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What am I missing?

Hi everyone!  We are visiting Scotland in July 2019 and I've been planning for a while - everything is booked (so hopefully it's not too crazy of a plan!).  I just discovered this forum and had a few questions.....we are into history, photography, food/drink, local culture, museums, hiking, pretty much everything....our itinerary so far:

rent car in Glasgow, 1 night Tarbert (to get the am ferry)
3 nights Bowmore (pilgrimage)
1 night Oban - stopping in Kilmartin on the way
3 nights Portree
1 night Glencoe
3 nights Edinburgh (stopping at Stirling & Doune, Wallace Monument on the way - is that doable?)

1.  What other sites between our stays we should look into?  Locals & experienced travelers have insider knowledge!! and 2.  Is the Explorer Pass worth it?  I can't seem to find a concise list of what's included.

Thanks for any advice!!


  • gingingalgingingal Member
    Oops!  Newbie!! Reposting in the other section  :)
  • LochNessPhotographyLochNessPhotography Member ✭✭✭
    Hi @gingingal

    If you're heading from Skye over to Glen Coe I'd suggest either heading via Armadale and the Ferry over to Mallaig, that'll take you via Morar (amazing white sands) and Glenfinnan to Fort William. Or you could head via the Glenelg ferry, a manually operated turntable ferry and visit the Brochs before heading over Mam Ratagan and through Glen Shiel. There's an option then to head to Invermoriston and Loch Ness or skip it entirely and go to Invergarry and then down the A82 to Glen Coe. 

    Doune and Stirling is very do-able if you're travelling to Edinburgh from Glen Coe. You'll go right past all of them, so you could spend the day exploring as you make your way to the city. 
  • HorizonsHorizons Member, VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    @gingingal Fantastic itinerary!! Here is the link that contains the benefits of the Historic Scotland explorer pass which I feel is totally worth it. Bowmore is right in the middle of Islay and it is very easy to get to other distilleries by bus (so as to not have a designated driver). If possible, one of you should be a designated driver on the island.

    Here are some stops to consider: Machir Bay beach on Islay, Eilean Donan castle on the way to Skye, Kinlochleven on the way to Glencoe, possibly the 3 isles tour ex-Oban to see Iona and Staffa (though that is a bit tight for you). Stirling, etc is quite doable during the Edinburgh leg of your trip.

    Skye is fantastic, I think you'll enjoy your 3 days there as long as the weather cooperates. Get early (7-8 am start) to Fairy Pools to avoid parking disappointment / pain.
    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)

  • gingingalgingingal Member
    Thank you both for your replies, LochNessPhoto & Horizons - especially that my itinerary is looking good - I needed the validation!  Islay bus is a good idea - I was to be the designated driver there (gin gin gal, not whiskey gal - he can have mine) but maybe bus is better.  Have plans to do Skye attraction super early but also to do some off-the-beaten-path ones as well to avoid crowds.  I will look into your other trip suggestions, and appreciate your time.  Thank you SO much!!
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