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Itinerary help!

Truro, Canada
6 posts
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Itinerary help!

I am planning a 2-3 week trip to Scotland/Ireland (if time allows, Scotland being the main objective). My thoughts are:

- Fly to Edinburgh - 4 nights, including a day trip to Rosslyn Chapel, border abbeys, etc.

- Inverness - 3 nights, including a day trip to Eilean Donan castle, Skye

- Orkney Islands, based in Stromness 3 nights

- Fort William (or surrounding area) 2 nights - to climb Ben Nevis and visit Glen Coe

-This is where I question my next move. Ireland for a few nights and back to Edinburgh? Try to fit in Stirling, Loch Lomond, Inverie somewhere instead? Probably will have to fly out of Edinburgh. Any suggestions welcome, looking for beautiful landscapes and culture, traveling solo, very budget-minded.

Thanks!

Stanley, Falkland...
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1. Re: Itinerary help!

Unfortunately, most people who can advise are asleep!

My 2 cents -

I suggest an overnight on Skye, at least.

And more time around Loch Lomond and the Trossachs rather than sitting in airports heading for Dublin...

How are you getting around? Some tours, like Rabbies, Macbackpackers are well liked...

Edinburgh, United...
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2. Re: Itinerary help!

Ahh a Trurorian! Welcome! My mother was born in your fair town many moons ago.

Inverness for 3 nights? Unless you are going to tour from here I would suggest cutting a night from here and using it in Skye. Oh in fact thats kind of what Peterscot said :O/

What time of year are you thinking?

Edinburgh
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3. Re: Itinerary help!

If you are budget minded then make sure to look at www.ryanair.co.uk for flights between Edinburgh (or Prestwick near Glasgo) and Dublin- but watch out for all the extra charges for luggage/ opt out of travel insurance/ compulsory on line check in etc. But if you "work the system" you can get to Dublin for about £30 if you book well in advance.

Truro, Canada
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4. Re: Itinerary help!

Thanks for the replies! Nothing is set in stone and I was wondering about a night on Skye. The reason I had 3 nights in Inverness was I was looking at a group day trip online that's based out of there, then another day to tour around the area (Culloden, etc.) and the other day would be travelling to Orkney.

Edinburgh...
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5. Re: Itinerary help!

Ben Nevis - when? Soon? Winter, Spring? It's a big mountain and needs to be treated seriously when there's snow on it ....

Truro, Canada
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6. Re: Itinerary help!

Hey Derek G, I was thinking of going next September, planning very much in advance! I've been reading about the mountain and will be prepared as much as possible.

I was hoping to use public transportation for the most part, is this feasible for this kind of trip?

England, Arkansas
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7. Re: Itinerary help!

I've been to all of your Scottish stops by car, public transport on these runs would be my idea of hell. Inverness is a sort of trave hub for the highlands so if public transport is available it'll likely run from there. I don't recall ever seeing a service bus on the east/west runs. I guess Stagecoach would be the op if there is one so check their website.

Hope you get sorted!

Edinburgh...
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8. Re: Itinerary help!

There *are* bus connections to most towns, and yes a lot of the northern ones radiate from Inverness.

If you want lists of local bus routes you can try this site - good on lists, hit or miss on timetables, but you'll find who operates the route.

http://www.carlberry.co.uk

If you're after longer distance routes, try

http://www.stagecoachbus.com/timetables.aspx

For ferries, most western routes are operated by CAledonian Macbrayne,

www.calmac.co.uk/

And for Orkney, depending on how you choose to get there, Pentland or Northlink ferries:

www.pentlandferries.co.uk

www.northlinkferries.co.uk

There are a lot of local services which are difficult to find listings for unless you know they exist:

For example there is a summer season only local bus from Fort William to the bridge in Glen Nevis, almost at the road end, if you want to walk to Steall waterfall. The starting point for the 'tourist' path to Ben Nevis is near Achintee which is much nearer the outskirts of Fort William.

So to answer your question of a month or so back, yes you can construct your entire trip using bus and train, so longs you accept the inconveniences of bus timetables and restrictions imposed by where the routes will or won't take you.

Trains will get you to Fort William, Mallaig, Inverness, Kyle of Loch Alsh, or most of the way to Orkney. Ferries will help you join island routes. Buses will fill in some of the missing detail and take you between major towns.

Cars are so much more convenient because YOU set the schedule and decide where to go. A car will save you a lot of time and allow you access to places that are inconveniently off-route. You have a choice to make: it's not black or white.

Edited: 28 October 2012, 10:16
9. Re: Itinerary help!

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10. Re: Itinerary help!

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