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Island Hopping and Whisky Tasting in South West Scotland

Island Hopping and Whisky Tasting in South West Scotland

Old Jun 18th, 2014, 05:10 AM
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What a lovely report. I almost didn't read it through, because I don't really think of Fort William as the South west. I have a very good friend who thinks that heaven in a Calmac ferry. I also think you may be the first person on Fodors to mention the Rothesay pier loos,

Did you go and see the fern house at Castle Stuart? I've not been but it's on my list.

Chepar, I've just booked Islay for the Feis next year. Come then and I'll show you around.

I'm a massive fan of Islay, and it's lovely to see it so appreciated. What boat did you get back, but, if it wasn't the Finlaggan? Me, I'm still in love with the Iona, the first boat I went to Islay on 30 years ago
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 05:19 AM
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Hi Sheila,

Maybe you misread my opening comments - our trip was to Argyll and the Isles in the southwest. I only mentioned Fort William / Inverness etc as these places come up again and again and again.... and I really wanted to spotlight another area of Scotland that doesn't get the visitor attention it deserves.

The ferry on the way back from Islay was the MV Hebridean Isles (built 1985, so getting a bit long in the tooth!).
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 05:20 AM
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Great report Gordon.

Always promised my self a distillery based tour but never had the time.

"still in love with the Iona"

We stayed in a cottage in Fionnphort last August.

We woke up one morning to a deadly calm day with a cloudless sky, as we opened the curtains 8 dolphins were flipping in the sea in front of Iona abbey. We took some great photos.
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 09:33 AM
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Thanks for a great trip report! We've just returned from Wales, and I see Mount Stuart is owned by the same family who owns Cardiff Castle.

Lee Ann
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 11:19 AM
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Hey, I'm not being picky, but look at your heading!!

Ah; the Hebridean Isles. Know it well. Dickie, the Iona's a boat too....
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 11:34 AM
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Sorry Sheila, missed the definite article!

Anybody done Corryvreckan on a calm day? Incredible experience in a fast RIB.
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 11:52 AM
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Not till he'll freezes over.
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 11:53 AM
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Damn auto correct. >hell
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 11:54 AM
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Been a bad day all round for autocorrect!
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 12:07 PM
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>>Hey, I'm not being picky, but look at your heading!!
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Old Jun 19th, 2014, 12:05 AM
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OIC.

Sorry; the report doesn't need me to do this. It's a great report, but "we in Scotland" (pace Mrs Thatcher) wouldn't refer to anywhere you've been as the South West. That's, if you like, Ayrshire and south.

Focus of comments all wrong here. Just loved where you went and how.
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Old Jun 19th, 2014, 07:15 AM
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What a great report!! Thank you and will certainly bookmark this for our trip to Scotland!
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Old Jun 19th, 2014, 08:22 AM
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A couple of weeks ago I spent hours with a Scottish lass here in the states on holiday, looking at all the places she's lived in the UK via Google Earth. (She currently lives near Plymouth) She showed me this amazing video -

Beaches of Scotland -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmAht5zk_Tc

I had no idea there were gorgeous beaches like that, some look like the Caribbean. Absolutely amazing.

My trip to Scotland was way too brief and I knew I wanted to return. I'm going to use this trip report as the backbone of the return trip's plan.

My GF wants to return to this castle so the parts of the trip are being uncovered.
http://www.eileandonancastle.com/

Thanks for providing such great details.
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Old Jun 19th, 2014, 09:11 AM
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Starrs

We have some incredible beaches.

Those on Mill, Uist, Coll, Tiree stand out and Barra beach is an airport runway.

My favourite is the beach at the north end of Iona, if only for the fact that it is as good as any of the other but it is surrounded by fields of wild flowers.

The skill isn't finding the beaches but finding a day wih temperatures above 60oF so that you can enjoy the beach!

The Exumas still have the best beaches around in my opinion.
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Old Jun 19th, 2014, 10:34 AM
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"The skill isn't finding the beaches but finding a day wih temperatures above 60oF so that you can enjoy the beach!"

Truth.

The Scottish lass did mention the double thick wetsuits needed to play in the surf.
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Old Jun 19th, 2014, 12:03 PM
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I loved Iona, but I must say the small boat we went to Staffa and Iona on was awful. We were packed in like sardines, standing room only for many, and despite written literature to the contrary, there were no bathroom facilities. We never saw a life jacket til the people lucky enough to board first, and get inside the covered area, got up. They were all sitting on the life jackets. We would have been in serious trouble if that boat capsized.
The big CalMac ferry was great, though.
I don't mind going to the beach on cooler days, it is so beautiful and wild, even if all I can do is put my toes in the water.
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Old Jun 20th, 2014, 12:06 PM
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Really great report, have never been to this part of Scotland. Husband wants to go tomorrow!
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Old Jun 21st, 2014, 02:45 AM
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Thanks for all the nice comments. As I mentioned at the beginning my idea was to highlight a region of Scotland that many are unaware of. There are dozens of superb West-coast island-hopping itineraries you can work out with the aid of an on-line map and the CalMac website. We're slowly working our way round the islands and have so far been to Arran, Bute, Gigha, Islay, Jura, Mull, Skye and Harris/Lewis over several previous trips.

I thought you might like to see some photos of our trip to go with the above TRbr /> http://s1097.photobucket.com/user/Go...%202014?sort=2
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Old Jun 24th, 2014, 12:26 PM
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stars, great video. I love my beach but to have beach and mountains together would be heaven.
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Old Oct 21st, 2014, 07:32 AM
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Thank you for this report. After 16 years, am hoping to go back to Scotland next June--aiming for Skye and Mull which I've never been to. You sound like a frequent visitor so I hope you are still reading this thread when I get around to questions.
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