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Trip Planning Advice Summer 2019

My wife and I are looking to make our first trip to Scotland from June 24 to July 6. The flight from the US is about $1,000 cheaper if we fly into and out of Manchester. We're in our 60's, but love to hike, My other main interests are photography and food/culture.
Day 1 - Fly to Manchester
Day 2 - Lake District (hike Helvellyn)
Day 3 - Lomond - Trossoch's NP
Day 4 - Oban
Day 5 - Ft Wm.
Day 6 - Ft Wm.
Day 7 - Isle of Skye
Day 8 - Isle of Skye
Day 9 - Isle of Skye
Day 10 - Inverness
Day 11 - Cairngorms NP
Day 12 - Edinburgh
Day 13 - Edinburgh
Day 14 - Manchester Depart 
Would appreciate any thoughts or suggestions on the Itinerary. We don't want to feel rushed or to try to do too much. 


  • VisitScotlandAmandaVisitScotlandAmanda Member, Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Hello @afrie122_comcastnet sounds like an amazing trip! I am guessing you're planning to hire a car upon arrival into Scotland to facilitate all of this? 

    Skye is very popular over the summer months so do make sure you book your accommodation as soon as possible so you don't miss out!
    Kiwi gal, relocated to Scotland. 
  • That looks like an eminently sensible itinerary and it doesn't look like you'll be too rushed.  Like Amanda says, Skye gets really busy over the peak period and it's not unusual for accommodation to be fully booked across Skye and much of the Highlands. Hiring a car will be key to this although it's not impossible to do it on public transport. I think @Horizons has done a fair bit of touring around these parts solely using public transport. 

    From a photography point of view, early starts are good to get the softer light of the morning and gives you the benefit of being at any honey pot areas before the crowds get there. If you plan to visit the Fairy Pools, Storrr/Trotternish or Fairy Glen on Skye then aim to be there either really early or very late on. The benefit of being there during midsummer is that you can visit as late as 9pm and still have the light on your side. 

    Two days in Fort William gives you time to explore Glen Nevis (Steall Falls are worth a look) and over towards Glenfinnan and Mallaig on your way to Skye.

    Hiking wise you are going to be thoroughly spoiled for choice! Skye in particular is phenomenal and you depending on experience there's heaps to go at from easy walks along the coast to airy ridge walks. I'd recommend picking up a couple of Cicerone Guides for Skye and the Cairngorms 
  • Thanks for the detailed reply. I'm hoping to book everything in the next week or so. I'm following you on instagram now.
  • FullStopNextChapterFullStopNextChapter VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭
    Sounds like a fabulous plan @afrie122_comcastnet

    Hopefully the weather shall be on your side but be sure still to pack waterproofs and layers (especially if you plan on doing any hill walking). As most of your trip will be on the west coast you may want to invest in some midgey spray. It is readily available here and will help deter the little blighters! 

    As mentioned by @LochNessPhotography you will be rewarded for your efforts if you are up early for photos. I too, highly recommend a walk to Steall Falls. I don't like using the word epic, but it is very special.   
    Join in my new chapter over on the blog. Discovering all things that make Scotland the place everyone wants to visit. 

  • HorizonsHorizons Member, VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    @afrie122_comcastnet Your itinerary looks solid, I would only have 2 suggestions
    1. Consider hiring a car from a company where you can drop off the car in Edinburgh after picking it up from Manchester. There is a train to Manchester Airport from Edinburgh and I believe that might be a good way to get back to the airport given the long flight that would lie ahead.
    2. I would choose 1 base for day 10 and 11 as getting to Cairngorms NP from Inverness takes very little time. Towns like Carrbridge, Tomatin and Aviemore are good examples.
    For food / culture, one of my favourite Scotland travel memories was / is to find a speciality ingredient or a food / drink artisan. I collated a few that I compiled into this post. Try to seek some new ones yourself. The biggest must do (if you like eating shellfish and seafood) is getting a big platter at the Oban Seafood shack. It is unforgettably fresh and affordable. If you are ok on rough seas, I would also recommend making Oban 2 nights, Ft William 1 night and taking the 3 isles tour touching Staffa and Mull from Oban (my review here, Staffa is my top place to see in Scotland).

    Hope this helps 
    I'm Anirudh, an Indian travel blogger who has explored a lot of Scotland by public transport. My blog. Find me on Facebook | Instagram

    Best of Scotland in 1 week itinerary (fully by public transport)

    My Scotland travels (includes EdinburghSkye, HarrisMullArranOrkneyLoch Lomond, Islay, Oban, DunoonSpeyside)

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