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Need to tweak my Scotland itinerary and request hotel recommendations

Need to tweak my Scotland itinerary and request hotel recommendations

Old Nov 11th, 2022, 10:33 AM
  #41  
 
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I think we were in Grantown-on-Spey for four nights. We arrived late in the day on our first night there after driving from St. Andrews and stopping Dunnottar Castle. (We also stopped in Ballater.)

Our original plan was to spend three days hiking in the mornings and visiting distilleries in the afternoons. That plan got scrapped for unexpected reasons. Instead, on our first full day there - just me and my 18-year-old son - we visited the Highland Wildlife Park and Highlands Heritage Museum, returning to Grantown for dinner. The second day we visited Cawdor Castle and Culloden in the morning, had a late lunch in Inverness, and picked up my son's dad in Inverness before heading back to Grantown. The third day we spent hiking near the Cairngorm Reindeer Center just south of Aviemore, walked around Aviemore, and returned to Grantown for dinner. That was the fourth night. The next day we were meeting my older son in Inverness so we spent the morning up in Findhorn, then picked him up and headed up to a B&B near Thurso.

This is unrelated, but let me put in a plug for Crail and Anstruther, as well! I now have a big enlargement of a photo I took of Crail hanging in my room. We were just there for a day but I would love to return.
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Old Nov 11th, 2022, 06:14 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Barbara_in_FL View Post
I think we were in Grantown-on-Spey for four nights. We arrived late in the day on our first night there after driving from St. Andrews and stopping Dunnottar Castle. (We also stopped in Ballater.)

Our original plan was to spend three days hiking in the mornings and visiting distilleries in the afternoons. That plan got scrapped for unexpected reasons. Instead, on our first full day there - just me and my 18-year-old son - we visited the Highland Wildlife Park and Highlands Heritage Museum, returning to Grantown for dinner. The second day we visited Cawdor Castle and Culloden in the morning, had a late lunch in Inverness, and picked up my son's dad in Inverness before heading back to Grantown. The third day we spent hiking near the Cairngorm Reindeer Center just south of Aviemore, walked around Aviemore, and returned to Grantown for dinner. That was the fourth night. The next day we were meeting my older son in Inverness so we spent the morning up in Findhorn, then picked him up and headed up to a B&B near Thurso.

This is unrelated, but let me put in a plug for Crail and Anstruther, as well! I now have a big enlargement of a photo I took of Crail hanging in my room. We were just there for a day but I would love to return.
Barbara, thank you for your detailed response. Sounds like you did a lot while in Grantown-on-Spey. We are spending 3 nights in Nairn and plan to visit Elgin Cathedral, Cawdor Castle, Culloden Battlefield, Urquhart Castle, and Loch Ness with possibly a boat ride on Loch Ness, and one or two distilleries. We will probably visit Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness on our drive to Isle of Skye. So we should have plenty of time.

Dunnotar sounds amazing but I am concerned about the stairs up and down into the castle a I noted to janisj. The 4 of us are in our 70's and I'm not sure if we can handle all those steps up and down. You are probably younger than us. What did you think of the trek in and out of the castle? And how rigorous is the hike near the Cairngorm Reindeer Center? Is it flat?

And thanks for the plug for Crail and Anstruther! I am really looking forward to spending 2 nights here!
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Old Nov 19th, 2022, 11:25 AM
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Karen - I have nothing to add but love Scotland and isnít it great to have such helpful advice from janis and others? I look very forward to your trip report. I was in Scotland in 2019 the same dates as youíll be there and had 14 straight days of sunshine. I wish you that, with maybe one misty day for resting up with tea and biscuits and a book.
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Old Dec 1st, 2022, 07:24 PM
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Hi Karen, sorry I did not follow up sooner. There are definitely a lot of stairs to get up and down to Dunnottar. My 60-year-old knees did feel it a little bit. But I saw people both older and younger than me (and was passed by both at different times). On a nice day, the views are so beautiful it might be worth the slow climb back and forth.

The hike near Aviemore was not flat. But the first part was not strenuous. Even the hill part of it is not terrible - it's just a long uphill. We ran out of time and didn't go all the way to the top, but got about 1/2 or 2/3 of the way up. Just the walk to the base of the hill was beautiful. The hill is called Meall a'Bhuachaille.

There are other places to hike in that area that have trails for "all abilities" - such as this: https://www.visitscotland.com/info/s...serve-p1404541.

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