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Help with Itinerary - First Time to Scotland & UK

Kuala Lumpur...
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Help with Itinerary - First Time to Scotland & UK

Hello. We are a family of 5 (2 adults & 3 children - 3, 9 & 12 yrs) visiting Scotland and England for the first time. Our interests for Scotland would be in its scenic, natural beauty, pretty villages with local crafts, historic castles, museums (adult & child friendly) with the odd zoo/animal farm/safari park/children attraction mixed in. We wouldn't be looking to dedicate any days for long walks or hikes in the outdoors but would love to be able to view the highland games.

Wed 30/7 - Arrive London - Sleeper Train to Inverness (Caledonian Sleeper Train?)

Thu 31/7 - Day in Inverness - Pick up rental car

Fri 1/8 - Day in Inverness

Sat 2/8 - Drive to Isle of Skye - Staying at Staffin

Sun 3/8 - Isle of Skye

Mon 4/8 - Isle of Skye

Tue 5/8 - Oban

Wed 6/8 - Oban

Thu 7/8 - Edinburgh

Fri 8/8 - Edinburgh

Sat 9/8 - Edinburgh

Sun 10/8 - Edinburgh

Mon 11/8 - Edinburgh to London (on Caledonian Sleeper train?) - Drop off Rental Car

Tue 12/8 to Fri 15/8 (4 days) - London (shopping, museums, main city tourist attractions,etc.)

Sat 16/8 - Flight London to Kuala Lumpur

For our 5 full days in Edinburgh, we were planning to base here for days trips to St. Andrews, Highland Games at North Berwich, Safari Park at Blair Drummond and a couple of days for the city itself.

Would appreciate any comments, feedback and suggestions on our tentative itinerary. Thank you.

Kind Regards.

Manchester, United...
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1. Re: Help with Itinerary - First Time to Scotland & UK

It looks good. Looking at what interests you, it might be good to cut one day from Inverness. You could add it to Oban, giving you two full days there. There are boat trips, and your children might like the Scottish Sealiife Sanctuary. http://www.visitsealife.com/oban/

Oakham, United...
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2. Re: Help with Itinerary - First Time to Scotland & UK

If your main interests are natural beauty, then Iwould forget Inverness, and spend more time on or near the West coast. Oban is a pleasant little town to watch the boats and shop, but again, if you want to see * natural * beauty, I would stay outside the town, somewhere scenic.

Oxford
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3. Re: Help with Itinerary - First Time to Scotland & UK

If your interest is scenery, and local crafts then I think you are planning far too long in Edinburgh, with its "houchter chouchter" faux tartan and bling, and not enough time in the islands. It's a bit further, but have you considered crossing by ferry from Uig in the north of Skye to Lochmaddy, North Uist, then driving north through the Outer Hebrides: spend time on Harris (most beautiful island in Europe, as voted for on this website) and then crossing from Stornoway on Lewis back to Ullapool, then down through Inverness to Edinburgh from there? Ferries are much less expensive than you might imagine, and Harris (and the world famous tweed, which is still fabricated in croft-houses) is a very special experience.

Felicity X

Edinburgh, United...
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4. Re: Help with Itinerary - First Time to Scotland & UK

From your days/dates I take it you are planning on coming this summer. August is PEAK season (+++) in Edinburgh due to the small matter of the largest Arts festivals in the world which last pretty much the while month.

Have you got accommodation sorted, I if not you may struggle. Accommodation is also very expensive in Edinburgh at this time. Not that I'm wanting to put you off at all - Edinburgh is fantastic during the festivals - I just don't know if your are aware they are on.

Hazel

Edited: 23 April 2014, 08:11
Kuala Lumpur...
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5. Re: Help with Itinerary - First Time to Scotland & UK

Thanks for the replies, really appreciate it!

Will look into adding one day to Oban as we are planning to go on the Jacobite Steam train - kids big fan of Harry Potter, and may be good to have extra day for this. As we are planning to drive from Skye to Oban, which area would be good & scenic (pretty villages included) to stay in to make it easy for drive to Fort William for steam train one day and access to Oban and its attractions for the other days?

Felicity X - would love to see more of Scotland, has been tough to shortlist places. But travelling with 3 children sees us realistically being able to have max. 4 different lodgings with ideally shortest stay of 2 nights. One of the reasons of planning to try the sleeper train so we sleep (hopefully) yet travel at the same time.

Edinburgh for longer as this would be tail end of our trip hence maybe need to take it easier with our troop in tow. So we have allocated one big outing/day trip per day, as mentioned above. On that note, does St Andrews call for a day trip or overnighter?

We know it's peak period in Scotland for festival and Commonwealth games but actually didn't think we could handle the cold weather if we went anytime other than summer! We are after all from t-shirt and shorts weather country and anything below 20 degrees celcius is cold! We are looking for self catering apartment in Edinburgh so any suggestions for good location and easy parking is much appreciated as well, thanks!

Stanley, Falkland...
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6. Re: Help with Itinerary - First Time to Scotland & UK

Ballachulish, between Ft William and Oban. Also close to Glencoe.

Good luck on getting 20C!

Scotland
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7. Re: Help with Itinerary - First Time to Scotland & UK

I 2nd Ballachulish. Also look at Onich which is close by

Kuala Lumpur...
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8. Re: Help with Itinerary - First Time to Scotland & UK

Thank you for that - will look at Ballachulish and Onich. And we will probably be in our winter gear!!

How about St. Andrews as day trip from Edinburgh with a rental car? Doable or should we consider an overnighter?

Scotland
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9. Re: Help with Itinerary - First Time to Scotland & UK

Very doable. Allow an hour and a half if driving direct. Consider returning via the coast road - Crail, Anstruther etc. The fishing villages are gorgeous and well worth spending half a day on.

An overnighter would give you more time but not absolutely necessary

Oxford
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10. Re: Help with Itinerary - First Time to Scotland & UK

Doesn't the jacobite steam strain go from Fort William to Mallaig? An extra day in Oban might not be the start of the route. Alternatively, go via Maillag (at the end of the West Highland Line, and the Jacobite) and then get the ferry across to Skye to Armadale. A little bit of logistics called for as you need to get your car to Mallaig, and obviously can't take this on the train!

Fx