Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Rough Scotland Itinerary for October- Please help fill in the gaps!

Rough Scotland Itinerary for October- Please help fill in the gaps!

Old Aug 17th, 2006, 12:17 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,802
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Rough Scotland Itinerary for October- Please help fill in the gaps!

Hey everyone!
A little background. We are a couple in our late 20s who have been to England/Ireland/Wales and LOVED it! We enjoy sightseeing, beautiful scenery, pubs, driving, walking, touring out-of-the-way-towns, and experiencing the off-track routes. We like to do/see a lot on a trip, even if that includes a few hours in the car each day. Our ideal days would be spent travelling looking at beautiful scenery....stopping for pub/picnic lunches.... then afternoons spent touring a destination/castle/town... Then quiet evening in a quaint town, having dinner in a pub and going for evening stroll.
We have a full 7 days in Scotland, and are a little baffled in planning. Experts -- we need help filling in the gaps! Here is the itinerary so far.

Tuesday October 3rd - Arrive Edinburgh @ 7:30am. Spend some time recovering from jetlag. Spend day touring Edinburgh Castle, lunch, etc. Overnight B&B (looking for centrally located B&B for about 80-100 Pounds a night - if that is possible). Also, is it better to stay near the castle, princes street or the royal mile? Where is the best place to be?

Wednesday October 4th -
Edinburgh. See the sights... Overnight at same B&B

Thursday October 5th -
Breakfast and maybe spend the morning in Edinburgh if we feel like we want more city time. Pickup car at airport.
Set out for driving adventure. Tour Stirling & Loch Lommond?
Overnight near Loch lommond?

Friday October 6th -
Unknown - suggestions??
Overnight near Oban? - Would prefer a more "out of the way" village.

Saturday October 7th- early Ferry to Skye.
When do the ferries run? Spend day touring Skye. Overnight Skye.

Sunday October 8th -
Touring Skye (recommendations on a route would be appreciated!) Maybe boat ride? Overnight Skye

Monday October 9th - Tour Glen Coe and Trossachs?
Other Suggestions?
Overnight @ B&B somewhat near Edinburgh airport.

Tuesday October 10th -
Morning walk and Breakfast at B&B. Off to airport to drop off car and catch plane at 12:30pm.

We are flexible in our plans and open to suggestions! Please help us find the essence of Scotland - and let us know if we are missing any really good stops/sites on this itinerary. THANK YOU!!
steviegene is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2006, 12:38 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,313
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'll give you two B&B recommendations:

Tir Alainn, which means Beautiful Country, is on Skye (www.visitskye.com), and is a clean, well-run place with a fantastic view in Broadford.

If you are willing to go a little south of Oban to a town called Croabh Haven, stay at The Lunga Estate, a B&B http://www.lunga.com/

They are a 16th century scottish estate house with a fabulous history and setting.



GreenDragon is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2006, 01:51 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,802
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
thanks greendragon!
Duh- I think I just read that there is a bridge to Skye...so (if this is true) disregard all those silly questions about ferries!
steviegene is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2006, 02:02 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 686
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Skye can be reached both by a ferry and by car over the bridge. Each departure point is different.

My wife and I did 7 days in Scotland and you can look at my trip report (Kilts, haggis and bagpipes) here

http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...2&tid=34822880

We toured Scotland the other way around, coming from Ayr to Edinburgh.

However, you can get ideas from my trip report as to what to do, where to go, how long it takes and how much you can do.

As for touring Skye, there's only one road and that takes you round the island. You can get a boat trip to the see the seals there, at Dunvegan, north tip of Skye.

Good luck with your planning.
gabrieltraian is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2006, 06:36 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,802
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
anyone else?
steviegene is offline  
Old Aug 18th, 2006, 08:09 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,802
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
ok - I bought my plane tickets last night!
Theres no going back now!
steviegene is offline  
Old Aug 18th, 2006, 08:13 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 686
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Congratulations!

Have a wonderful trip and post a report when you return!
gabrieltraian is offline  
Old Aug 18th, 2006, 09:11 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 471
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We took the bridge to Skye rather than the ferry, mostly because of the flexibility the bridge gave us (no set time to cross), but also because it cost more and fit our travel plans a little better. In some ways, though, I really wished we had gone back to Edinburgh via the ferry, because it would have been a different set of countryside to see (even if it was just driving through). But as it was, we saw Eilean Donan at low tide and high tide coming and going -- it's an interesting contrast.

We were quite happy with the Swordale House in Broadford as a B&B base for Skye. There's not much info on the website, http://www.isleofskye.net/swordalehouse/ but the rooms were quite comfortable, with a great view of the hills and a pretty decent breakfast. The only drawback is that it was a bit outside of Broadford, but then again, I felt like that was a plus.

As far as touring Skye, we took one day and looped around the northern end of Skye, and used the second to loop through the southern portions. You'll probably find that you don't have anywhere near enough time on Skye - we sure didn't!
GoAway is offline  
Old Aug 18th, 2006, 10:55 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 53
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'll chime in with a suggestion. My husband and I (who are also in our late 20's) took a two week tour around Scotland in '04 and we stayed at a fantastic hotel just 35 miles north of Stirling called Monachyle Mhor... we LOVED this place. The setting was stunning, the drive there was breathtaking (we got out of the car several times to look around), the hotel was was very nice (as well as the hospitality -- our shower had an issue so they just upgraded us from the catering cottage to one of their luxury rooms) and the food was the most memorable from our whole trip! We can't wait to go back!

You said you were thinking to stay near Loch Lomond after Stirling, I'm not quite sure that is in relation to Monachyle Mohr (we left there in the a.m. and drove to Oban, so I know it was doable)-- but I'll just say again, you wouldn't be sorry if you stayed the night here. Plan to get there in time for dinner. You can make your hotel and dinner reservation in advance from the web site. Driving directions from Stirling are also on the web site!

http://www.monachylemhor.com/

http://www.monachylemhor.com/travel.htm
kello is offline  
Old Aug 18th, 2006, 05:00 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 68,670
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
"I bought my plane tickets last night! Theres no going back now!"

Congratulations!!

Now just one comment about your itinerary. If you stay Thurs night in the Trossachs/Loch Lomond area - you don't really need an extra night somewhere enroute to Skye. From say Callander - you would drive through Glencoe and over to Skye (either by ferry or the bridge at Kyle) and be there by late afternoon - even w/ lots of stops.

I would either:
1) add another night in the same B&B in the Trossachs (saving extra packing and moving)
2) add a night on Skye,
or 3) use the day you gain to tour some of the area around Lochs Tay/Earn/Tummel, Perth, Blair Athol.
janisj is online now  
Old Aug 20th, 2006, 03:06 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 71
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Some ideas/experiences for you to consider...We just returned from a UK trip that included Scotland and 8 incredible days on Skye. We stayed on Skye at a wonderful & spacious self-catering B&B "Kinnemond Cottage"

http://www.kinnemondcottage.co.uk/

We used it as our base for exploring Skye and the Highlands (suggest using the bridge not the ferry) including the Loch Ness area.

The cottage sits high enough to have spectacular views of Loch Dunvegan, the Castle, and the western coast.

Following Skye we stayed in Edinburgh 3 days at the Beverley B&B. It was equally outstanding.

Have a great trip!!!
alcook2 is offline  
Old Aug 20th, 2006, 03:29 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 793
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Okay... I'll cut to the chase. If you are interested in 'out of the way' places, you have just laid out the typical American tour of Scotland, Edinburgh, the isles and highlands.

SW Scotland is an overlooked area of Scotland. It meets all of your interests and then some. I recommend you broaden your horizons. But, wherever you go, when you are in Scotland you are bound to have a grand time. My other suggestion is to stay in as few as places as possible, so you can spend more time in each pub. More likely to meet folks that way.

Cheers!
Danna is offline  
Old Aug 20th, 2006, 05:04 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 68,670
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
Danna is a GREAT ambassador for SW Scotland. And it really is a lovely part of Scotland. If you had 3 weeks, I'd definitely recommend a 5 or 6 days in the SW and the Borders. But w/ just 5+ days total, it really isn't practical. You can get plenty off the beaten path in the Highlands and on Skye

Next time you're in Scotland - stay a while . . . . .
janisj is online now  
Old Aug 21st, 2006, 07:19 AM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,802
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks Janis!
I will plan on only staying one night on the way to skye. Was Callander your suggestion?
Also - curious what would your ideal 5 day driving itinerary look like?
steviegene is offline  
Old Aug 21st, 2006, 07:30 AM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,802
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Also, I have seen through my research that you recommend the Castle View B&B. Can you tell me any more about it? Location, accomadations? We are looking for something somewhat central, but also with a "quaint" atmosphere, or at least something memorable/comfortable. thanks!!
steviegene is offline  
Old Aug 21st, 2006, 09:42 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 68,670
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
Oh no - not that "Q" word again! (Quaint sends Brits round the bend - doesn't mean the same thing that I'm sure you intend - not positive at all)

Anyway - Castleview is probably the best located B&B in Edinburgh. In the center of the city are mostly full service hotels and they tend to be much more expensive. Castleview is a very good but not posh B&B on Castle street less than a block from Princes Street and at the corner of Rose Street w/ lots of restaurants/pubs. The rooms are very nice - photos of every room are on the website. (Bluebell is a really small single but all of the others are good sized). Some rooms have bay windowseats with a view straight up at the castle - and at night the view w/ the castle illuminated is amazing. (not all rooms overlook the castle - but the lounge also has a windowseat w/ the amazing view).

The only downside is it is on the 3rd and 4th floors (4th and 5th US) w/ no lift. But they will carry your bags up for you. As long as a 4-flight climb isn't aproblem for you I can't recommend it enough. But they do fill up most of the year - because it is great value in edinburgh and the location can't be beat.

www.castleviewgh.co.uk/
janisj is online now  
Old Aug 21st, 2006, 10:04 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 68,670
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
Oh - about an "ideal" 5-day driving itinerary. Really can't answer that for a couple of reasons -

- Everyone's interests are different

- And, 5 days is nothing in Scotland. You could easily spend 5 days on Skye, or in the Trossachs, or in the SW, or in Fife, or along the Dee, or on the NW coast or anywhere and see a LOT w/o moving from a single base. So the best 5-day drive could quite literally be anything.

I personally don't like (hate may be too strong a word but close) these lightening rush from place to place itineraries most of us Americans plan. IMHO that isn't the best way to see Scotland. But so many people feel they will not get back there again, so try to squeeze in as much as possible. Nothing wrong w/ that, but Scotland is a large, beautiful, and fascinating place.

It is the same battle I have w/ visitors to California (where I live) - they have a week and schedule SF, Napa, Yosemite, Monterey/Carmel, Hearst Castle and then fly out of LAX. It can be done - and is by thousands of people. But it isn't "seeing" CA - it is driving by.

Sorry - end of rant.

Your plan is not bad at all and you will see quite a bit w/ rushung too much.

Callander is a good base - a nice village in a good central location, but big enough to have a TIO, several shops, B&Bs/hotels, restaurants, etc.
janisj is online now  
Old Aug 21st, 2006, 10:43 AM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,802
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
thanks for the reply.
We of course, would love to spend more time. But we are young and have limited vacation time! Maybe we will get back to Scotland someday, but for now this is all we can manage.
Also, have you ever heard/stayed at 2 Cambridge Rd. in Edinburgh. Any comments on location?
steviegene is offline  
Old Aug 21st, 2006, 10:51 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 68,670
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
No, haven't stayed there (when I'm in edinburgh I either rent a flat or try to stay at Castleview) - But do you mean Cambridge Street (not "Road"). If so, the location is really good - almost as good as Castleview. It is very central and walking distance to most of what you'll want to see.
janisj is online now  
Old Sep 18th, 2006, 09:41 AM
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,802
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hopefully someone will still read this thread.
I am still struggling with planning an itinerary for our Scotland trip.I have a total of 7 full days. 2 1/2 days will be spent in Edinburgh and 4 1/2 days will be spent travelling up to Isle of skye and back.
I really need some help. Here is my main question, which is a major dilemna I have not resolved.

Days 1&2 in Edinburgh.

Day 3 - morning in edinburgh, pickup car and drive to Stirling. Afternoon in Stirling. Then, it has been suggested I stay overnight in Callander.

Day 4 - THIS is the big question. I would like to see the Loch Lommond area / Trossachs and Isle of Skye. OPTION 1: Should we stay another night in Callander - giving us 2 days to tour the Trossachs area (what to see?!!?). OPTION 2: Stay in Callander 1 night and then somewhere else one night (Oban or somewhere farther north?). OPTION 3: After 1 night in Callander go straight onto skye touring along the way. Then we would have an extra day AFTER Skye to tour another route on our way back to the airport. OR OPTION 4: Stay an extra night on Skye?

Day 5&6 - Isle of Skye.

Day 7 - overnight near airport.

Please, please.....help!
steviegene is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:02 PM.