12 days in Scotland & Ireland's West Coast Itinerary

12 days in Scotland & Ireland's West Coast Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Scotland & Ireland's West Coast Itinerary

Start: Chicago, United States
Fly:  11​h
1
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
2
Kirkwall, United Kingdom
— 1 night
Fly:  3​h
3
Inverness, United Kingdom
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
4
Fort William, United Kingdom
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
5
Isle of Skye, United Kingdom
— 1 night
Bus + Fly:  12​h 15​min
6
Killarney, Ireland
— 2 nights
Fly:  14​h
End: Chicago, United States

2
nights
Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Edinburgh ©
World Heritage-listed Edinburgh combines ancient and modern in a uniquely Scottish atmosphere.
Edinburgh Castle and Royal Yacht Britannia are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Your inner history buff will appreciate Rosslyn Chapel and Palace of Holyroodhouse. Next up on the itinerary: see the interesting displays at National Museum of Scotland, steep yourself in history at The Real Mary King's Close, make a trip to Advocate's Close, and take a stroll through Edinburgh Old Town.

Start your trip to Edinburgh by creating a personalized itinerary on Inspirock.

Chicago, USA to Edinburgh is an approximately 11-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of train and flight. Traveling from Chicago to Edinburgh, you'll lose 6 hours due to the time zone difference. Prepare for little chillier weather when traveling from Chicago in May: high temperatures in Edinburgh hover around 58°F and lows are around 43°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Fri) early enough to travel to Kirkwall.

Things to do in Edinburgh

Historic Sites Museums Nature

Side Trip

Rosslyn Chapel
Highlights from your plan
Rosslyn Chapel ©
Rosslyn Chapel
Edinburgh Castle ©
Edinburgh Castle
The Real Mary King's Close ©
The Real Mary King's Close

1
night
Kirkwall, United Kingdom

Kirkwall ©
Kirkwall is the largest town and capital of the Orkney Islands of Scotland. On the 16th (Sat), take in the spiritual surroundings of Saint Magnus Cathedral, contemplate the long history of Bishop & Earls Palace, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Italian Chapel on Lamb Holm, explore the ancient world of Maeshowe, then delve into the distant past at Ring of Brodgar, and finally explore the ancient world of Skara Brae.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, use the Kirkwall trip planner .

You can fly from Edinburgh to Kirkwall in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of train and bus. Traveling from Edinburgh in May, you will find days in Kirkwall are slightly colder (53°F), and nights are about the same (40°F). Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Inverness.

Things to do in Kirkwall

Historic Sites

Side Trips

Stromness, Maeshowe, Italian Chapel on Lamb Holm
Highlights from your plan
Saint Magnus Cathedral ©
Saint Magnus Cathedral
Skara Brae ©
Skara Brae
Ring of Brodgar ©
Ring of Brodgar

1
night
Inverness, United Kingdom

Inverness ©
Inverness, often described as the Gateway to the Highlands, is a thriving commercial and industrial center.
Start off your visit on the 17th (Sun): witness the site of a historic battle at Culloden Battlefield, step into the grandiose world of Cawdor Castle, then kick back and relax at Nairn Beach, and finally contemplate the long history of Fort George.

For reviews, maps, and more tourist information, read Inverness online journey planner .

Traveling by flight from Kirkwall to Inverness takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of flight and train. Expect a daytime high around 58°F in May, and nighttime lows around 41°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sun) so you can go by car to Fort William.

Things to do in Inverness

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Nairn, Culloden Battlefield
Highlights from your plan
Culloden Battlefield ©
Culloden Battlefield
Cawdor Castle ©
Cawdor Castle
Nairn Beach ©
Nairn Beach

2
nights
Fort William, United Kingdom

Fort William ©
Fort William is the second largest settlement in the Highlands of Scotland with around 10,000 inhabitants – and the largest town: only the city of Inverness is larger.Fort William is a major tourist centre, with Glen Coe just to the south, Aonach Mòr to the east and Glenfinnan to the west, on the Road to the Isles. On the 18th (Mon), steep yourself in history at Glenfinnan Viaduct, then take in the awesome beauty at Nevis Range Mountain Resort, then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Ben Nevis, and finally take in the dramatic scenery at Steall Waterfall. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get a taste of local nightlife at Caledonian Canal Visitor Centre, then contemplate the long history of Fort Augustus Abbey, then contemplate the long history of Glenfinnan Monument, and finally appreciate the views at Glen Coe.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, read Fort William journey maker site .

Getting from Inverness to Fort William by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Isle of Skye.

Things to do in Fort William

Nature Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Fort Augustus, Glenfinnan, Glen Coe
Highlights from your plan
Ben Nevis ©
Ben Nevis
Glenfinnan Viaduct ©
Glenfinnan Viaduct
Glen Coe ©
Glen Coe

1
night
Isle of Skye, United Kingdom

Isle of Skye ©
Blessed with picturesque lochs and a dramatic, rocky coastline, the far-flung Isle of Skye remains one of Scotland's most beloved destinations.
On the 20th (Wed), explore the striking landscape at The Old Man of Storr, then take in the dramatic natural features at The Quiraing, and then take in the dramatic natural features at Kilt Rock.

Discover how to plan a Isle of Skye trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

Drive from Fort William to Isle of Skye in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In May in Isle of Skye, expect temperatures between 56°F during the day and 44°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Killarney.

Things to do in Isle of Skye

Nature Parks
Highlights from your plan
The Old Man of Storr ©
The Old Man of Storr
The Quiraing ©
The Quiraing
Kilt Rock ©
Kilt Rock

2
nights
Killarney, Ireland

Killarney ©
Continuously inhabited since the Neolithic period, Killarney draws visitors with its picturesque natural scenery, fine restaurants, and traditional pubs.
Explore hidden gems such as Molly Gallivan's Cottage & Traditional Farm and St. Mary's Cathedral. Ross Castle and Muckross Abbey will appeal to history buffs. Spend the 23rd (Sat) exploring nature at Killarney National Park. There's more to do: appreciate the views at Gap of Dunloe and admire the sheer force of Torc Waterfall.

To see more things to do, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, go to the Killarney trip website .

Getting from Isle of Skye to Killarney by combination of bus and flight takes about 12.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of car and ferry. In May, daily temperatures in Killarney can reach 59°F, while at night they dip to 48°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Killarney

Nature Parks Historic Sites

Side Trip

Molly Gallivan's Cottage & Traditional Farm
Highlights from your plan
Killarney National Park ©
Killarney National Park
Muckross Abbey ©
Muckross Abbey

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