Help with Scottland Itinerary

Old Apr 17th, 2006, 10:49 AM
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Help with Scottland Itinerary

My wife and I are planning a 10-day trip to Scottland to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary and want to have as nice as trip as possible for that occassion. Any advise that you may have will be greatly appreciated. Please comment on the quality of the hotels we have selected, the general ininerary (too many miles to drive? missing important sites? etc.), and any other suggestions you may have.
We arrive Saturday July 15 in Edinburgh and then spend 2 nights at the Howard Hotel, touring Edinburgh both days. Monday we pick up a Hertz car rental and drive to Balleter and stay 2 nights at the Balgonie House, visiting Balmoral and the castles in the immediate region NE of Edinburgh. On Wednesday, drive to the Inverness area through the Scotch Trail and stay 1 night at the Culloden House. Then Thursday drive south along Loch Ness and out to Portree in the Isle of Skye and spend 2 nights at the Cuillin Hills Hotel, and tour the Isale of Skye peninsula. Saturday, drive north along the coast up to the Summer Isles Hotel a bit north west of Ullapool, and see the beaches and hike in the hills. Then Monday drive south all the way to Glasgow (our longest drive day about 6 hours I think) to Glasgow and spend the last night of our trip at the One Devonshire Gardens Hotel. The next morning we will drive 2 hours back to Edinburgh to drop off teh car and catch a 1:45pm flight back to the US.
cinciboy is offline  
Old Apr 17th, 2006, 11:01 AM
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It all sounds doable to me. You are certainly going to cover a fair bit of the country with a variety of scenery and a good mix of cities and rural locations.

The only hotels I am able to pass comment on are Culloden House Hotel which is pretty special and the Summer Isles Hotel in Achiltibuie which is lovely, with excellent food. Both great choices!



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Old Apr 17th, 2006, 01:15 PM
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I promise I'm not saying this to be picky, but if you're looking for things on the web, you need to get the spelling right or you just won't find them (I know- pot calling kettle black!)

Comments:- You realise how far Ballater is from Edinburgh? Not exactly "immediately" NE of the city.

Otherwise all looks pretty good. Is there anything specific we can help with?
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Old Apr 17th, 2006, 01:31 PM
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Just FYI: Balmoral may be closed to visitors in July / August because that is when the queen may be in residence... if you're counting on that, you may want to check on it before setting out.

Also, if you haven't thought of this already, you might want to stop at Eilean Donan Castle on your way to Skye. It's probably Scotland's most photographed castle. Here's the URL:

<http://www.eileandonancastle.com>

Beware those "dreadful midges" on Skye, or hope for really windy weather.

All the best to you.
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Old Apr 17th, 2006, 02:21 PM
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"visiting Balmoral and the castles in the immediate region NE of Edinburgh"

1) Get a map
2) Edinburgh to Balmoral is 3 hours driving each way even though it's only 100 miles.
3) The immediate region NE of Edinburgh is called "The Firth of Forth" and it's rather wet. The bit of land after that is FIFE
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Old Apr 17th, 2006, 02:39 PM
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Now, be nice. I took "immediate region" to mean the area around Ballater, which is NE of Edinburgh. The Isle of Skye is, however, and island, not a peninsula. Sheila has a very valid point about spelling, starting with Scotland (only one "t").

As others have mentioned, even though the distance in miles doesn't seem very far, once you are on those little roads it can take much longer than you think.

You will see some of the most wonderful scenery in the world. Have a great time.
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Old Apr 17th, 2006, 02:57 PM
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OK, the way I read the original post is that cinciboy and his wife plan to stay at Ballater and see the castles in the immediate region (of Ballater/Balmoral), with that region being generally NE of Edinburgh!

We stayed at Ballater on our first visit to Scotland (having landed at Aberdeen). It was conveniently located to the Whisky Trail. We were not able to go near Balmoral because the Queen was in residence. We loved Crathes Castle, which is east of Ballater on the A93. Beautiful painted beams in the castle and lovely gardens.

Culloden is well worth a visit on your way to Inverness, as well as a distillery tour (many to choose from). We did not make it to Cawdor Castle (not far from Culloden), but I think it is highly recommended.

I'm not sure how long that drive from Skye to Ullapool is (I've never been up there), but it looks like it could take quite a while. Are you driving the A832? You can probably count on it being beautiful but slow. I always make these kinds of drives even slower by the million pictures I take.
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Old Apr 17th, 2006, 03:01 PM
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Cinciboy:

My husband and I stayed at the Howard Hotel for 1 week in March. We had a lovely stay. The staff are helpful, courteous and very pleasant, and we do recommend this hotel. A lovely dinner is served in the Atholl Room in the evenings, which I also recommend. The breakfasts are varied and enjoyable. Our room was clean, spacious and the marble bathroom comes complete with 2 sinks/shower/tub, and is spacious as well. Quiet location, and a 10 - 15 walk minute to Princes Street.
We chose to stay in Edinburgh for 1 week to explore, and see Edinburgh thoroughly...and site-see at our own pace. (So many people short-shift Edinburgh to rush up to the Highlands, but Edinburgh was (to us) worth the week). This was our second trip to Scotland, and we will be returning yet again.
We also visited Rosslyn Castle, Linlithgow and Craigmillar.
We also dined in 4 terrific and totally different restaurants.
I hope this helps.
Enjoy your trip.
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Old Apr 18th, 2006, 03:14 AM
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I've only been in the public rooms at the Howard Hotel but it is supposed to be lovely, & the location is very good. One Devonshire Gardens is fab.
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Old Apr 25th, 2008, 08:28 AM
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The Summer Isles Hotel in Achiltibuie is fabulous. Definitely go there. More information about Achiltibuie and the Summer Isles can be found here:

www.achiltibuiecottages.wordpress.com
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Old Apr 25th, 2008, 08:50 AM
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a) Advertising not allowed here.

b) The question was 2 years ago.
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Old Apr 25th, 2008, 10:06 PM
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Caroline,
Thanks, but the site is not advertising. It is a blog with tips on what to do in the area. I posted it as a response to a search on the site for any mention of Achiltibuie & the Summer Isles. Presumably this is how users of Fodors Forums would research a potential travel destination.
Please let me know if you disagree or think I shouldn't be there. I don't want to be disrespectful to the forums.
Rory.
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Old Apr 25th, 2008, 11:00 PM
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The problem is - look at the date of this thread 04/17/2006 - you have been dredging up old threads just to post a link to your site. The OP took their trip 2 years ago.

You are sort of skirting the fringes of "legit" since your site does include your self catering property.

If you want to contribute to Fodors - a better way to go would be to post responses to current threads where appropriate, and to "answer" them w/ relevant info - not just post a link to your website.
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Old Apr 26th, 2008, 12:11 AM
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Fair enough. I was really just imagining how someone would search for information about the area on the forums & posting there.

I aim to provide information and tips of what to do aroud Achiltibuie & the Summer Isles. I do provide a link to my house there - as well as all other members of the local tourist association - but if you look at the content of the site you will see it is not promotional.

If you'd prefer I didn't I will refrain. Don't want to cause any issues on these great forums.

Rory.
www.achiltibuiecottages.wordpress.com
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Old Apr 26th, 2008, 08:35 AM
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As I said - you might want to just answer/provide info instead of signing off w/ your URL.

Many fodorites do have websites/businesses - but they go out of their way to avoid the impression they are trolling for customers.

Your part of Scotland is really terrific and there will be lots of chances for you to give useful advice/suggestions w/o including your URL or e-mail address in the post. Hope you stick around - just go easy on the "marketing". . . .
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Old Apr 26th, 2008, 10:35 AM
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Fair enough. Thanks for the advice.
Rory.
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