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JulieAA Jun 6th, 2007 12:02 PM

July Scotland Itinerary
Hi everyone,

Have been reading this forum for years off and on and want you all to know you give great advice (I'm sure you know already). Like some of the other recent posters, my husband and I are going to Scotland in July. I'd like to get your comments on the itinerary I have worked out so far. I apologize for the length of this.

July 4 Arrive Edinburgh, stay 3 nights.

July 7 Depart Edinburgh. We are going to St. Andrews, but I'd like to make a quick side trip south to Roslin before heading up to St. Andrews. Would like to visit Culross and Dunfermline and drive around the coast to St. Andrews. Too much in one day?

July 8 - sightsee around St. Andrews and vicinity.

July 9 - with luck, husband plays old course in the morning. working on this, won't know till two weeks out and even then he can try to get in the lottery on Saturday to play Monday. If he plays, we will leave St. Andrews and take the A9 up towards Inverness, with maybe a quick stop or two, staying at Strathnairn for the night at B&B Farr Mains.

If he doesn't play golf, I want to do (Sheila's?) day 2 recommendation from her castles, scenery, shopping and seafood tour, to recap Dundee Glamis Castle, Braemar Toumintoul, Speyside, Nethy Bridge and back to the A9 to get to Strathnairn.

July 10 - visit Cawdor Castle, Culloden, Clava Cairns and then drive up to Dornoch for 2 nights.

July 11 - husband plays Royal Dornoch and I sightsee in Dornoch.

July 12 - Dornoch to Skye, via Skye Bridge and Eilean Donan Castle. Staying at Tigh an Dochais in Broadmoor for two nights. Thanks to several posters' recommendations.

July 13 - tour Skye.

July 14 - ferry from Armadale to Mallaig, Glenfinnan monument, and down to stay at Pierhouse Hotel in Pt. Appin.

July 15 - Oban ferry to Mull, stay in Tobermory at Glengorm Castle (my husband's cousins'B&B) two nights, tour Mull.

July 16 - ferry to Iona for day.

July 17 - back to Oban and then do a loop down to Kilmartin, Loch Fyne (love oysters!) and back up to Loch Linnhe to B&B at Duror.

July 18 - Glen Coe, Trossachs, etc. stay night in Callander.

July 19 - Stirling and other castles and back to Edinburgh.

July 20 - fly home.

I think I'm mostly concerned about too much driving - is this doable, should we cut something out? Thanks so much for all your great advice.

kaneda Jun 6th, 2007 12:23 PM

That level of driving should be easy enough. Motorways mostly in southern part of Scotland and small roads elsewhere with fortunately few cars on them. Also fortunately you are finished before the kids break up for their school holidays.

Weather makes or breaks a holiday in Scotland but July should be nice. My one complaint about the place was parking in many places at £1.40 ($2.80) an hour. Watch out for speed cameras and speed traps in and around Aberdeen.

No visit to John O'Groats?

alanRow Jun 6th, 2007 01:14 PM

<<< Also fortunately you are finished before the kids break up for their school holidays. >>>
Scottish kiddies will have broken up for their school holidays

And go back mid August

janisj Jun 6th, 2007 01:38 PM

don't know what kaneda means by motorways - you won't be on any for your entire route - but never mind, it is a doable itinerary. (And no - you don't need to be going to John o'Groats)

It does get a bit busy right at the very end (17, 18, 19) there is a lot to see and do in those areas - but it is still "doable"

Your first day out of Edinburgh is doable if you get an early start (I'd rent the car from the night before so you aren't delayed w/ the formalities/paperwork)

About "sightseeing in Dornoch" - it is a lovely place but not much to fill a day really except for the course and teh Cathedral. But if you are driving ther is a lot to see nearby. Dunrobin castle, the Falls of Shin

(Be prepared to have the whole day to yourself - I've taken a few golfers to Dornoch and most have signed up for a 2nd round after playing their first one they loved it so much . . . :) )

historytraveler Jun 6th, 2007 02:33 PM

I think John O'Groats was a joke :) Surely!

JulieAA Jun 6th, 2007 02:49 PM

Thanks everyone. Originally I wasn't sure if my husband would be able to play Royal Dornoch and had planned a day trip up to Thurso and John O'Groats, but since we will be doing so much driving already, thought a day to myself in Dornoch might be nice. And I definitely can venture out a bit to see some of the surrounding countryside.

That's a good tip about picking the car up the evening before. I haven't made the car reservation yet so I'll keep that in mind.

Dallas Jun 6th, 2007 02:59 PM

Hi, JulieAA. Would you mind if I jump in and ask a question of my own. I still can't "Post A New Message" on Fodor's, and I'm getting ready for a trip to Scotland in September.

Can someone tell me how far The Glasgow Queen Street train station is from Glasgow Central train station? Scot Rail says you go by foot from one to the other, but they don't say how long it takes or how to get there.

Again, thanks JulieAA, for letting me use your post.

JJBhoy Jun 6th, 2007 03:03 PM


Queen St to Central is a comfortable 10 minute walk - maybe 15 depending on your luggage.


noe847 Jun 6th, 2007 03:17 PM

If you had to take a cab (which I might consider if I had luggage) it shouldn't cost you more than £5.

Dallas Jun 6th, 2007 03:52 PM

Thanks, JJBhoy and noe847. I won't have any luggage, because I'm doing a day trip from Edinburgh to Bute Island. I think I'll have plenty of time to walk between the stations thanks to your information.

noe847 Jun 6th, 2007 04:05 PM

It's not a long walk, but it is uphill :)

It seems that you could get a train into Queen Street - they are more frequent from Edinburgh and travel by a shorter route.

JJBhoy Jun 6th, 2007 04:06 PM


Have you heard about Rothesay's somewhat unusual tourist attraction?

Of course, you would need to be a male to get in!


meks Jun 6th, 2007 04:12 PM

Your itinerary is easily do-able. Would agree with janisj Dornoch golf course is very enjoyable and two rounds would not be out of the question even if it was the Struie course. Harrods shop at the Falls of Shin is excellent and well worth a visit with or without DH. Stayed at the Eagle Hotel in Dornoch and the food was very good. Dornoch Castle Hotel was also very good but preferred the price and friendliness of the Eagle / staff.

JulieAA Jun 7th, 2007 07:27 AM

Thanks Meks - I have emailed the Eagle Hotel regarding availability. Had a recommendation for a B&B from friends who stay for two weeks every year but they were full. :( Any other suggestions are appreciated.

rogerdodger Jun 7th, 2007 07:50 AM

Dallas, also a direct bus between the stations. It makes a continuios loop costing only 50 pence.

janisj Jun 7th, 2007 07:59 AM

Other than the Dornoch Castle, here are a few B&Bs wich are pretty nice

sheila Jun 7th, 2007 08:28 AM

some random comments. I think, incidentally, that this is a good well paced holiday and hope some others pay attention.

July 7 is doable, so long as you don't get sidetracked.

The fall back for July 9 was mine? It looks long. Doable but long.I agree with janis that there's not a lot to see in Dornoch. But the beaches are lovely, and there's some smashing shpping in Golspie.

Duror's not that bonny. What's the attraction? And the loop back to Glen Coe is odd.

But, on the whole, I'd like to be coming with you.

JulieAA Jun 7th, 2007 08:29 AM

Thanks also Janisj. I had emailed 2Quail yesterday but haven't heard back. Have any of you eaten there? Their menu sounds great. Does anyone have any restaurant suggestions for any of the other places we are staying? We are eating at the Pierhouse for sure, and I've seen previous postings about places to eat in and around St. Andrews. But other than that? Thanks.

JulieAA Jun 7th, 2007 08:34 AM

Just saw Sheila's message. Not sure if that was your itinerary or not, I had copied it to word document off this site some time ago, but forgot who wrote it, you have given such good advice in the past I thought it must be yours.

Re: Duror and the loop back to Glen Coe. I couldn't figure out another way to get back up to the Glen once we had done Mull and the loop down to Kilmartin. I found what looks like a very nice B&B outside of Duror, on Cuil Bay, called Druimgrianach, and didn't think we would be spending a lot of time there, so it seemed a good stopping point. That way we can fit in the Trossachs and all the other great castles, etc. on the way back to Edinburgh. Do you think we should do this some other way?

sheila Jun 7th, 2007 08:57 AM

Please don't think I'm overly critical. I'm not. Were it me, I'd probably go up Loch Awe en route to Glencose and sty somewhere up there, rather than go to Duror then back.

Actually, looking at it, what I'd do is the day you leave Port Appin, I'd go down Loch Aw as far as Glen Orchy, down Glen Orchy and acrossthe top of Loch Awe, making a much later arrival at Oban and thus Glen Gorm.

Suggestions on places to Eat- Edinburgh- Vin Caffe; the Dining
St. Andrews- the Seafood Restaurant; the Ostler's Close in Cupar,

Skye- the Three Chmineys, the Eilean Iarmain, Cafe Arriba

Port Appin- the Pierhouse; the Port Appin Hotel

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