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Worth reserving sights/restaurants for free time in Scotland?

Hey everyone!

My wife and I are going on the best of Scotland in 10 days tour at the end of June/beginning of July. For those of you who have done this tour in the past, I was wondering how worthwhile it is for us to try and plan a lot of extra things to do in advance on this tour? We went on the best of Venice, Florence, and Rome tour last year, and on nights that we had to ourselves we enjoyed going to a really special restaurant in Venice and doing a food tour in Rome, which both required reservations well in advance. As far as seeing sights that were not covered in our tour, we found that just reading the guidebook ahead of time and knowing what our options were was adequate enough in seeing them without advance planning necessarily. With this tour, I know we will be staying in many more places than we did in Italy, and all will be MUCH smaller than the cities in Italy. So for those of you who’ve done this tour, do you think it’s worth trying to maybe reserve some things, particularly restaurants, ahead of time? Or did you feel like it wasn’t an issue most places and you could just walk in to a quality, authentic place easily? Thanks!

Posted by
771 posts

We didn't do the RS tour, but were in Oban for 3 nights last June. Reservations are a good thing for dinner because many of the restaurants filled up quickly, and at first, when we tried same evening reservations, we were shut out. One of the nicer places, and worth getting a reservation at is EE Usk, right on the waterfront. The name means fish. On the recommendation of our waitress we had the Thai Fishcakes as an appetizer, which were wonderful. A place on the main square that doesn't take reservations but you can go and wait for a table, especially if you don't get reservations elsewhere, is Cuan Mor, a brewery/restaurant. Both are in the RS book.

Posted by
226 posts

We did the tour in 2016. On our free night in Edinburgh, our guide offered to walk us to a pub where we entered as a team for trivia night. Food and drinks available. We did not do well with Scottish trivia, but missed the booby prize. We then cabbed back to the hotel. Fun night.
In Inverness, we had recommended Indian food followed by pub music. I suppose we could have had fancier meals but wouldn’t have missed these. Oban does offer the opportunity to go for a lovely meal, though the first night most in our group opted for fabulous fish and chips.
The sunset in Oban is LATE in June and our B&B’s had great porches for chatting and enjoying the evening. Also the waterfront is very safe for walking.
Have a wonderful tour

Posted by
3137 posts

Food is important to us when we travel so we make advance reservations.

And yes, many of the places in Scotland are small and the better eating ones will be full by those who made advance reservations. If you are not picky on the time you eat or where, then you could get by without reservations.

But, whats the harm in making them??? You can always cancel later.