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Help with Itinerary?

Texas
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Help with Itinerary?

My husband, our 3 kids and myself will be in Scotland this summer. We have pretty definite ideas where and what we're planning to do. I've gone to no less then 4 travel agents, all who look at me and say, Think about it and come back and we'll book. Are they telling me our plans are bad? Or are travel agents just that unhelpful??

I'd appreciate any comments and suggestions that you all have.

Day One leave home

Day two, Fly in to London, One night in London, see the typical sites. Before everyone crashes! We know this is too short a time for London, but the focal point of the trip is Scotland.

D3 - Take the late afternoon train from London to Edinburgh. Will get in later afternoon, early evening I think.

D4 - Tour Edinburgh

D5 Rent a car and head toward Inverness, with stops on the way. Any suggestions here would be great.

D6 Inverness - Loch Ness and Culloden Battlefield

D7 - Isle of Skye. We've heard we can not take our rental car on the ferry so are unsure if we'll stay on the Isle or not. Is there another way on? What would be the best way to do this?

The Eileen Donnan Castle here...

D8 - Kind of open..not sure if we want to spend more in the Highlands here or what. Ideas??

D( Fort William, Glencoe, Ben Nevis?? Loch Lomand?? Ideas??

D 10 Edinburgh, Castle perhaps?

The last 3 nights would be staying in Edinburgh, unless someone has a better thought. We'd very much like to focus on the W. Coast and the Highland area. We would love to stay in a castle one night.

I realize this is long and appreciate any help at all!

Thanks so much!

Perth, Scotland
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1. Re: Help with Itinerary?

A thought for your stop on the way to Inverness is Dunkeld, lovely old town with cathedral/river walks. Also has a nature reserve at nearby Loch of the Lowes from where you can see Ospreys. Nice spots for picnics. Great cheap lunches at Birnam Arts Institute.

Definitely do Loch Ness & Culloden.

Skye is now connected by bridge so no issue with ferry. V near Skye Bridge is the lovely village of Plockton, also worth a visit. Try to stay on Skye. If ferry not an issue with your car why not take the ferry back from Skye either via Glenelg or proabbly better to Mallaig from where lovely drive via fab beaches /Glenfinnan monument to Fort William. Leave plenty of time to mosey!

If you'd rather focu on higland why not head north west from Inverness to Ullapool/Assynt or poss Gairloch/Plockton/Loch Maree on way to Skye.

Have a great trip

Amsterdam, The...
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2. Re: Help with Itinerary?

Since you are going to spend three nights in Edinburgh anyway what a bout a visit to Stirling which is only an hour away from there. You could easily do it on a day trip from Edinburgh or stay overnight on the way back.

Welcome to the forum btw.

Salem, Massachusetts
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3. Re: Help with Itinerary?

I can't comment on the travel agents, but I think you'll get plenty of help on TA.

My first observation is that you may wish to go to theaa.com or viamichelin.co.uk to try out some of your routes for distance/time estimates so you don't spend too much time in the car. Also consider that changing your accommodations too often (re-packing to move five people) might become a time-consuming chore and perhaps even limit your choices in high season when you may have better options by staying multiple nights. Likewise, in planning your routes and your desired attractions, you may be able to choose a couple of central locations from which you can go on daytrips.

You may also get some more specific advice from "locals" by re-posting when you'll be in Scotland- though almost anytime there is fabulous. Good luck!

Russell, Kansas
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4. Re: Help with Itinerary?

Aww shucks, you don't need no stinkin travel agent. You know what you want to do, just come here and ask for specifics and the experts help. Honestly, I have never used a travel agent. Planning the trip is half the fun for me. When the kids go to bed I spend an hour or so online picking out the B&Bs and what not. Have never had a bad trip yet!

You can't help but see Eileen Donnan castle if you go to Skye from Inverness. Stop and have a looksee at castle Urquart too, right on loch Ness. I recommend a loch Ness cruise too. The kids might like it depending on their ages.

And as another poster said, try to make a trip to Stirling. Not far at all from Edinburgh and awesome things there. Seriously, climbing to the top of the Wallace monument is worth it!

The New Forest...
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5. Re: Help with Itinerary?

Hello - just a thought why waste hours with children sitting in a train? I'm sure some of it would be interesting but its an expensive journey if you include the hotel stop. I would skip the whole day in London and head straight for Scotland. Take a transfer and fly up. There are cheap options flying London to Edinburgh look online. It would be a lot less hastle surely and you'd have more time to see what you really want to see. Do London another time?

Newcastle
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6. Re: Help with Itinerary?

Hi there, would echo first reply and recommend you make a stop at Dunkeld on your way up the A9 towards Inverness. The cathedral is set in beautiful surroundings. Also a bit further up the road you have Blair Atholl with its distinctive white castle. While here make sure you visit the Blair Atholl watermill. It has a lovely tearoom and working mill. When in Inverness, another place to visit near the battlefield is Clava Cairns. Finally would also recommend that you make a trip to Plockton while over in the Skye area. It's a beautiful village.

Texas
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7. Re: Help with Itinerary?

Wow fantastic help all!! Thank you so much! And thanks for the welcome also!

Many great ideas to add on to the trip! I'll certainly look in to all of them!

When looking for lodging, anything we must avoid?

(The one night in London is a must due to flights. And the kids look forward to the train trip as we don't have them here!)

Thanks again to all of you!

Scotland
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8. Re: Help with Itinerary?

Just a couple of thoughts.

Why not fly straight from the US to Glasgow or Edinburgh? Far less stressful. Continental fly to both.

If you must go via London you can save time and a hotel night by traveling at night on the sleeper train.

As you have been told, you can go over to Skye on the bridge. It's nice to come back on a ferry but I would consider the one to Mallaig rather than the one to Glenelg if you are at all nervous about driving on narrow steep roads. It's a stunning drive but not for the faint hearted.

I second Plockton. Lovely place.

Salem, Massachusetts
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9. Re: Help with Itinerary?

I haven't seen this mentioned about Plockton...see if you can find "Hamish Macbeth" on DVD. I know Netflix now offers all three seasons- get the first, it's the best, IMO. The fictional TV village of Loch Dubh is Plockton in real life and you'll get a nice sense of the beauty of the area and a preview of the town. Just a thought...

Texas
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10. Re: Help with Itinerary?

Actually we do have to fly straight into London. We have 5 free tickets due to a business meeting that will last about 5 minutes! Got really lucky.