10 days in Scotland August 2008

Jan 16th, 2008, 12:03 PM
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10 days in Scotland August 2008

My husband and I are planning a trip to Scotland. We will be flying into Edinburgh early on August 22nd and staying in Edinburgh 2 nights. We already have our reservations at a B&B and tickets to the Military Tattoo for Saturday, August 23rd. On Sunday August 24th we will pick up a rental car and head out north of Edinburgh for 8 days of travel to see the best of Scotland before driving to North Wales on Sunday August 31st.
We like beautiful scenary, castles, and good food. We want to avoid large cities and indoor activities. Any suggestions for things we should not miss?
This will be our 2nd trip to Scotland. We were there last year in September and toured around the borders & Edinburgh and decided we had to come back this year and see more.
PHayden is offline  
Jan 16th, 2008, 02:00 PM
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Just a couple of quick comments. 8 days really isn't that long - if it were me I'd choose a couple of areas I really wanted to see and stay maybe 3 nights in each and then have the 2 remaining days to "play with" in the itinerary. You simply can't see the "best of Scotland" in 8 days so see the BEST of 2 or 3 parts. There are basically no large cities and few indoor activities to worry about and there are castles and amazing scenery everywhere.

Speaking of the best of Scotland - there is a wonderful book - "Scotland the Best" by Peter Irvine which is about the best single resource for exploring Scotland.
janisj is online now  
Jan 16th, 2008, 03:08 PM
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A year or so ago there were several people who were planning tours of the highlands/ trossachs/ skye for a week or so. Here is one trip report (misha2)-

Here's a nice planning thread for a Scotland trip:

I'd spend the 8 days in the west - some Highlands and at least one island. janisj's recommendation is spot on. Peter Irvine's book has been my Scotland "bible" since my first trip in 1999. I'm on my 3rd onenow, as I keep updating the edition. It has never steered me wrong, and I found my two favorite places in Scotland from the book (this was before I found Fodor's forums, but I still swear by the book).
noe847 is offline  
Jan 16th, 2008, 03:20 PM
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My trip report might give you some suggestions:

Michael is offline  
Jan 16th, 2008, 04:45 PM
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Another trip report for you to consider (started with 7 days in London, then spent 9 in Scotland):
twk is offline  
Jan 19th, 2008, 04:23 AM
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Noe - if you don't mind me asking, what/where are your two favorite places in Scotland?
barbara313 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2008, 02:48 PM
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I am going to order "Scotland the Best" to help plan my trip - but the most recent edition I can find on Amazon is 2005. Is this the lastest or should I look elsewhere for a newer one?

Thank you
RagtopGirl is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2008, 04:09 PM
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go ahead and get the 2005 edition - it isn't the sort of book the requires continual updates. No prices/timetables/room rates are mentioned for instance
janisj is online now  
Jan 22nd, 2008, 05:44 PM
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If the 2005 is the most recent available, then go for it. There are things that change from edition to edition, especially the restaurants (new ones added; some no longer in business). We found our favorite lodging - a 'restaurant with rooms'- from the book, and a later edition tipped us off that the establishment was on the block. Sure enough, it was in new hands by the time of our third visit. We were very grateful that we had been there twice with the fabulous chef/owner.

As for my two cherished spots in Scotland:

- Glen Affric, 15 miles west of Loch Ness, on tiny local roads. This nature reserve contains a large stand of virgin and regenerated Caledonian pine. In the glen you get a feel for primeval Scotland, very different from the sheep and cow grazing land that you see throughout the rest of the country.
Here's a link to pictures from our most recent visit to the Glen (August 2005):

- Pluscarden Abbey, near Elgin and not far from to the Whisky trail. The medieval abbey fell into ruins but was given to an order of Catholic monks about 50 years ago. They have done some rebuilding/ restoration and run a stained glass workshop. They keep bees, make honey and wonderful lip balm. I found this to be one of the holiest places I've ever been.

Here is the poem from the abbey's home page:
Profound the peace of Pluscarden,
As if the pine-green closing hills
Shut in the grace
Of God and all his holy Saints.
The Lauds and Matins of the past,
In that calm place,
Still seem to linger on the air
Half-heard, half-dreamt, so wholly felt
There is no time,
The soul is raised above the now,
Beyond the then. Eternity
Of faith sublime
Outlasting all the moods of fate
And savage treacheries of man,
To rise again
Triumphant from defeated stone,
And draw within its sanctuary
All human pain.
noe847 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2008, 03:36 AM
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First, if you want to get 'Scotland the Best', I think you should get the new one. Tourist sights may not change much but hotels, pubs & restaurants do. Personally I think Pete Irvine is a t*sser but I'll concede his book has some useful info.

Second, I know you said you've got tickets for the Tattoo and you want to avoid large cities, but are you aware that you are coming at the height of several of Edinburgh's festivals (of which the Tattoo is the least attractive IMO) ? If you are at all interested in the arts, Edinburgh is the only place to be and 2 nights is nothing. See www.www.edinburghfestivals.co.uk for an overview of all of them, although there are not yet many details of this year's. Tickets for the International Festival go on sale first, on 2nd April. Tickets for the Fringe & the Book festival go on sale in June. The Art Festival starts on 24th July.

I do realise this may not interest you at all, but thought I'd mention it in case you hadn't realised quite how much is on here.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Jan 24th, 2008, 07:29 AM
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I agree getting the latest edition would be best. But if the 2005 is what you can find - you won't miss too much. The number of changes will be pretty small. The sites/sights/castles/lochs/walks/drives won't have changed.

janisj is online now  

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