London/Scotland Itinerary

Opinions on this welcome! June 8 through the 14th are pretty much set. But I am still not convinced that we should stay 2 nights in Inverness. 17th we need to stay in Glasgow as we leave the next morning for home. June overnight dates: 8,9,10,11 - London 12,13 - Edinburgh 14 - St Andrews 15, 16 - Inverness
17 - Glasgow

Posted by Pamela
New York City, NY, USA
3314 posts

It's easy to do some day trips from Inverness and it's nice to have a couple of nights in one place. There are places with live music which is nice and a variety of restaurants. That's the argument for Inverness. It's a long drive from St. Andrews to Inverness and you'll want to stop at places on the way. So, you really only have one full day out of Inverness. You can stay local and go to places like Culloden Field, Cawdor Castle, Fort George. Or take a boat ride on the Moray and look for dolphins. Or you can go down to Loch Ness and see Urqhart Castle or take a different boat ride. And of course, there is the Nessie stuff. : ) Or you do a day trip to the west. Drive to Ullapool and then go for a walk in the hills above the town. The views are spectacular of the Summer Isles and Loch Broome. Or you could take a drive to the north and visit Dunrobin Castle, which has beautiful gardens and a bizarre museum in the garden. There's the ruin of a Broch a few miles up the road and you could stop off at Dornoch on the way back and see the cathedral or check out the famous golf course. Or you go east and visit a distillery. Let me know if you need more ideas. Pam

Posted by Kathy
Chicagoland
113 posts

A good source for Scotland advice is Undiscoveredscotland.co.uk.

Posted by Ken
Spring, Texas
599 posts

You don't give us any indication of your interests so it's hard to say for sure that Inverness is "worth" two nights. You also don't say whether you arrive late for night one or have time for sights along the way from St Andrews. With all that, I'll give you my opinion. You could spend weeks in Inverness and see all sorts of sights but most "busy" tourists don't. You could see Culloden and Cawdor Castle on the way from St Andrews if you allow about four hours for both. Those are the "major" RS Inverness stops. You could even see Clava Cairns. I was personally not too impressed with Cawdor Castle but there are other intesting places along the way if you have the time. From your limited time, I'd make sure I had at least two full days in Edinburgh and tend to give it an extra day rather than two in Inverness. You can see Urquart Castle, Glencoe and Oban on the way to Glascow from Inverness.

Posted by david
washington
837 posts

I think that the real issue isn't whether Inverness is worth 2 days/nights, but rather the travel time. You have at least 8 hours driving from St. Andrews to Inverness and Inverness to Glasgow. You probably have a day and two half days, assuming you plan no time in Glasgow other than getting to the hotel the night prior to your flight. I would definitely recommend Cawdor Castle, perhaps the most livable castle I have seen. I would also suggest a drive around Loch Ness. On the far side of the loch was our only sighting of long horned/long fur cattle in a two+ week stay, crisscrossing Scotland. If you are interested in distilleries, there is one which has an interesting tour. It is now closed so they allow photos, touching, etc, generally not permitted in operating ones. Clava Cairns is close and you can determine how long you want to spend. The same with Culloden field, field being the operative word. That is true of all battlefields, the issue is whether this particular battle has resonance for you. While in Inverness, have dinner at the River Cafe.

Posted by Stacey
Littleton, Co
4 posts

Yes, I wish we had more time in Edinburgh! We will take a morning train from London to Edinburgh on the 12th and will not get in until about 1:30. So, really not even a half day. Then all day on the 13th. I had planned to stay longer but then lucked into a tee time at St Andrews for my daughter and her boyfriend on the afternoon of the 14th. That's why we are heading that way. From St Andrews I had planned to see Culloden and Clava Cairns on the way to Inverness. Sounds like this is doable, just a long day. I don't know how else to plan it though. I really do want to spend 2 nights in one spot rather than packing up again. I would very much like to see farther north of Inverness or west. But not sure another long day in the car sounds like a good idea. Especially since after Inverness we've got a long drive to Glasgow. I really appreciate all of your suggestions! Thank you.

Posted by Ken
Spring, Texas
599 posts

Culloden and Clava Cairns are within 30 minutes of any B&B in Inverness and there are some very close. The actual site of the battle isn't very interesting and I'm a history junkie. The visitor center has a lot of detail on the events leading up to the battle which I found interesting but my wife was totally bored. In the grand scheme of things, it wasn't that big of a battle. The final outcome was that the threat of the return of the "old" English line of kings was ended and the total supremecy of Parliment over the monarchy was cemented. As many or more Scots fought for the government as for Bonnie Prince Charles so any connection to the Scots fighting for their "freedom" is a stretch and a 19th century invention. I don't think you'll have any problem seeing Cawdor Castle, Culloden and Clave Cairns during the drive from St Andrews. There are some interesting castles around St Andrews you might want to consider. Look on the Scotland National Trust site.