Glasgow as Home Base in Scotland?

Feb 6th, 2002, 05:41 PM
  #1  
michelle
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Glasgow as Home Base in Scotland?

I had planned on staying in Edinburgh during our stay in Scotland, however I can use points and really cut costs if we stay in Glasgow. With two kids we don't really want to move around every night - does Glasgow make sense in terms of a home base with interesting places to eat at night? Thanks for any input; and I'm sure I'll ask for more as I am just starting to put together our trip to Scotland and London next summmer.
 
Feb 6th, 2002, 06:34 PM
  #2  
janis
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Not really - think of staying in Pittsburgh PA as a base for Pennsylvania. There is enough (for tourists) in Glasgow to fill a couple of days but after that you will be staying in a huge city as a base for the countryside. By the way, Edinburgh is also not a good base since it has the most expensive accomodations in the country. So it is better to stay in Edinburgh to see Edinburgh - and then get outsid ethe city for touring the countryside.

Don't worry about using "points" -- on average, hotels and B&Bs anywher else in Scotland will be MUCH cheaper than Glasgow or Edinburgh.

So stay in Edinburgh a couple of days and Glasgow a couple of days (if you want to see Glasgow) and then base yourself anywhere else for the rest of your trip. Some places to consider as a central base -- Callander, Stirling, Inverness, Ayrshire, Perth, Huntly, Elgin - or any of a hundred other places.
 
Feb 7th, 2002, 02:13 AM
  #3  
Sheila
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I somewhat disagree with Janis. It really depends what you want to do. I find Glasgow interesting in its own right, but it does have a big black industrial hinterland; but it also has a fine cultural life, better shopping than Edinburgh and better restaurants too (probably fewer-but generally higher quality- obviously with exceptions)

It's less than an hour on the train to Edinburgh and you have good access to Ayrshire and Loch Lomond and the west. And to Stirling.

After that it's your choice.
 
Feb 7th, 2002, 03:33 AM
  #4  
Tony Hughes
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Agree with Sheila. Absolutely.
 
Feb 7th, 2002, 04:40 AM
  #5  
Keith Legg
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I'm with Sheila and Tony on this. It really depends what you want to do, though. Edinburgh is about 1 hour by train from Glasgow, and Glasgow also has better links to the highlands (in my opinion - you're about half an hour from Loch Lomond and maybe two and a half from Oban.)
 
Feb 7th, 2002, 06:25 AM
  #6  
Ann
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I'm going to have to side with Janis, although I think she's being a bit harsh on Pittsburgh.

In January, I spent a night and 2 days in Glasgow. Had we realized, or bothered to check, that Edinburgh was so close, we definitely would have stayed there. But we went to Glasgow for a football match, and it was only one night, but...

To me, Glasgow seemed like a nice place to live, but not a good spot to play tourist. Obviously, the other posters above have had a lot more experience with Glasgow than I have, but I think that also means I'm seeing it more from your perspective.

However, if you do stay in Glasgow, have lunch at the Drum Monkey.
 
Feb 7th, 2002, 08:28 AM
  #7  
janis
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I did not mean to imply Glasgow is not an interesting city - it has a really lively arts scene, but not the types of things one wants to see on a FIRST trip to Scotland. It is not a good base for seeing Scotland. It is a huge metropolitan area and while there are good train connections to many parts of the country - if you base somewhere central but not "big city", like near Perth or Stirling you will be within an hour or two drive of most of the central part of Scotland. This includes places like St Andrews, Glamis Castle, Glen Coe, Aberdeen, Inverness, Edinburgh, Loch Lomond, the Trossachs and on and on and on.

It is sort of like when folks ask me about California - they want to base in LA but see Yosemite, Monterey/Carmel, the desert. You can't base in Los Angeles to "see" California any more that you can base in Galsgow to see Scotland.

 
Feb 7th, 2002, 06:27 PM
  #8  
Michelle
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Any recommendations for a hotel in Callendar or Stirling or nearby areas? Thanks for the advice!
 
Feb 7th, 2002, 08:19 PM
  #9  
janis
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Michelle - give us an idea of your budget and how much luxury you want. In and around Callander for instance, they have everything from the very upscale Roman Camp Hotel to many small inexpensive B&Bs. And in / around Stirling and Doune there is the same variety.
 
Feb 8th, 2002, 08:03 AM
  #10  
michelle
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While we don't need luxury accommodations in a resort setting, we would certainly prefer something a little nicer than what is considered "budget" in the U.S. We definitly need cleanliness and private bathrooms! If you have stayed somewhere and would go again, I would certainly appreciate hearing about your experience. Thank you.
 
Feb 8th, 2002, 08:20 AM
  #11  
janis
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michelle - here are some good choices:

Lake of Menteith Hotel. www.lake-of-menteith-hotel.com Exceptionally prettty location right on the shore of the lake. About 6 or 7 miles south of Callander. This one is fairly expensive - but the swans at the bottom of the garden and the glass enclosed conservatory restaurant are wonderful.

Corshill Cottage www.b-and-b-scotland.co.uk/corshill A very nice 4 star B&B in Thornhill near Stirling. it is a converted smithy in the range of 25GBP per person per night.

Mackeanston House in Doune between Stirling and Callander (Doune Castle is fascinating) www.milford.co.uk/scotland/accom/h-a-1847.. Also in the 25GBP PP range - very nice B&B with antiques and artwork throughout.
 
Feb 8th, 2002, 12:02 PM
  #12  
Ann
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Stirling's a great idea. Nice town, not too far away from everything. There's a great pub there, and once I remember the name, I will post it.
 
Feb 11th, 2002, 12:42 PM
  #13  
Sheila
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I suspect you mean the Golden Lion, Ann
 
Feb 12th, 2002, 09:35 PM
  #14  
Hamish
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If your choice is Glasgow or Edinburgh, then I would definately choose Glasgow. It's a much more livable city.
Everyone here advising you to stay outside of the city seems to be assuming you'll rent a car. If this is the case, then that idea might work for you. If not, you might reconsider the city idea, if a few pounds won't make or break your holiday.

Edinburgh is worth a full day trip at least, but it's only an hour from Glasgow, so that's easily done. Everything else you want to see in Scotland is much more accessible from Glasgow - it's really the heart of the country in terms of actual Scottish (as opposed to tourist) culture & transportation links.

People who don't like Glasgow, in my experience, are people who've arrived in Glasgow having done no research on Scotland, and intending to do none. So, if your idea of "seeing Scotland" is to do absolutely no research, turn up look around and say "oh, how pretty!", and then go home, having learned and experienced nothing, then avoid Glasgow like the plague. If not, it's yer best bet. Either that or pick a close-by but less central location and depend on a rental car (seems a shame - you won't meet anyone that way!) or change locations every day or two as you travel (which is cheaper, and not really a big hassle, although you know best what your kids can cope with!)

Hope you enjoy your holidays, whatever you decide.
 
Feb 13th, 2002, 02:40 PM
  #15  
Michelle
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Thank you, everyone, for your advice. I have contacted the Lake of Menteith Hotel and hope to hear from them. (It's been three days; should I email them again or wait a little longer to avoid "nagging?")

The current plan I am working on involves picking up our car when we fly into Glasgow and visiting the city that day before driving to the Stirling area. We would then stay two nights there taking day trips (yet to be determined.) We would spend our final two nights in Edinburgh (without the car) before taking a train to London. I am hopeful this plan will give us a "taste" of Scotland.

Any must-do advise regarding this itinerary would be appreciated. Also, how far in advance can train tickets to London be reserved or purchased? Thanks.
 
Feb 13th, 2002, 05:23 PM
  #16  
janis
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Your itinerary sounds just fine. You will get comments that you "should go . . . . (insert anyplace) instead". But you already know that you can't "see Scotland" in four days and this is a very nice route.

Places you can visit during the stay at Menteith include (you won't be able to see all of them):

Inchmahome Priory - this is a beautiful ruined abbey w/ Mary Q of Scots connections on an island that you can see from the hotel. The pier for the gov't launch out to the island is walking distance from the hotel.

Stirling Castle - Some folks think it is even better than Edinburgh Castle.

Doune Castle

Queen Elizabeth Forest Park - mostly a drive through pretty country but also many trails and walks.

Several waterfalls near Callander

Steamer trip on Loch Katrine

Killen/Falls of Dochart

As for how long to wait for the hotel to get back to you. I usually wait 3 to 4 days max. Remember, when you sent the e-mail it was already the wee small hours of the next day for them. And sometimes - especially in the winter, they may only check their e-mails on weekdays.
 
Feb 14th, 2002, 12:08 PM
  #17  
Michelle
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Janis, thanks for the information. I have been studying the guidebooks and finding the possiblities are unlimited. Our time is...so your advice is very helpful.
 
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