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A week in Scotland, + golf -- help please

A week in Scotland, + golf -- help please

Mar 26th, 2019, 08:58 AM
  #1  
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A week in Scotland, + golf -- help please

Hi Fodorites -- I haven't been here for many months. Unfortunately with a new miserable job that keeps me away from home for 12 hours a day, I have almost zero time for fun any more.

Hikrguy and I had an amazing, wonderful, memorable 12-night trip to Cornwall last June; it was really one of our best trips together and we definitely want to return. Thanks to all of the wonderful advice here, especially from Annhig, we were able to hike the South West Coast Path in various segments and it all worked out 100 percent. It was just spectacular! We had such a great time and met such wonderful people. Most unexpected joy: seeing a traveling opera company perform "Pirates of Penzance" in the round in a park in Penzance! Another joy: walking from Boscastle to Tintagel, and meeting some cows along the path! Most unexpected not-joy -- the 6-foot-wide roads with the hedges. I thought Hikrguy was going to freak out when a bus tried to go by.

And now we are planning a trip to Scotland. Hikrguy is turning 50 at Christmastime and for his birthday present he chose a golf lesson at St. Andrews, so we are trying to create a trip with that as the centerpiece. I'm the travel researcher for our trips, but because of my crazy job I just about have had zero time to do anything, and time is flying by.

So I'm asking for a little help. We are flying into Edinburgh from EWR, arriving morning of Friday June 28, and we are departing from Glasgow in the morning of Sunday, July 7. That makes 9 nights. We'll be renting a car at EDI and dropping it off in Glasgow. We are, of course, interested in hiking or walking or national parks. Can it be as gorgeous as Cornwall? Also, single-malt scotch and castles. I know my first priority is to get hotels, but -- do I want to first book Hikrguy's golf lesson and make a trip around that, or perhaps figure out the itinerary and then slot in a golf lesson?

With just 9 nights, we understand that staying in fewer places is better. A possible rough Itinerary:
Edinburgh -- Friday June 28- Monday July 1.
St. Andrews -- Monday July 1-Wednesday July 3 with a golf lesson. Hiking in Fife? Maybe staying somewhere outside of St. Andrews and in Fife? Or staying in St. Andrews?
Glasgow -- Wednesday July 3 - Sunday July 7. Plus hiking. Plus some Mackintosh designs, I'm a big fan!

Can anyone suggest some B&B's or small hotels that I can start my research with? We are comfortable paying up to 150 pounds a night, if necessary. We save money in food as we're not fancy eaters.

I appreciate any and all help and advice.
best wishes,
Hikrchick
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Mar 26th, 2019, 09:15 AM
  #2  
 
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Just very quick -- am dashing out but will be back in a couple of hours. >>do I want to first book Hikrguy's golf lesson and make a trip around that<<

Book the lesson first.

You have left very little time for hiking or seeing another part of the country. I'd probably only stay one night (2 max) in Glasgow and use the days gained for another more rural area. You can easily hit all the available Mackintosh sites plus some other things in Glasgow in one day. Lucky for you Hill House is supposed to re-open sometime in May (though that may change). Hill House can be reached by train from Glasgow -- but in your case I'd probably do it en route from where ever you end up staying between Fife and Glasgow. Argyll or the Trossachs would fit perfectly.

More later.
janisj is online now  
Mar 26th, 2019, 11:42 AM
  #3  
 
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For Glasgow, The Burrell Collection is well worth a visit.
historytraveler is online now  
Mar 26th, 2019, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by historytraveler View Post
For Glasgow, The Burrell Collection is well worth a visit.

The Burrell is closed until sometime next year.
janisj is online now  
Mar 26th, 2019, 01:07 PM
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I thought it was to reopen this year but you're right it's not until 2020.
historytraveler is online now  
Mar 26th, 2019, 01:34 PM
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janisj is the expert at all things Scottish and golf!

Yes, get the lesson (and try for a tee time also?) booked first. You may have to be flexible around that.

Other favorite courses:
Cruden Bay
Royal Dornoch.

Royal Dornoch is a bit north, but a great course. Of course, I am a links fan, so those are links courses.

I know that the vacation isn't all about golf, but it would be a shame to take clubs that far and only play once. : )

have a great time!
surfmom is offline  
Mar 26th, 2019, 01:54 PM
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Unless I'm missing something, I don't think you're going to have too much trouble booking his lesson, which will take place off the Old Course. My understanding is that getting access to the Old Course is extremely difficult and extremely expensive. (In fact, just checked, and it's fully booked until this coming November.) So let me just ask this (at the risk of a strong scolding) - does it have to be St. Andrews? This is Scotland, after all, and there are golf courses and instruction available all over the place, including right in the middle of Edinburgh.

For example, what if... you spent a night or two at the beautiful Prestonfield House hotel in Duddingston, an ancient village that was engulfed by Edinburgh a couple hundred years ago, but which has kept its small scale and rural feel, and features one of Edinburgh's (and Scotland's) best pubs, the Sheep Heid Inn? Prestonfield House is basically surrounded by the Prestonfield Golf Club, which also offers instruction similar to that obtainable in St. Andrews. There are views of Arthur's Seat from the course, and it's not a terribly long walk through Holyrood Park to the palace, Parliament and the foot of the Royal Mile. The hotel might exceed your budget for a couple of nights, but you'd save on car hire. Might be worth considering.

Prestonfield House - https://www.prestonfield.com/
Lessons - https://www.prestonfieldgolf.co.uk/o...ional/tuition/

If you want to stick with the St. Andrews plan, you could stay in St. Andrews itself, or in one of the picturesque "East Neuk" fishing villages like Crail or St. Monans, or in the lovely old royal burgh of Falkland, with its ancient palace and fab gardens. Map showing the locations - https://goo.gl/maps/G3gqLoCN8Kk . Use Undiscovered Scotland to learn more about these places, e.g. https://www.undiscoveredscotland.co....and/index.html

For some Highland and Islands time, I'd look at Mull and Argyll for a couple of nights. Mull is a lovely island, and you'll get moors, lochs, castles, prehistoric sites, a distillery or two, picturesque villages and gorgeous views without a great deal of time spent in transit. Here's a map picking up from Falkland, but going straight from Edinburgh is similarly straightforward. Ending in Glasgow would be easy. Google or use Undiscovered Scotland to see about the places on the map. https://goo.gl/maps/TJ8cFdehFR82

Pictures -

Sheep Heid



Crail



Falkland (which was used for "Inverness" in Outlander, by the way)



Tobermory, Mull



Duart Castle, Mull



Standing stones, Kilmartin Glen



Inveraray Castle (Cousin Shrimpy's home in Downton Abbey)





Last edited by Gardyloo; Mar 26th, 2019 at 02:13 PM.
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Mar 26th, 2019, 03:40 PM
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As usual good suggestions from Gardyloo. I don’t play golf but know about Preston Field. Can concur with advice about East Neuk and Mull/Argyll.
historytraveler is online now  
Apr 29th, 2019, 11:51 AM
  #9  
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Thank you all for your responses.
Gardyloo, you make a good point about the golf. I don't know where we stand on that point.
In fact we still have not done any planning. Last month Hikrguy finally booked three (fully refundable) B&B's in Edinburgh, St. Andrews and Glasgow, just so we would have somewhere to stay if we can't find the time to do more research.
At this point we might end up with arriving in Edinburgh with a book and a map and winging it. Gardyloo your photos here are incredible. I really want to get out and go for a hike.

this is the first time in a very long time where I have no time to do anything for a trip. And it's quite possible that it could turn out to be a lot of fun without over-planning.
We shall see. How bad could it be, really. We'll be in Scotland, on vacation. with hotels and a car. What more does one need ....
--hikrchick.
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Apr 29th, 2019, 02:32 PM
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You'll have fun

Just one little thing >> . . .with hotels and a car . . . <<

Cars aren't useful, and are actually a liability IN Edinburgh and IN Glasgow. Where specifically did he book? And do the places have parking?
janisj is online now  
Apr 30th, 2019, 05:50 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by janisj View Post
You'll have fun

Just one little thing >> . . .with hotels and a car . . . <<

Cars aren't useful, and are actually a liability IN Edinburgh and IN Glasgow. Where specifically did he book? And do the places have parking?
Janis: I'm now remembering more about this trip. It's like I have some sort of mental block with regard to all the planning. I'm remembering that Hikrguy was most concerned that we have a place to go when we arrive, and that we have a place for the last night before the morning flight home to EWR. I've just looked at the website for the place he booked in EDI and it looks lovely. I have to remember that he is also an experienced traveler and I can cede control of the trip planning to him and that he will come up with something good.

Looks like the itinerary is this:
June 28 Friday arrive from EWR morning. Overnight: Dorstan Guest House, 7 Priestfield Road, Newington, EDI, EH16 5HJ. Website explicitly says "private car park" Dorstan Guest House | 3 Star Guesthouse (B&B) Edinburgh
June 29 Saturday EDI Overnight: Dorstan Guest House
June 30 Sunday EDI Overnight: Dorstan Guest House
July 1 Monday leave EDI and travel to .... unknown.
July 2 Tuesday overnight unknown
July 3 Wednesday overnight unknown
July 4 Thursday overnight unknown
July 5 Friday Glasgow. Overnight: Argylll Guest House, 970 Sauchiehall street, North West, Glasgow, G3 7TH
July 6 Saturday depart morning flight for EWR

the car hire situation is, from what I remember: I think it's pick up on Saturday in EDI and return on Friday in Glasgow. I think he did it this way -- even if we don't use it all the days -- because it was less expensive to hire it for a full week than for fewer days. He got a manual transmission so he'll be doing the driving and I'll be shouting "Turning RIGHT stay to the LEFT!"

thoughts?
hikrchick is offline  
Apr 30th, 2019, 06:59 AM
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Regarding the Edinburgh and Glasgow locations, I think they're fine. In addition to its car park, the Edinburgh B & B is a very short walk from a bus stop on the Dalkeith Road, a major thoroughfare to/from central Edinburgh, and obviously the B & B is very close to golf at Prestonfield and quite walkable from Holyrood Park and the Sheep's Heid.

Will you still have the car in Glasgow or will you be dropping it before the night of the 5th? I imagine there will be some street parking in the area (you might need to see if the hotel offers any necessary permits or has any advice.) I really like that part of town; it's a short walk to the to the Kelvingrove Art Museum, the University of Glasgow's main campus, and my fave restaurant in Glasgow, maybe all of Scotland, the Shish Mahal. (Mouth watering as I write this.) Walking map - https://goo.gl/maps/n3R5deJZcnRjQvhT9

As for the four nights between Edinburgh and Glasgow, really, the sky's the limit, but to replay my broken record, I think the Glen Coe - Mull - Kilmartin - Inveraray - Glasgow route would be ideal for offering a terrific selection of highland and island scenery, a lot of history, some of it prehistoric, and not too much driving. Map - https://goo.gl/maps/ShkJ5uRnybh8yP7r8
Gardyloo is online now  
Apr 30th, 2019, 07:44 AM
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Perthshire has some good, reasonably priced golf courses and some decent hiking ( (although not quite sure exactly what that means?!).

Gleneagles ( pricey - Auchterarder cheaper)
Murrayshall in Scone near Perth
Dunkeld
Pitlochry ( steep starting 3 holes but geat views)
Kenmore
Crieff

Of course, there is always Trump International Golf Course just north of Aberdeen?! ( it is supposed to be a great course).



Last edited by jtpj777; Apr 30th, 2019 at 07:48 AM.
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Apr 30th, 2019, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Gardyloo View Post
Regarding the Edinburgh and Glasgow locations, I think they're fine. In addition to its car park, the Edinburgh B & B is a very short walk from a bus stop on the Dalkeith Road, a major thoroughfare to/from central Edinburgh, and obviously the B & B is very close to golf at Prestonfield and quite walkable from Holyrood Park and the Sheep's Heid.

Will you still have the car in Glasgow or will you be dropping it before the night of the 5th? I imagine there will be some street parking in the area (you might need to see if the hotel offers any necessary permits or has any advice.) I really like that part of town; it's a short walk to the to the Kelvingrove Art Museum, the University of Glasgow's main campus, and my fave restaurant in Glasgow, maybe all of Scotland, the Shish Mahal. (Mouth watering as I write this.) Walking map - https://goo.gl/maps/n3R5deJZcnRjQvhT9

As for the four nights between Edinburgh and Glasgow, really, the sky's the limit, but to replay my broken record, I think the Glen Coe - Mull - Kilmartin - Inveraray - Glasgow route would be ideal for offering a terrific selection of highland and island scenery, a lot of history, some of it prehistoric, and not too much driving. Map - https://goo.gl/maps/ShkJ5uRnybh8yP7r8
thank you thank you thank you! I feel so much more at ease now that an expert has given a thumb's-up. I saw that the Edinburgh B&B is within walking distance to the center of town which is perfect for us. And we are at ease with public transport; I work in NYC so I deal with it all the time.
Shish Mahal sounds lovely -- we love Indian cuisine! I assume there's some vegetarian options too?
I honestly don't know about the car situation. I guess we could drop it off early if necessary.
And as for your amazing route suggestion -- on the map it looks like a huge far loop. It's really not too much driving? But if you say it is doable I trust you 100 percent. I would love to show it to Hikrguy, especially the bit you say about some of it being prehistoric (I think he'd go crazy -- in a good way -- with that!). We did a ton of driving in Cornwall and he had a great time with that, so I would bet seeing a "terrific selection of highland and island scenery" on the trip would be an added plus.

Gardyloo, you've really put my mind at ease! Looks like I have my assignment for this weekend: researching all this good stuff. Thank you so much
hikrchick is offline  
May 6th, 2019, 01:26 PM
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Hikrchick, When we were at St. Andrews we did a pre booked guided walking tour of the old course. It took about 40 minutes from memory and was great fun. The guide was excellent and shared lots of trivia and finished the tour at a newish club house where we had a few drinks and admired the views of the course and the sea. I guess google will help if you think thatís a good idea, as I didnít organise the booking. We thoroughly enjoyed it.
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