I realize a million messages get posted along these lines, and I've read the forums and captured as much information as I can as regards sites to see, routes to take, etc.
But, I'd like some specific-to-my-trip tips/ideas if anyone is willing to take a moment to help out. If so, I truly appreciate it!
1.) I plan to visit in May or June of this year and travel solely by rental car and train.
2.) I'll be flying in on the evening of day one, spending six full days in Scotland, and flying out on the morning of day eight. I can add a day or two if needed.
3.) My interests include mountains, cliffs, rivers, lakes (lochs), castles, beautiful natural scenery, very old or very quaint villages/towns, lochs, abbeys. and rural drives.
4.) I'd like to stay mostly in Bed and Breakfasts, cottages, castles, with hotels being last on my list.
I want to take a relatively leisurely pace (trips between sites/cities lasting no longer than one- to two-hours, and I realize rural roads can take twice as long as a "normal" drive. However, I am completely okay with taking the FULL day to travel/tour/enjoy. I also realize the days are long in May and June.
A few points of interest, but not REQUIRED: (I have not researched these locations geographically, so I understand they may not be possible in six days)
1.) Tour the West Coast
2.) Train Travel -- Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh route
3.) The border abbeys
5.) Moffat (for its toffee shop)
6.) The Isles (?)
My budget is $5000 - $6000 for two people, to include airfare, rental car, train fare, lodging, and food, but this is flexible. I was able to do this same-length trip, staying in Bed and Breakfasts and even two five-star hotels in Ireland last May; is a trip to Scotland a similar-cost endeavor?
Thanks again in advance for ANY tips!