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Fine tuning Scotland May 2013

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Feb 26th, 2013, 04:59 AM
  #1
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Fine tuning Scotland May 2013

I posted my original question with the wrong year in the title.
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...n-may-2012.cfm

We now have hotels and transportation worked out. We are not going to rent a car, but have hired a car/driver for a few days and are hoping to get some suggestions for great things to see on those days we have a driver.

Based in Edinburgh we want to see Falkirk, Stirling, Linlithgow. The Wheel is a definite.
What else would you recommend. Interested in scenery, ruins, churches, etc. We have the whole day.
Inverness: Jacobite boat tour of Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle, then Culloden, Cawdor Castle, Craig PHadrig and what else? These are over a couple of days.
A driver will take us from Inverness to Skye: good places for photography, unique places along the way?

Skye: two nights , one full day of car/driver: same as above.

Skye to Oban drive, need suggestions.
We will be doing a tour of Mull/Iona and Staffa one day.

Also, where would be the best chance of hearing some good bagpipe music? Not hours of it, but I do actually like it.
Also, very interested in Puffins!

Thanks for any suggestions. We have 10 nights in Scotland, just trying to make the best of our time.
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Feb 26th, 2013, 05:05 AM
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I would go to the Black Isle if I were in Inverness. I can't expand on this because I haven't been yet.
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Feb 26th, 2013, 05:56 AM
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Black Isle looks interesting! Thanks.
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Feb 26th, 2013, 07:12 AM
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Really enjoyed Clava Cairns near Inverness, and there was a view of an aquaduct near there, and be sure to read all the signs in Cawdor Castle...very entertaining.

~Liz
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Feb 26th, 2013, 07:28 AM
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Great for an overnight.

http://www.pierhousehotel.co.uk/

The Treshnish Isles are good for puffins. Please, please spend more time in the Oban, Mull, Staffa area : lots of wildlife and stunning scenery.
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Feb 26th, 2013, 08:24 AM
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Dickie_Gr, the plans in place are to drive (car/driver) from Skye to Oban, hoping to see Eilean Donan Castle, Spean Bridge, Ben Nevis, Lock Lomand. Then take a tour to Mull, Iona, Staffa. We are still trying to find a tour that includes Treshnish, if that is required to see puffins. Will they not be on Staffa?
We can't add any additional days, unfortunately. We have to leave the next day to get to Glasgow and fly out early the following day.
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Feb 26th, 2013, 09:17 AM
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Dunrobin Castle north of Inverness is great.

Puffins should abound - May/June is breeding season.
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Feb 26th, 2013, 09:21 AM
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They should be on Staffa but we always see lots at the Treshnish. May is a little early , nest time is early July.

The channel between Coll and Tiree is becoming recognised as a basking sparking breeding area. Following the tagging initiative they were tracked to this channel, last year one trip found 20 plus adults in a small area, some were 25 ft plus.

http://www.staffatours.com/boat-tour...d-staffa-tour/

Covers the whole area.

Sme great seafood restaurants in Oban, The Pierhouse would be good for lunch unless that day is taken up by you Oban boat tour.
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Feb 26th, 2013, 09:27 AM
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Thank you very much, Dickie. I can see already that one trip to Scotland is not going to be enough! I'm printing all this out so we can check everything.
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Feb 26th, 2013, 10:02 AM
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"Falkirk, Stirling, Linlithgow . . . What else would you recommend . . . We have the whole day."

That will be a VERY full w/ just those three and maybe not totally doable as it is. Linlithgow is large w/ lots of towers/passages easily an hour+. The Wheel is fairly time intensive - I assume you will ride it (I wouldn't bother visiting unless I did take the cruise). Last May on a Thursday AM we had to wait about 45 minutes for the next boat and then the trip takes almost an hour. Stirling Castle needs TIME to visit. At least 2+hours and longer if you eat in the cafe. So you easily have 5 hours of 'stuff' not counting the drives.

Dunrobin is pretty but there is so much to see in the area I personally wouldn't take the time. I'd do Fort George over Dunrobin. Ft George is HUGE (all of Edinburgh castle would fit w/i the parade ground) and very interesting. Walking on the walls gives great views of the bottle nose dolphins if you don't make it to the Black Isle.

Cawdor is good - but its garden is even better (and a good substitute for the gorgeous gardens at Crathes). I really like Brodie Castle which is not far from Cawdor.
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Feb 26th, 2013, 10:16 AM
  #11
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Thanks, Janis, that's the kind of info that we need. So hard to trim so many beautiful places, but have to try to make the best choices of the time we have there.
We do want to ride the Wheel. My cousin is a big fan of boats, also an engineer (aerospace), and loves things like this.
I'm going to talk to her tonight and see what we can decide on for now. The days are flexible in that we are not on booked tours, so we decide what to see and how long to stay.
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Feb 26th, 2013, 10:36 AM
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Sorry Challian

This iPad has a mind of its own, that should have been basking shark!
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Feb 26th, 2013, 10:44 AM
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Between Skye and Oban:
I especially liked Kilchurn Castle ruins.
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Feb 26th, 2013, 12:17 PM
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Have a poke around my trip report and blog to see if that helps:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...rip-report.cfm

FYI, we just did a stop at Falkirk and did not ride the wheel. Just seeing it and walking around was sufficient for us (though it was a stop along the way rather than a destination).
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Feb 26th, 2013, 01:37 PM
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Thanks, indy_dad, I did take a look and have also previously looked, way back in the early stages! You did a lot of good things and loved the photos. I happen to like photos with people in them, also take a mixture of with and without.
I've sent my cousin the link so we'll be discussing some of the things you mentioned that we hadn't thought of.
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Feb 26th, 2013, 05:59 PM
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Yes - Kilchurn is a terrific ruin. One of my 'Faves' . . . but one won't see it on the drive between Skye and Oban -- it is east of Oban on the A85 so you very well may see it after leaving Oban.

Challiman: "from Skye to Oban, hoping to see Eilean Donan Castle, Spean Bridge, Ben Nevis, Lock Lomand. Then take a tour to Mull, Iona, Staffa."

Loch Lomomd fits better after Oban. i.e Skye > Spean Bridge > Ben Nevis > Oban/Mull/Staffa > Loch Lomond

• I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume 'Lock Lomand' was an auto-correct
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Feb 26th, 2013, 06:34 PM
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Thanks, janisj! i'm just sure it couldn't be my fault. This is really helping!
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Feb 26th, 2013, 07:19 PM
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Jeeze louise !! - after all that I mis-spelled it once too

Loch Lomond
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Feb 26th, 2013, 07:32 PM
  #19
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I just hope I can understand what is being said! As for spelling these names, I know I'm in trouble.
No mention of Hairy Coos so far. I've seen photos of them there, and believe it or not, there are quite a few here in Indiana. I just haven't seen them yet. Any particular places I might see them along the way?
That and puffins. I sure want to see those puffins.
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Feb 26th, 2013, 07:33 PM
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Oh, and bagpipes. Definitely want to see and here pipers and bagpipes.
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