We are flying in to Edinburgh in mid May for about 12 days. The idea is to rent a car and drive to interesting towns, pubs, castles, and do a little hiking. From what we have read we may want to explore the west side of Scotland. Anyone have recommendations on towns where we can stay for a few days and use for a home base from which to take day trips? We may want to rent a cottage for a week. Where would be some good day trips? Any suggestions would be appreciated.