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5 nights in Scotland, need help with itinerary

5 nights in Scotland, need help with itinerary

Feb 29th, 2008, 04:42 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 52
5 nights in Scotland, need help with itinerary

Gosh, I typed the entire thing and lost it somehow. Second attempt at framing some decent questions.

First background: We are 6 travelers (ages late twenties/early thirties), and this is the Scotland portion of our UK trip. First time visitors. We have a rough plan of action, but I would appreciate your suggestions to fine tune the itinerary.

So here's the plan. 23rd May, take the train to Edinburgh, spend 2 nights. Any hotel suggestions?

25th May. Hire two cars (or can we hire a van that would accommodate 6 people?) and head to the Inverness area. We'd like suggestions of places to stay somewhere near this area. We plan on visiting Loch Ness (I know, I know but we want to go anyways), Urquart Castle, Culloden Moor. Keeping this in mind, any reccos on where we should stay.

26th May. Drive to Fort William/Glencoe area. Again, any reccos on where to stay.

27th May. Drive to Loch Lomond area.

28th May. Drive to Edinburgh via Stirling and drop off the cars. Train back to London. Is this too much for this day?

Is this trip too much driving or is this doable? Should we drop a night from Edinburgh and add it somewhere else? Budget for accommodation is around 50-100 pounds per couple. Any help would be much appreciated.
boobaby is offline  
Feb 29th, 2008, 06:48 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
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http://www.dunainparkhotel.co.uk/

Don't know their current rates, but this is one of my favorite places to stay ever!
cmcfong is offline  
Feb 29th, 2008, 07:09 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
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Dunain Park is beautiful and the food delicious. It is well located for your travels around this area but is reasonably far from town. I slao think it is likely to be prett pricy.

An alternative, in Inverness itself, would be Rocpool Reserve, a beautiful boutique hotel. It too has an excellent restaurant frequented by locals and has a bar attached. It is within walking distance of the town centre if you are looking for some nightlife at all.

In Edinburgh I would recommend The Glasshouse which is very central with hip, stylish rooms.

Really would recommend staying in Edinburgh for at least 2 nights as there is so much to do/see.

Your last day of travelling is doable, but you will spend most of it in the car.
andyp67 is offline  
Feb 29th, 2008, 07:56 AM
  #4  
 
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People! All 3 places recommended so far are MUCH above the OPs stated budget. They are all very nice - but let's be practical, The Glasshouse will run about £180-£200 per night double. Dunain Park will run about £100-£115 per person. And Rocpool Reserve is easily £200-£300 per night.

So now for some other recommendations.

I might reconsider your itinerary. If you insist on staying in Inverness (I wouldn't, but you say it is a must) - then you don't need to stay as near as Ft William/Glencoe the next night. You can easily drive down the Length of the Great Glen, see Loch Ness, visit Urquhart Castle, visit Glencoe and get to the Loch Lomond area in one day.

Or you could just go as far as Glencoe and stay at the http://www.clachaig.com/ Highly recommended for its food as well. Then the next day you could explore Loch Lomond but stay near Stirling. Callander would be a good stopping off place since there are a lot of moderately priced hotels/B&Bs in w/i your budget and it is close to both Loch Lomond and Stirling.

If it were me, I'd try to book the Clachaig - perfect for a group your ages and then stay the next night in Callander or Stirling.

One possible fly in the ointment - you are traveling over the May Bank Holiday and many places in popular tourist areas will have a two night minimum
janisj is offline  
Feb 29th, 2008, 08:45 PM
  #5  
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Thank you so much cmcfong and andyp67 for your reccos. The hotels look fabulous but it looks like they might be beyond our budget... We will definitely spend the first 2 nights in Edinburgh. Any other reccos in our price range?

Janisj, I've read many of your helpful posts in this forum and I appreciate you taking the time to respond. our itinerary isn't really set in stone yet, so I'd love to hear your opinion on where you would stay other than Inverness on day 3.

Clachaig Inn looks great, thats just the kind of place we're looking for, so looks like we're going to go with that. I like your suggestion of staying in Callander for the last night. I know about the May Bank Holiday, so its best to have our accommodations sorted out and booked ahead of time, right?
boobaby is offline  
Feb 29th, 2008, 09:50 PM
  #6  
 
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Maybe http://www.kilravockcastle.com/index.html

You could have a "castle experience" for a lot less ££ than the typical castle hotel. Rates run from about £30-£60 per person. It is about 9 or 10 miles east of Inverness mid-way between I'ness and Nairn and not far from Culloden.
janisj is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 05:53 PM
  #7  
 
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I stayed at the Ardgarry b&B in Inverness. See:http://www.bedandbreakfast-directory...otels33242.htm

It was the nicest B&B we went to in our 6 week trip.

From Ardgarry, it is a 10 minute walk to downtown, to the laundrymat or to Tesco's. While there, we went to Johnny ?(something) pub, and the music was wonderful. It began at 10 and lasted til way in the morning. Everyone seemed to have a great time, dancing, singing, and enjoying.
jkbritt is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2008, 06:01 AM
  #8  
 
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I think it's do-able but would involve a lot of driving. During summer last year, my friends and I drove around the highland over 3 days. Started from Edinburgh (min 2days... there's a lot to see) and went to pick up a friend in Dundee (overnight). From Dundee - visited Glamis Castle - through Pitlochry - en route to Fort William... beautiful scenery. Also enabled us to visit Neptune Staircase & Inverlochy castle. Next day from Fort William we drove towards Glenfinnan, Mallaig, Morar and back, then continued on driving through Glencoe (gorgeous!!), Loch Lomond and spending the night in the Trossachs. The final day we drove by Loch Katrine, visited Inchmahome priory, Dunblane castle, Stirling castle and ended our journey in Glasgow.
Granted it was summer so the days were long, enabling us to drive longer. On the way we stopped to have picnics and countless times for photo opportunities or just to absorb the scenery (thank god for the digital camera!!)
I must say that Scotland is simply breathtaking!

In Edinburgh I stayed at Travelodge (half-way between Ediburgh Castle & Holyroodhouse Palace). Cheap, no-frills, basic - sufficient for those just seeking a place to sleep. If you book early enough, you can get one of their GBP19/night deals (and they have rooms for 3 persons)

In Fort William, I stayed at Berkeley House B&B. Friendly, comfy with great breakfast.

In Trossachs area I stayed at The Ridings. Very nice...

If you intend to visit a lot of castles, get the castle/historical site pass (I can't remember the exact name) but they allow you to visit all the major historical sites. Saved us a lot of money
kakijalan is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2008, 09:08 AM
  #9  
 
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Not surprisingly, I think janisj has given you great suggestions. We've been to Scotland twice, never did quite what she suggested, but I could see that for people your age without kids (which is who I went with last year so the needs/patience are different) you'll do fine with that itinerary.

Just wanted to add that I found the website www.scotlandby.com to be very helpful when looking for Edinburgh accommodations. We ended up staying at the Ravensdown Guest House which met our needs just fine. A 10 minute double decker bus ride to the city and good rates (although we stayed in August so it was pricier). Tiny bathrooms but clean, quiet and did the trick.
ccrosner is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2008, 09:40 AM
  #10  
 
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If you decide to stay in or around the Glencoe area, check out Strathassynt Guest House in Ballachulish: http://www.strathassynt.com/

There were three of us so we booked their family room - 1 double bed plus a set of bunk beds. I believe it was in the area of 90 pounds. It's not what you'd call stylish or hip lol, but it's friendly, cozy and clean. Nice lounge area with a huge library of books and DVDs (there is a DVD player in every room, but who has time to watch movies on vacation? lol). Yummy Scottish breakfast included. There is a pub right next door, however our one meal there was quite forgettable. It did look like a fun place to chill out and have a few beer, but take a pass on the food.

You'll love Scotland!
lifeofmytime is offline  
Mar 4th, 2008, 08:53 AM
  #11  
 
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Hotel suggestions for Edinburgh?- Try any of the Travel Lodges, Holiday Inn Express or Grassmarket Hotel

You will get a van that willc accommodate 6 people. We call them people carriers or SUVs.

Suggest you have a look at the Lovat Arms at Beauly, for your Inverness area hotel.

http://www.lovatarms.com/index.asp

It's a bit north of Inverness itself, but a good base for those visits.

On your next day, were I you, I'd drive via Fort William and then Glencoe, staying in the Clachaig or even getting as far as the Inverbeg on Loch Lomond. You migh usefully use the Clachaig as a base from which you could see Loch Lomond and the Oban area as well as Glencoe.

It would take you, maybe 2 1.2 hours to drive back to Edinburgh after that



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