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Scotland Trip Report July-Aug 2016

Everyone in the forum is so helpful, so I just thought I would circulate our actual trip schedule from this past summer (and some highlights), in case anyone finds it helpful or wants to copy any parts of it (and happy to answer any questions or give recommendations). Here are highlights
Day 1 Land glasgow
Day 2 Glasgow--Glasgow cathedral and Necropolis (Buy your historic Scotland pass here ), Kelvingrove Museum, George Square. Pick up car in Glasgow, as very hard to find anywhere past that to actually get a rental car. Europcar was good.
Day 3 Oban—great drive out to Oban. Whiskey Distillery (get Friends of Scottish Distilleries pass on line for free, and it gets you into many distilleries for free), Dunollie Castle, McCaig Tower, Dunstaffnage Castle, restaurants on the waterfront.

Day 4—Oban. We did Staffa Tours, with tour of Iona, Staffa and Mull. Don’t miss Isle of Staffa and Fingals Cave.
Day 5—Drive to Glen Coe and Ft William. We didn’t have time to really do anything other than just drive through Glen Coe. Ft. William. Not much to see in Ft William (we ended up there in late afternoon and felt like we saw it well enough).
Day 6—Drive from Ft William through Glenfinnan, and then up to ferry to Isle of Skye. Don’t miss Glenfinnan, and try to be there in the morning when the Harry Potter Steam Train comes. There is a very nice hotel very close by, with a great local restaurant and pub (where the Highlander movie was filmed, and where Sean Connery stayed and they have lots of stories about him). Taking the ferry from Mallaig across to Skye was very neat way to see it.
Day 7 Isle of Skye. Did drive to Old man of Storr hike, Kilt Rock, Quiraing Mountain Range, round the top to Uig, and Duntulm Castle. Fairy Glen.

Day 8 Isle of Skye. Taliskder Distillery, Fairy Pool, played pitch and put golf. Bagpipes on Portree in the evening.
Day 9 From Skye across the bridge (so coming out go across bridge vs. the ferry to get a different view). Eilean donan castle (on way out of Isle of Skye) . Drive to Loch Ness. Urquhart castle. Drive to Inverness
Day 10—Inverness. Culloden battlefield. Clava cairns (must see if you want to see standing stones without making a side trip somewhere). Inverness itself was so-so.
Day 11—Inverness. Cawdor castle. Ft George and Highlanders Museum (very impressive).
Day 12—Drive to Aviemore and see Cairngorms, hike Loch Eilean. Strathspey Railway from Aviemore to Broomhill and back again for dinner. Definitely a top thing on our list
Day 13—Drive to Pitlochry. saw local highland games and reinactments of battles (didn’t plan on it just stumbled on it and spent most of day doing that).
Day 14—Pitlochry. Visited Dunkeld and abbey. Birnam Wood. Perth and Scone Palance Drive to Lochearnhead and to Falls of Dochart and to Killin. road to Glen Lyon and Bridge of Balgie. Drive along Glen Lyon to Fortingall Yew. Drop down to Kenmore-- Crannog Center, Taymouth Castle Then north to Loch Tummell and Tummell Bridge, then to Queen’s View. Then back to Pitlochry.

Day 15—Pitlochry visit the Edradour Distillery (best one we went to). walk Pass of Killiekrankie. Dam of Pitlochry and Salmon ladder
Day 16—Drive to St Andrews. Play pitch and put at old course (costs next to nothing and easy to get on anytime). Watch golfers at Old Course.

Day 17—St Andrews Castle St Andrews Cathedral St Rule’s Tower
Day 18—Drive to Stirling. Stirling Castle Church of the Holy Rude. Wallace Memorial. Bannockburn. Doune Castle

Day 19-20 Loch Lommond and The Trossocks Loch Katrine and Steamer tour of loch. Sea plane flight over Lochs.

Day 21 Edinburgh. Royal mile. Edinburgh castle Palace of holyroodhouse Scottish National Gallery Scott Monument
Day 22 Edinburgh National Museum of Scotland Greyfriars Bobby Church and kirkyard (look for Harry Potter sights)
Day 23 Edinburgh Literary pub walking tour, Fringe Festival
Day 24 Return

Posted by
1224 posts

Wow, what a fabulous vacation! Makes me long for Scotland again. Thanks for the report.

Posted by
94 posts

Sounds like a fabulous trip and similar to one we took in 2015. We attended the Pitlochry Highland Games as well. Unfortunately, we cut the visit short as the cold and rain were horrendous. We felt so sorry for the organizers and for ourselves as we had really looked forward to it. So we went to tour Dalwhinnie Distillery instead.

Posted by
681 posts

WOW! My husband wants to go and always brings up Scotland. Your trip report may seal the deal... I have to go Hadrian's Wall...Anyone been there?

Posted by
187 posts

Yes! I've seen Hadrians Wall. Very cool. I did it as part of a day tour that also included Rosslyn Chapel (of Davinci fame) through Heart of Sctland Tours which I highly recommend:

With less than a dozen people on the bus and excellent guides, it's a steal at approx 50 euros/pp. all their tours are wonderful.