We will be driving up from the borders. We will also be going to the Orkneys. My question is...Would the best drive be... to go to the left and up through the glens to Inverness, visiting Oban, Skye etc.. or go to the right, St. Andrews, Aberdeen to Inverness then back through Loch ness, Skye, Oban, etc... As some of those aha moments are seen better clockwise vs. counter-clockwise, I wanted to ask you opinions before booking our B & B's. I've noticed that tour companies go both ways. Any opinions are greatly appreciated. Thanks, Sabrina
Are you driving to Orkney and then back to the Borders? What time of year are you going?
You will LOVE Orkney - my tip for that is to go to the Kirkwall Hotel for the Orkney fudge cheesecake followed by a dram of Highland Park. Mmmmm!!!! Yummy!
Love Skara Brae, Maes Howe and Highland Park - take the tour, its the most northern distillery in the world. Check out the craft trail as well - the Orcadians are very resourceful. We have a set of nesting sea grass tables - if you're purchasing large items, they'll ship them for you!
Thanks for Orkney advice. What we are doing is driving up from England, thus, I wanted to know the best way to drive up and around. We are ending in Edinburgh. From Inverness we are going to the Orkneys, then back to Inverness to start touring our way back to Edinburgh
I wouldn't stick to the coast. I would check out the middle as well. You might go through Fife, but then swing back to the middle toward Dunkeld and Perthshire. Once there you have to decide to go north to Braemer or go a bit west to Aberfeldy, Loch Tay. Then do you drive all the way out Glen Lyon or do you go over the mountain to Loch Ranoch and the Queens View. You can take the A9 north and scoot out west to see Laggan if you've seen Monarch of the Glen on PBS or keep going North to Inverness. There's a route east before Inverness that I've not taken, but it looks good and takes you to Speyside. You can keep going north to Elgin and see the Cathedral. West takes you to Culloden and Inverness. If you're going to Orkney you'll need to head north toward the Black Isle. Take a rest at Dornoch to admire the cathedral and the golf course. You can get a ferry at Thurso or John o'Groats. I've no room left for the trip south. ; ) On Orkney, don't miss Stromness. Try to get to Hoy.