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nearly 2 weeks to see some of Scotland and north eastern England

nearly 2 weeks to see some of Scotland and north eastern England

Feb 23rd, 2010, 09:13 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 11
nearly 2 weeks to see some of Scotland and north eastern England

DH and I will be finishing a long trip to Europe (from Australia) with just under 2 weeks of driving through parts of Scotland and NE England. We'll be flying into Edinburgh, where we plan to spend a couple of days, before picking up a hire car and making our way north.
We'll have had our fill of hotels by that time, so would like to use B&Bs, and would LOVE one of those to be on a working farm.
So, from Edinburgh, we thought we'd head for Inverness (despite reading from lots of posters that it's not worth looking at). Really looking forward to driving through national parks,gasping at mountains etc.
Then onto Skye by way of 'somewhere'. What is the minimum time we should allow on Skye? After Skye, we want to head down towards Kilmarnock (family history connections!) but don't know anything about the place (size,worth staying there,etc).
We're not keen on seeing Glasgow, but might have to drop into Gallashiels(sp?) to visit a friend's fiance.
After that, we'll venture into England, heading for Durham and York. We then fly out of Manchester for home.
I would so appreciate any advice about places not to be missed, and any good mid-range B&Bs.
I have spent hours and hours reading these forums, making copious notes and following up links, but I'm still unsure about what is REALLY worth seeing and what is just so so.(Two weeks sounds a lot, but from previous experience, we know it's not.)
I would really appreciate all and any help I can get. I regard forum posting as being a community service-so grateful for you all.
aless_oz is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2010, 10:57 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20,680
My 2007 trip report on Scotland might give you some ideas. Just click on my name to find it.
Michael is offline  
Feb 24th, 2010, 02:15 AM
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Posts: 8,156
I can't give you any recommendations re B&Bs but you might want to have a look at this website


Inverness itself is not fantastic. What/ where do you want to see, and I'll recommend somewhere proximate.

How long are you meaning to take between Inverness and Skye. It's less than 2 hours' drive without stopping. Are you thinking about spending a day mooching about en route.

I wouldn't spend less than 2 days on Skye.

Kilmarnock is a bit of a no no. West central Scotland industrial.

Glasgow has a lot going for it.
sheila is offline  
Feb 24th, 2010, 04:03 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 3,654
England is such a tiny country ( to us!). We found we could achieve everything and more than we initially anticipated.
Here is my trip report with photos- you may find a few things that interest you: http://tinyurl.com/cwarzw

Take note of the time it took us from one place to another.
tod is offline  
Feb 24th, 2010, 05:08 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,239
Instead of Inverness, you might want to try Grantown on Spey. Much more picturesque. We stayed in this place last time we went up there:


The food was fantastic!

If you're flying out of Manchester, why not have a night or two there? It's a great city with lots of history, historic buildings, excellent restaurants and hotels to suit all pockets. The city centre is only 20 to 30 minutes from the airport.
Lifeman is offline  
Feb 24th, 2010, 05:52 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,108
If you are coming down through NE England, don't neglect Northumberland. Hadrian's Wall, Bamburgh Castle, Alnwick Castle, Lindisfarne Island (you can drive over a causeway at low tide) with its castle ruins and charming little town (village?). If you are interested in wildlife, take a boat from Seahouses out to the Farne islands for birdwatching.

Between Edinburgh and Northumberland in the borders there are several ruined abbeys worth a stop. Jedbugh is interesting--abbey ruins, house where Mary Queen of Scots stayed, an interesting little museum.

Durham's cathedral and castle as well as its little streets are worth a visit as you mentioned you would like to see that city.

On the way over to York, stop in Ripon--interesting cathedral, and Fountains Abbey just outside of the city. Nearby is Thirsk, home of the late James Herriot. The scenery in this area is stunning. I will never forget coming over Sutton Bank and being able to see for miles.
irishface is offline  
Feb 24th, 2010, 06:23 AM
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Just interested on why you don;t want to go to Glasgow?
alihutch is offline  
Feb 24th, 2010, 07:32 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 11
Michael-I had actually read your report before I posted.Got lots of great ideas.Thanks.
Sheila-thanks for the farmstay link.I have a place picked out.
Lifeman-have decided not to go into Inverness(lots of advice about that city) and will follow up suggestion.Manchester for 1 night at least.
Irishface- great places mentioned.Definitely going to Thirsk!!
Alihutch- probably have a jaundiced view from TV crime shows...
;-) Thought it might be hard and industrial.Will re-think
Tod-loved your photos and report.UK seems small to Aussies too, but having been to Ireland/Wales/England before, I know that there's a lot packed in to the smaller area.
Many thanks to all of you.It's starting to look like a plan.
aless_oz is offline  
Feb 24th, 2010, 08:10 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,423
Glasgow is anything but "hard and industrial". This is a myth from the past. Today it is an attractive city with much to offer. In fact the Burrell Collection is one of the finest museums anywhere.If given a choice between Glasgow and Edinburgh, I'd go with Edinburgh. But please don't let out-dated opinions jade your view of Glasgow.There are those that give a grim view of the city, but I have to think that they haven't been there for years.
historytraveler is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 02:09 AM
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Hi historytraveller. I'm starting to understand my mistake re Glasgow, so I've now included it,though briefly.

I'd really appreciate any input re a rough itinerary- is it 'do-able' in 16 full days( mis-counted previously )?

Edinburgh(2 nights) > Grantown on Spey(1 night) [miss

Inverness altogether] > Poolewe(1 night- HAVE to see the

Inverewe Gardens even though it means backtracking) > Skye(2

nights) via the Inverness/Kyle of Lochalsh road > ferry from

Skye to Maillag going on to Ft William to Glasgow (1 night) >

Largs(1 night) which is the only farmstay I can find at the

moment that suits what we want > drive via Kilmarnock(having

a look only)across to Galashiells(1 night somewhere nearby),

THEN (this is where it

gets a bit crazy) > to the west of the Yorkshire Dales

(Kendal?-1 night) > Thirsk(1 night) > Whitby (all because I

HAVE to see the Yorkshire Dales and Moors) > York via

Pickering(2 nights in York) then leave car and take train to

Manchester(2 nights).Flying out home after that.

As before, I so much appreciate what people do for me on forums.
Local knowledge of road travelling time is something I can't predict of course, so this itinerary might need sorting out-any help at all would be so appreciated.
By the way, five years ago we travelled almost right around the Republic of Ireland, staying only one night at each B&B,which was exhausting, but we had a fantastic time and saw SO much that was memorable.We have always called our last trip "just a taste of....". We know we aren't doing any place justice, but that's the way it has to be when we travel from so far away, and won't be back again.
aless_oz is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 06:01 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,873
Near Hadrian's Wall, I can recommend Ashcroft B&B in Haltwhistle.

Also, my favorite castle of all time is Threave Castle in SW Scotland. Threave is on a small island. To get to it, you walks thru a farm field to the dock where you ring a bell for the boatman to come and take yo you the castle. Lots of fun.
bigtyke is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 06:55 AM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,588
Not sure that Kilmarnock worth a look....I'd miss Largs and go the the Galashiels area or stay an extra night in Glasgow...where you can see
The School of Art
The Huntarian Gallery
The House for an Art Lover
The Burrell Collection
The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (the most visited free attraction in Scotland)
The Transport Museum
The Merchant City http://www.glasgowmerchantcity.net/
The People's Palace
The Botanic Gardens
The restaurants and bars of the West End
The best clothes shopping outwith London

Glasgow is known as 'The Dear Green Place' cos it has some many park areas.
alihutch is offline  

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