First time in Scotland (with children)

Old Mar 1st, 2006, 11:29 AM
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First time in Scotland (with children)

We would be visiting Scotland for the first time in the last week of May. We would have our two children aged seven and three travelling with us. Our itirenary currently looks something like this
May 26th - Arrive at Edinburgh
May 27th - Sightseeing in Edinburgh
May 28th - Drive down to Scone Palace, Drummond Castle and onwards to Crieff. From here there are two options:

Option 1 : Crieff -Comrie-Loch Earnhead- Glen Lyon - Kenmore - Aberfeldy - Dunkeld

Option 2 : Crieff - Aberfeldy (through Sma' Glen)- Dunkeld
Which is the better option? Is it possible to do Blair Castle on the same day

May 29th Once again two options !!

Option 1: Dunkeld - Blairgowrie -Braemer -Ballater - Kilrummy - Craigievar - Crathes - Stonehaven - Dunnotar. This is just the route.We are primarily interested in Craigievar , Crathes, Dunnotar and maybe Kildrummy

Option 2: Dunkeld -Glamis -Dunnotar -Stonehaven -Crathes - Craigievar - Kildrummy.
Which of these two routes is better? Where do I stay the night? Stonehaven? Alford?

May 30th - To Elgin and Culloden (via A82) to Drumnadrochit ( Loch Ness cruise) past Invermoriston (Glen Moriston), Dornie (Eilean Donan -viewing only) over the Skye Bridge to Portree

Is there any way to see Glen Affric on the way ?
May 31st Sighseeing in Skye (mainly the Trotternish )
June 01 To Armadale (ferry crossing) - Mallaig - Fort Willaim - Ballachulish- -Kinlochleven-Glencoe -past Rannoch Moor, Loch Tulla, Blackmount to Bridge of Orchy - B8074 through Glen Orchy to Dalmally, onwards to Oban

June 02 Oban - Arduaine (Gardens) -Kilmartin -Dunadd -Crinan Inveraray - Balloch (Loch Lomond) - Edinburgh

June 03- Fly out of Edinburgh

Any suggestions, critique,or any other feedback on the itinerary would be most welcome. Please help out a first timer in Scotland!




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Old Mar 1st, 2006, 08:17 PM
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Whoa - you need to slow down a bit. You have some VERY long days there - And w/ two small children along for the trek.

Just for one reality check - on May 29 you hope to visit FIVE castles spread over a wide area. Glamis is huge and takes a minimum of 90 min. Dunnottar takes at LEAST an hour and you'll probably have to carry the 3 yo at least part of the way out to the site and back. Crathes takes a couple of hours if you even look at the gardens. Craigevar is lovely - but they only allow a handful of people in at one time so you might have to wait (tho' it is seldom crowded and there are never tour buses - you still need to allocate about an hour). kildrummy and/or Braemar also take time.

So -- you have a minimum of 6 or 7 hours inside castles, not counting the drive times, meals, stops in the villages along the way or anything else. Every one of those castles/villages is worth taking the time to see them - but your one day is actually about 2.5 days worth of sightseeing.

I only have time right now for a quick post but at least this will top your thread so others may see it. I'll be back w/ more later.
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Old Mar 1st, 2006, 09:44 PM
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Thanks Janis for your advice. I think we will restrict it to a max of three castles on that day. Dunnotar, Crathes and Craigiever are currently topping my list.
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Old Mar 1st, 2006, 09:51 PM
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I agree it's a ton to pack in. Less is more. Things take longer than one expects.

We were there with our two sons at around ages 8 and 9. We stayed in Pitlochry, which they enjoyed because of the neat suspension bridge; we drove around Loch Ness etc. on our way back down from Inverness.

Our guys appreciated the little things -- walking down to town for ice cream, playing a round of golf (*maybe* your older one; doubtful for 3 y/o), visiting 1-2 castles (got very old after that), and the like. (Blair, Glamis)

Whatever you decide good luck and I hope you have a wonderful time.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 02:01 AM
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Of your first options, I can't actually tell you one rather than the other. Both are nice. In terms of scenerly 1 is probably nicer than the other; and given that it's longer, by a significant margin, there's probably more to see and do along the route. But you can see Blair with option 2.
Which is the better option? Is it possible to do Blair Castle on the same day

On your second option, if you can hold yourselves back from castle overkill the second route is probably better, especially in terms of where you want to go next

What sort of place do you want to stay in?

You can take the side road to Glen Affric on your way down the Great Glen. But you are again packing a lot into that day.

It's a pretty good itinerary, overall. I think you'll have a ball.



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Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 10:09 AM
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Thanks Sheila. Basically looking at a small hotel which offers triple / family room in the range of 120-150 GBP per night. One important consideration would be to find a place which would be more "on the way" without necessitating a long detour. In any case our days are quite packed ! If the area around the hotel or views from the hotel are scenic it would be an added bonus
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Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 10:23 AM
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Anybody has any suggestions for a good place to stay the night near Craigievar / Kildrummy
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Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 11:48 AM
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Have you thought about staying in Edinburgh an extra day to get your bearings and recover from jet-lag before you tour the country? You could split up. Mom could take the kids to the zoo and butterfly house one day and the next Dad could take them to Dynamic Earth and the childrens museum. That would give the kids a chance to adjust and see some things they want to see and would allow the parents to each have one day to see adult things.

Please realize that you will be very tired unless you are in fantastic physical shape. Scotland is very hilly and has stairs and more stairs.
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Old Mar 4th, 2006, 03:24 AM
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Options around Craigievar and Kildrummy are limited. There is the placie on the other side of the road from Criagievar, which is pretty much for locals (name escaping me); there is the Vale in Alford, which would be a mistake; the Forbes Arms at Bridge of Alford which would be nice enough; Kildrummy Castle which is lovely; the Glenkindie which would be a mistake, the Colquhonnie which would do, and the Allargue at Cockbridge.

Or you could go over the hill to Tomintoul and try the Richmond or the Gordon there.
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Old Mar 5th, 2006, 10:29 AM
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I have been finding it difficult to find the contact details of hotels in the Alford / Kildrummy area. Based on Sheila's suggestion I have been trying to get in touch with the following hotels

The Forbes Arms at Bridge of Alford Colquhonnie Hotel
Allargue at Cockbridge.
The Richmond / Gordon at Tomintoul

I have not been able to locate the websites of any of these hotels. Anybody having either the website address or e-mail id of these hotels pl. let me know.

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Old Mar 5th, 2006, 12:17 PM
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Apparently the Forbes Arms doesn't have its own website - however a simple google search located several sites w/ its e-mail address and fax number.

The Colquhonnie does have a website - again found via google. Also the Gordon.

The other two also have many sites out there w/ contact info.

You will find that a lot of places will have e-mail but not individual websites . . . .
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