Please sign in to post.

RS Scotland Tour....Independently

I am going on a golf trip to St. Andrews in May 2020 and my wife is joining me after we are finished for another 10 days to two weeks. We looked at the Best of Scotland tour, but neither of the departure dates before my golf trip work for us. We have also spent four nights in Edinburgh a several years ago and there are only a few things we want to go back and see. We like the tour itinerary and was wondering what anyone who has taken it thinks about trying to follow that tour itinerary starting at St. Andrews and finishing back in Edinburgh. I have driven in Scotland between Edinburgh and St. Andrews and will again for the golf trip, but I don't know how the roads in the highlands are to travel. I'd appreciate any thoughts, suggestions or advice you'd like to share about the above, and in particular anything you did not like on the tour that perhaps I should consider omitting. I'm also going to post this on the regular Travel Forum, but thought I might benefit here from those with tour experience. Thank you.


Posted by
243 posts

We used the RS Scotland tour itinerary as a guide when planning our independent trip 2 years ago. Get the book and use it as well. Driving in the Highlands is not a big deal - we used Google Maps to get us everywhere with ease. Plus by going on your own you can spend extra time where you want and skip what doesn't thrill you. This is especially important because there were so many places we saw that we wanted to spend more time exploring. One tip - we spent a night in Inverness, spent the next day seeing all the nearby sights, then we drove back to Edinburgh to spend our last night at a hotel next to the airport since we had a morning flight the next day and didn't want the hassle of driving there early in the am.

Posted by
1360 posts

We drove thru Scotland a couple of times and the RS tour is a fairly easy one to follow. In the early shoulder season we had the luxury of not planning or booking ahead which may be harder to do with the upswing of popularity of Scotland, I would pick special interests and follow that instead of the popular places. Often I hear that travelers enjoy the smallest, out of the way places, best. We enjoyed Southwest Scotland for this reason. There are medieval Castles, and Grand Houses, World Heritage sites, and ruined Abbeys. This is not in the "Highlands" but has equal if not more History. Stirling Castle is a must see from the RS tour. If you like Scotch, I would go on the Whisky Trail which is close to Aberdeen. If you like the sea and nature go to the Western Isles.

Posted by
6245 posts

Posted in your other thread, but will just add this: don't overlook the islands - including those not emphasized on the RS tour. My favorite places in Scotland were the Outer Hebrides (Lewis) and the Orkney Islands. Both were highlights for me (loved all of Scotland), and were absolutely worth the extra time/effort to get to.

Posted by
13827 posts

You might also look into day tours. I've taken a few with Rabbies and enjoyed them all.

Posted by
412 posts

We just came home a month ago from Scotland. We spent a day and a half on our own in Edinburgh Then we took a 5 day, 4 might tour with the Wee Red Bus tour. We saw a lot of Scotland in that time. It moves along pretty fast with lots of stops. We saw the Highlands, Loch Ness, the Isle of Skye and many more places. They also offer 1 day and 3 day trips. Rabbies offers similar tours, but the sights on the 5 day tour fit our agenda. Rick Steves recommends them both in the Scotland Guide book.