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Need help with Scotland itinerary- Aberdeen to Edinburgh and parts in between

Need help with Scotland itinerary- Aberdeen to Edinburgh and parts in between

Sep 6th, 2007, 05:24 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 46
Need help with Scotland itinerary- Aberdeen to Edinburgh and parts in between

Hello all,

Thanks to all the help I have gotten so far, we are now all set to arrive in Aberdeen on the morning of Sept 23 (by plane from London - no jet lag).

We are visiting some family in Aberdeen and also visiting some family sites in Peterhead and possibly Inverurie. We are booked to fly out of Edinburgh on the morning of Sat. Sept. 29.

I know this is a little last minute - we had this part of the trip planned out, but as it turns out we don't have as many to visit in Aberdeen, Peterhead, Inverurie as we originally thought - so 1/2 day in each should be enough.

So, what we would like to do now is use our extra time to see some more of Scotland (we will have a car). We are interested in a castle or two, some scenery, and possibly interesting things like the Falkirk wheel I have read about on this site and maybe one distillery. We will have been travelling for a while at this point so won't likely want to tour tons of castles or museums.

I would love any help with a possible itinerary - we don't mind driving (until last year I commuted up to 3 hours a day) but I recognize from this board that it can take a while to get from point a to point b so don't want to overbook.

My first question is do you think that driving across to go to Skye is at all a real possiblity? If it is I'd love to go there, but if its not we will be happy with remaining more central.

If Skye is out, I was thinking something like the following:

Sunday - arrive in Aberdeen, tour around and visit family in Aberdeen and possibly Inverurie
Monday - travel to Peterhead, go along the castle trail a bit and start heading south (not sure which way or where to stay)
Tuesday - travel Loch Lomond area, maybe Stirling (again not sure where to stay)
Wednesday - Falkirk wheel, Glasgow - arrive late Wed in Edinburgh
Thursday and Friday - Edinburgh
Saturday - leave for home

This is just what I have come up with so far - I am certainly open to suggestion!

I have reservations for Aberdeen and Edinburgh. Could you also comment on whether you think I will need reservations for any of the other areas?

Thanks in advance to all, and especially Sheila, janisj, flanneruk and alanRow who have been so helpful already!
McCooper is offline  
Sep 6th, 2007, 09:31 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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For your length of time and where you are starting from, I would completely forget about Skye. But Glasgow also really doesn't fit very well.

Peterhead to Loch Lomond is a heck of a drive. Crazy actually.

If it were me, I'd try to rearrange things. Hit the Peterhead rels first - spend Sunday night up there. Then Mon and Tues in and around Aberdeen/Inverurie. Wed drive along the Dee and down through Perth to Falkirk - late arrival in Edinburgh. (This will be a looooong day) Thurs/Fri in Edinburgh.

I suggest 2 days near Aberdeen because you have two groups of rels to visit and there is a TON of places in the area. 1 day just doesn't make sense. Even if you only visited say Dunnottar and Crathes Castles - you'd still need two days to work in the family visits.

From Peterhead in the NE to Edinburgh w/ just a few days in between -- Glasgow, Loch Lomond and definitely Skye just don't work.
janisj is online now  
Sep 6th, 2007, 09:45 PM
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Oh - meant to add -- Sheila lives in Aberdeen so if she sees your thread you'll get a lot of helpful info.
janisj is online now  
Sep 7th, 2007, 09:25 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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I would definitely visit Crathes and Dunnottar Castles and base yourself in Aberdeen longer, like janis mentioned.

We also love Glamis Castle, but I don't know how/if that fits. I think it was 45 min (to an hour) from Aberdeen to Glamis.
amelie is offline  
Sep 7th, 2007, 10:34 AM
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Two lesser known castles worth visiting,if you have time, are Fraser and Drum. Both have interesting family histories. Fraser Castle is an excellent example of the French influence on Scottish architecture. Drum Castle is unique in its blend of various architectual styles popular over the years.
historytraveler is online now  
Sep 7th, 2007, 02:47 PM
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Thank you - obviously I was being too ambitious (as I kind of suspected).

I like your idea janisj of two days in Aberdeen and area and will try to plot a course that then takes us down towards Edinburgh nearer the east coast without trying to get to LL, Glasgow (or Skye!). Any thoughts on that most welcome.

Thanks to all for the castle recs - I will look into those ones in particular.

McCooper is offline  
Sep 7th, 2007, 02:49 PM
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Sorry janisj posted too soon - meant to add, any thoughts on where to stay on the way down - I do see your rec for Perth/Falkirk and will look into what we can do in those areas.
McCooper is offline  
Sep 8th, 2007, 02:09 AM
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Can I get a wee bit more info, please? Not just nosiness, but to help with logistics.

What time do you get into Aberdeen? Will you hire a car?

I'd be inclined to base myself in Aberdeen for the north east bit. I've done that "tourist" route twice this summer with visitors and there's a remarkable lot to see, if you like coastal scenery.

Peterhead itself is a grade a dump. The fact there's a high security prison there is not an accident. The only place in the area which is worse is Fraserburgh; but if you're going to do that coast, then you pretty much have to do both. The little fishing villages are very pretty. You have the amzing beaches at Cruden Bay and Newburgh, Slains Castle, Eden Country Park, and iconic places like Pennan, where Local Hero was filmed.

Then cut back down inland to Inveruie picking up Fyvie Castle, Tolqhuon Castle, Haddo House, Loanhead of Davoit Stone Circle and the Maiden Stone Pictish symbol stone. Aberdeen is worth a day at least, and a supper trip to Crawton or Stonehaven would let you pick up Dunnottar. If you CHOSE, you could also do Donside and Deeside.

You can get to Skye in 3 1/2 hours from here, but you would definitley want to overnight at least and that would be all you could manage before heading out.

I'm more inlined to suggest that you take in the East Neuk on your way south.

I haven't been to the Falkirk Wheel but would love to. It's a bit furthe west, but achievable in the same day.

Glen Garioch distllery in Oldmeldrum does tours Monday to Friday 10-3. I haven't done that tour for many years, but it used to be very good.

I don't think it's still in use, but they have a malting floor, which you rarely see these days.
sheila is offline  
Sep 8th, 2007, 04:36 AM
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Thanks Sheila. We will be in Aberdeen by 10:30 a.m. and will be hiring a car.

The relatives are avail on the Sun to meet up and I think we will need to go to Inverurie for that. So we might get to Aberdeen, have a few hours and then head out to I for the afternoon.

I am sorry to hear that Peterhead is not much to see, but it is where the ancestors come from so we will be going there for sure - no one left living but we will have a look around at where they lived (or what is left of it) and try to visit the applicable cemeteries.

Other than that we are open for the rest of the trip. Other than flying out of Edinburgh on the morning of the 29th we have no other commitments.

We do like coastal scenery but don't feel the need to see everything in an area so if Fraserburgh is not an attractive place I think we would take a pass on that.

Thanks for the other suggestions. I think based on what you and janisj have said we will give Skye a miss (sigh) and come back another time (yes!) for that.

I like the idea of East Neuk - I had looked at that briefly and do want to do the wheel if we can. I am going to go have a look at the map for the other places you have suggested - the castles and distillery sound just what we are looking for.

What do you think of getting to Glamis on the way down as well?

McCooper is offline  
Sep 8th, 2007, 04:57 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
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I was at Inverness-Loch Ness area in June 2005, it was a great trip but the car really helped! Ben Nevis is great, and we had lunch/dinner at Inverness and at this little cafe almost everyday. Stopped at edinburgh and were warned to lock our doors. But Scotland's great...especially the Lochness area..
ashkchan is offline  
Sep 8th, 2007, 08:40 AM
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I'm becoming an expert on NE Cemetaries, so if you think we can help further, let me know. Are your rellies in Inverurie? I live 6 miles from there and know HEAPS of people. Name, rank and inside leg measurement, please?
sheila is offline  
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