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One week in Scotland - Need your inputs on my plan

S P
Basingstoke, United...
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One week in Scotland - Need your inputs on my plan

Hi,

I am planning on a trip to Scotland and Lake district for 9 days starting 16th June. I am hoping that expert travelers will provide me with suggestions or changes to my plan to make it better.

I am traveling with my wife and a 1.5yrs old son in my own car.

16-17 - Lake District (booked a hotel there... planning on roaming around lakes and national park)

18-19 - Edinburgh

Yet to book hotel. Planning on buying the royal edinburgh ticket which gives me entry to three attractions - Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood house, Royal Britannica and also two consecutive days of bus ride across the city.

20-23 - The plan is a bit hazy here. I would like to visit Loch Lomond, Loch Ness, Isle of Skye and Inverness ( and a drive to Eilean Donan castle) in the four days. To cover all these places what will be a good base.

Is Fort williams a good option as a base to visit all these places?

Can I visit Isle of Sky (using ferry or by road) and come back to Fortwilliams in one day?

Any advise/suggestions greatly appreciated.

Edinburgh
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1. Re: One week in Scotland - Need your inputs on my plan

Finding a hotel in Edinburgh with parking will be a challenge. Driving in the city at the moment is difficult and frustrating due to extensive roadworks throughout the city centre with the resultant diversions and general chaos. Do yourself a favour and stay on the outskirts and take the bus in to the city centre. Most of the buses have a dedicated buggy / wheelchair space so it is easy to travel with young children.

Scunthorpe, United...
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2. Re: One week in Scotland - Need your inputs on my plan

How well does 18month old son travel in a car? One of the problems with choosing a central base for four days is that you will need to spend several hours driving each day. However I can understand the logic behind this as it saves packing and unpacking. Fort William area is probably the best choice.

Fort William to Inverness along A82 is about 90min drive. Break it up with stops in Fort Augustus and Drumnadrochit. Urquhart castle may be a good place to run of steam... Make this into a circular tour by coming back along the southern side of the loch along B852. This is a lot slower but scenically very good.

Skye can be done in a day and you can fit in Eilean Donan Castle here. However you need to be aware of time as Eilean Donan opens 10am and last admission is 5pm.

Drive from Fort William to Mallaig (about an hours drive) and catch the ferry to Armadale:

calmac.co.uk/timetables/…

Leave Syke by the bridge and Kyle of Lochalsh. This takes about 40minutes so you have time to detour and explore Skye a bit.

From Kyle of Lochalsh head for Eilean Donan Casle (about 15min drive). When you have visited the castle then head back to Fort William which will take about 90min without stops.

Either use google maps to plan routes or the AA planner site:

http://www.theaa.com/route-planner/index.jsp

For ideas of things to do or places to stop have a look at this website:

http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/

Go to the map pages and click on the place names for text pages with information and pictures.

Edinburgh...
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3. Re: One week in Scotland - Need your inputs on my plan

I'd agree with 3nations. And the bus service is pretty good; if you pick a hotel which is on a couple of bus routes (ask the hotel ...) it's by far the easiest way of getting about.

I can understand the logic of not having to pack and unpack, especially if you've got 2 tons of sonny Jim's stuff with you, but I wonder if a circular route makes more sense.

For example, up to Glencoe (maybe staying there rather than Fort William) then as described to Skye via Maillaig. I think you'd be tight on time if you wanted to see a lot of Skye, so stay either on Skye or head for Plockton. Then a drive to Inverness with a diversion to Urquhart Castle or Culloden. Perhaps to Grantown on Spey and then Tomintoul - Braemar rather than straight down the A9

S P
Basingstoke, United...
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4. Re: One week in Scotland - Need your inputs on my plan

Thank you very much for all your replies. Really appreciate them.

I will now try to avoid city center when booking hotel in Edinburgh. If having Fort Williams as a base will make me drive a lot how about having Loch Lomond and Inverness as bases (2 days each) to look around Loch Lomond, Loch Ness, Isle of Skye and Inverness ( and a drive to Eilean Donan castle)?

Edinburgh, United...
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5. Re: One week in Scotland - Need your inputs on my plan

SP, the advice regarding Edinburgh and driving is spot on - find a nice hotel on the outskirts for a much more pleasant experience! The bus routes are good and reliable, route maps available on www.lothianbuses.co.uk

Using Loch Lomond and Inverness as 2 bases actually makes LESS sense, to me. It is a few hours drive to Skye from Loch Lomond or Inverness, and a day trip to Skye from either of those spots would necessitate at least 5-6 hours of non-stop driving. Have a close look at viamichelin and online map resources to look at the distances involved in what you are proposing.

Abs :)

Edited: 10 June 2012, 11:18
Scotland
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6. Re: One week in Scotland - Need your inputs on my plan

You need to choose where you want to see and pick bases near those locations.

Fort William and Inverness are a long drive from Loch Lomond and Sky.

Am I right in thinking these are the only places you've heard of in the Highlands? Is that why you picked them? If so it might be an idea to tell us what you enjoy.

If it's cities then stick to Edinburgh Inverness and Glasgow.

If it's scenery head straight for the north west and base yourselves somewhere like Plockton.

If it's castles or distilleries maybe look at Speyside and Aberdeenshire.

If you want to see islands maybe Oban would suit.

S P
Basingstoke, United...
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7. Re: One week in Scotland - Need your inputs on my plan

With a 1.5yr old son I am not too keen on hiking or very long walks. But I am looking forward to some scenic places to visit and drive through.

Thegoodwitch.. you are correct in saying that those are the places I have learned about from friends so I have them in my destination list. I am open to suggestions and since I haven't made any bookings yet I can totally move to a different itinerary where we get to see more of nature and splendid views that Scotland is famous for. I think the travel part of 16-19 is fixed with two days in lake district and 2 days in Edinburgh. I need you guys help in sorting out the remaining 5 days/4nights time I've got left to see Scotland. I'll be heading back on sunday 24th June.

Plockton (as a base to visit Skye) and Gelncoe are sounding like two destinations that I should include in my tirp.

Certain things I wanted to have in my list are Eilean Donan Castle, Sea life in Loch Lomond (I have Merlin Annual Pass.. so if it is worth seeing then I would like to include it in my trip)

8. Re: One week in Scotland - Need your inputs on my plan

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