Tyler's Blog: A trip to the Highlands
When my best friend visited me in Edinburgh and we had drank every pub in Edinburgh empty, we decided to conquer the Highlands. Instead of taking a tour, we opted for renting a car so we could have a unique experience, which we undoubtedly did and hopefully you can, too.
Renting a car
As long as one of your friends is 21 or over, you’re fine. You can rent a car on Avis for two nights over the weekend with unlimited mileage for 123 pounds. That includes the young driver surcharge and is cheap when split between 3 or 4 people.
Now, instead of being stuck on a particular route or time constraints, you are the tour guide. As with any tour vehicle, you need to name it. Our car was the ‘Skye Express’ and after some rain and dirt we could actually write it on the back.
I recommend renting from the airport. There was far less traffic and as someone used to driving on the right side of the road it was important to get used to being on the left side.
We departed from Edinburgh and made our way to Glen Coe and Fort Williams, driving alongside Loch Lomond. After Fort Williams, we went to find the Loch Ness monster. Passing our Airbnb, we made our way around Loch Ness and failed to find Nessie but this great view.
We had to get back to the boat to check-in so we were unable to visit Inverness. That was the only failure the Skye Express endured.
The next morning we were up early and had a cup of coffee, thanks Steve. The drive to Skye was beautiful and did not have any specials stops along the way. Because we opted to save money and not stay the night in Skye, we did have to choose a specific side of the island to explore. This decision was easily made as the eastern portion of the island has most of the well-known sites.
Once we made the loop around the north-east corner of Skye (Around 17:00), we drove back to Edinburgh.
Remember how I said Airbnb is cheap? Well, it is only as cheap as the area allows it to be and the Isle of Skye is expensive. That is why the second night we drove back on little sleep and only stayed in an Airbnb the first night.
In Invergarry, we stayed our first night on a boat situated in this valley somewhere in-between Fort William and Inverness. Steve, the owner of Lady Adonis, has far better photos on his posting than I took but you can see how unique of an experience it really was. With 3 guests, the fee is only 88 pounds and that is before you save from the Airbnb hustle. Up to 8 people can stay on the boat, so large groups are welcome.
Next to the boat, is another boat that functions as a pub and restaurant. Mention you’re staying on Lady Adonis, and receive a 10 percent discount.
Let’s talk money
Assuming you have three people in your group, my version of the Highlands tour will set you back 70 pounds per person, without the cost of fuel. Altogether, expect to spend slightly over 100 without food.
The best thing to do is bring some food with you not only to save money but also because you can drive for hours without seeing a restaurant. Also, when planning your route if you decide to visit different areas, you can search for sites on Trip Advisor with the map function. Simply look on the map near where your route is and search that area.
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