Planning (well, mostly planned now) a trip up to Scotland with the other half for Valentine's Day, and it has got a little out of hand as every time I've found somewhere to go there's always been somewhere else "just a bit further".
I've now got the following itinerary set up, just looking for opinions as to whether this is in fact possible (timings say it is, but real-world advice would help!), and whether there are any items I could add/remove/modify. There is a deliberate wildlife theme going on, with other major items added as they fit in, we are driving in my 4x4, and I've tried to research everything as much as I can. Thanks for any help!
Friday 10th - Leave home (Manchester) - Edinburgh Castle inc. 1 o' clock gun (Historic Scotland 7-day Explorer - 2h) - Greyfriar's Kirkyard & Bobby Memorial (1h) - Arthur's Seat red route (2h) - Edinburgh Tourist Centre (collect Edinburgh Pass) - Holiday Inn Edinburgh (right beside the zoo)
Saturday 11th (100% 1-day Edinburgh Pass) - Edinburgh Zoo (giant panda viewing & others as time allows - 1h) - Camera Obscura (30m) - Gilmerton Cove (1h) - Butterfly & Insect World (2h) - Edinburgh Zoo (penguin parade & remainder of zoo - 2.5h) - World of Illusions (2.5h - open late for half-term) - Mercat Tours Gallows to Graveyard (1.5h) - Premier Inn South Queensferry (NW of the city for the morning)
Sunday 12th - Jacobite Inspiration Loch Ness cruise (BOGOF - 1h) - Chanonry Point (dolphins / porpoises - 30m) - Findhorn Valley (Golden eagles / red deer / oeregrine falcons / mountain hares / Atlantic salmon - 1h) - Loch Garten (ospreys - 30m) - Junipers Guest House (Aviemore)
Monday 13th - Cairngorm Mountain Railway (BOGOHP - 1.5h) - Cairngorm Reindeer Herd (1.5h) - Highland WIldlife Park (polar bear / red squirrels / wildcats plus the others as time allows - 3h) - Laurel Bank Lodge (Fort William)
Tuesday 14th - Steall Waterfall Walk (can't do Ben at this time of year! - 2h) - scenic drive to Aultbea via Applecross peninsula (5.25h) - Inverewe Garden (outside opening hours so via side gate - 2h) - The Old Police House (Aultbea - overlooking Isle of Ewe)
Wednesday 15th - Gruinard Bay (white-tailed eagles - 30m) - Cape Wrath (can't get to it in winter) / Smoo Cave (30m) - John O' Groats (apparently rubbish - 15m) - Stacks of Duncansby Walk (not rubbish - 45m) - Pentland Ferry to Orkney (1h) - Orca Hotel (Stromness)
Thursday 16th - Skara Brae (2h) - Finstown (low tide - grey and possibly bearded seals - 50m) - Ring of Brodgar Orkney Ranger Tour / Stones of Stenness (1.5h) - Maes Howe Tour (1h) - Mull Head Nature Reserve (common seals, Orkney voles and others - 2h) - Northern Lights viewing attempt (Ward Hill - 2h) - Northlink Ferry to Lerwick
Friday 17th - Moorland to Sumburgh Head (mountain hares / whales / seals - 1h) - Jarlshof - (1.5h) - Scalloway Castle (45m) - Uyeasound Up-Helly-Aa Galley viewing (Uyeasound Public Hall - 45m) - Bobby's Bus Shelter (30m) - Wind House (twilight / darkness - 1h) - Uyeasound Up-Helly-Aa (until 4AM) - Baltasound Hotel (Unst)
Saturday 18th - Foord's Chocolate Experience Cafe (factory closed for winter - 30m) - Norwick-Skaw (15m) - Saxa Vord Radar Station (abandoned - mostly! - 30m) - Hermaness Nature Reserve Walk (Muckle Flugga / Out Stack / Shetland Ponies - 3h) - Northern Lights viewing attempt (Saxa Vord or Setter's Hill - 4h) - Baltasound Hotel
Sunday 19th - Yell Sound (otters / porpoises - 30m) - Mavis Grind (30m) - Stanes of Stofast (1.25h) - Skellister Standing Stone (15m) - Northlink Ferry to Aberdeen (freighter due to maintenance - 14h)
Monday 20th - Falls of Feugh (leaping Atlantic salmon - 30m) - Fowlsheugh Nature Reserve (grey seals - 30m) - Dunnottar Castle (1.5h) - Carron Fish Bar (deep-fried Mars bar - 30m) - National Wallace Monument (1h) - Stirling Castle (1.25h) - return home (Manchester)