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another person in need of scotland itirnerary help!

Hi all,
We are also planning our trip in September and are having some Scotland itinerary questions. We will have 8 nights total and the 3 cities we plan to stay in are Oban, Inverness and Edinburgh and possibly a night on one of the islands. We were originally only planning on 2 nights in Edinburgh, but will only have 1.5 days by the time we get there on the first day. Will this be enough time? We are more interested in the countryside/highlands for the most part, but also want to experience Edinburgh. Our other question is whether to split Oban and Inverness 3 and 3 nights or spend 4 nights Inverness and 2 in Oban area. Or another option is that we will have 10 nights in England before we head to Scotland and should we consider cutting time there for more time in Scotland. Sorry for all the questions, but I really appreciate your help. Thanks so much!

Posted by
5672 posts

Can you be flexible or do you fill obligated to book everything in advance? The weather in September can be changeable and it can vary significantly between the west and the east. If it's pouring torrents in the west, it might be good to stay in east in Inverness. In September you should be able to find places to stay. I've even found singles. I remember when my sister I went to Skye for the first time and finally left early because we were tired of being wet. When we got a bit further east the weather changed. You can watch the weather on TV. The little cloud and their placement means something! Are you arriving from the states on your first day in Edinburgh? If so, you'll be pretty much ready to end the day by 9 at the latest. I would make a list of the things you want to see and see if you can make in the next day. Maybe plan on the castle on your first day.

Pam

Posted by
5672 posts

Can you be flexible or do you fill obligated to book everything in advance? The weather in September can be changeable and it can vary significantly between the west and the east. If it's pouring torrents in the west, it might be good to stay in east in Inverness. In September you should be able to find places to stay. I've even found singles. I remember when my sister I went to Skye for the first time and finally left early because we were tired of being wet. When we got a bit further east the weather changed. You can watch the weather on TV. The little cloud and their placement means something! Are you arriving from the states on your first day in Edinburgh? If so, you'll be pretty much ready to end the day by 9 at the latest. I would make a list of the things you want to see and see if you can make in the next day. Maybe plan on the castle on your first day.

Pam

Posted by
425 posts

Amber, I just came back from a week in Scotland and really wish I'd have had more time in the highlands and less in Edinburgh. The Royal Mile was great and the castle was fun, but I really missed not being in the highlands.

While in Inverness, you might want a day trip to Ullapool and Lochinver. Even if you don't make it all the way to Lochinver, the drive to Ullapool is spectacular. I stayed one night in Ullapool and will spend a week there the next time I go. It's a neat little fishing village and I really enjoyed my time there.

I can't speak for England, but Inverness, Oban, and Isle of Skye are really hard to beat.

Posted by
5672 posts

If you get to Ullapool look for the knit shop. It has the best sweaters in all of Scotland. Also, there's a nice bookstore there and The Ceilidh Place is a very good cafe. Sometimes it has music. Lastly, there are some nice walks up in the heather up in the hills behind the town. Ask at the TI.

Pam

Posted by
7 posts

Hi Amber,
We are also planning a trip in late Sept. I had many questions about routing as well. We ended up planning for 11 nights stay because there is just so much to see and everything I have heard is to take your time so that you don't have to rush. This is what I came up with for us (I am posting this because it seems like you have very similar interests). We fly into Glasgow and drive to Edinburgh for the first two nights, after that 3 nights based in Inverness, 2 on Skye, 2 on Mull and then the last two in the Trossachs. All at B&B's. I hope you have fun. I cant wait. Only 129 days.

Posted by
17 posts

I wouldn't bother staying in Oban, or even nearby. Get out onto the islands if you can. Maybe Mull for a couple of nights and then take in Iona and Staffa (Fingal's Cave) too.

Don't forget; driving from A to B in Scotland can sometimes take much longer than you think. Have a look at www.theaa.com where there is a route planner you can access to help plan routes and estimate driving times.

As an ex-pat English person I would say spend more time in Scotland! I am sure you won't regret it. PM me if I can help further.

Posted by
100 posts

Thanks everyone,
your suggestions and help are truly appreciated!

Posted by
3428 posts

Depending on what you are planning in England here's what I'd suggest (we haven't "done" Oban, so I can't speak to that area): London 3-5 days, with day trips to Windsor, Canterbury, Stratford-upon-Avon and/or Cardiff, &Bath)Train to York- 1 night. Train to Edinburgh 2 nights. Train to Inverness- 4 or more nights. Day trips to Isle of Skye, Orkney, Whiskey tour, Culloden and Clava Carnes, Boat trip on Firth, Boat trip up River Ness/Loch Ness, see Urquart Castle. Other day trips also possible. Train to Aviemore, 1-2 nights. Train to York or Edinburgh, 1 night, train to London.

Posted by
20 posts

Amber,
I got back a month ago from a trip to Scotland and we were in Edinburgh for a day and a half and that was plenty for me. I'm just not a city girl. We saw what we wanted and then wanted to go back to the country. The highlands were perfect-actually anywhere really. As for your question about time in England vs Scotland. We did spend a few days in England but probably not enough to make a fair decision. I will definetely go back to Scotland because of the trip we took. Have a blast!