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Asking for advice

Scotland is in my mind: arriving mid/end-Sept 2017 for 2 weeks (flexible).

Landing in Edinburgh (2 days), I thought of the following (hire a car):

go to Loch Lomond & the Trossachs (Callander - Loch Katrine - Queen Elizabeth FP - Luss), then to Isle of Skye (via Rest and be thankful- Inveraray- Kilchurn- Oban(?)- Isle of Mull(?)- Glencoe - Fort William – Mallaig), then North up to Loch Maree(?) OR along Loch Ness – Inverness, Cairngorm - Perthshire – back to Edinburgh.

I would love to do it all, and more, BUT I feel my plan is a bit too loaded. I'll be on my own, and I don't want to drive long hours every day, nor change B&B every night. I rather leisurely enjoy the scenery, take easy walks, short boat trips - landscapes, flora & fauna is what I've in mind, and enjoy again the warm Scottish welcome that I remember well from my first visit 40 years ago :-).

Asking for advice - what parts of the route may be left to a next visit?   how to divide the route - where it would be sensible & nice to stop for more than a day, on the way before/after Skye? (I thought of at least 2 days in Skye, 2 in Perthshire).

Any chance to see autumn colors end-Sept.?

Many many thanks!

Best Answers

  • VisitScotlandMurielVisitScotlandMuriel Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Accepted Answer
    Hi @Niva_tlv
    Thanks for your post. Please remember that Scotland is a "wee" country and that in 2 weeks you have ample time to do all that you're planning to do. It would be a shame not to go to Loch Maree - it's a personal favorite of mine!! I have talked about it several times on the community... Also Skye, but do make sure you book ahead as it's very busy even in September. The Trotternish area (Old Man of Storr) is amazing!! I think if you go round in a circle either clockwise or anticlockwise that's the best way. Happy holidays!!  :D
  • VisitScotlandMurielVisitScotlandMuriel Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Accepted Answer
    Hi @Niva_tlv
    You can't do anything about the Scottish weather I'm afraid  BUT the good news is September is usually a good month weather-wise!! I was in Skye last year around the end of September and I experienced pretty good weather all in all (except on the drive up to Skye). So best of luck and please don't break your head over anything to do with the weather, it's not worth it :D. Get some good waterproofs instead.
    If you don't manage to find accommodation on Skye, you could go to Mull instead, much less busy and I am told just as nice - personally I haven't been but it's on my bucket list. 
    Your itinerary: How about a couple of nights in or around Callander (you could also visit Killin and Loch Tay), a night in Inveraray on Loch Fyne (do you like oysters? they grow them at Loch Fyne), a night in Oban then 2 nights in either Mull or Skye (if you go to Skye, don't forget to see Eilean Donan Castle at Dornie or go to Plockton to see Palm trees in Scotland!). Then head up to Loch Ness (almost compulsory and very busy) and Inverness (1 or 2 night stop?). Then head up to Loch Maree and Gairloch (overnight stop at the Old Inn in Gairloch - nice walk behind the Hotel and at night you can go down the harbour to see the fishing boats coming in with their catch) and back down to Inverness via Black Isle (do you like beer? you can visit Black Isle Brewery). On the way down if you like whisky there are many distilleries in the Speyside area (careful if you are driving!!) and you could stop in the Cairngorms - Aviemore has plenty of accommodation and you could spend two nights there. If you are interested in nature you will be interested to know that native Caledonian pine trees can be seen in the Rothiemurchus Estate and that you may also spot some red squirrels - they are quite rare in Scotland as the grey ones coming from America took over the native red squirrels. Then I would recommend a stop in Perthshire for 2 nights maybe in Pitlochry or Dunkeld - very nice walk to the Hermitage. Explore Glen Lyon near Aberfeldy and Fortingall which is home to the oldest Yew tree in Europe (around 500 years old), it's really worth it. Then I guess you will be back in Edinburgh (if you feel really plush you could stay at Gleneagles Hotel on the way down).
    Regarding planning your walks, please use the Walk Highlands website which shows everything from very simple to the more difficult walks - and not just in the Highlands.
    I hope this helps. For autumn colours, unfortunately end of September is a wee bit too early I'm afraid. You need to come in October to see the beautiful golds and reds and browns that this amazing season has to offer. Again have a lovely holiday and do not hesitate to speak to the locals or visit the local iCentres - they are full of good advice!


  • Niva_tlvNiva_tlv Member ✭✭

    Hi Angela, Thanks!

    I looked at the map, and any of the places you mentioned around Glencoe can be a good place to relax before taking the road to the Isles. 

  • Niva_tlvNiva_tlv Member ✭✭

    Hi Muriel, Thanks!

    Loch Maree is IN :-) Giving up doing the 500Route, at least a wee taste of the North (I like this 'wee', and the 'coo';-)).

    I understand that everything that has to do with Skye, but the weather, should be booked ahead of time. That's why I'm breaking my head how to break my plan into places/days...

  • Niva_tlvNiva_tlv Member ✭✭
    edited July 2017
    Hi Muriel,
    you are sweet and kind, and what you wrote helps a lot, reassure, and add new ideas. Thank you so much! I'm taking few days to digest it all - I keep on reading about Scotland almost everyday- and I'll be back with few questions.
  • LouALouA Member ✭✭
    Niva_tlv I just got back from a two week visit and I went to many places - starting in Glasgow, visiting Loch Lomand, GlenCoe, Isle of Skye, Inverness and all around that area and then Edinburgh. I would not recommend trying to see so much staying in one place because you do alot of driving from place to place and you would be covering alot of the same territory. I did 5 nights in Glasgow, 1 night Isle of Skye, 1 night in Aberfeldy, 3 nights in Inverness and 2 nights in Edinburgh. I used packing cubes in my luggage and each time I was shifting, simply packed items for the next stay in a single packing cube so I didn't have to unpack and repack all the time. I hope you have a wonderful trip. I am already planning my next trip to do some Island Hopping.
  • Niva_tlvNiva_tlv Member ✭✭
    Thanks LouA.
     I'm trying to balance my plan between moving & staying.
    Usually I try to travel out of season, and I book a place as I go...
    From what I read about Scotland, booking accommodation ahead is important.
    Have a lovely trip next time!
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