Need help for Scotland trip

Old Jun 12th, 2007, 02:02 PM
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unfortunately - extending a rental will be VERY expensive since one would only get the higher walk-up daily rates.

So you really do need to decide before leaving the States whether you want to drive anhow long, or be prepared to pay through the nose.

No one said you can't do it by public transport - but to get off the beaten path like to Bohuntine a car or a driver is essential.
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Old Jun 12th, 2007, 02:19 PM
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I hadn't realized extending a lease woud be expensive. But then I've never
done it.

We used Alisdair once when touring Skye and he is excellent. He'll give you the local gossip as well as information on the various sights.

I've not stayed at the White heather but it gets excellent reviews. It's not central to Skye ( you'll need to stay in Portree or Sligachan for central Skye.)However, I know many people stay at the southern end. In fact my two favorite hotels are on the Sleat peninsula certainly not central but still easily managable while touring Skye.
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Old Jun 12th, 2007, 06:16 PM
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Yes janisj I think you are right about the rental. I'll have to decide whether I can bite the bullet or not. If we do rent, we'll probably do a couple days in Glasgow first and then cab or bus to the airport to pick up the rental on our way to Glencoe or Roy Bridge or Spean Bridge or wherever we decide to stay for the first couple nights. Then on to Skye for a couple nights, and then we'll drive back to the Glasgow airport in time to fly back to Nova Scotia.

I've seen a few suggestions on places to stay and I'll be checking them out soon. Thanks so much! If anyone else has places to recommend along our itinerary route - including accommodations, restaurants, attractions and things to do - I'd really appreciate it. As for accomodations, we're really looking to go the budget route. As long as it's clean and we have our own bathroom, we'll be happy. I'm guessing it'll be easier to find a Travel Inn sort of deal in Glasgow than in the rest of our route?
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Old Jun 12th, 2007, 06:53 PM
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There is a Travel Inn right in the center of Glasgow close to the bus and train stations. Alsoone at GLA if that interests you.

They are fine for city/airport stays, but touring around, I definitely recommend against that sort of accomodations. You can get very nice B&Bs in rural Scotland - either w/ a double and single room or a triple for very reasonable rates and including massive cooked breakfasts.
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Old Jun 13th, 2007, 05:47 AM
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Thanks Janisj - looking into some options now...
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Old Jun 13th, 2007, 06:55 AM
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For more information on B&B's try this website.

www.visitscotland.com
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Old Jun 13th, 2007, 09:17 AM
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Thanks historytraveler!

Now I have another question - if I do rent a car, do I need an international license to drive it? Or will my regular Canadian driver's license be enough?
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Old Jun 13th, 2007, 10:14 AM
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You do not need an international driver's license for Scotland. Your Canadian license will be sufficient.
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Old Jun 14th, 2007, 08:39 PM
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Okay, I think I have my itinerary worked out for the most part. We arrive in Glasgow on Sunday, so we'll cab it to our hotel. We'll tour around Glasgow using public transport/on foot etc for the next couple days. Tuesday morning, we'll head back to the airport to pick up a rental car (yikes!). We'll drive to Maillag and ferry over to the Isle of Skye and likely stay in Portree for one night. Then we'll head to either Glencoe or Oban (can't decide which) for our remaining 3 nights, using that as our base to explore Lochaber, Loch Ness, Bohuntine, etc. Then we'll head back to the Glasgow airport in time for our afternoon flight on Saturday.

How long a drive is it from the airport to Portree? It's doable right? My last plan was to spend 2 nights in Glasgow, 2 nights in Glencoe/Oban, and then 2 nights on the Isle of Skye. I was thinking about it and I decided I didn't want to deal with ferry issues on the way to catch our flight. Also I thought spending 2 nights at each spot would be a little hectic, so I figured 1 night in Portree would let us relax a bit more on the last part of the trip where we'll have 3 nights.

So when we're leaving Portree on Wednesday, it would probably make sense to head to Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle via Skye Bridge. I was looking at booking a cruise of Loch Ness that departs from Inverness: http://www.viator.com/tours/Scotland...d732-3034INV03 but it leaves at 10:15am only in September and we'll want to explore Skye a bit that day. Does anyone know of any similar priced (25 GBP or less) cruises that leave later in the day?
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Old Jun 14th, 2007, 09:07 PM
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don't want to put a crimp in your new plan - but a teensy bit of a reality check is in order here.

GLA to Portree will take about 5 hours w/o any stops via Mallaig and the ferry or about 6 hours via Kyle of Lochalsh. Now that is w/o ANY stopping so in reality it is an all day drive. You will be driving all day long to simply get back in the car the next day and drive back to the mainland. That is the main reason we recommended 2 days on Skye.

If you want to go to Skye first - you definitely want to spend 2 nights on the island.
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Old Jun 14th, 2007, 10:17 PM
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And one wee thing. The places you want to see are in Lochaber- perfectly doable from Glencoe. But Oban's another hour south, so you're adding a LONG commute, which might be worth it if you wanted to see stuff round Oban, but if you anticipate spending the 2 mainland days in and around Locaber, I'd advise against going that far south.

I have to say, I think there's logic in doing the Glencoe stop en route to Skye- makes for a shorter journey up, and you could add in a bit of a loop.

Personally my psychology always copes better with an all out drive to the airport on the way home than a big pint to point in the middle of a holiday. If the ferry does your head in, I think I'm right in saying that the actual time to Portree will be eeksie peeksie if you cross at Mallaig or by the bridge at Kyle (about 5 hours, I think). It might be worth your while leaving by the bridge, driving up to Inverness and getting the main road back to Glasgow. It takes about an hour longer, but it's MUCH bigger roads.
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Old Jun 15th, 2007, 03:34 AM
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How about 2 nights in Glasgow, 3 nights in Glencoe, leaving as early as possible Friday morning. Arrive in Portree late morning with the rest of the day to explore. Leave quite early the next morning and travel the Skye Bridge route back to Glasgow airport, making sure to leave enough time to return the rental car and having 2-3 hours left to check in for our 3:30 flight. If you guys think that's still not feasible, then the other alternative is head to Skye from Glasgow on Tuesday, stay 2 nights and head back via the bridge early Thursday morning so we can catch the Loch Ness cruise at 10:15am, and then head to Glencoe for 2 nights.

I'd really like to spend at least 3 nights in one spot so we have time to catch our breath and relax a bit. But if it's just not feasible then we'll look at changing our plans back to 2 nights in each spot

Thanks everyone for your help - I really appreciate it!
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Old Jun 15th, 2007, 05:48 AM
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2 nights, 2 nights, 2 nights makes much more sense to me than 3 nights, 1 night IF that one night is on Skye. Skye is a long way out there and the driving is slow - especiallly ON Skye itself. If you are only going to drive out and back you'd just as well drop Skye altogether. But being MacDobalds you really don't want to do that. 2 nights still lets you slow down -- and is a lot better than the 1nt, 1nt, 1nt, 1nt, 1nt plans we often see.

If it were me - I'd 100000% (no exaggeration) rather spend 2 days/nights on Skye than use some of that time for Loch Ness.
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Old Jun 15th, 2007, 06:15 AM
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Yeah I guess it does make more sense to do 2 nights in each spot. I'll probably still do the Loch Ness cruise though - it's just one of those once in a lifetime things, even if it is highly overrated.

Now Iím working on booking places to stay. I wanted to stay close to the city centre in Glasgow, but Iíve found a very reasonable triple room in the West End at the KelvinGrove Hotel. It has good reviews on Tripadvisor(dot)com, but has anyone here stayed there? And does anyone know how far it really is to the city centre? The website says 10-15 minute walk, plus itís right on a main bus route. Itíll make the cab ride to and from the airport a little pricier, but weíre getting a great room rate so it seems to be more than worth it. For Portree, I saw that Ben Tianavaig B&B was mentioned quite favorably in another thread so Iím waiting to hear back from them about rates and availability. I still have no idea where weíll stay in Glencoe or Spean Bridge or wherever, but I hope to research that by the end of the weekend so I can go ahead and start booking everything. Iíll take sheilaís advice and eliminate Oban as an option, especially since weíll be in the area for only 2 days.

I donít know how Iím going to make it until September Ė I want to go now!
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Old Jun 16th, 2007, 08:38 AM
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bump
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Old Jun 16th, 2007, 08:47 AM
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Near Kelvingrove is fine. If you wanted to stay more in the center, there is a Premier Travel Inn on George Street in the very center of Glasgow.
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Old Jun 16th, 2007, 09:45 AM
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For something nesr Glencoe,try the Scorry Breac. I know they have a 3 person family room.

www.scorrybreac.co.uk
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Old Jun 17th, 2007, 06:21 PM
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Thanks historytraveler - I've emailed them about availability. I've done the same for Strathassynt Guest House in Ballachulish. Does anyone here know/recommend it?

Also the B&B I hoped to book in Portree is booked up, so I'm still looking for suggestions there as well.

Thanks so much everyone for your help - I hope I'm not being too needy lol. I'm just a little anxious having decided on this trip so late in the game. September's not that far away!
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Old Jun 17th, 2007, 07:47 PM
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Has anyone heard of Balloch B&B on Viewfield Rd in Portree? What about Auchendinny Guest House, also in Portree?
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Old Jun 17th, 2007, 07:58 PM
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Sorry I can't help with Ballachulish, but here are a few suggestions for Skye.

Please note that the only places I have personal experience with are The Cuillin Hills Hotel, Eilean Iarmain. Toravaig House and the Ardvasar Hotel near Armadale on the Sleat peninsula.

Try Tir Alainn, I believe they have a triple room, and The White Heather in Kyleakin has both a family and a triple. Here are a few websites where you'll find information for both these places plus several others.

www.smoothhound.co.uk

www.sligachan.co.uk

www.greshornishhouse.com

www.viewfieldhouse.com

I've heard good reports about Ben Tianavaig B&B but only have a phone number #612152
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