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Scotland---3 Nights between Pitlochry and York

Scotland---3 Nights between Pitlochry and York

Jul 20th, 2013, 10:49 AM
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Scotland---3 Nights between Pitlochry and York

I am starting to pull together a trip to Scotland next May. "We" being two adult couples, well-traveled but new to Scotland. We plan to do a 6-day walk from Drymen to Pitlochry and I have the time before the walk pretty well in hand (including 2 nights in Edinburgh). After we arrive in Pitlochy and spend the night there, we have three days and nights open, ending at York. We could use one of them for more time at Pitlochry if it is worth it (especially the theater).

We will travel by train and I am thinking of spending the time in Fife, but where? Stifling? St. Andrews? We are not golfers but we are drawn to the coast, so St. Andrews looks appealing. Also one among us is an academic type, so the university would be interesting (assuming we can visit in late May). I see the train stops at Leuchars which is close; we could taxi from there.

Any other places we should consider? We would rather not move each day.
enzian is offline  
Jul 20th, 2013, 11:13 AM
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I wouldn't spend any extra time in Pitlochry myself. Even for the theatre. It is just a small tourist town- not special in any real way.

St Andrews (Stirling - if that's what you meant - is not in Fife so that bit does confuse me a bit) is lovely - and I'd spend one night there. The University isn't a 'site to visit' - just buildings scattered throughout the town.

I'd spend one night in North Berwick or Dunbar and visit/walk St Abbs Head


And I'd spend the last night either in Alnmouth/Alnwick (for Alnwick Castle/Gardens) or west of Newcastle to walk Hadrian's Wall.
janisj is online now  
Jul 20th, 2013, 12:32 PM
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I guess I am confused, because Stirling shows up on the Kingdom of Fife map. I doesn't matter is it is in or out of Fife; just wondering if we should include a stop there. Interest in St. Andrews is mainly for the coast, so if that could be covered someplace else ( easily accessible by public transport) that would be good too.

I had thought of visiting Dunbar and St. Abbs Head from Edinburgh, but maybe we should add a day to Edinburgh area at the fron end instead, with a night spent at Dunbar or North Berwick. Then we would just have the two nights after Pitlochry and would probably choose Stirling.

Does that make sense?

I am trying to figure out what to allocate to the days before and after the walk, so I know which date to start the walk itself. We have flexibility on that but not on the overall dates, as the flights are already booked. I just have to count backwards from a London departure on 3 June.
enzian is offline  
Jul 20th, 2013, 12:35 PM
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I'd actually depart Scotland and head toward York with a couple of intermediate stops.

Take the train to Berwick on Tweed and then the bus or a taxi to the Holy Isle. There are a couple of decent hotels and numerous B&Bs on Lindisfarne, and the island is a remarkably historic and peaceful place. There's a nice wee castle, superb walks and beachcombing, lots of birds (it's part of a sanctuary) and a real sense of "apartness," made stronger by the fact that you can only get there at low tide. http://www.lindisfarne.org.uk/index.htm

Then move south to Durham for the remaining nights. Durham Cathedral and the medieval town running down the hillside from the cathedral is - in my view - right up there in the top places to visit in Europe, never mind the UK. The vista is stunning, the cathedral imposing beyond words, and, because it's somewhat less overwhelmed by tourism than York, you get a better sense (IMO) of a place rather than an "attraction." The cathedral is dark and ominous and bigger-than-life, and one can only imagine how a peasant would have looked on it in medieval days. "Submit," is the message, clear as day.

One day in Lindisfarne and two in Durham, or v.v., and you're ready for Shambling in York.
Gardyloo is online now  
Jul 20th, 2013, 01:10 PM
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Strling is NW of Edinburgh, Fife is North/NE of Edinburgh.

Sure Stirling is "worth" a stop - the castle is amazing -- but it is very similar to Edinburgh Castle which you will (hopefully) have seen by then.

The coast around St Andrews is fine but not dramatic or anything - the beach where they filmed the famous scenes in Chariots Of Fire runs parallel to the Old Course. The best bits are the fishing villages like Crail but they are out of your way by public transport.

I would not try to do St Abbs head during your very short time in Edinburgh.

W/o St Andrews, I'd do a combo of Gardyloo's and my ideas.

Early morning train Pitlochry to North Berwick/Eyemouth to walk St Abbs Head. One night there. Then train down to Lindesfarne and visit during the day and back on the train to Alnmouth for Alnwick (the castle/Gardens is pretty much a full day by themselves). One night and visit the castle/Gardens the next day. Afternoon train to Durham - one night there. then on to York sometime the next day.

This is assuming you don't want to explore Hadrian's Wall.
janisj is online now  
Jul 20th, 2013, 01:12 PM
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St Andrews is often at its most beautiful and beguiling in May, and is certainly well worth visiting. Janis is correct that the University is spread out across the city (like Oxford and Cambridge, there is no campus s such). There is however a newish University Museum http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/musa/ and several of the quads can be visited by the general public (St Mary's in particular is gorgeous). Not sure if they still do, but they used to run guided tours of the University led by under-grads in their scarlet gowns. There is also a university souvenir shop. If you go on a Sunday, you'll see the students doing the pier walk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxtV7Z_nIto
Gordon_R is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2013, 12:56 PM
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Excellent suggestions---thank you. I think we'll skip St. Andrews this trip, and take the janisj/Gardyloo suggestion to work our way down the coast with stops at North Berwick or Berwick on Tweed, Lindesfarne and Durham. That looks like the perfect mix of sights.

Hadrian's Wall will be a trip in its own right, at another time when we can devote 5 or 6 days to walking there.
enzian is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2013, 02:03 PM
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Good idea - the Wall is a GREAT 5 day walk.
janisj is online now  
Jul 22nd, 2013, 10:47 PM
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Saraho is offline  
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