Scotland travel in October

My husband and I want to travel to Scotland in late Sep/early Oct for about 2 weeks. Need suggestions and advice....rail or car? We want to see northern lights if possible....no moon 10/5. Hotels or B&Bs, nothing self-catering. We love castles. So many unknowns. We do not want to do miles and miles of walking every day. Help!

Posted by Monte
Genesee, ID
1376 posts

This is a good time to go. Take a light weight rain coat with a removable hood. We have always travel around Scotland by train and bus but there are some here who drive. I suggest you get a copy of Rough Guide Scotland to help you plan your two weeks. Your request is too general for specific answers. I too, like to deep walking to a minimum unless wandering around one of the towns or cities, or botanic gardens.

Posted by Pamela
New York City, NY, USA
3296 posts

It's a great time to go. I would recommend driving. I know that you can do a lot by rail, but if you want to explore the castle trail in Aberdeenshire or get the north, then a car is important. You may be a little early for the Northern Lights. You might want to check out this website. There are so many places you can go that I know it's hard to focus. Use Undiscovered Scotland to check out places in Scotland. I would recommend spending a couple of days in Edinburgh. The Castle, the museums will all help you to orient you to Scotland's history and current government and life. Then, since you love castle, I would send you to Stirling. The Castle there is one of the best. You should explore Historic Scotland. Many of the sights that you want to visit will be managed by them. Also check out the National Trust for Scotland. If you want some specifics feel free to PM or just expand upon your post. Pam

Posted by j.c.
Cary, NC, United States
839 posts

I spent 2 weeks in October 2011 meandering with a car around the western Highlands, followed by 4 nights in Edinburgh. A great trip. Temps ranged from cool to comfortable, but probably never much above 60F. Felt a lot warmer when the sun came out, which sometimes seemed to be every 30 seconds or so as the clouds shifted around. I saw little rain, but rain it does. Scotland is flat out lovely, so I recommend driving because you can stop when you see something. I took my time and averaged less than 100 miles per day. Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness south of Inverness is a good ruin to visit, with a well-done exhibit center. Here's a long list at Wikipedia. I get paranoid about not booking in advance, so I had every night's stop reserved. I dunno know if that was necessary, but every place I stayed seemed busy and at least a few were full. I picked up a rental in Inverness, drove south, spent three nights in Oban, did a Iona day trip from there, spent a few days on Skye, got caught in hail in Glen Coe then saw a double rainbow, etc., etc. I won't recommend specific sites, but will suggest looking at sites and books that have a lot of photos. Seeing an image of something always helps me make a decision much more than reading about it.