Scotland 12 days- need help!

Old Sep 22nd, 2019, 07:02 AM
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Scotland 12 days- need help!

Hi there,
After a ton of different destination options my husband and I are pretty sure we want to go to Scotland September 2020. We still haven't ruled out Ireland but at the moment are leaning towards Scotland. Ideally we would like to spend about 12 days in Scotland. We will also be traveling with our 2 year old son. My husband and I have spent a lot of time traveling and typically travel at a very fast pace- 2-3 nights in a city before we get bored. Now that we have a son things have to move a lot slower for us to be able to enjoy them. This is a rough itinerary I have planned and would love any advice on where to stay, places to eat, or any advice on the actual places we are going, the order in which to go, the time to spend in each place etc. We are willing to skip spots or add other spots!

Edinburgh- 2 nights
Gleneagles hotel- 3 nights
highlands or glencoe area(tbd-suggestions welcome) 2-3 nights
Isle of Skye- 3 nights
Edinburg or Glasgow- 2 nights

We are interested in cool train rides/experiences, visiting St. Andrews, some hiking, castles, cool small towns, shopping!
We are clearly in the beginning phase of planning and I am just starting to really map out the route based on travel time to each place. Ideally would love to keep the drive between locations 3 hours or less because of our son.

Also, I am a very light sleeper so we are going to try and do most of the trip with two adjoining rooms. One for our son and one for us- which makes finding a place a bit more difficult. Any suggestions on hotels with two rooms suites that arent insanely expensive or b&b's with two room suites- we will also probably do some Airbnbs.


Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2019, 07:31 AM
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You already seem to have considerably more than 12 nights in your trip, even if you stay only two nights in each place, because you've left out the long trip back from Skye. You also have some very long drives, considering you have a toddler.

Maybe you should drop Skye, and consider replacing it with Mull and Iona. Or with Arran, which is off the coast near Glasgow.

If you go to Mull and Iona, you could drop your car in Oban and take the train to Glasgow. This is supposed to be a scenic train ride. We loved Glasgow, by the way, maybe even more than Edinburgh.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2019, 10:15 AM
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Bvlenci- Thanks for your input. Everywhere I read says skye is the best part of the trip. Would it be worth dropping somewhere else? Or are some of the other coastal areas similar enough? I also considered mixing up the order so Skye was in the middle and had either Gleneagles or glencoe breaking up the drive a bit( I know its still long).

Also- how come you preferred Glasgow- I only included it as a place to fly out of! Very interested in why you recommend it!!
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Old Sep 22nd, 2019, 10:37 AM
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Also I should add-I have never been to scotland and am really picking these places based on recommendations from blogs. SO, if there is somewhere else that you would recommend I am all ears. Also am I missing anything spectacular?
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Old Sep 22nd, 2019, 10:45 AM
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>>Everywhere I read says skye is the best part of the trip<<

Skye is great -- but it is a LONG drive from most anywhere, is very large with very slow on-island driving . . . and most Americans (just assuming here) think it is THE place to go in Scotland. But in reality it is just the 'famous' one. Sure you can go to Skye -- but if your 3 nights/2 days is when it is blowing/raining sideways you will have gone a long distance to see almost nothing.

Edinburgh- 2 nights: That = 1 day - sort of why bother??
Gleneagles hotel- 3 nights := This would be fine. It is a lovely property (and should be for the cost) and there is a ton to see/do
highlands or glencoe area(TBD-suggestions welcome) 2-3 nights: OK, the Highlands is about half of Scotland and Glencoe is IN the Highlands. So more narrowing on your part down is due (Gleneagles is also in the Highlands)
Isle of Skye- 3 nights: Fine -- will net you 2 days which isn't a lot but enough for a taste. Again though - there will be literally nothing to do if the weather turns nasty.
Edinburg or Glasgow- 2 nights: = 1 day so not much time but presumably just for a stop before flying home. If you choose Edinburgh I would not split it in to two bits -- just a lot of extra checking/in/out. Put all you Edinburgh nights together at the beginning.

Using your destinations (not my choices particularly) and 12 nights, I'd do something like:

Edinburgh 3 nights
Gleneagles 3 nights
Skye 3 nights
Glencoe 1 night
Callander or somewhere nearby 2 nights
Easy drive to EDI or GLA to fly home.

Last edited by janisj; Sep 22nd, 2019 at 10:50 AM.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2019, 10:48 AM
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Didn't see yourlast post - we were posting at the same time.

>>Also am I missing anything spectacular?<<

You have 12 nights so yes you are missing hundreds of spectacular things. But you'd also be seeing quite a few (assuming the weather cooperates). You can't go to Scotland hoping to see it all -- that would take years. See what you can in the short time you have . . .
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Old Sep 22nd, 2019, 10:56 AM
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Janisj- What would your choices be? I am really happy to nix or add any stops. Based on both responses- I think its safe to say Skye might have to wait until next time.

Also- like your idea about just doing 3 nights in Edinburgh at once rather then bookending. Will plan to do that.

Clearly I am just starting out so I know little about Scotland... if we do Gleneagles, should we mix other areas like Glencoe for something different?
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Old Sep 22nd, 2019, 10:56 AM
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I meant nix. Not mix.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2019, 12:49 PM
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Even with Janis' modified itinerary, you'll not be able to keep your driving under 3 hours between destinations. I certainly wouldn't want to do this trip with a two-year-old child.

We enjoyed Glasgow because it's vibrant city with very friendly people and pleasant parks, a very pleasant riverside esplanade, and very few tourists.

My trip report may be useful to you; the trip was five years ago, and about the same length as yours. I don't think any of our drives were over three hours.

Trip to Scotland and northern England June 2014
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Old Sep 22nd, 2019, 01:54 PM
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>>I certainly wouldn't want to do this trip with a two-year-old child. <<

I agree -- Both re the drive times and re traveling with a toddler. My 'tentative' itinerary was just trying to squeeze in most of your 'wish list'.

Before I make new suggestions . . . Is there a specific reason you want to stay at Gleneagles? Is it for the property and the activities offered? For the golf? Because you have some sort of special discount deal? Just because you've heard of it? Or some other reason. Once we know how 'important' Gleneagles is in the scheme of things, we can give more useful advice.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2019, 03:21 PM
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Bvlenci- Thanks for the trip report! I will check it out!

Janisj- Gleneagles is what made my husband excited about our trip so I wanted to include it. He doesn't usually get overly excited about travel, and just goes along with whatever I have planned but he really seemed thrilled. He is really into golf so that was a huge part of the decision but I also love the property and activities. As for luxury lodges it felt like the best "deal" for the overall experience. We looked briefly at Fife arms but it is so expensive. If it seriously interferes with the flow of the trip I would be willing to consider something else but I am very excited about that specific hotel.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2019, 03:27 PM
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What would he think of going to St Andrews instead??

OOPs didn't see that part of your post.

Fife certainly does not have to be more expensive than Gleneagles . . .

I'll post more in just a bit . . .
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Old Sep 22nd, 2019, 03:36 PM
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I think St Andrews would be a big hit!! If you have any suggestions for places to stay there I would be grateful for the info!
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Old Sep 22nd, 2019, 04:13 PM
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GDDDDDDDM'ed site - I posted a detailed response and it vaporized. Here is a bit of it.

If golf is important - I'd pick St Andrews over Gleneagles every time. The Old Course Hotel is the famous one of course, is very expensive. Try Rufflets - a beautiful property but should be (just guessing) quite a bit less than either Gleneagles or the Old Course.

Or try this place - it is about 10 miles from St Andrews and has hotels room, flats and cottages/lodges in the extensive grounds. Would be great with a toddler.

https://www.kilconquharcastle.co.uk

If you are in St Andrews on a Sunday there is no play and the Old Course becomes a vast city park and you can walk the entire 18 holes or any part of it. You can take photos crossing the bridge, see Hell Bunker up close, everything. And your DH could likely play the Old Course if he wants. Especially playing solo -- the starter will add singles to any twosomes or threesomes starting from the first tee time. So if he shows up early and talks to the starter he will know immediately what his chances are.

Plus there are other terrific thing to see/do in Fife -- fishing villages, beaches, (the west sands in St Andrews is where they filmed the beach scenes for Chariots of Fire), the fun Deer Centre which your son would love The Scottish Deer Centre - Home

I would work out an itinerary sticking more to the east side of the country - Edinburgh and Fife plus another area(s). Options would include down into the Border and Northumberland or up into Aberdeenshire for the Castle Trail. Something like Edinburgh, then south into the Borders and Northumberland to see the Abbeys, St Abbs Head Holy Island, Bamburgh, Alnwick. Then up to Fife and back to EDI.

Edinburgh 3 nights, 4 nights for the Borders/Northumberland, Fife 3 or 4 nights, one night near EDI before flying out
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Old Sep 22nd, 2019, 05:22 PM
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Oh -- meant to include Rufflets website https://www.rufflets.co.uk/?utm_sour...paign=rufflets
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Old Sep 22nd, 2019, 05:26 PM
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If your husband is interested in golf he should do some of his own reading about Gleneagles vs other possibilities. Two of the courses there are beautiful but they are inland courses and likely similar to what he has experienced at home (but probably nicer - the King’s Course is a classic). Or perhaps he has seen the Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup (last week) played there and wants to play the Centenary course.

The courses at St Andrews are quite different from what we are used to playing in North America. Note he would need a handicap certificate to play the Old Course. He would not need one at Gleneagles.



Last edited by xcountry; Sep 22nd, 2019 at 05:33 PM.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2019, 05:41 PM
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Yes, a handicap cert at St Andrews, Carnoustie etc . . . he'd just need money to play Gleneagles.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2019, 05:44 PM
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Janisj- THANK YOU I am going to read over this and research your suggestions! I will post again in the morning. Stinks about having to retype everything- I really appreciate all of the help.

xcountry- Thanks for the information. I am going to chat with him tonight to see which would he would prefer!!
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Old Sep 22nd, 2019, 05:47 PM
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The handicap certificate won't be an issue- i've just been told lol.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2019, 05:50 PM
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Okay so it does sound like St. Andrews or Carnoustie would be more exciting then Gleneagles...Will reserach your suggestions Janisj!
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