Tour of Jockland - Advice wanted

As is the norm for us at this time of year, me and the OH are now planning next years holiday.

She has decided that this year (next year) she wants to go and see Scotland.

Now, I have explained to her that we will require multiple inoculations, a stab and bullet proof vest each and strange money, but this has not yet put her off. I have also put the question "why" to her but it is all to no avail. I thought I'd get that lot out of the way to save you lot having to say it.

I have personally done it before with another bird, all be it quite a few years ago and seen as I didn't really like her that much, restricted the visit to places I wanted to go such as Culloden (where I could walk around smirking).

So, I'm looking for a good itinerary for a tour. Obviously need to do the "big ones" such as Loch Ness and Edinburgh Castle, but could do with some advice to from someone that has done such a thing before.

I may drive the entire way, in which case we are looking at starting on the Cumbria border, or I may fly to one of the airports and hire a car, in which case I am looking at starting from "Airport X".

Will have two rug rats in tow, one who will be 11 by then and the other who will be 7, so, anything that may keep them impressed would be a bonus (things such as military museums etc will keep them happy) but will also need to make it interesting for the OH.

A MUST will be Edinburgh Castle as my Granddad, who was 3rd Carabineirs and lost his leg in Burma (very thoughtless of him, bet he got billed for it) has his records held at the RSDG Museum and I intend to go have a look. Loch Ness will be another must for the OH and kids.

Would be looking at staying in hotels (which I can sort) as we travelled so it isn't really a request for "best hotels" to stay, it's more of a "route" to take and best things to see.

Thanks in advance for the informed answers, lick my sack in advance to the likes of MDN's answers.
If you fancy the West Coast Loch Lomond is Good, as is the walking around there. Added bonus of the Golf Course doesn't hurt either!. I know you didn't ask for hotels........... but I'll recommend this one anyway, good locally sourced grub, very friendly staff and fantastic views of the Clyde. LInk Murdo and his staff are a real good bunch :)
Do the whisky trail, that'll teach the OH.
absolutely agree on fort george.
Dont know if this link will work but its fort george aerial photo - the defences are pretty special!

link I hope

failing the link enter Fort george on the forts on the peninsular and then look to aerial image
tiger stacker said:
If you get a chance visit Fort George, rare to find a ancient barracks still in use.
Oh, I don´t know, there are a fair few around that look like they should be ancient :D
Go up during the Highland games season a good day out.Edinburgh when the festival is on.Findhorn Foundation get in touch with your ECO side,Skye and Orkney worth a look to.Great train ride between Inverness and Kyle of Lochalsh.
The tough call is the kids - looking a scenary has limited interest at 7 & 11 years old.

As you drive North from Cumbria, think about turning left at Carlisle and check this place out is run by an ex Gunner, is excellent value and well placed to do some beginners sailing and climbing on an activity day or days.

North to Lochaber, around and south of Fort William offers some of the best outdoor pursuit countryside in the Uk although 7 is possibly a wee bit young. B&B's or camping? Don't dismiss Youth Hostels out of hand, some sites are in the most spectacular locations in Scotland, this for example

BTW, Culloden is a big bore, not much to see unless you are very historically minded.

Whilst the grand tour may sound appealing, equally good can be renting a cottage in one location and using it as a base has it's attractions. You might consider places on the West coast or some of the islands. The temperate weather and fine sandy beaches may be something of a surprise but you and the family must be happy to be outdoors to get the most out of it. This gives you a taste of whats out there although a lot of properties on this site are high end,

There is, I admit, much to see in Edinburgh but as a Highlander I really would encourage you to get North and off the beaten track to really enjoy an experiance your children will remember for a very long time. Do it all, a bit of camping, a bit of hosteling, B&B's or perhaps rent. Be careful though, you might find yourself returning.................

Oh! and the fishing, Lord the fishing.........
Don't go anywhere near Aberdeen. Its a dump.
Free entry to Edinburgh Castle with your Mod90, If your missus has a spousal one, make sure she takes it. Time your visit to coincide with the one o'clock gun. Whilst in Edinburgh, the kids will probably enjoy a visit to Mary King's Close. The Witchery is a good place for an evening meal.

Stirling Castle, as mentioned, is also worth a look, as is the nearby Wallace Monument. I've driven past Blair Drummond Safari Park thousands of times (literally) and never been inclined to visit, so I can't comment on it.

Loch Lomond is definately worth a look, especially from the Drymen end. Going through Drymen will take you to the foot of Ben Lomond, an easy climb (though have the right gear), and there is a good pub there for when you get back down. If you want a trip on Loch Lomond, then there are cruises from Balloch.

All the other recommends seem pretty good as well (though I wouldn't bother with Falkirk, wheel or no wheel).
When (as in month) are you going? It does make a difference.
I would put it off for a year as it is Homecoming and living in Oban I can only imagine how much the price of everything is going to rise.
I'd definitely recommend the West coast, there's some really nice places to see. Also if you have the time, make sure and visit Skye it's a great place with some really spectacular views.

If the missus is up for driving perhaps you could look at the Whisky Trail too?

Give this site a look for more ideas:
I live near Ben Nevis - undoubtably the west coast has to be on any touring itinery. Justifiably popular and without doubt the most spectacular scenery in the country. (no bias)

As has been mentioned though, time of year for trip is quite important. You can be lucky / unlucky with weather at any time. I recommend to folk either early to mid-May or mid-September as these periods often give most stable weather. Also no midgies then. (Can tend to drive the uninitated a bit mental.)

Loch Ness, despite iconic image, is invariably a disappointment - one of our least picturesque lochs and tacky museums selling the 'myth'.
Enroute to Loch Ness you'll pass the Commando Memorial - stunning spot.

Fort George as mentioned, should be visited - best preserved Hanovarian Fort in Europe.

Most visitors stop at Inverness, but if time allows, a couple of days touring north-west Highlands is recommended. Wild and stunning mountain landscape.
On all car-touring, there's countless opportunities just to pull over and take short-walks here and there. (Or to beast the kids)

Climb Ben Nevis if the weather's right.

The Highland Wildlife Park outside Aviemore also worth a visit with kids.

Falkirk Wheel is impressive to see. (40 minutes off the A74.)

If you want to do some family activities then there's plenty in Lochaber to go for - mountain-biking, open-boating, kayaking and much more. Here comes the sell - we have decent holiday accommodation near Fort William (not hotel, but rooms and chalets) and there's a activity centre just a 10 minute walk from us. They do stuff for all the family. PM me if you want more info.
Wherever you go, especially lochs, watch out for the midgies! the repelents dont work!

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