how would you spend 8 days in scotland?

Old May 9th, 2001, 05:19 PM
  #1  
mari
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how would you spend 8 days in scotland?

i'm taking my mother (77) on her first trip there at the end of may after a few days in london. plan to spend a few days in edinburgh/glasgow before renting a car and heading anywhere north. would appreciate suggestions for pleasant/charming b&bs, particularly in edinburgh, but anywhere else in scotland as well. i've been twice (some feat when you live in hawaii) and know that i want to see doune and dunnottar castles again, and the only-in-dreams landscapes around eilean donan and kyle of lochalsh. already have some great tips from researching previous posts, esp sheila's. thanks for any help!
 
Old May 9th, 2001, 06:09 PM
  #2  
Ben
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Try the Bonnie Bank Guest House, near Tarbet. I've enjoyed this one B&B so much, I almost hate to share it. It is located on Loch Lomond. One of the most beautiful places you will ever see. The service is wonderful and the prices are reasonable. They have their own web site.
 
Old May 9th, 2001, 06:31 PM
  #3  
mari
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ben--

have just cked out the site and emailed a query re availability. looks wonderful--thanks for the info!
 
Old May 9th, 2001, 08:15 PM
  #4  
Mel
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Mari:
If Ben's suggestion has no availabilty, try the Dunedin Guest House. We've stayed there three times and love it! Their e-mail address is[email protected] Owner is Marsella Bowen and she keeps a lovely Inn. All rooms are large and have bathrooms and breakfast is cooked to order. Have a wonderful trip! Hope you get across the highlands. Oban is a favorite of mine, as well.
 
Old May 9th, 2001, 10:24 PM
  #5  
mari
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mel--

found dunedin on the internet and it seems a great value. did u need a car if not, how did u handle transportation w/in edinburgh? thanks!
 
Old May 10th, 2001, 05:38 AM
  #6  
Sheila
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Mari

I've got to the stage where I think all my general thoughts are already posted. If you'd like some specific assistance, feel free to ask, either here, or by email
 
Old May 10th, 2001, 03:36 PM
  #7  
mari
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sheila--

yes, i've printed out and highlighted lots of previous posts and am still trying to decide on a course around scotland. at this point, i'm very excited about glasgow and edinburgh (big charles rennie mackintosh fan), some of the hebrides, the b&b on loch lomond, and the unforgettable scenery between kyle of lochalsh and mallaig. i love castles and could explore one every day, but my mother is more into shopping, theater and natural vistas (still trying to figure out that paradox). we may just go w/o a specific plan. i do have one question for now: where is the best fish lunch in the world that you mentioned south of aberdeen??
 
Old May 10th, 2001, 04:45 PM
  #8  
Sheila
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Hi. I've posted a lot of general stuff about Glasgow and Edinburgh over the years (gosh, has it been that long?). I won't repeat unless there is anything you want to know specifically.

Rennie Macintosh? In Glasgow you start with Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Lots of Art Nouveau buildings and other design. The best building is the Glasgow School of Art, (good from the outside but tours 11am and 2 pm(Sat 10.30am))but others include, Queen’s Cross Church, the Mackintosh House(this was his house and shows what a complete artist he was. He designed almost everything in it); Scotland Street School (now a museum of education Mon-Sat 10am-5pm Sun 2-5pm); the Willow Tearooms; Martyr’s Public School; House for an Art Lover in Bellahouston Park. Outside Glasgow, there is Hill House in Helensburgh.

Can we get more specific about Hebrides? There are quite few of them?

We have more castles than you can shake a stick at. However here is some information:-

Start with Edinburgh- sits on a volcanic crag, is very old, is very open to the public, is very grand and houses, amongst other things the "Honours" of Scotland (our Crown jewels) and a fake of the Stone of Destiny (they think it’s the real one, but….)

Loch Leven castle at Kinross, where Mary Queen of Scots was locked up on an island in the middle of the Loch. You can take a tour in a wee boat to visit.

Between Aberfeldy and Loch Tay you will pass Breadalbane Castle, former home of the Marquis of Breadalbane, and now a golf course!

Back on the A9- the main road to Inverness- you will come to Blair Atholl, a planned village and a superb castle for a visit. The Duke of Atholl is the only person is the UK licenced by the Queen to have a private army.

Also, just for giggles, while in the Inverness area visit the Stuart Castle, supposedly haunted. The Stuart family runs a hotel and a tour of the place is $5/pp. Lots of fun with the secret passages and fake library shelves, the tour guide was excellent in relating the history of the castle and its place in Scottish history. Beautiful countryside location, great pictures of the valley from the top tower. Also nearby is the site of the Battle of Culloden; fascinating history.
When you get to Inverness, pass by quickly and go down the Lochside. Stop at Castle Urqhuart, see the piper; hope you see the Monster, On Skye, you can visit Dunvegan Castle home of the fairy flag. Another available castle is Kinloch Castle owned and run by Lady Clare MacDonald as a hotel (with excellent food).
 
Old May 10th, 2001, 04:48 PM
  #9  
Sheila
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Hi. I've posted a lot of general stuff about Glasgow and Edinburgh over the years (gosh, has it been that long?). I won't repeat unless there is anything you want to know specifically.

Rennie Macintosh? In Glasgow you start with Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Lots of Art Nouveau buildings and other design. The best building is the Glasgow School of Art, (good from the outside but tours 11am and 2 pm(Sat 10.30am))but others include, Queen’s Cross Church, the Mackintosh House(this was his house and shows what a complete artist he was. He designed almost everything in it); Scotland Street School (now a museum of education Mon-Sat 10am-5pm Sun 2-5pm); the Willow Tearooms; Martyr’s Public School; House for an Art Lover in Bellahouston Park. Outside Glasgow, there is Hill House in Helensburgh.

Can we get more specific about Hebrides? There are quite few of them?

We have more castles than you can shake a stick at. However here is some information:-

Start with Edinburgh- sits on a volcanic crag, is very old, is very open to the public, is very grand and houses, amongst other things the "Honours" of Scotland (our Crown jewels) and a fake of the Stone of Destiny (they think it’s the real one, but….)

Loch Leven castle at Kinross, where Mary Queen of Scots was locked up on an island in the middle of the Loch. You can take a tour in a wee boat to visit.

Between Aberfeldy and Loch Tay you will pass Breadalbane Castle, former home of the Marquis of Breadalbane, and now a golf course!

Back on the A9- the main road to Inverness- you will come to Blair Atholl, a planned village and a superb castle for a visit. The Duke of Atholl is the only person is the UK licenced by the Queen to have a private army.

Also, just for giggles, while in the Inverness area visit the Stuart Castle, supposedly haunted. The Stuart family runs a hotel and a tour of the place is $5/pp. Lots of fun with the secret passages and fake library shelves, the tour guide was excellent in relating the history of the castle and its place in Scottish history. Beautiful countryside location, great pictures of the valley from the top tower. Also nearby is the site of the Battle of Culloden; fascinating history.
When you get to Inverness, pass by quickly and go down the Lochside. Stop at Castle Urqhuart, see the piper; hope you see the Monster, On Skye, you can visit Dunvegan Castle home of the fairy flag. Another available castle is Kinloch Castle owned and run by Lady Clare MacDonald as a hotel (with excellent food).

In the North east of Scotland Pittodrie is a stunning Country House Hotel on the slopes of Bennachie in west Aberdeenshire. Its core is a 14th century tower house (Castle, but it hasn't got a ghost.)There are so many castles in the North East we have a Castle trail. It does not include Slains Castle where Mary Shelley
wrote Dracula.
 
Old May 10th, 2001, 04:48 PM
  #10  
Sheila
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From Pittodrie, you are closest to Leith Hall at Kennethmont, which is owned by the National Trust, and is very nice. The trail leads you in one direction to Kildrummy Castle which is a ruin and owned by Historic Scotland, then yougo up through Strathdon to Corgarff Castle, which has a fascinating wall skirting it. It was a barracks for the soldiers building the Wade road nearby. Cross over the moor to Deeside and Braemar Castle which is privately owned, but open to the public, then come down Deeside to Balmoral, the Queen's wee place in the Highlands.

Come back over to Craigievar and visit Craigievar castle, the sugar plum castle Disney is supposed to have used as his model. If you stay on Deeside you can visit Crathes Castle and Drum Castle, both of which are fun. Crathes has the added attraction of terrific gardens. Crossing back to can bring you past Castle Fraser with its resident ghost.

If you go the other way from Leith Hall, you reach Huntly Castle, another ruined ancient monument. The trail then takes you to Fyvie Castle which is the grandest of them all. Come south to Haddo House, ancestral home of the Earls of Aberdeen, then past Tolquhon Castle at Tarves to Pitmedden House, in its lovely formal gardens.

To pick 3 or 4 from that lot, I'd do one of the ruins, probably Kildrummy, plus Fyvie for grandeur and Craigievar for cuteness- and which ever of the rest takes your fancy.

Doune Castle is another central belt place worth a visit.


Other castles to visit are: Glamis, Stirling, Cawdor, and Eilean Donan- great pictures there.(the hills are mesmerising)

How’s that for castles?

Shopping? Glasgow, and Perth. Scenery...well, could we get a bit more specific? I did a document for someone sometime called "History, Shopping, castles and distilleries" I could email it to you if you like?

I had some difficulty in finding the fish reference. But the answer is....."the Cellar" in Anstruther, Fife.

Feel free to come back for more
 
Old May 10th, 2001, 04:57 PM
  #11  
mari
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wow sheila--

thanks again for all that, esp the fish restaurant! let me go print out and highlight some more... btw, isn't it after midnight where u are?
 
Old May 10th, 2001, 04:59 PM
  #12  
Sheila
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Yes; but I've been out to dinner and I'm the sort of sad bast...sorry, addicted person who cannot go to bed without her "fix"
 
Old May 10th, 2001, 05:11 PM
  #13  
mari
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make that 2 sad basts
 
Old May 10th, 2001, 05:18 PM
  #14  
Jane
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Mari,

If you get to visit Culloden Battlefield, I can recommend the 'eatery' at the visitors centre. Very good.
 
Old May 10th, 2001, 06:39 PM
  #15  
Mel
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Mari:
yes, the Dunedin IS a wonderful place--hope you can get in! They are located on a residential street in Edinburgh and you can walk (about 1 mile) to the Royal Mile. However, the city bus stops at the end of their street and Marsella will recommend that because it costs about $1.50 for the day, you can hop on,hop off and it's about a 5 minute ride to the Royal Mile. Very easy to get around Edinburgh--no car needed. (Also, cabs are not expensive). There are some wonderful little resaaurants and pubs in the area of the B&B, as well.
 
Old May 10th, 2001, 06:50 PM
  #16  
Lauren
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The best fish restaurant in the Edinburgh area is supposed to be Fisher's in Leith. Tony Blair noshes there when he is in town. I ate there once last August and it was superb. Your Mom might enjoy a stroll around the Royal Yacht Britannia, which is permanently parked in the Leith harbor.

I agree about Crathes Castle. The painted ceilings are wonderful.

Please enjoy your trip and do not kill your Mom with all the steps. I would think leisurely drives to see the scenery might be less strenuous than too much marching up and down to inspect castles.

If your Mom likes crystal, take a trip to the Edinburgh Crystal Factory. I believe there is a bus from downtown Edinburgh. The Factory Store part that sells seconds is just great. I did spend a bit in there and now finally have glasses that match. At the prices for seconds, it was hard to resist.
 
Old May 10th, 2001, 07:07 PM
  #17  
mari
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lauren--

great suggestions, esp the fish place! i laughed when u told me not to kill mom w/ all the steps--last year, after she had surgery for uterine cancer and almost died of food poisoning in vietnam, we made what i thought was her final trip abroad, and she climbed up and down the notre dame bell tower, arc de triomphe and florence's duomo bell tower--all about 400 steps! she told her doctor she was feeling a little tired and he just laughed at her.
 
Old May 11th, 2001, 12:29 AM
  #18  
Sheila
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Right now, Martin Wisharts in Leith is getting the better name (fish restaurants, m'dear)
 

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