Help with Scotland Itinerary Spring 2011

May 18th, 2010, 02:57 AM
  #1  
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Help with Scotland Itinerary Spring 2011

Hello there,

I am currently trying to plan a 11 day trip through Scotland for end of April next year. I am not sure why but this is more difficult than other trips I have planned. Some details so far:

- Bikerscott (hubby) is a big scotch fan so that has to be some of the focus - he has requested Dufftown and Islay
- I want to see the highlands (especially the cows hahaha)
- we will have a car
- we have 10 nights, 11 days and will be coming from London (where we live)
- prefer to spend at least 2 nights somewhere and see stuff in area around B&B
- we like good food, wine, scenary, and castles
- prefer to stay in walking distance to a good pub etc so dont have to drive at night
- want to keep B&B prices under £100 total for the night

Plans so far:
Day 1 - train from London to Edinburgh (hubby has always wanted to take the train and we have spent 2 nights 1 day in Edinburgh before, not enough time and we want to see it again) Sleep in Edinburgh
Day 2 - Edinburgh
Day 3 - Edinburgh
Day 4 - Drive to Dufftown, stay at B&B here (any recommendations?)
Day 5 - Whisky tour around Dufftown area, stay at same B&B
Day 6 - ?? would like to now move to the highlands but cant figure out where
Day 7 - highlands...suggestions?
Day 8 - highlands...suggestions?
Day 9 - drive to Islay - any suggestions for B&Bs?
Day 10 - whisky tour of Islay
Day 11 - drive to Glasgow and get flight back to London (unless there is a better way to get to London?)

Any comments on general itinerary? Realistic? Crazy?

Really needing some help with days 6 - 9...good towns, villages to stay in? B&B suggestions? Route suggestions?

Thanks so much for your help!!
J
jamikins is offline  
May 18th, 2010, 03:22 AM
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Suggest at least a night in Glasgow on your way back.....
alihutch is offline  
May 18th, 2010, 06:15 AM
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We really enjoyed the Glenegedale House B&B on Islay.
www.glenegedalehouse.co.uk

I describe the B&B and discuss our visit to Islay (as well as the Dufftown games and other highland activities) in my trip report:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...o-scotland.cfm
Nikki is online now  
May 18th, 2010, 08:04 AM
  #4  
 
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Ali, you're like a broken record

I'll do some stuff on this tonight. Can you give me a budget? I'd like to suggest Craigellachie instead of Dufftown for your accommodation- it's only a few miles away.
sheila is offline  
May 18th, 2010, 08:59 AM
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Castles: The whole Castle Trail in Aberdeenshire (Drum, Fyvie, Fraser, Craigevar, etc.) is near where you'll be, and Cawdor isn't too far away. Fyvie looks real close to Dufftown, but sheila will know this off the top of her head.

Your hubby needs to go to the Cadenhead's shop on the Royal Mile (Canongate side, not High Street) and if they have a barrel on tap, buy from it. I did -- vatted malt of two Islays with Caol Ila and "it starts with 'L'" and it's the best da*n whisky I've had. Should've bought more.

And go to either Loch Fyne Whiskies in Inveraray or Royal Mile Whiskies on (duh) the Royal Mile (High Street). Load up on the 20 cl samples from Duncan Taylor (if they still sell them) for variety. There's an independent bottler's shop in Elgin too, but it's not as good.
BigRuss is offline  
May 18th, 2010, 09:51 AM
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Ali, you're like a broken record


I'll not bother in future then. Prefer it here without the tourists
alihutch is offline  
May 18th, 2010, 10:59 AM
  #7  
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Thanks so much for the replies so far! I love all your insight.

I would really prefer not to spend a night in Glasgow - is there a logstical reason to stay there? I'm sure its a lovely place, but we are not really interested in Glasgow, and if we do visit I would like to do it justice by spending a few days.

If it helps, we will be starting Easter Friday, so I thought staying in Edinburgh for 3 days would be good as I imagine many B&Bs would want 3 night stays that weekend and I am not sure I want to spend that long on Islay...please correct this thinking if it is incorrect!

As for budget - average would be 100GBP, willing to pay a bit more in some areas, but prefer to spend less. 75GBP a night woudl be a great average overall.

Thanks again for you help, not sure why I find this so difficult!!!
jamikins is offline  
May 18th, 2010, 12:26 PM
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I stayed at Castle View in Edinburgh '04 and its location is tough to beat for the sub-100 quid price. Check as to who's the day-to-day manager -- tripadvisor indicates that the owners (Coranne D_________ and her husband) may not be hands-on managers anymore and that would make me more inclined to stay there. If you can't climb stairs, however, look elsewhere.
BigRuss is offline  
May 18th, 2010, 01:49 PM
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Jamikins,

Too funny! I think you two went to Brittany about the same time we did (spring 2008). We're hoping to go to Scotland next May or June so I'll be watching your posts.

We did stay at the big hotel in Craigellachie 3 nights in 1998 and loved it.
hopingtotravel is offline  
May 18th, 2010, 02:02 PM
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I've stayed at Castle view a few times -- Best located B&B in Edinburgh IMO (and I found the owners just fine BTW -- the place was up for sale for a while a couple of years ago, but I'm not sure it was sold).

As long as the three flights up and down is manageable (though they will schelpp the bags up if it is a problem)

http://www.castleviewgh.co.uk/

Craigellachie and thereabouts IS in the Highlands -- it is a biiiiiig region and covers a lot of territory. Did you mean any general Highland area?

You'd have time to pop over to Skye for a couple of days, but you might want to concentrate on Islay for your island experience. Or you could stay near Ballachulish and use it as a base for Glenfinan, Glencoe etc.
janisj is online now  
May 19th, 2010, 01:30 AM
  #11  
 
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Three days in Islay is absolutely not too much, and I would consider that a minimum.

Please have a look at the Craigellachie Hotel. It could be a good splurge.

I can't say I think of Speyside as Highlands as such, except maybe at Aviemore.

(Ali, please note smilies)
sheila is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 01:03 PM
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11 days in Scotland including Dufftown and Islay, Highlands, Highland Cows, by car, 2 night stays minimum, with good food, wine, scenery, and castles, good pubs etc so dont have to drive at night

1. I'm tempted to suggest you take the Caledonian Sleeper to Inverness, and then you can pick up a one way car hire dropping off in Edinburgh, and making your trip more linear (and giving you an extra day.)

So, night 1 to Inverness, collect car. Drive down Loch Ness to Invergarry, and west through Glen Garry and Glen Cluanie to GlenElg. Stay in Glen Elg.

Day 2 take the little ferry to Skye and scoot about a bit, back over the bridge and back down to Glen Elg to overnight. Visit the Brochs, see Eilean Donan from the outside.

Day 3 go north to Kyle of Lochalsh again and follow Lochcarron and go up through Achnasheen and Garve and loop back down to Inverness. Drive on to Craigellachie (even if you think the hotel too dear, there are good B&Bs in the village.) Take in Culloden, Brodie or Cawdor, Burghead and/or Hopeman, Elgin Cathedral and go to Craigellachie.

Day 4 - Visit Speyside distilleries or whatever. Dufftown, Aberlour, the Cooperage, the Osprey Centre at Loch Garten and Rothiemurchus Forest.

Day 5 - head west to Newtonmore and down Loch Laggan and past Fort William and south to West Loch Tarbert.

Day 6- catch the early ferry to Islay

Day 7 see Islay

Day 8 catch the early ferry to Kennacraig and drive to Edinburgh

Day 9- Edinburgh

Day 10 - Edinburgh

Day 11 - drive to Glasgow and get train home
sheila is offline  
May 20th, 2010, 01:02 AM
  #13  
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Sheila you are amazing!! Thank you all for so much help!

Is there a reason to drive to Glasgow to catch the train? Can we not catch a train in Edinburgh to London?

I am off to look at maps and start googling your suggestions!
jamikins is offline  
May 20th, 2010, 01:30 AM
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You can go from Edinburgh, it's just that that's a different route, so different views.
sheila is offline  
May 20th, 2010, 02:16 AM
  #15  
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Oh Gotcha I really like all of your suggestions!!!
jamikins is offline  
May 20th, 2010, 02:39 AM
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After day 8 you don't need a car. As has been pointed out trains do run from Edinburgh to London and keeping a car in Edinburgh is like throwing money into a fire
alanRow is offline  
May 20th, 2010, 03:05 AM
  #17  
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Thanks alanRow, our plan would be to drop the car as we get to Edinburgh!
jamikins is offline  
May 20th, 2010, 10:29 AM
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In that case - I'd definitely take the train (or even fly) down from Edinburgh. The west side route is good -- but the east side is just as good and will be more convenient for you. It will save a bit of time to see more of Edinburgh.
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