3 Weeks in Scotland - May 2019

Reply

Apr 12th, 2018, 05:45 AM
  #21
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,393
Some random thoughts...

Since this is next year, presumably you haven't bought air tickets yet (you can't) so why not fly into Aberdeen instead of Edinburgh and start the loop from there? That would save a lot of boring driving on the A9, and you probably wouldn't be penalized for a one-way car hire between Scottish airports. Moving your Edinburgh nights to the end of the trip would also give the weather time to improve, since these would (presumably) be non-car days.

Kilmartin is a very small place, with limited lodging and food options. I'd personally stay in Inveraray and just allocate a couple of hours to Kilmartin en route between island stay-overs.

I'd make every effort to include a drive down Glen Etive (just east of Glen Coe) in the itinerary. One of the best hours (or two) you can spend in the Highlands IMO.

While I'm not especially a fan of Oban, the ferry from Oban to Mull would afford you the opportunity to see Duart Castle (on Mull) from the ship or on land. It's one of the most iconic castles in the Highlands, on a par with Eilean Donan up by the Kyle bridge. This, along with Glen Etive, might lead to a revised route between Mull and Skye, possibly using the A830 (the "Road to the Isles") through Glenfinnan to reach (or return from) Skye, rather than traversing the Morar area as your current plan shows.

Anyway, just some thoughts...
Gardyloo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 12th, 2018, 08:29 AM
  #22
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 61,657
>>I will be reaching EDI on 01-May morning. And the Speyside whisky festival starts from 02-May. So, if I want to attend it, I will have do the above route anti-clockwise.<<

OOPS - I skimmed over that bit. I'd still consider my route -- but just going south to north. (Unless you fly in to Aberdeen - or even Inverness - instead of EDI)
janisj is online now  
Reply With Quote
Apr 12th, 2018, 11:34 PM
  #23
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 76
Originally Posted by Gardyloo View Post
Some random thoughts...

Since this is next year, presumably you haven't bought air tickets yet (you can't) so why not fly into Aberdeen instead of Edinburgh and start the loop from there? ...

I'd make every effort to include a drive down Glen Etive (just east of Glen Coe) in the itinerary. One of the best hours (or two) you can spend in the Highlands IMO.

While I'm not especially a fan of Oban, the ferry from Oban to Mull would afford you the opportunity to see Duart Castle (on Mull) from the ship or on land. ...
Thank you. My tickets are not yet booked. Flying in to Aberdeen and flying out of EDI makes sense. I will keep this in mind when I book my tickets around Aug/Sep 2018.
Will check out the route suggestions too. Thanks.
RajatMakar is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 12th, 2018, 11:36 PM
  #24
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 76
Originally Posted by janisj View Post
>>I will be reaching EDI on 01-May morning. And the Speyside whisky festival starts from 02-May. So, if I want to attend it, I will have do the above route anti-clockwise.<<

OOPS - I skimmed over that bit. I'd still consider my route -- but just going south to north. (Unless you fly in to Aberdeen - or even Inverness - instead of EDI)
Yes, I also feel that this should be ok. Depending on the flight fares, time saving etc, will see if Aberdeen works out as starting point. Thanks again.
RajatMakar is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 16th, 2018, 07:45 AM
  #25
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 76
If I fly into Aberdeen instead of Edinburgh, the tentative plan I am thinking of is as follows :

Day-1 : Reach Aberdeen, pick up car and drive into Dufftown
Dufftown - 4 nights, Skye - 4 nights, Mull - 3 nights, Islay - 4 nights & Edinburgh - 3 nights
If the drive from Islay to Edinburgh gets too long, we will halt somewhere on the way.
Return car @ EDI once we reach


So, I have 2 options now, one starting from Edinburgh and another starting from Aberdeen. Will decide depending on the cost of flight tickets and the timings.

Any suggestions on the above plan, please let me know. Thanks for all the help !!!
RajatMakar is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 16th, 2018, 08:31 AM
  #26
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 61,657
That looks like a wonderful itinerary. The only issues issues are Day 1 and the drive to Edinburgh. Day 1 you will be just off a very tiring travel day long haul. It is less than 50 miles but you may bey very jet lagged. I'd consider staying one night in/near Aberdeen and travel on to Dufftown the next morning.

Islay to Edinburgh is a very long drive. A minimum of 7 hours without a single stop and easily 9 hours with just basic photo op stops and lunch.

So I'd plan on breaking the journey in either Inveraray or Crianlarich. One is just under half the drive time and one just over.
janisj is online now  
Reply With Quote
Apr 16th, 2018, 08:01 PM
  #27
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 76
Originally Posted by janisj View Post
That looks like a wonderful itinerary. The only issues issues are Day 1 and the drive to Edinburgh. Day 1 you will be just off a very tiring travel day long haul. It is less than 50 miles but you may bey very jet lagged. I'd consider staying one night in/near Aberdeen and travel on to Dufftown the next morning.

Islay to Edinburgh is a very long drive. A minimum of 7 hours without a single stop and easily 9 hours with just basic photo op stops and lunch.

So I'd plan on breaking the journey in either Inveraray or Crianlarich. One is just under half the drive time and one just over.
Thanks Janisj. While reviewing the itinerary, these are the exact 2 points which were bothering me.
For both Edinburgh and Aberdeen, the arrival time will be around 1.00 PM local time. So, it will indeed be relaxing to just settle down for the night, stroll around the town and sleep early.
For the drive from Islay to Edinburgh, we will mostly take a break. Thanks for suggesting Crianlarich
RajatMakar is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 16th, 2018, 09:16 PM
  #28
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 61,657
All in all that is a very nice plan (with the minor tweaks) at a pretty relaxed pace.
janisj is online now  
Reply With Quote
Apr 16th, 2018, 09:55 PM
  #29
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 76
While I have been reading online Scotland travel blogs and articles to learn about the country, I felt that a good book will be useful for my family to browse at leisure and know their "To do"
Ordered a paperback copy of "Scotland The Best" by Peter Irvine.
RajatMakar is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 16th, 2018, 10:05 PM
  #30
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 61,657
>>Ordered a paperback copy of "Scotland The Best" by Peter Irvine.<<

That is the absolute best resource for visiting (or even living in) Scotland. I kept loaning out my own copy so ended up buying a second one to keep just for myself (I think I actually have 3 copies around here somewhere)

It is wonderful - not a guide book as such but more a gazetteer / list of the "best" everythings.
janisj is online now  
Reply With Quote
Apr 17th, 2018, 12:32 AM
  #31
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 76
Edinburgh : 2~3 days

We have 2~3 days in Edinburgh. And this is how we are thinking to spend our time
Visit Edinburgh Castle, Arthur's Seat, Scott Monument and HMY Brittania (my son will love this). Any feedback on "Museum of Scotland"?
Walk around the town absorbing the sites - Royal Mile, Old town, Railway station etc
General Shopping of Scotland specialties, Visit few Whisky shops - Royal Mile Whiskies, Cadenhead etc
Food - Try local delicacies. We love to hunt for smaller joints which serve local delicacies at vfm prices.
While driving in or out of Edinburgh, we will take short break at Glenkinchie distillery - Not do the tour but just a photo op, pick some memorabilia.
We do not plan to do the Gold/Silver scotch whisky tour at Edinburgh considering the fact that we will visit the speyside whisky festival and quite a few distilleries.

Last edited by RajatMakar; Apr 17th, 2018 at 01:03 AM.
RajatMakar is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 17th, 2018, 06:10 AM
  #32
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 61,657
>>Walk around the town absorbing the sites - Royal Mile, Old town, Railway station etc<<

Old Town and the Royal Mile are one and the same (though Old town does spread south a bit, it is basically a narrow band parallel to the Royal Mile from the Caste to Holyrood). I wouldn't bother with the station.

Arthur's Seat mainly depends on the weather and if you want to hike. The views up top are fine - but with just a couple of days I might not spend 2 or 3 hours walking up Arthurs Seat and back. You can get great views from the Castle and from the observation deck at the Museum of Scotland.

The Scott Monument is just there -- you can't miss it. No need to go inside really. I enjoy visiting the Brittania -- it is up on the Firth so a bit of a jaunt from Princes Street/Old Town. How old is your son? Easy to visit if you have 3 days, a rush to fit in if you only have 2 days. The Museum of Scotland is wonderful -- Whether you visit or not will be mostly a matter of time.
janisj is online now  
Reply With Quote
Apr 17th, 2018, 09:11 PM
  #33
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 76
Originally Posted by janisj View Post
Arthur's Seat mainly depends on the weather and if you want to hike. The views up top are fine - but with just a couple of days I might not spend 2 or 3 hours walking up Arthurs Seat and back. You can get great views from the Castle and from the observation deck at the Museum of Scotland.

The Scott Monument is just there -- you can't miss it. No need to go inside really. I enjoy visiting the Brittania -- it is up on the Firth so a bit of a jaunt from Princes Street/Old Town. How old is your son? Easy to visit if you have 3 days, a rush to fit in if you only have 2 days. The Museum of Scotland is wonderful -- Whether you visit or not will be mostly a matter of time.
Thanks. We are interested in doing simple hikes and walks, carry some packed snacks/lunch and have a small picnic. So, few hours for Arthur's seat should be ok. I have also been reading up about Ben Navis climb but that will almost need a whole day. but we will feel great if we can do it even by the tourist route. In mid-May, we can also expect some snow at the top. Another simpler way to enjoy the views will be the gondola ride to Aonach Mor. I will check further if we can manage this time on the day we drive from Skye to Mull.

My son will be 11 when we travel.
RajatMakar is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 17th, 2018, 10:07 PM
  #34
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 61,657
>>I will check further if we can manage this time on the day we drive from Skye to Mull.<<

Not if you take the best route(s) from Skye to Mull. You would be taking the Kilchoan or Lochaline ferries and not go near Ben Nevis. But even if you went the long way around via Ft William and Oban . . . Ben Nevis is totally (like absolutely 100%) weather dependent and to expect the weather to cooperate at the precise time you'd need is unrealistic. Most people who climb Ben Nevis (or even take the gondola) plan on staying in the immediate area several days in case they have to wait it out. It just isn't a place you can casually drive by and hike up.

Check out the info on this page Ben Nevis Walk via the Tourist Path (Mountain Track). Especially that it takes 8-9 hours by the tourist route and May is still too early.

An 11 yo will LOVE everything about Scotland . . . Lucky boy.
janisj is online now  
Reply With Quote
Apr 18th, 2018, 02:39 AM
  #35
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 175
I remember being at the top of Ben Nevis one day in June during a heat wave ( for Scotland!) in Fort William: it was snowing at the top of Ben Nevis with poor visibility, so be careful - especially with an 11 year old- that the weather is suitable for any attempt. Personally I find the Tourist route tedious; however, I understand the urge to climb the UK's highest mountain.

I would second a trip to the National Museum of Scotland - your 11year old will love it; a detour across the road to explain the story of Greyfriars Bobby might also interest him/ her.

Although it is probably too early for your trip, I thought you might like to read this recent newspaper article, given your interest in Scotch whisky:

https://foodanddrink.scotsman.com/dr...hed-by-diageo/
jtpj777 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 18th, 2018, 07:08 AM
  #36
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 76
Originally Posted by RajatMakar View Post
While I have been reading online Scotland travel blogs and articles to learn about the country, I felt that a good book will be useful for my family to browse at leisure and know their "To do"
Ordered a paperback copy of "Scotland The Best" by Peter Irvine.
And my book arrived. What better way to savour it than a dram of Macallan Slainte Mhath !
RajatMakar is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 18th, 2018, 07:22 AM
  #37
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 76
Originally Posted by janisj View Post
Most people who climb Ben Nevis (or even take the gondola) plan on staying in the immediate area several days in case they have to wait it out. It just isn't a place you can casually drive by and hike up.
Originally Posted by jtpj777 View Post
it was snowing at the top of Ben Nevis with poor visibility, so be careful - especially with an 11 year old- that the weather is suitable for any attempt.
I would second a trip to the National Museum of Scotland - your 11year old will love it; a detour across the road to explain the story of Greyfriars Bobby might also interest him/ her.
Thanks Janisj & jtpj777. Its clear that Ben Navis cannot be just a stop during the day's drive. If we are very keen to do it, we will need to modify our itinerary and plan a halt. Lets see how it goes. We have some time to decide.
Today I read up about the National Museum of Scotland. It's pretty interesting and we will drop in. Thanks again.

@jtpj777 - Read the article on Scotch whisky and Diageo. Thanks. I hope that these investments make the distillery visits more interesting without impacting the old world charm. I read somewhere folks rueing about how the Macallan's ambitious expansion has made the distillery visits factory like.
RajatMakar is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 18th, 2018, 08:58 AM
  #38
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 175
If you are concerned about the situation of industrialisation of Scotch whisky production, perhaps you should consider a detour on your way to Islay to visit the Springbank distillery in Campbeltown on the Mull of Kintyre.

They are the only remaining distillery in Scotland ( I believe?) that processes the whole of the whisky production on site - from malting to bottling. In addition, they have a policy of employing local people over machines for much of their production. ( plus Springbank is a lovely, mellow Scotch!).
jtpj777 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 18th, 2018, 09:36 AM
  #39
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 76
Originally Posted by jtpj777 View Post
If you are concerned about the situation of industrialisation of Scotch whisky production, perhaps you should consider a detour on your way to Islay to visit the Springbank distillery in Campbeltown on the Mull of Kintyre.

They are the only remaining distillery in Scotland ( I believe?) that processes the whole of the whisky production on site - from malting to bottling. In addition, they have a policy of employing local people over machines for much of their production. ( plus Springbank is a lovely, mellow Scotch!).
Thanks for this info. Will check how this fits in. Springbank is indeed a genteel one special to me for its fruity notes.
RajatMakar is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 18th, 2018, 10:05 AM
  #40
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 61,657
The Mull of Kintyre is a great area to explore. The distillery is about an hour south of the Kennacraig ferry terminal
janisj is online now  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:15 PM.