Advice on Scotland & England Itinerary

Feb 5th, 2007, 07:21 AM
  #1  
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Advice on Scotland & England Itinerary

Trying the forum for the first time!

There are 4 of us traveling (my wife and 10 and 14 year old daughter). We have about 18 days to travel in Europe this summer. We plan to start in Scotland (flying into Glaskow) then off to Skye and the Highlands (4-5 days), back to Edinburgh (2 days).

We plan to spend 4 days or so in London and also finish with 3-4 days in Paris.

We have an additional 4-6 days to spend in the english countryside and are thinking of either the Lakes District or Corwall area. We love the outdoors and really would like to sink into a quite rural setting; not too touristy if that is possible.

Suggestions? Are we already trying to do too much!
nelcarp is offline  
Feb 5th, 2007, 07:26 AM
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Without actually outlining an itinerary for you (and,others are better at this than I am), I would suggest the Lake District as a much better plan than Cornwall. It'll be easier to fit it into your current plans...Cornwall is too far from your other choices.
historytraveler is offline  
Feb 5th, 2007, 07:27 AM
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18 days seems like a long time, but you also dont want to spend your entire time travelling and trapped in the car (especially with 2 young kids).
If you are flying into Glasgow - when are you planning to go up to skye. Are you spending any time in Glasgow?
And, keep in mind that this is a long drive from Glasgow to Skye. Either on the way up or the way back you will want to stop inbetween for an overnight. This might not give you as much time in Skye as you think.

steviegene is offline  
Feb 5th, 2007, 07:31 AM
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You are correct, we don't want to be on the move all of the time. We have tried to focus on staying some place for no less than 3-4 days.

My wife will be at Iona in Scotland for a week before we arrive. We really had not planned to spend much time in Glaskow other than to wear off Jet Lag. How long is the drive to Skye?
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Feb 5th, 2007, 07:44 AM
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Driving straight from Glasgow to the bottom part of Skye will take the better part of 6 hours. That does not include stops to take photos, eat, sightsee, etc. You should also be aware that the driving isnt easy, straight, fast highway driving. The roads leading to skye are mostly rural, and can be twisty and narrow. While you do pass through some cites, the roads in between can be quite rustic...

I also would stress that there are many wonderful things to see between these two desitnations- especially if you love the outdoors and rural scenery.
So even if you decide to drive straight from Glasgow to Skye..on the way back you should absolutely plan an extra day or TWO to see some of the areas between Skye and Edinburgh.
steviegene is offline  
Feb 5th, 2007, 07:54 AM
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We were thinking of 2 days in Skye and then driving through the highlands to a place to stay near Iverness 3-4 days. Day tripping from there. The on to Ediburgh. Are we crazy?? Hard to judge the time needed and best approach.
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Feb 5th, 2007, 07:55 AM
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OK - the new info helps a lot.

The drive to Skye isn't too far - as long as you are fully over your jet lag. Is your wife going to meet you in Glasgow (note the spelling) or are you going to Oban to pick her up?

If she is coming to Glasgow to join you you can stay overnight in Glasgow and do some easy sightseeing w/o having a car. Then the next day you can rent a car (or you could stay 2 days in Glasgow and rent a car on the 3rd day)

But I would plan a bit more time for Scotland. Cornwall is simply too far to fit into your plans. The Lake District is gorgeous and enroute south towards London so that could make some sense.

But you only have 18 days total for 3 countries.

I would do something like:

-Glasgow 1 day
-Skye 3+ days
-Touring through a bit of the Highlands (lots of choices for your route) 3 days
-Stirling/the Trossachs 1 day
-Edinburgh 2 full days (or 3 if you cut somewhere else)
That is fully 10 days and you still want to visit London and Paris. So then I would fly or take the train to London and then the Eurostar to Paris.

18 days really isn't long enough to do much more than that. Driving south through the Lake district and on to London should be a 4 day trip minimum. So if you want it all you'd have to add several more days to you trip.
janisj is online now  
Feb 5th, 2007, 08:08 AM
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Or biggest problems with travel plans is doing too much with too few days. It seems best with kids to try and work from a base so that we are not moving too much as well.
nelcarp is offline  
Feb 5th, 2007, 08:15 AM
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JanisJ was very helpful in planning our trip to Scotland, and this itinerary seems to address my concerns.
This gives you more time to stop at some spots of interest between Skye and Edinburgh, and allows enough time to see what these areas have to offer.

I also agree that you will probably have to choose between touring the lakes district and Paris. It doesnt seem like enough time to do both.
steviegene is offline  
Feb 5th, 2007, 08:27 AM
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Does it make sense to find a base in the highlands (close to Iverness); and travel the area from there for 3-4 days.

Hmm, we may need to shorten our London and Paris stay? 3-4 days each?

Thanks also for the spelling corection on Glasgow. A routine error on my part.
nelcarp is offline  
Feb 5th, 2007, 09:07 AM
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JanisJ-

You suggest 3+ days in Skye. Some reading suggests that two may be adequate. Can you tell me why you would recommend 3+? While my wife and I eat of the quite, natural settings, I'm worried the kids might need a change sooner.

We would like to take in B&Bs as possible along the way. What is the best method to find these; reviews, etc.?

Finally, I'm noticed in other posts that you seem to have less interest in Inverness. Why? Recommended alternatives?

Thanks for your thoughtful responses!
nelcarp is offline  
Feb 5th, 2007, 09:32 AM
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Well that itinerary was fairly simplistic - by 3 days I meant Skye would account for at least three days since you would spend the better part of one day just getting there. Leaving you barely 2 days ON the island which would be a minimum to see/enjoy the place.

I would not cut any time from Paris or London. Both are amazing cities. London is vast and there is much more to see and do than you could possibly see in 4 weeks let alone 4 days. Paris is smaller and the main sites are closer together, so you might make do w/ just 3 days -- but again you lose about 1/2 a day getting there/settling in. So 4 days London and 4 days Paris is about a little as you should consider IMHO.

As for as base for the Highlands - anywhere w/i 20-30 miles of Inverness would be a good base. I would not stay IN Inverness.
janisj is online now  
Feb 5th, 2007, 10:05 AM
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You say you're traveling in the summer. Well, Edinburgh during its Arts Festival (Aug 5 - 27 this year) is very crowded and booked up well ahead of time. So you may need to adjust your itinerary around this.

Also Aug 27 is the summer Bank Holiday, which means this is a busy weekend everywhere. Again reserve well ahead.
Mimar is offline  
Feb 5th, 2007, 10:28 AM
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Not an issue. We're traveling at from about June 24th through July 14th.

Moving on to the Lakes District part of our intinerary, any recommendations for where in the area to stay. We would like something quite and rural as possible...maybe this is not possible during June/July?
nelcarp is offline  
Feb 5th, 2007, 11:55 AM
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"Moving on to the Lakes District part of our intinerary - " ?? Sorry, but there simply isn't enough time for you to explore the Lakes and get to London and Paris.

You are going to either have to drop one of your destinations or add some days to your trip. I'd drop the Lakes since you can explore a good bit of Scotland in 10 days. Cutting Scotland back to 7 days to add the Lakes plus a day's journey down to London just doesn't make much sense.
janisj is online now  
Feb 5th, 2007, 12:19 PM
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I appreciate this guidance. We honestly have not had the opportunity to plan such a trip. Not knowing when we will be able to return makes one attempt too much.

If one is bypassing the Lakes, does it then make the most sense to drop the car in Edinburgh and take the train to London?
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Feb 5th, 2007, 12:42 PM
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As I mentioned above "So then I would fly or take the train to London and then the Eurostar to Paris"

Taking the train would be a bit more expensive, but city center to city center would take about the same time or be a bit faster by train.
janisj is online now  
Feb 5th, 2007, 12:44 PM
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janisj-

After some discussion at home, it looks like we can extend our trip a few days. In total, we have 22 days (excluding our arrival and departure days!). So, it seems that we could take in the Lakes a bit.

Not sure where to start with the Lakes. Can you provide any guidance or suggestions on lodging. We're comfortable with simple and also are open to self catering. However, we also prefer to meet folks along the way (B&B benefits). We are traveling with two kids, however.

Thanks for all of the great information!
nelcarp is offline  
Feb 5th, 2007, 01:09 PM
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That extra 4 days makes ALL the difference in the world! Now you have some choices. You can tour the Lakes for 3 days and then turn in your car at Manchester or Liverpool and take the train and have an extra day in London. Or you can take that extra day/night and drive and visit one other place enroute south - someplace like Chatsworth, or Warwick Castle. Warwick is especially great for kids.

You could leave the Lakes in the early a.m. and drive down to Warwick by late morning. Spend the whole rest of the day exploring the castle and town. Then the next day take your time driving through the Cotswolds and then the riverside villages to LHR and turn in your car there and take the train or tube into London.

In summer you probably won't find a self catering place in the Lakes willing to rent for less than a week.

W/ 2-3 days in the Lakes you might want to base in/near Ambleside/Grasmere since they are pretty central for touring around.
janisj is online now  
Feb 5th, 2007, 01:21 PM
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I've already been searching the B&Bs and hotels in Grasmere...a lot of stuff booked already!

Also beginning the search for a flat in London (reading the mutiple threads here). Have a flat in Paris already that a family member owns ($80/night!)

Great help, thanks
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