Hello-After much agonizing over itin-needlessly-I need a bit of assistance and opinion with our Scotland portion. Arriving London, taking train to Edinburgh on a Friday evening. Staying in Edin 2 nights, driving to St. Andrews, stayin or not staying 1 night, driving to Isle of Skye, staying 2 nights, driving to Obin-maybe a night. Returning car to Glasgow, ferry from Troon to Larne, renting a car, and in Ireland for 10 days. What do you all think of the Scotland portion? Realize I cannot see it all, thank you.
We just did a 2 week self driven tour through Scotland last September and loved it. I would fly to Edinburgh if possible, as it will save time. When in Edinburgh, try to stay central as everything is in walking distance. Wear good walking shoes and have an umbrella. A short distance to the south is the old church in the movie Da Vinci code. Quite interesting. St. Andrews is ok, but I would get more north to the area of Inverness. There you can use this town as your home base for day trips in all directions, including many of the whisky distilleries, or fairytale-like Dunrobin Castle to the north, or Loch Ness to the south. Some of the prettiest areas are around these areas.When in Scotland you want to see Loch Ness, as it is beautiful. You may want to avoid avoid the tourist traps though, like Drumnadrochit. Then head west to Isle of Skye. See the castle Eilean Donan, and on Skye see the castle of Dunvegan, stay at the Spoons. You can drive around the isle in a day or two. Take the ferry back to the "mainland" and head back toward England through Carlysle, where you can see Hadrian's wall. I would avoid Glasgow, as it is a bit "dodgy" in some areas. I cannot tell you about Ireland, as I have not experienced that end yet. Hope that helps, and you may ask me more.
I think you are trying to see too much and will end up seeing very little except the road. I'd either concentrate on the Edinburgh area or better yet head for the highlands.
I think that you can see Edinburgh and a bit of the Highlands. Throwing St. Andrew's into the mix is adding a bit of a challenge. Via Michelin says that it will take you and hour and twenty minutes to get from Edinburgh to St. Andrews. That has to be with perfect traffic and no stops to breath or enjoy the sites. Anyone going to St. Andrew's really ought to enjoy Fife a bit. ; ) And once you get to St. Andrew's you could, just take a quick peek at the golf course and head to Skye, but do you really want to take a 3-4 hour detour to do that? Alternatively, you would explore Fife on the way, checking out Anstruther and the other small villages or visiting Falkland Palace, and then spend time in the town itself as well as visit the golf course. It's a five hour drive per via Michelin from St. Andrew's to Portree, Skye. And I say there is no way you would do it in less that 6-7 hours. Too many pictures to take, places to stop etc. Or, you could head to Portree. It's another 5 hour trip so plan on breaking it up. You could stop near Fort William. Or you could try to push on to Mallaig and then take the ferry over in the AM. There are several different routes. You could go via the Bridge and then come back via the Mallaig Ferry. Personally, I'm not wild about Oban. Some people are. For me, it's a great place to catch a ferry to more islands. ; ) Pam