Must Do or Must See in Scotland?

Old Aug 5th, 2008, 12:57 PM
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Must Do or Must See in Scotland?

My husband and I are in the beginning stage of planning our three month trek throughout Europe. We want to spend 4 or 5 days in Scotland.

What are the must-dos or must-sees in Scotland?

Looking at it seems like there are many amazing castles, lakes and beautiful landscapes in there one castle, lake or landscape (or etc) which is better than the rest?

Any hints on great places to stay?

Thanks in advance!!
nrosebrock is offline  
Old Aug 5th, 2008, 01:17 PM
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That's a huge question. Which part of Scotland do you want to see? I could easily spend 4 or 5 days in any one part. In fact, I just spent three weeks there (you can click on my name for a very detailed trip report! Or go to my webpage for report plus pics )

What do you like to do? Shopping, historical places, hikes, museums, modern marvels, etc.

Where are you entering from, and how? Edinburgh by train, Glasgow by plane? What's your budget/age/activity level? Any information helps

We've got some wonderful resources on the board, such as sheilaritchie, carolinedinbugh, janisj, etc.
GreenDragon is offline  
Old Aug 5th, 2008, 01:17 PM
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According to the great Dr Johnson, there is just one must-see in Scotland.

"the noblest prospect a Scotchman [and dear old Sam wrote the dictionary, so that's the correct term, whatever prissy pretensions the Scotch might invent] ever sees is the high road leading him to England"

Don't worry. This'll get all the sweaties out bloviating. And once they've stopped cursing the English (their only national pastime, apart from eating really life-shortening food), they'll give you some more conventional answers.
flanneruk is offline  
Old Aug 5th, 2008, 01:37 PM
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I don't want you to tell me what you think I'll like. I want to know what YOU liked in Scotland.

If there was only one thing you could see in Scotland, what would you want to see?
nrosebrock is offline  
Old Aug 5th, 2008, 01:58 PM
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Ah, that is harder, considering I just came from three glorious weeks. My favorites were the north coast of Scotland (I traveled from Orkney to Lewis along the coast); Isle of Skye, especially the Trotternish peninsula; the Isle of Staffa was spectacular; Stirling Castle and Inchmahome Priory; Old town in Edinburgh; Roslyn Chapel; Grampian Mountains.

Enough for you?
GreenDragon is offline  
Old Aug 5th, 2008, 02:03 PM
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We loved Iona and Scone Palace...we were not all that impressed with only get to see a tiny part of the I recall, a room filled with portraits of Queen Victoria's dogs. But the grounds are gorgeous.
Old Aug 5th, 2008, 02:05 PM
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If I had 4-5 days (my visits have always been 3+ weeks so this is hard), I would spend two days in Edinburgh and three days in the highlands somehow (Skye, Glencoe, around Loch Ness...somewhere in this area). I don't know the logistics of 4-5 days though and I won't even attempt to try since there are very knowledgeable people on these forums.

My absolute favorite castle is Glamis.

I also enjoyed St. Andrews.
amelie is offline  
Old Aug 5th, 2008, 05:22 PM
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Edinburgh (and 1- 2 day trips) !
danon is online now  
Old Aug 5th, 2008, 06:13 PM
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I would go back to Edinburgh in a heartbeat. I was there for a week in November and visited the castle, museums,the palace, the parliament building, and took a day trip up to The Highlands. It is such a beautiful city. The country side is breathtaking. We also took an open top bus tour of the city. There are many wonderful restaurants and shops and people were very friendly.
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Old Aug 5th, 2008, 07:23 PM
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The Isle of Skye, which is absolutely magical.
Underhill is offline  
Old Aug 5th, 2008, 08:47 PM
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&quot;<i>I don't want you to tell me what you think I'll like. I want to know what YOU liked in Scotland. </i>&quot;

That is useless IMO. I've been to Scotland countless times - have probably spent 6 or 7 months total there. My list of what I liked is very long. It is a <b>very</b> large country w/ thousands of things to see/do. W/o knowing what sorts of things you hope to see, it is next to impossible to give you a &quot;must&quot; list.

Unless you want to wade through a list of 200-300+ sites - give us something to work w/ here.

Since you are only going to spend 4 or 5 days there - you won't have time to see more than a small handful of the &quot;musts&quot;.

&quot;<i>Hints on great places to stay?</i>&quot; Lots of great places. Tell us how much you want to spend.

Also when do you plan on being there? That can make a huge difference re where you can go and what you can see.
janisj is offline  
Old Aug 5th, 2008, 09:10 PM
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There really are no wrong choices as what to see/do in Scotland. If you honestly have no idea, I suggest you purchase either a photo/travel book on Scotland or a guide book. The Eyewitness Travel Guides series is especially useful as it contains a good number of pictures. Peruse the availabe information, then come back here with a few ideas of your own. Otherwise you will end up with dozens of personal opinions which will not be particularly helpful in deciding on an itinerary.
historytraveler is offline  
Old Aug 6th, 2008, 02:11 AM
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I do think the question is a bit broad. I've lived here all my life, and there are very few places I haven't been (note to self- visit Shetland next summer).

Personally, I prefer the road less travelled. I love Islay above all, I think. But the two breathstopping monets I have had (see threads passim) were on top of the Cuillins ridge on Skye and on the early morning ferry from Oban to Tiree
sheila is offline  
Old Aug 6th, 2008, 04:48 AM
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Suggest you search the site for Scotland.(use the box at the top of the page)
The comments may help you decide what tickles your fancy.
For 4 or 5 days most people like to see a bit of Edinburgh (avoid in August - festival) and the Highlands (forget Loch Ness)
If you want a spectacular drive, Glasgow - Skye works.
zippo is offline  
Old Aug 6th, 2008, 05:08 AM
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&gt;&gt;Personally, I prefer the road less travelled.&lt;&lt;

Agree to the above but not for a first trip. IMHO I would want to see as many great sites as possible and leave the lesser sites for
future trips.
SusieQQ is online now  
Old Aug 6th, 2008, 05:14 AM
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Our five-day trip to Scotland (relying heavily on janisj's advice) included a bit of everything:

Day one: Edinburgh (***).

Day two: Daytrip from Edinburgh to Roslyn Chapel (spectacular church ***), Culross (picturesque fishers village **), Cramond (nice harbour *).

Day three: Driving to Stirling (castle **), Lake of Menteith/Inchmahome Priory (scenery, romantic ruins ***), proceeding to Loch Lomond (***); two overnight stays in Cameron House (***).

Day four: Driving to Luss (picturesque village **), up Loch Tay (highland scenery, ***), down to the Trossachs (scenery **), steamboat trip on Loch Katrine (***), driving the loop road through Achray Forest (*), back to Loch Lomond.

Day five: Driving from Loch Lomond to Callander, visiting the Highland Games (***), then Linlithgow (ruined castle, *) and back to Edinburgh Airport.
traveller1959 is offline  
Old Aug 6th, 2008, 05:40 AM
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My wife and I always liked seeing and walking through castle ruins. I thought Tantallon and Dirleton were particularly interesting. (Northeast of Edinburgh) For our next trip we will probably try to find more in advance to see. We actually just &quot;stumbled across&quot; the first couple ruins and after that we started to really search for them.
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Old Aug 9th, 2008, 12:40 PM
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Thanks for your help everyone! I have lots to look into!
nrosebrock is offline  
Old Sep 6th, 2008, 09:49 AM
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If you want scenary then try the Highlands region with the Isle of Skye and Loch Ness being two of the most popular places. Urquhart Castle and Eilean Donan Castle are both in this region and they are two of the most popular castes in Scotland.

If you want to explore Scotlands history the Stirling or Edinburg are good places to go. Both have historic places such as Edinburgh Castle and Bannockburn which are worth visting.

I also like St Andrews which is in Fife, it is like a smaller version of Edinburgh with lovley buildings and an abudance of Golf Courses!

The Visit Scotland website is good for information on Scotland. Othere sites that may prove useful are

have a great time
fa2008 is offline  
Old Sep 6th, 2008, 01:24 PM
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I agree with Skye for knock-your-socks-off scenery, particularly the drive through the Quirang. I also agree with SusieQ that Skye is probably best saved for a future trip when you have more time.

I like the road-less-traveled places, too. Doune Castle, Crichton Castle (where the knowledgable guide will love sharing the history of Scotland - I got the impression he gets a little lonely....), Drummond Castle Gardens, Invermoristen Falls, Inchmahome Priory. The list goes on and on. The Undiscovered Scotland website provided fa2008 was particularly helpful to me.

We were just there in August, so if you click on my name and read my trip report, you might get some more ideas.
twina49 is offline  

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