5 days in Scotland - Help!

Old Mar 3rd, 2003, 12:36 PM
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5 days in Scotland - Help!

Help! I have 5 days to spend in Scotland and I'm not sure how much time to budget for the sights I want to see. I would like to see Stirling, Glencoe, Skye, Wester Ross, Loch Ness, and Edinburgh. My rough itinerary is something like this, but I dont know if this is doable:

Day 1: arrive at EDI, pick up car, do Stirling and Glencoe; sleep ???

Day 2: Skye via Road to Isles...all day in Skye; sleep ???

Day 3: Skye to mainland via bridge, explore Wester Ross; sleep in Inverness???

Day 4: drive down Loch Ness; drive back to EDI, drop off car and sleep in Edinburgh

Day 5: Edinburgh; sleep in Edinburgh

Day 6: fly out of EDI in the morning

I really want to know what I should prioritize on Skye and recommendations on where to sleep. Thanks in advance!!

Jason
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Old Mar 3rd, 2003, 01:27 PM
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Two postsBR>I'm getting old and boring, Jason, but I'd lose something if I were you. However, if you're determined.......

Day One- Edinburgh to Ballachulish
Drive from Edinburgh to Stirling (passing Linlithgow Palace; and Stirling Castle and Bannockburn) then north to Callender, through Strathyre, past the Braes of Balquhidder (Rob Roy country), past Lochearnhead,and through Glen Dochart to Crianlarich and Tyndrum. Continue north across the edge of Rannoch Moor and down through Glencoe (the massacre of Glencoe) to Ballachulish. Spend the night at Kentallen or Port Appin depending on your budget.
Day 2, Ballachulish to Skye

Drive to Fort William (a bit of a railhead town but it does sit below the majesty of Ben Nevis, Scotland's highest mountain), then west, passing Glenfinnan, through Morar and Arisaig to Mallaig and get the ferry to Skye. Turn right and follow the road up from Armadale. The Isle Oronsay hotel is a wonderful place to stay; but it is not cheap.

Day three- Skye to Inverness

Skye is lovely and romantic and is where Bonnie Prince Charlie escaped to after Culloden, dressed up as a maid to Flora MacDonald and about which the song was written (actually he went from South Uist to Skye, not from the mainland, but why spoil a good story.)
As you drive north to Portree, you are approaching the Cuillins which are the most stunning mountains in Scotland. Stop and enjoy. Or you can visit Dunvegan Castle, Portree, Broadford, Uig, the Clan Donald centre and many more. Scenery terrific. Back on the main road to the mainland, you come over the last hill and see the most godawful bridge over the sea to Skye from Kyle of Lochalsh.

Just north of Kyle you will see signs to Plockton on the left. Take the detour. It's on every calendar of Scottish beauty spots you have ever seen. Drive down to Lochcarron and along the south side of the Loch. You will shortly pass one of the best signposts in the world. It says "Strome Ferry- (no ferry)". Cross the Bealach nam Bo and down to Applecross, Lochcarron. Go through Torridon and up to Gairloch then on round to Ullapool. Short loop back and through Lairg to Inverness

Day Four- Inverness- Edinburgh.

Why you would want to do this is beyond me. Loch Ness is not that great. Just go straight down the A9 and spend the extra time in Edinburgh. Trust me on this.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2003, 01:29 PM
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make that three..

Inverness is at one end of the Caledonian canal, which you need to see. It has nice pubs and hotels, but is essentially a sweet little town with little to keep you in it. It's what is nearby that matters. Leave towards Perth, Just before you leave Inverness proper turn left and go back as far as Culloden-6 miles.Come bck onto the A9 then south towards Aviemore then Newtonmore and Kingussie. I can never remember which comes first, but at one there is a superb 17th century barracks built by the English to keep the Scots down after Culloden. Worth a trip. It's immediately adjacent to Insch Marches which is another bird reserve- lots of brilliant ducks and waders. Somewhere here come off onto the old main road- less traffic and more scenic Next up you will come to Dalwhinnie- great whisky, great distillery. I don't know if it dies tours but it's worth stopping if it does. Go south again on the A9. You will pass a place called House of Bruar which markets itself as "the Harrods of the North" It's a real fancy shop and I hate to say it but I love it. Worth stopping. A couple of miles further on is Blair Atholl, another planned village and a superb castle for a visit. the Duke of Atholl is the only person is the UK licenced by the Queen to have a private army. Go south again and stop at Killiecrankie and see the famous soldier's leap. If you don't know the story, learn the song. Then drive back down to Pitlochry which is a tourist diveso don't stay long; although it is a good place to get your tweeds and tartans and woolens and things. Then drive on to Dunkeld, a lovely town on the Tay, with a beautiful historic square, a cathedral and some wonderful views. There's a pub in the village (the name of which I can't remember but it's the second one on the street on the right immediately over the bridge- you can't miss it) which is owned by Dougie Mclean one of Scotland's greatest contemporary singer songwriters. It can be a fine place to spend an evening.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2003, 01:29 PM
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Keeping south you come to Perth -a very nice little city; capital of Scotland before Edinburgh and imbued with history. There are two large parks on the edge of the city centre, the North and South Inches.(Inch is from the Gaelic innis- a meadow)The story goes that a particular Earl of Perth wanting to be buried in the City Church, St John's, told the town magistrates " If you give me six feet, I'll give you two inches". Take time to climb Kinnoull Hill which proudly overlooks the town and the Tay and is surmounted by a folly castle built by another Earl of Perth, who had done the Grand Tour and thought that the Tay valley was just like the Rhine except it didn't have castles on its hilltops- so he faked a couple. Just after you come to Perth you cross over the "Wicks of Baiglie" and can see right down the Tay valley to Dundee. Myth says that Julius Caesar made it this far, and seeing the broad fertile valley stopped and said "Ecce Tiberus!" (Look, the Tiber!). Before you get to the Forth, past Kinross, you reach to Loch Leven, where Mary Queen of Scots was locked up in the castle on the island (v. romantic..the story of the escape- she then fled to her cousin in England for succour. She locked her up for 20 years then beheaded her.(perfidious Albion!) There is a very pretty bird reserve at Vane farm on the south side on the loch. Then a handful of miles further on,
Dunfermilne is on your right. Robert the Bruce, the hero king who won Bannockbrn is buried here in Dunfermilne Abbey (although his heart is buried at Melrose in the borders); go back onto the main road and you will shortly come. Lastly, you cross the Forth Road Bridge; you pass the rail bridge, one of the modern wonders of the world on your right, and you don't even have to slow down.

And then you come to Edinburgh.


Everything that can be written already has been. Try the search button. Enjoy!
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Old Mar 3rd, 2003, 07:26 PM
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This info definitely helps. Thank you!
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Old Mar 4th, 2003, 03:13 AM
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I have made a number of folders of notes on Scotland, which I will send if you let me have an e-mail address. They also have very useful websites.
Do try to go to Elgol on Skye - from Broadford - and take the boat trip to Loch Coruisk in the Black Cuillin - smashing.
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Old Mar 4th, 2003, 11:05 AM
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Actually, I've already got some very helpful info from you via email, but any more help would be much appreciated.

[email protected]
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