Opinions on Scotland Itinerary Needed

Jun 30th, 2012, 12:30 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
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Opinions on Scotland Itinerary Needed

We are planning a trip to Ireland/Scotland/England for September of 2013. I have just completed (after a lot of reading) what I hope is a reasonable itinerary for the Scotland portion. I'm not so much asking for opinions on what I have decided to see, because that is still somewhat flexible and in the planning stages, but rather on the amount of time I'm alloting for each place, the amount of driving, etc. We like to stay on the go, but I don't want to be out of breath all the time, either. We're interested in scenery, castles, distilleries, and other places of historic interest. Here goes:

Arrive Edinburgh, stay 3 nights
See Edinburgh Castle, Rosslyn Chapel, Royal Mile, maybe take the HOHO or a walking
Rent car, drive to Pitlochry or Blair Atholl for 1 night
Stop for a time at St. Andrews on the way. See Blair Castle.
Drive to Inverness for 1 night. Stop to see Culloden Moor on the way.
See Loch Ness and Urquhart, maybe take a lake cruise.
Drive to Isle of Skye, maybe Portree, or maybe another place, for 2 nights.
See Talisker Distillery, Dunvegan Castle, and soak up the scenery.
Drive to Glasgow for 2 nights.
See Loch Lomond and the sights in Glasgow.
Return to Edinburgh, return the car, and move on.

Too many drives with not enough nights in between? Any suggestions?
bobbysue is offline  
Jun 30th, 2012, 01:21 PM
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Somewhere in there as you head towards the highlands, I would visit Stirling Castle and the Wallace monument. Pretty impressive.

Also, I like Scone Palace. It's where Scottish kings were inaugurated.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
Jun 30th, 2012, 01:49 PM
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Seems a touch rushed to me. I'd suggest thinking about how long it will take to get from place to place plus add the times in to what you want to see along the way. You may find that you've used all of that day up.

Check out my trip report/blog as we did some of those same sites (but not all):

indy_dad is offline  
Jun 30th, 2012, 03:13 PM
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I actually did do that. This is what my web sources said as far as distances/times between places:

Edinburgh to St. Andrews--50 miles, 1.5 hours
St. Andrews to Pitlochry--49 miles, 1.5 hours
Pitlochry to Inverness--89 miles, 2 hours
Inverness to Isle of Skye--111 miles, 2.5 hours
Portree to Glasgow--209 miles, 5 hours.
Glasgow to Edinburgh--65 miles

Didn't seem like a terrible amount of drive time, but that is what I came on here for.
bobbysue is offline  
Jun 30th, 2012, 04:49 PM
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"This is what my web sources said as far as distances/times between places:"

You really can't rely on those. W/ all of the on-line time/mileage calculators you need to add between 25% and 75% to every drive time. And honestly, in a few areas you'll need to double the time.

And example - Edinburgh to St Andrews. If you are picking up the car from central Edinburgh, it can easily take 30-40 mins just to get to the outskirts of town (driving IN Edinburgh is pretty difficult).

On the other hand - if you collect the car at EDI (MUCH easier) you have to build in the time to get out to the airport.

Ednburgh to St Andrews to Pitlochry via the scenic route through some of the Fife fishing villages will take about 4.5 hours JUST for the drive. Then there is easily 5-6+ hours minimum 'worth' of stops enroute . . . so you are talking about being on the move the entire day.

Scotland is not a place you can just dash from point to point (unless you are a local who has been there/done that their whole life)

And a hint --I have no idea what your plans are for Ireland . . . But in general the driving is even slower there and you have to add even MORE time to the on-line calculators.
janisj is offline  
Jun 30th, 2012, 06:00 PM
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If you are use to driving on the left side of the road,familiar with the roads, don't plan on any comfort stops, photo stops or stops for petrol, and assuming you don't encounter any road construction, traffic accidents and don't find yourself behind a lorry,camper-trailer or a nervous American, you might be able to do it in the suggested times. Otherwise do as janisj suggested and add more time.
historytraveler is offline  
Jul 1st, 2012, 06:22 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions. Now it's back to the drawing board to see what I can cut out.
bobbysue is offline  
Jul 1st, 2012, 07:33 AM
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No point in staying in Glasgow - it's an easy hour from Edinburgh. You may also find it's easier to fly from Glasgow Airport which can be reached by crossing the Clyde from west of Glasgow and hence can drop the car there rather than returning to Edinburgh.

Most people would say that Inverness and Loch Ness isn't worth it at the best of times, when you are time short it's an indulgence. You could head straight for Skye from Pitlochry or even forget Skye and head for Oban and out to Mull returning down the west coast via Loch Lomond and across the Erskine Bridge to the airport
alanRow is offline  
Jul 1st, 2012, 09:15 AM
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Thank you so much, Alan. That is very, very helpful. I will rework this thing and post again.
bobbysue is offline  
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