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How's this for an itinerary in Scotland?

We will be flying in from London Monday morning the 14th of April to Glasgow. At this current time, not planning on spending time there but getting our car and heading to Ayr. I’ve read some articles that this might not be the place a tourist would pick to do on their trip but we have family from the Ayr/Cumnock area and would like to traipse around there for a day, including seeing Culzean Castle, Robert Burns’ sites and whatever else suits our fancy. Spend the night in Ayr at a farmstay. ?

Tuesday- head to Loch Lommond and explore the area there, would like to stay for two nights at the Loch Lommond youth hostel (yea/nay?). One day to head towards Glencoe/Ben Nevis. The next morning, spend some time around the area exploring and then head towards Stirling for Wednesday night.

Wednesday- enjoy Stirling Castle, putz around for awhile and then head up towards Aberdeen to see Dunnotar Castle. Spend the night near there.

Thursday- head towards St. Andrews, visit the beach, the golf course, eat! ? Spend the night near there.

Friday- The Falkirk wheel, Linlithgow Palace, Blackness Castle Spend Friday and Saturday night in Edinburgh, fly to London Sunday evening.

Now that I’ve typed this out, I wonder if we’ll have enough to do? I tried to lay it out so that we would have time to do what interested us once we got there instead of having every single thing planned out. Am I missing something you all would consider a do not miss? As far as Loch Ness goes, I have no desire to see that. I plan on returning to Scotland and that’s why I’m not trying to cram every single region in on this trip. Are there B&B’s that you would recommend for Wed/Thursday nights? I feel like I’ve forgotten something on this list, but I suppose it’ll come back to me. Thanks for all your help.

Oh, I should note that there will be three of us traveling if that makes a difference on recommended B&B's.

Posted by
505 posts


I think you are more likely to have too much to do, rather than not enough. Remember that Scottish roads tend to be narrow & twisty so it often takes longer to get from point to point than the map would sugggest.

You're also taking a slightly odd path around...getting from Ayr to Loch Lomond is a long drive - 3.5 hours if you drive straight out without hitting any roadworks or taking any breaks to eat/see scenery.

And you're going way out of your way to go Stirling and than Abderdeen. It would make much more sense to go to Abderdeen, then to St. Andrews, then make Stirling a day trip out Edinburgh (by train - you DO NOT want a car anywhere near Edinburgh right now!!). Linlithgow, Falkirk etc. are all daytrips from Edinburgh.

You can't 'visit' the golf course in St. Andrews unless you have a scheduled round.

Also, I would book a farmstay ASAP - there are limited space and lambing season is afoot so farmes may be very busy.

Posted by
20 posts

Kate, Thanks for the advice. We do plan on dumping the car before we get to Edinburgh because I had read about how hard/$$ it is to park there. I had wondered about St. Andrews so it's nice to know that we can't just 'drop in for a picture'. Would you recommend a different way to get from Ayr to Loch Lommond? Or is it just going to be bit of drive no matter what? I sure appreciate your help in this.

Posted by
505 posts


You've also lost a day in your calculations.

OK, I'd probably choose Abderdeen or Ayr, but not both. It's best to spend at least two nights in each place or you will spend much of your time packing, unpacking and driving. And, again, you would be seriously back-tracking to do Stirling between Loch Lomond and Abderdeen.

I'd take a couple of nights up near Loch Lomond, and explore the Highlands. Then head over to Aberdeen, then down to Edinburgh and ditch the car at the airport.

You can stay in Edinburgh, and then take day trips to St. Andrews, Stirling, Linlithgow and Falkirk. A lot less stress when you don't have to worry about driving directions/parking and moving from place t place. St. Andrews is really just a day trip - especially if it's cold and/or windy.

Remember to factor in any bridges, roadworks, ferries (sometimes needed to cross sea lochs which cut across the country).

Have fun!