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EmAK Apr 21st, 2010 11:30 PM

Hotels in Scotland.
My husband and I are planning a trip to Scotland (plus a couple of other places) in September. I want to spend at least two nights in Glasgow, but only one night in a few other places. Some of these options are Fort William, Oban, Inverness, Portree, and Edinburgh or Stirling. I was planning on booking ahead, but since I want to try to be flexible I was wondering if it is at all possible to just drive from town to town, and see how far we get and not book in advance. Most of the hotels and B&Bs I've seen want one night as a deposit, but that is all I'm planning on staying there for anyways. How busy should I expect these places to be around Sept, 11-18, it it feasible to not make reservations?

janisj Apr 21st, 2010 11:50 PM

just a few comments right now:

1) of your list, Ft William and Inverness are not necessarily the best places to spend time.

2) Staying one night in most of the rest will be pretty hectic since the travel time between and all the checking in/checking out will use much of your time. For instance --Ft William (an armpit IMO) to Portree will take 3 hours w/o any stops for the scenery/sites enroute. So count on about 6-7 hours total travel time. Then the next morning you'd jump back in your car and spend another 5 or 6 hours getting to Inverness (driving time plus 'seeing' time). Then the next morning on the road again.

3) one can almost always find a place to stay at the last minute. However, it might not be what you want nor w/i your budget.

sheila Apr 22nd, 2010 01:10 AM

The Scottish Tourist Board run a scheme called "book a bed ahead". You can go into a tourist office in Oban in the morning and book a bed in Inverness for that night.

That might be a good middle way.

Ackislander Apr 22nd, 2010 04:00 AM

I have had very good luck in Scotland simply showing up at the local tourist office and booking a B&B for that night. BUT I do not expect every single lodging to be a lifetime positive experience. I am mostly interested in a clean, dry bed, a decent shower, and a good breakfast. Sometimes I HAVE had memorable lodging, but not always. But I have never failed to find a place to sleep. So far.

sssteve Apr 22nd, 2010 06:08 AM

Keep looking. There are plenty of great B&B's and hotels in Scotland which do not require an advance payment.

Check out my website which lists several where we stayed during our recent visit to Scotland.

janisj Apr 22nd, 2010 10:34 AM

"<i>There are plenty of great B&B's and hotels in Scotland which do not require an advance payment.</i>"

I was also going to mention that - in fact I've only once EVER had a B&B require any payment up front, and that was during the Festival so totally understandable.

The book-a-bed-ahead scheme is really terrific - no need to hunt for a place. But you do need to set some time aside during the day to stop by a TIC during open hours.

hopingtotravel Apr 22nd, 2010 04:02 PM

sssteve, just looked at your website, Incredibly helpful for my own planning. Thank you. Had spent 5 days in Scotland, 1998, hoping to go back next year.

WWanderer Apr 22nd, 2010 05:12 PM

I`m glad to see that the book a bed ahead scheme is still in place. We used it more than 10 years ago and loved it. We waited until mid-afternoon until we decided the area we wanted to stay, and then just visited the tourist information centre and picked a place. Worked great. It`s been a while since I was there, but I had no idea that Fort William was considered an armpit--Inverness is not, although it`s mostly a gateway to other places.

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