My husband, teenage son, and I will be flying into Manchester from Ireland. We will be there in July and have a few specific places we want to visit. We are not interested in the big cities but instead want to see the country and get a feel for the people and history of Scotland.
Please look at my itinerary and let me know what flaws you see. I know that it is ambitious but is it doable? Second, I would appreciate suggestions on accommodations. Since we won't be staying in one place long and our arrival times will vary, we would prefer a hotel. In the USA we've traveled without reservations. Can that be done where we are going?
Day 1: Arrive in Manchester in the afternoon after spending six days in Ireland. Rent a vehicle and head out of town. Possibly to Carlisle?
Day 2: Visit Hadrian's Wall, then quick stop in Newcastle to see the soccer stadium, then on to Rosslyn Chapel before ending in (or near) Edinburgh for the night.
Day 3: Spend the day visiting Edinburgh Castle and doing genealogical research at ScotlandsPeopleCentre. Spend a second night in Edinburgh.
Day 4: Head to Inverness, stopping along the way to see Sterling Castle and/or Doune Castle (Monte Python fans). Spend the night in (or near) Inverness or Tain?
Day 5: Head to Tain to visit the Glenmorangie Distillery, then see Loch Ness on our way south back towards the Carlisle area to spend the night before heading south to Cornwall.
Day 6: Travel towards Cornwall stopping at the Coal Mining Museum in Wakefield for an underground tour. Spend the night somewhere along the way. Possibly Bristol?
Day 7: Arrive at our destination in Cornwall.
Day 8, 9, 10: Relax and enjoy the Cornwall area.
Day 11: Drive back to Manchester. Return car rental. Spend the night.
Day 12: Catch a morning flight back to Ireland and the US.
I know we've crammed a lot into Scotland, but we've tried to balance it by taking is slower in Ireland and in Cornwall. This will be our first and probably only chance to visit. If I've missed anything we should see or have misjudged the distance and travel time please advice me. All suggestions are appreciated.