and rejig dates...

In the time you have available Linda, difficult decisions do have to be taken as you can't see everything and itineraries do need to be kept realistic. Yours is and works. It may not be what others may choose but the danger of a forum like this is that everyone keeps throwing in ideas and if not careful you end up with a camel (a horse designed by a committee of experts...

Posted by
644 posts

If you're flying from the US and driving to Oban (hope you get some sleep on the flight), you'll get to Oban in the afternoon, which really only gives you one day in Oban, enough time for either an islands trip (we enjoyed the "three island nature" version) or Kilmartin Glen. I'd suggest using Kilmartin as the backup if your boat trip is weather-canceled.

You'll need three days on Skye, so that's hard to change.

I'd also suggest you follow your friends to Orkney rather than Pitlochry unless Neolithic sights are of absolutely no interest. Orkney might not have tall mountains, but there are certainly spectacular coasts. If that is out, then do Glen Coe instead of Pitlochry. I don't have anything against Pitlochry!

All of Scotland has rugged scenery and there are quaint towns everywhere, and every town has multiple pubs. You'll enjoy wherever you go, and it will help you plan your next trip.

Posted by
98 posts

Thank you for your responses. Mostly, I was looking for opinions on whether we were trying to pack too much in such short a time. or if we would be spending all our time in a car. I enjoy small towns so I think Oban will have plenty for us to do. It looks sweet. We are planning a trip to Mull though. Or Iona or Staffa. Have not worked that out yet though. As far as Orkney, our friend is very interested in neolithic sites. We are not so much. They are thinking to fly from inverness to Orkney then to Edinburgh where we will meet up again.

As we have nothing booked yet as far as flights from the US, once we see what is available, that might change our plans and I may be back with many more questions. Thank you.