My husband and I spent a week in Scotland (2 nights in Edinburgh, then 5 days in the Highlands & Isle of Skye), and then two weeks in Greece in September 2019. I received so much great advice from this forum that I wanted to come back and share my trip details!
For our past trips I planned everything myself in great detail and I love the planning. So far we've been to Venice, Rome, around Tuscany, San Sebastian, Seville, Granada, Barcelona, Paris, and Amsterdam so this was our first time to Scotland and Greece. But for this trip, in order to do the Highlands/Skye justice and avoid driving I took a chance on booking a 5 day Highlands tour with Rabbies and it ended up being the absolute highlight of our trip! I didn't ever think that we would enjoy a group tour (we'd never done one before) but we loved it so much that we're thinking about taking another Rabbies tour (or two) to the UK in April of this year for a 7-10 day trip (asking advice for this below! thinking maybe the 5 day Discover Wales tour, a few nights in London, and would love to convince my husband to do another Rabbies 2/3 day tour to somewhere else in England. Suggestions??)
Our favorite part of this trip was the dramatic views in the Highlands and Skye. For that reason I am SO happy that we didn't rent a car and got to enjoy it stress free. If we had rented a car, we wouldn't have been able to both enjoy the view out the window, known where to stop, the best places for photos, or had someone there to take photos with both of us in it. Not to mention driving on the left side of the road, traversing the many one lane roads, time and frustration spent getting lost, etc. I'm confident that we wouldn't have had nearly as good of a trip if we hadn't done the tour and had instead opted to do it ourselves! We rented a car in Italy and Greece and it was fine, but Scotland would have been totally different. Plus, it was so nice to get to hear about the history of and stories about Scotland as we drove. I also loved being able to get downtime just to relax and read a good book as we drove as I don't get to enough at home.
Our tour guide, Jim (he was the BEST! so funny and knowledgable) would pick us up at 9:15 each day and drop us off around 5 and would give several recommendations for restaurant options wherever we stopped. The van held 16 passengers and was very comfortable. I think the tour size was great, not too big, but big enough that we got to meet people from different countries and kept conversation flowing. Jim made some changes from the tour itinerary on the website based on our feedback of what we wanted to see which we really appreciated. There were also some road closures which made us unable to see Bealach na Ba road or Applecross, or Torridon which was really disappointing.
A downside to doing a tour is that we of course didn't like every stop and most of the lunch restaurants were just okay since we stopped in little towns with few options and couldn't look up reviews on places to eat. Though we really did love most of the stops on the tour and the scenery as we drove! Another downside is that I don't really know/remember the names of everywhere we went and didn't think to write it down. We went to many more places than what I listed below. The tour never felt long or tiring, and had just enough stops to break up the driving. But Scotland is all about scenery so we loved seeing it as we drove and it gave us a break from the wind, (sometimes) rain, and cold.