|Subject: Re: Another Scotland question + car rental return|
I've visited Scotland both ways in the past, with & without reservations & a set itinerary. I've also returned hire cars after-hours with no problems ever.
However, my caveat for visiting northwest Scotland in high season on the fly would be for your intended destinations. If the only islands you'd visit would be, say, Mull or Skye, you'll probably be ok for transport. Mull has frequent ferry service & Skye is now accessible via a bridge; otherwise car ferry schedules & reservations can be problematic. And although B & B's in Scotland are widely available & of consistently good quality, there are times when some areas are simply full, for example, when there's a big rock concert on Skye or during & immediately before the Edinburgh Festival.
On my most recent & quite successful trip to Scotland & the UK, I'd laid out a firm itinerary because I knew pretty much what I'd want to see & do. I prepaid hostel & B&B reservations along the planned route. I was glad I did! All the hostels save one were turning away visitors & many B&B's (as well as neighboring accommodations) had posted "no vacancy" signs, & this was mid-May, not mid-July.
Linda, that itinerary you found for a 3-week trip to Scotland had me exhausted just reading it. Yes, it's do-able, but at what a price! That plan doesn't take into account that many of the smaller roads in Scotland are single track with turnouts & a journey of 80 miles can take more than 4 hours. It can be quite fatiguing to look forward to that kind of intense driving every single day. I certainly don't care to do it anymore! The drive from Tobermory to Fionnphort on Mull is about 70 miles & took 3.5 hours due to intermittent rain squalls with terrible visibility & heavy oncoming traffic which required constant vigilance to find & use the nearest layby.
But, if you really are ok with serendipity, traveling in Scotland with only a vague plan isn't the worst you could do. No matter where you go, you're bound to have a wonderful experience.
Gail In Eugene but never for long