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3 week Scotland/ England trip

My wife and daughter and I are planning a trip to Scotland after watching the Highlanderr series. We're planning on 14 days in Scotland and 3 days in London. We live in Dallas and plan to go Last week of June 2022. I'm thinking about starting in Edinburgh for 3 days/nights, then train to Glasgow for 2 nights,then rent a car and head to Oban and 2 days with trips to Iona and Mull, then off to Skye for 2 nights, then2 nights in Inverness, then 2 nights in Stirling, then drive back to Edinburgh and take night train to London for 3-4 days then fly back to Dallas. I was hoping to do this for about $6,000 or less. We'll use our discover miles for the air fare. What am I looking at cost wise for car, , food, lodging, trains, ferries, and castle tours?

Posted by
698 posts

If it were me, I’d fly into Glasgow, explore Scotland heading from Glasgow into the Highlands first, finishing in Edinburgh and take the train to London. Then fly home from either Heathrow or Gatwick, both easily reached from central London by rail links. Prices to the airports vary but largely the longer it takes, the cheaper it is!

Ian

Posted by
4845 posts

We had a trip a few years ago that went somewhat as Ian describes, with the first night in Glasgow, and our final night in London, before flying home. But with round-trip flights between Denver and London, we flew into London’s Heathrow Airport and then continued to Glasgow that day. What’s your connection with Dallas/Fort Worth?

if you’re already at the airport, it’s fairly easy to connect with Scotland. If your plan is to eventually reach Scotland by train or rental car, you could first head into London, and either spend your 5 days before heading north, Or put in 2-3 in London at the beginning, head up to Scotland, then wrap up your final 2 or 3 days again in London.

For what time of year are you planning? Are there any festivals or special events happening that might influence which locations to visit, and when?

Posted by
18746 posts

Cyn's right: The August festivals in Edinburgh (if they happen this year) really drive up the cost of lodging. When do you plan to take the trip?

Posted by
6396 posts

What's the time of year of your trip? What types of things do you plan on doing/visiting/seeing?

Posted by
21167 posts

This trip screams open jaw (multi-city) ticket. You waste a lot of time, especially time, and money returning to your original airport. I would fly into a Scotland airport and home from London. Lanandulie's suggestion is a good one. You probably would better flight options to return to d/fw from London than a Scotland airport. But you should check both ways.

Posted by
18746 posts

I found lodging in Oban and on Skye quite expensive in 2019, but I was using public transportation and was limited to well-located hotels. Costs weren't quite double what I found in Edinburgh, but they were more than 50% higher. I was looking in the budget range, though. The price differential may not be so extreme if you seek a nicer place. Glasgow was much less expensive.

II think going all the way to Skye for just two nights is really questionable. That gives you only one day on the island, which won't allow you to see a great deal, and it's entirely possible your one day there will be marred by a downpour. You could have the same issue with the two-night stops in Oban and Inverness, assuming you plan outdoor activities in those places.

I'd also not like the series of 2-night stops. However, I concede that having a car will make that a lot easier.

If you're flying to Edinburgh (or Glasgow) from the US and spending three nights in your arrival city, you are unlikely to have three usable days there due to jetlag and sleep deprivation. I'd count that as barely two days, because I'm usually still sluggish the day after I arrive. Some people can actually get a decent amount of sleep on an overnight flight; though it's possible you three will all be lucky that way, the odds are not good.

Posted by
1828 posts

My wife and were were supposed to go to Scotland last June for two weeks. A week in Edinburgh, 5 days in the Highlands and Mull and then 2 days in Glasgow. Here are some of my costs on things I had booked:

  • Edinburgh Fraser Suites £145/night
  • Motel One Glasgow £103/night
  • Royal Highland Hotel Glasgow £120/night
  • Harbour View B and B Tobermory, Mull £80/night (cash only).
  • CalMac ferry to Mull £43.60 return for car and two people.
  • Rental car, small automatic, 5 days pick up in Edinburgh drop off in Glasgow including insurance £320. Rental from Celtic Legend.
  • 2 day tours from Rabbies for two people. £ 220
  • Scottish heritage Pass 2 people £110. Take a look at this pass for entry into several castles including Edinburgh and Stirling. Even if it's cheaper to pay at the gate then use the pass, the convenience might make it worthwhile.

Can't help you with food.

Posted by
18746 posts

I forgot to mention that you can get an idea of lodging costs in places you plan to visit by looking at options on booking.com. It might be best to check August (not for Edinburgh if the Festival is still on for this year) rather than June/July, since I think many people are still hesitant about booking for earlier in the summer. If the pandemic is under control by next spring, I expect hotel costs to be higher in 2022 than this year at many destinations.

I recommend making a list of your top choices at each destination (paying a lot of attention to cancellation policies) so you're ready to act when reservations open up. I don't think it is safe to wait until 2022 for places like Oban and Skye. There just isn't a lot of lodging inventory there. I didn't spend the night in Inverness or Stirling, so I have no idea what the hotel situation is like in those towns.

Posted by
662 posts

I would definitely go to Oban and take the Iona/Mull tour. Not to be missed. Fabulous. The scenery, history, is really incredible. We've been, and when we return in May 2022 with SIL and BIL, this is a must. Skye can be lovely or a pouring gully of rain like it was for us. You'll definitely need 2 nights at a minimum. It's lovely, but if you decide to put your time elsewhere, it will be ok. Perhaps you could even skip Glasgow and use those nights for Skye instead.

Posted by
17 posts

How soon should we start reserving hotels and flights . We plan on going third to forth week of June 2022.

Posted by
2092 posts

I'm thinking about starting in Edinburgh for 3 days/nights, then train
to Glasgow for 2 nights,then rent a car and head to Oban and 2 days
with trips to Iona and Mull,

See if you can rent the car in Oban instead. That will save you a bit on car rental fees, and you will not have to deal with the traffic in Glasgow.

then off to Skye for 2 nights,

I agree that 2 nights on Skye is a bit short.

then 2 nights in Inverness

What are the plans for Inverness? The city itself can be seen in half a day, but it is a good location to explore the area.

then 2 nights in Stirling, then drive back to Edinburgh and take night
train to London for 3-4 days

If it was me I would return the car in Stirling and take the train to London. There are direct trains from Stirling to London, both day trains and night trains. But the trip is in my opinion a bit short for a night train so if you want to take the night train, make Stirling a stop between Edinburgh and Glasgow and take the night train from e.g. Inverness.