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.

12 day Sept Scotland vacation itinerary advice

Level Contributor
9 posts
5 reviews
Save Topic
12 day Sept Scotland vacation itinerary advice

After much research I am back with an itinerary and need tweaks .2 couples fly to Edinburgh arrive in late morning pick up rental car drive to Ft. Williams with a stop in Stirling to visit Wallace Monument and Doune Castle

Stay 1 night in Ft. Williams to tour then drive to Mallaig, will we be able to see the Glenfinnan viaduct on the route or do you have to train it to see any of it?

Eat fish n chips in Mallaig and take ferry to Skye we will stay 2 nights or 3 in a rental B&B or hotel somewhere there to take day trips maybe a boat excursion etc then take the Skye bridge to either Aviemore or Ft. Augustus or Inverness and stay 3 nights there , like walks nature history and food and whisky

then drive down to Edinburgh ditch the car and spend 4 nights there seeing the sights

One of our party is golf fan so might suggest he take a day excursion from Edinburgh to St. Andrews

Any suggestions it will be either Sept 11-22 or 18-29

Thanks in advance

Oakham, United...
Level Contributor
2,664 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: 12 day Sept Scotland vacation itinerary advice

Fort William sounds terribly romantic, but the town itself isn't really. See if you can find somewhere to stay near there, sure, preferably with a view ,but don't expect the town itself to keep you for long.

Level Contributor
2,496 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: 12 day Sept Scotland vacation itinerary advice

I'd spend the first 3 days in Edinburgh. Don't underestimate how jet lagged and dead tired you are going to be!!!

Then your 1st day travel (Edinburgh to Ft William) is way too much. Too much especially if you do pick up the car immediately and drive, but even if you stay in Edinburgh first. How can you go to Stirling without visiting Stirling Castle? Answer: you can't! Doune Castle is fun and a fairly substantial partially ruined castle. There are lots of other things to see enroute to Ft. William, not the least of which is Glen Coe. Some of the things we did and enjoyed on the way were Inchmahome Priory, Drummond Castle Gardens, Kilchurn Castle, not to mention Loch Lomond, Loch Katrine, Oban and other things. I'd definitely split that 1st day (either way) into two days, getting up to Skye. Steal the day from Edinburgh - do 3 days instead of 4. But no matter what, you really must visit Stirling Castle and Glen Coe.

You can see the viaduct and Glenfinnan on the way to Maillag.

My 2 cents worth...


London, United...
Level Contributor
4,725 posts
70 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: 12 day Sept Scotland vacation itinerary advice

I think that is really good advice from Kevin. Definitely worth more than 2 cents.

Haddington, United...
Destination Expert
for Haddington, East Lothian
Level Contributor
4,013 posts
209 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: 12 day Sept Scotland vacation itinerary advice

Edinburgh is full of really good golf courses, both Public & Private and also has a FREE 36 hole 'Pitch & Put' course right in the city centre less than 10 minutes walk from Princess Street. East Lothian, a few miles east also has some wonderful courses including the famous Muirfield at Gullane. But if it has to be St Andrews eastyway is to train, then bus or taxi from Edinburgh which will take just over an hour.

It is almost certainly going to be 'Midge' season on the west coast so remember to pack good insect repellent that suites you. Personally (and so does the US Navy) find 'AVON' Skin so Soft the best thing to keep them away but everyone has their own preferred product

Manchester, United...
Destination Expert
for The Hebrides
Level Contributor
6,513 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: 12 day Sept Scotland vacation itinerary advice

I do agree with Kevin about spending two or three days in Edinburgh before you set out with the car, for all the reasons he gives. However, Fort William is a perfectly doable day's drive, and I wouldn't regard Stirling Castle as a 'must-see' for someone who has just visited Edinburgh Castle. And Fort William is a very convenient place to stay, with loads of accommodation of all types.

To get the most out of Skye, it's best to stay three nights, giving yourselves two complete days - it's a big island and it's definitely worth it.

Don't worry about the midges - by mid-September they will be going or indeed gone!

Have a great trip!

Fife, United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for St Andrews
Level Contributor
8,671 posts
158 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: 12 day Sept Scotland vacation itinerary advice

Unless you are flying first or business and will have the luxury of actually getting some sleep on your flight, the information given should be heeded. Do not underestimate how tired you will be after your flight - and the driver will need his/her wits about them to navigate the roads safely. Kevin knows- he has done it!

If one of your party is a golf fan then surely its sacrilege not to include a day trip to St.Andrews. Its not just the Mecca of Golf, its also a beautiful seaside town with magnificent beaches, ruined castle and cathedral by the sea, wonderful old harbour and pier, beautiful buildings and architecture, world renowned University (established 1410) and lovely cobbled streets with some interesting shops Plus it (the town's first settlement) was founded around 1150 and I don't mean ten to twelve!


Dhmellor is right about Skye - its a suprisingly large island so give yourselves enough time to explore it.

Aviemore is a great centre for walking and wildlife. There is a hotel in Grantown on Spey called The Grant Arms which might be a good base for your stay given your interests


There are walks right from the door into a beautiful Caledonian Pine Forest and down to the beautiful River Spey. You are in the heart of Speyside and whisky country too and there are loads of golf courses. Look at the icons for distilleries, golf courses and castles on this website


If you are lucky the heather may still be in bloom on the hills which is an added bonus to the beauty of the whole area. The earlier in September you are here the more chance you have of seeing it.


Woody x

Level Contributor
9 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: 12 day Sept Scotland vacation itinerary advice

Thanks so much for the advice. I was unsure of where to stay after Skye but now I have some choices. Still considering driving straight away, have flown to Europe overnight before and will just take it slow maybe.

8. Re: 12 day Sept Scotland vacation itinerary advice

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 28 January 2015, 06:18