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Not sure WHERE to go this October! How does 7 days in Scotland sound?

Not sure WHERE to go this October! How does 7 days in Scotland sound?

Aug 2nd, 2006, 05:52 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 66,072
Edinburgh and Glasgow are less than an hour from each other - so it really doesn't matter if you fly:
in/out of GLA,
in/out of EDI,
or open jaw into one and out of the other.

I'd just go w/ whichever gets you the best fare.

If you do an open jaw, there usually are no rental car drop off charges so you could pick a car leaving Edinburgh and drop it off at GLA.
janisj is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2006, 05:56 AM
  #22  
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aha, didnt realize they were so close together. So how far a drive from Edinburgh is the far north...ie isle of sky, loch ness?
steviegene is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2006, 06:16 AM
  #23  
 
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Do a search on here and you willl find a TON of ideas for driving routes.

W/ 6 days you would have time for Edinburgh and a reasonable mini-tour to 1) Skye/and a bit of the highlands, or 2) St Andrews and a bit of the NE coast/castle trail, or 3) the Trossachs and west coast/Oban - or a lot of other options.

as your ideas start to focus, we can help you plan a great 4 day loop.
janisj is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2006, 06:22 AM
  #24  
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janisj,
thanks so much!
A 4 day driving tour sounds right up our alley. We like to do/see a lot in each trip. Glad to learn that the distances are not too far.
Will do more research - however do you recommend any of these areas you mentioned more than another? and why?
steviegene is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2006, 09:04 AM
  #25  
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hullo
steviegene is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2006, 12:46 PM
  #26  
 
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"hullo" despite what it looks like some of us do really have a life away from Fodors

As for my recommendation - this won't help you much - but you honestly can't choose wrong. Scotland can fill 4 months let alone 4 days. But then again, in October you really won't have to make final decisions until you are there. Me personally - I'd have a Plan A itinerary worked out but after I was in Scotland I'd really just go where the weather took me.

For instance a nice loop through the Trossachs, Glencoe, maybe a day/night on Skye, and back through Oban/Inveraray and back to Glasgow to fly out would be fantastic. But if it was really stormy on the west coast I'd drop that idea and head up the east coast instead. Or down into the Borders.

In October you won't have to worry about B&Bs being all booked up. You can decide on the fly where to go.

So - after all that - a good 4-day loop to start your thinking:

Day 1 drive from Edinburgh to Stirling (stay 1st night near Callander)
Day 2 drive (short detour to Killin) through Glencoe and to Skye either by the ferry or the bridge. (stay 2nd and 3rd nights on Skye - you won't get on to the isle until early evening so you'll need the full next day to see things)
Day 4 early in the a.m. leave Skye and drive down Loch Linnhe, through Inveraray and to Loch Lomond. Stay the night on Loch Lomond and you are only a short drive from GLA.
janisj is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2006, 01:20 PM
  #27  
 
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Another vote for Scotland - being cozy with your husband in adorable little B&B's can be a wonderful time!

We moved from PA to Edinburgh a few months ago and are having a fabulous time exploring around. If you and your husband like castles and beautiful scenery, this is a wonderful place to be.

My recommendations: Edinburgh is definately a city you can spend any amount of time in - my Mom was here for 2 weeks and we did something different every day. I would say maybe 3 days in Edinburgh and then 4 days travelling around (since you said you love to do lots of stuff while traveling). Check -out www.historic-scotland.gov.uk for tons of options - they have a map with all their properties and it's a nice way to start. Other sites we've used are www.rampantscotland.com (under FEATURES PAGE go to PLACES TO VISIT) and www.castlesontheweb.com.

We did a long weekend in Skye and it was incredible - totally incredible. If you like hiking at all it can't be beat, and the drive up there is breathtaking (there's also a train in case you'd prefer). Portree (the largest 'city' on Skye) is adorable, and it's filled with B&Bs.

You and your husband sound a lot like us - I could have written your post, so I really think you'd love visiting Scotland.

About Glasgow - I've heard lots of mixed reviews about it. It's not so much a historic city from my understanding, it was the industrial center of Scotland and is very much a working city as opposed to a tourist destination. We haven't made it there yet, but it's easily accessible by train or bus so if there's something you specifically want to visit (or you can get cheaper tickets), it's easy enough. We flew out of Newark also to come here and it was definately worth the extra driving... much cheaper tickets for some reason! And really, you don't want to spend any time at JFK if you can avoid it

Anyway - good luck with your planning!!
pittpurple is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2006, 02:36 PM
  #28  
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janisj and pittpurple
thanks so much for your helpful and informative responses! I think Im settled on Scotland -and will check a book out at the library tomorrow! Sorry about being impatient before - Im bored silly at work - especially imagining our soon to be vacation.

So heres another question.When we were in England we loved staying at B&Bs. On our wanderings in the north - should we book book in advance - or just stop when we need to? We don't mind being spontaneous, but want to make sure there are plenty of options
steviegene is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2006, 02:41 PM
  #29  
 
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"should we book book in advance - or just stop when we need to?"

. . . "In October you won't have to worry about B&Bs being all booked up. You can decide on the fly where to go." . . . (Though I would definitely book your room in Edinburgh)
janisj is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2006, 02:47 PM
  #30  
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sorry again, its 545 and my brain is fried.
steviegene is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2006, 02:51 PM
  #31  
 
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I agree that you shouldn't have any problem with finding B&B's on the fly. On our trip in May/June of this year, we rarely had any trouble and we were needed two rooms each night.

The routes that Janis and Sheila have suggested are great - your problem will be choosing which direction to go. Read lots of trip reports, go through the book(s) that you buy/borrow, and find the things that interest you the most.

Have a great time!

Gayle
leonberger is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2006, 02:57 PM
  #32  
 
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Don't want to be a wet blanket, but please don't have the borders as your Plan B. We went one August, AND IT WAS SHUT! But north of Edinburgh/Glasgow, Scotland is lovely. Not sure I'd want to go in October, but it could be fine. or not.
annhig is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2006, 04:39 PM
  #33  
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So B&Bs on the fly it is!
Anyone have a general ballpark of what we can expect to pay per night at a B&B in the northern scotland regions.
Trying to get a budget together. thanks!!
steviegene is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2006, 06:19 PM
  #34  
 
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steviegene: normal nice B&Bs (w/o being in a castle or anything) w/ ensuite bath will run from about £24 - £35 per person per night. I normally pay £30 or less unless it is a special place.

Annhig: What are you talking about?? Shut? or s**t? or something else? Sorry if you didn't enjoy the Borders but they are absolutely lovely. And places like St Abbs Head, Traquair House, Abbotsford, and the Border Abbeys are totally unique . . . . .

janisj is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2006, 07:24 PM
  #35  
 
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I agree with Janis - on the pricing and the Borders.

Check my trip report for prices all over Scotland in May/June this year - I tried to list them for every place we stayed. I haven't gone back and done the math, but I think we averaged 30-35 GBP per person (except for our night in the haunted room of Culcreuch Castle - 60 GBP pp).

Some of the places we stayed are in areas you are considering - let me know if you want more info on any of them!

Also, if you stay more than one night in a B&B, a discount is often offered - don't be shy about politely asking, if two nights in a particular B&B fit your plans.

On a previous trip, we loved the Borders. Someday I'm going to stay at Traquair House for a few nights (VERY pricey!) and explore that area even more thoroughly. Jedburgh, Dryburgh, Melrose, Roslyn Chapel (not my favorite), Peebles (the Cornice Museum was quirky!), Scott's View....wonderful area (and I, too, have no idea what "SHUT" means - these are major tourist attractions, with normal opening hours).

Gayle
leonberger is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2006, 05:50 AM
  #36  
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janisj and leon thanks for the info!
I have been doing a lot of searching on the site - and many of your previous posts (and those of other scotland experts) have been very helpful so far!

Another question for budget purposes. If we travel 4 days by car up north, say as far as Skye. What do you estimate that will cost in gas. I have no idea what distances this covers or what gas prices are there. Thanks!!
steviegene is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2006, 07:03 AM
  #37  
 
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petrol is VERY expensive (when you get back home you will be happy to pay $3 a gal -- well maybe not "happy"). About $6 a gallon in remote areas, a little less in more populated places. But it really isn't that bad - the cars are small and get really good mileage and IF you can drive a stick even better. And the distance are not vast - so while it is an expense, w/ just 4 days it won't break you.
janisj is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2006, 07:23 AM
  #38  
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aha! I new learning to drive stick would serve me well someday!
Ok so gas will be a manageable expense - maybe a few hundred dollars. I guess Im just suprised at how affordable this vacation is shaping up to be. So far it will be around 1,100 for flights, $166 dollars to rent a car for the 4 days! And with B&Bs pricing - I feel like we're getting a bargain.
steviegene is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2006, 07:37 AM
  #39  
 
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I'll warn you now - if you post about driving a stick you will get all sorts of nervous nellies saying "oh no! you must get an automatic. Shifting w/ your left hand is just too hard".

If you are competent w/ a standard shift at home you will be fine in the UK. I am totally useless using my left hand doing pretty much anything - totally right handed. Yet I have no problem shifting w/ my left hand (and I only drive a stick on holidays in the UK - haven't driven a stick at home in 20+ years).

You won't be doing any "power shifting" or street racing afterall so gently going up and down the gears is pretty simple. And if you do miss a gear once in a while and go from 1st to 3rd - what is the big deal?
janisj is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2006, 07:42 AM
  #40  
 
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Try to get a diesel car. You'll get great mileage.
Brian_in_Charlotte is offline  

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