Q:  We are five couples, aged 60 to 65. We want to visit Scotland and Ireland for 12 days in the beginning of June. Can you suggest a few places? We are particularly interested in the Scottish countryside.

 Marco  Says:

I suggest you start in Glasgow. Spend a day taking in the city, its art collections and other attractions before making your way to Loch Lomond for that Scottish Highlands experience you want. A short lake cruise will give you fine views of the surrounding peaks. From there, it is a two-hour drive to the iconic Inveraray Castle on the shore of Loch Fyne, Scotland’s longest sea loch. It is the ancestral seat of the duke of Argyll. Another hour’s drive brings you to Ballachulish, one of Scotland’s most scenic coastal spots, also suitable for a night’s stay. Portree, the biggest town in the Isle of Skye, is another three hours away. Known for its rugged landscapes, picturesque fishing villages and medieval castles, the ragged coastline of the Inner Herbrides is spectacular. Then, I suggest you spare a day each for Culloden and the medieval fortress of Blair Castle before making your way to St Andrew’s, the home of golf. Next, head to Edinburgh, about 90km/1.5 hours away. You should devote at least a day to Scotland’s capital.

Fly to Belfast (it’s quickest), where you will, of course, want to see the Titanic Belfast museum. Make your way to Dublin next for spectacular local sights. Then head to Blarney Castle, where it is obligatory to kiss the Stone of Eloquence, before heading to the beautiful town of Killarney on the shores of Lough Leane. In Ireland, don’t miss the stunning Ring of Kerry drive, which is a winding route with gorgeous mountain and coastline views. You should also include the Cliffs of Moher, an imposing 200m wall of sandstone. The city of Galway is another 90km away. Make a pit stop here before heading to Dublin for your flight back home.