We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Thoughts on 2-day trip: Edinburgh, Ft. William, Oban, etc.

Williamsburg...
Level Contributor
12 posts
8 reviews
Save Topic
Thoughts on 2-day trip: Edinburgh, Ft. William, Oban, etc.

After spending 3 days in Edinburgh, we'd like to see the countryside. This is our first time to Scotland. We plan to leave Edinburgh on Mon. at noon (July 18th). We aren't sure when or if we'll ever be back, so admittedly we are trying to cram in a lot. Please advise if this is reasonable.

Neither my husband or I prefer heavily crowded places (though some are inevitable), but I'm a hobby-photographer and artist, so love any great photo opportunities or places for a quick journal sketch. My husband loves scotch, so would love to tour a good distillery or two. We have three kids (not coming) and are Harry Potter fans, so anything related to that would be fun.

Here's our plan:

Ediburgh to Stirling (see castle and village of Killin for photos)

Glencoe - walk, photos, lakes, Harry Potter filming area

Ft. William - not sure what to do here (Distillery?)

Glenfinnan - see railway viaduct (Harry Potter); any way to find out when the Jacobite will be passing over the viaduct?

*possibly stay in Glenfinnan on first night? I think we could realistically arrive here by 8-9pm

Corran - to view Ben Nevis mtn (should we stay on west side of water [A861] and take ferry Ardgour to Corran or drive around on A82?)

Portnacroish - Castle Stalker view; just photo stop

Oban - ??? not sure yet; maybe Oban Distillery

Inverary (or skip this stop) - castle or jail

Loch Lomond - just plan to drive, make a few scenic stops for photos, and continue on; maybe stop at Balloch Castle?

*am undecided about driving A82 on west side of Loch Lomond - hear mixed reviews - we are from the US, grew up in rural area where we drove manual, 4x4 trucks on the hills, have driven city traffic last 10 years and are fine with roundabouts, etc . . . but do not have experience driving on "other" side of the road and will be in unfamiliar territory. I plan to get a car with GPS or take our portable one and download Scotland maps, but not sure how "bad" this road really is . . . please advise.

Then we'll need to end up back in Edinburgh late Tues. night. We have a hotel near the airport and fly out to Dublin Wed. morning at 8:30. Once we arrive in Dublin, we'll have 8 hrs. to rest before we meet up with our business group in the evening.

My map route shows this to be 360 miles of road and will take about 9 hrs of driving time. It's hard to guess how much time we'll spend at each stop, but thought we could pace ourselves.

I'd appreciate any tips about destinations, restaurants/cafes, pubs/distilleries, unique (uncrowded) stops, and Loch Lomond tips (heard it's a must-see, but very touristy, so not sure where best stops would be).

Thanks so much!

D

Stanley, Falkland...
Level Contributor
32,953 posts
75 reviews
Save Reply
11. Re: Thoughts on 2-day trip: Edinburgh, Ft. William, Oban, etc.

Hi Kevin,

I value your contributions on here, but I'm going to disagree about you saying Inverary is off the beaten track.

A visitor looking for somewhere off the beaten track, is going to be a bit surprised when they get to Inverary!

It is on one of two roads between Oban / Glencoe and Glasgow. Both routes are about the same time or distance. But the Inverary route avoids the bad stretch of road at Loch Lomond.

Dell5 - if Glenfinnan is a priority, then I would head there, without too many stops en route. Loads of accommodation in Fort William or Oban or Ballachulish near Glencoe.

Georgia
Level Contributor
2,740 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
12. Re: Thoughts on 2-day trip: Edinburgh, Ft. William, Oban, etc.

Hi Peter,

No problem, I stand corrected. Assuming you are at Loch Lomond, then absolutely correct and that Rest and be Thankful pass, etc... looks like it would be a great drive.

Again, depends on your "must sees". If it were Stirling & GlenCoe, then in a day and a half, Invarary (and Loch Lomond) are off the beaten path. If your "must sees" include Loch Lomond, then it's a good alternative drive.

Beside, if she takes in Loch LOmond/Invarary, then she'll go right by Kilchurn Castle - which could be a real attraction uif you are into castle ruins.

Best regards and BTW thanks for all the advice during my planning.

Kevin

Williamsburg...
Level Contributor
12 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
13. Re: Thoughts on 2-day trip: Edinburgh, Ft. William, Oban, etc.

great info, thanks so much to all of you! As close as we are to travel dates, the accommodations were limited - so we found Nevis Bank Inn in Ft. Williams to be available.

My route shows from Inveraray, we'll be on A83, through "Rest and Be Thankful", to Tarbet, then south on A82 - is this correct or is this the passage we want to avoid? It looks like this is our only option, unless we skip Inveraray and to over to Crianlarich then south on A82 to Tarbet area again.

Looks like Kilchurn Castle would be an easy thing to see along this path. Would we be crazy if we didn't "tour" the castle in Inverary, just walked around it and took photos? On our complete journey, we'll get to see six castles total.

Thanks again! Much appreciated!

Glasgow, United...
Level Contributor
136 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
14. Re: Thoughts on 2-day trip: Edinburgh, Ft. William, Oban, etc.

"My route shows from Inveraray, we'll be on A83, through "Rest and Be Thankful", to Tarbet, then south on A82 - is this correct or is this the passage we want to avoid"

That's correct, it avoids Tarbet to Ardlui which is the bad section of the A82.

Stanley, Falkland...
Level Contributor
32,953 posts
75 reviews
Save Reply
15. Re: Thoughts on 2-day trip: Edinburgh, Ft. William, Oban, etc.

Just a few miles beyond the castle at Inverary is one of the best seafood restaurants in the world - the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar. Sells a lot more than seafood these days and well worth a stop.

Williamsburg...
Level Contributor
12 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
16. Re: Thoughts on 2-day trip: Edinburgh, Ft. William, Oban, etc.

peterscot - thanks for the seafood tip! we love seafood!

Williamsburg...
Level Contributor
12 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
17. Re: Thoughts on 2-day trip: Edinburgh, Ft. William, Oban, etc.

I see the Inveraray Highland Games are on Tues. July 19th - the day we'll be driving through.

http://www.inveraray-games.co.uk/

Would this be fun to see - or is it going to mean crazy, busy traffic?

Manchester, United...
Destination Expert
for The Hebrides
Level Contributor
7,242 posts
67 reviews
Save Reply
18. Re: Thoughts on 2-day trip: Edinburgh, Ft. William, Oban, etc.

Both!

Williamsburg...
Level Contributor
12 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
19. Re: Thoughts on 2-day trip: Edinburgh, Ft. William, Oban, etc.

GPS help - we have a portable Garmin that we can take with us. I just checked online to download UK maps and it's $60! I can get a rental car with GPS for $25 extra dollars. Does anyone know if they any different?

Money help - do most places take Visa, including petrol stations? How much cash should we carry? Around here, we don't carry much cash because everywhere takes Visa.

Thanks again! We leave in 2 days!!! So excited!

North Berwick...
Destination Expert
for East Lothian
Level Contributor
738 posts
187 reviews
Save Reply
20. Re: Thoughts on 2-day trip: Edinburgh, Ft. William, Oban, etc.

With the newly reopened Royal Palace Apartments, Stirling provides a much different experience from Edinburgh Castle. I'd include it because the area around the Castle offers lots to see. Castle grounds also provide stunning views for photography & sketching and you've got gardens as well.