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Best of Scotland 9/28/20-10/7/20- Pre tour extension ideas?

My parents, husband and I just signed up for this tour. Anyone else going?

It's a wee bit short for a trip to Europe. (Like how I'm practicing my Scottish?). We'd like to extend our trip by 4 days or so, and I are trying to decide what to do. We've visited London pretty extensively, and have a plan to do the Villages of Southern England in the future. Any suggestions for what might be fun?

For what it's worth, my parents are in their early 70s and sort of medium fit. Walking is fine, probably not hardcore hiking though.

Posted by
5017 posts

On our first trip to Scotland a few years ago, we included the Outer Hebrides (Lewis & Harris), and the Orkney Islands. Tastes vary, but these were our two favorite places in Scotland. Worth a look.

One other suggestion: things might work better if you add on some days at the end of your tour, rather than at the start. Let the tour ease you in to things, you will have a better basis for striking out on your own afterwards.

Posted by
16609 posts

There's more to see in Edinburgh than the tour covers, so you could add time there. Warning: the city isn't flat. I don't believe the tour goes to Rosslyn Chapel, which is an easy partial-day-trip from Edinburgh (via public bus). I think the tour skips Glasgow completely, so that's another option. If you want to see part of the Highlands that isn't covered by the tour, doing so will likely take all the 4 extra days you have, so that's probably something you'd need to do instead of Edinburgh or Glasgow, not in addition to one of the big cities.

It's a lot easier to travel efficiently outside the major cities if you rent a car. There's public transportation, but it can be infrequent and--especially if connections are required--a bit slow.

Posted by
7606 posts

The tour stays 2 nights in Edinburgh, 2 in the Kenmore/Dunkeld area, 2 in Inverness, 2 in Oban and 1 back in Edinburgh.

https://www.ricksteves.com/tours/england-scotland/scotland

I agree with adding 2 or 3 extra nights to Edinburgh. Really, the full day in Edinburgh is a walking tour plus Edinburgh Castle, then some free time in the afternoon.

Rosslyn Chapel is a good suggestion. In Edinburgh I'd add time to see the National Museum and the National Gallery along with Holyrood Palace. I also wanted to see the Botanic Gardens but didn't get there.

Are you flying directly to Edinburgh or in to London? If in to London have you visited York? That's on the train line so makes an easy place to stop for a few days.

You could also fly from Edinburgh to somewhere completely different. There are non-stop flights to Amsterdam (KLM) and Paris (Air France).

Posted by
15 posts

Thanks for this advice! I had been thinking about maybe taking in some of the islands.

Posted by
16609 posts

Skye is really nice. You could head right there as soon as you're safe to drive and spend your time (with rental car) seeing a lot of it in 3 days or so.

Posted by
1084 posts

I took this tour last year at about the same time. I came in to Edinburgh early and took a 1 day Rabbie's tour to Melrose Abbey and Rosslyn Chapel. The next day I visited the Yacht Britannia which is wonderful and walked around the city. There is so much to do in and around the city. You will have a wonderful experience.

Posted by
929 posts

We're making our first trip to Scotland in June so I can't give advice based on experience, but check out Rabbies for day trips out of Edinburgh https://www.rabbies.com/en. We're doing an Outlander day trip one day and another to Rosslyn Chapel and Melrose Abbey. Mercat is another tour company that has some interesting 2-3 hour walking tours of Edinburgh and Glasgow https://www.mercattours.com/. We haven't booked any with Mercat yet, but intrigued by a ghost tour.

Posted by
433 posts

I found Edinburgh way more than enough to keep me occupied pre- and post-tour. The tram will get you far in both directions and you could always hop a train. There are literally hundreds of “what to do in Edinburgh” clips on YouTube and the RS city book is FULL of stuff to do and see. I spent the first day easing back into life with jet lag, the second just visiting museums and riding the tram.