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First Time Vistor Plan - Too Ambitious?

I am planning our first visit to Scotland. We're both excited and confused because there is so much to see in so little time. We are accustomed to driving long distances in the US, but are told Scotland is quite different. We are interested in history and scenery. We have 10 days. My thoughts: Day 1: Arrive in Edinburgh, jet lag & light touring. Day 2: Tour: Edinburgh. Day 3: Drive to Falkirk, Kelpies, Stirling, Bannockburn, Pitlochry. Day 4: Drive to Inverness with stops along the way. Day 5: Day trips from Inverness. Day 6: Drive to Loch Ness, Ft William, Oban. Day 7: Join a day tour to Mull, Iona and Staffa. Day 8: Drive to Glasgow area. Day 9: Tour Glasgow & region. Day 10: Drive to catch the ferry in Cairnryan to go to Ireland.
I was told by a Scottish friend that Day 3, Edinburgh to Pitlochry with several tourist stops was way too much because roads are slow and crowded.
If we're doing too much and can't extend the time, what should we cut out? Thank you.

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Best Answers

  • Samantha_GrantSamantha_Grant VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    Accepted Answer
    @StoneSearcher Hi there, I travel extensively in Scotland and often cover crazy distances in a day in search of remote spaces and scenery, your trip sounds perfectly doable if you're willing to get up and out early in the morning and spend a full day exploring.  Scotland is a lovely country to drive in with lots of pretty single track roads with amazing scenery. It sounds like a fun itinerary too - lots to see and do as you probably know as it looks like you've done your research.

    Last week we left Edinburgh at 7:30am and travelled to John O'Groats a distance of 268 miles.  We enjoyed lots of stops en route, a couple of short hikes and were tidied up and sitting down for dinner & wine by 7pm.  Just to give you an example of what you can achieve in a day. 

    Hope this helps. 

    Make sure you let us know how you get on and share some photos. 

    Have fun. 
  • YourScotlandTourYourScotlandTour Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 30 Accepted Answer
    Leave early on day 3, if driving, you'll be fine. 

    Use 35-40 mph as an average for calculating times :-)
  • YourScotlandTourYourScotlandTour Member ✭✭✭
    Accepted Answer
    Day 3 looks fine to me. I'd think there's a TOTAL of 3 hours driving. So spend the following times at the attractions 
    Falkirk wheel - 30 minutes
    Kelpies - 30 minutes - you don't *need* to go to the visitor centres... and they're 15 minutes from each other.
    Bannockburn - 1 hour 15 minutes
    Stirling Castle - 3 hours
    Wallace monument - 1 hour (10 minutes from the castle)

    And that's an 10 hour day... if you take 45 minutes for lunch.... Like I suggested before. Leave early and book a 10am Bannockburn slot... 

Answers

  • fishyprofishypro Member ✭✭✭
    @StoneSearcher, in my personel opinion, this is very ambitious, especially day 3! I do understand that this is your first time to Scotland and you want to see as much as possible but maybe you could reconsider and concentrate in just one area of Scotland and then revisit to continue your adventure some other time.
    If you decide to go ahead and complete the above itinerary then I would suggest that you book your accommodation well in advance. Please, also, be aware that there are lots of accommodation providers that no longer accept one night stays on certain days or times of the year. What dates are you travelling? Make sure that the Pitlochry accommodation is not on a weekend unless you are staying for 2 nights or you can handle any level of accommodation.
    However you decide I am sure that you will enjoy yourselves. 
    Best regards
    fishypro
  • StoneSearcherStoneSearcher Member ✭✭
    Thanks. This is late June.
    For the ambitious Day 3, would it be more reasonable to skip the Kelpies and the Wallace Monument, see the Falkirk wheel, Bannockburn, & Stirling Castle, and spend the night in Perth? Then on Day 4, drive from Perth to Inverness.
    On Day 8, we are actually going to see friends in a small town 21 miles SW of Glasgow. I now think I should skip Glasgow this time around, and see the Burns Cottage and enjoy the ambiance of Ayrshire. Any feedback is welcomed.
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