Scotland

Old Feb 24th, 2009, 12:15 PM
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Scotland

Hi Everyone
We are planning a trip to Scotland in July flying into Glasgow to spend 7 nights in the country. Initially we thought of spending our first night in Glasgow and then heading to the Northwest and returning to spend 2 nights in Edinburgh. Since we are not looking at a great deal of time, I would appreciate any suggestions. Might you think it a better idea to fly into Edinburgh and head Northeast? We will be leaving Scotland to spend three nights in Dublin. Thanks so much for your thoughts.
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Old Feb 24th, 2009, 12:28 PM
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It really does not matter. Glasgow and Edinburgh are so close.

Whereever you fly into, spend at least three full days in Edinburgh, including one day for daytrips into the vicinity, especially Roslin.

Close to Glasgow, I strongly recommend Loch Lomond - one of the most beautiful lakes in Scotland. Cameron House is a most recommendable hotel there. From Loch Lomond, you can make a loop drive into the highlands and back.

Between Glasgow and Edinburgh, you can visit the Trossachs (including Loch Katrine), Inchmahome Priory in Lake of Menteith, and Stirling.

Will be a satisfying programme for 7 nights. Some extensions are possible (e.g. St. Andrews, if you are a golfer, or an extended trip into the highlands).
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Old Feb 24th, 2009, 12:30 PM
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What are your interests? Scenery, castles, distilleries, golf, hiking?
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Old Feb 24th, 2009, 01:14 PM
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Where are you flying from, and will you be driving or using public transport? Do you have set plans, to fit in?
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Old Feb 24th, 2009, 05:24 PM
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Thanks so much to all. Initially we were going to fly from either Philadelphia or NY to Edinburgh, spend three nights, and then rent a car to the Oban region and back to Edinburgh for our flight to Dublin. In the alternative, we thought we would spend 3 nights in Edinburgh and then travel the coast to Dornach, returning to Edinburgh for the flight to Dublin. I'll be traveling with an adult son so I need to keep the pace lively. We both enjoy scenery, castles, love local music and of course the distilleries. I'm not sure what sporting activities are in the area since I know this would be of interest to him. I want to see so much, with maybe not enough time. Again, thanks for your thoughts.
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Old Feb 24th, 2009, 11:17 PM
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My first thought is that if you want to stay in Edinburgh there's no point in flying into Glasgow. Either of your options works well for you and both routes have great things to see and do. Was there a reason you mentioned Dornoch?
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Old Feb 25th, 2009, 03:11 AM
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If you love castles and distilleries, the area between Aberdeen and Inverness have both the Whisky Trail and the Castle Trail - plenty of both to explore. I would recommend driving up there for your non-Edinburgh days, choosing a base town (I've stayed in Grantown-on-Spey in Kinross House B&B and loved it) and explore. It's a decent drive from Edinburgh, but certainly doable in a day with stops. We went from Edinburgh to Roslin, explored that, and then headed up to Grantown, with several stops along the way at The Hermitage Forest (lovely!) and dinner, and still made pretty good time through the highlands. Check out my trip report from 2008 if you want more details. Good luck!
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Old Feb 25th, 2009, 09:44 AM
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My plan this weekend is to sit down with my tour books and map out my plan of attack. I would like to travel as far north as possible given our alloted time. Could you please give me your thoughts on heading as far north as Dornoch (to see the castle) and then circle back to Edinburgh for our trip to Dublin. I don't want to return home exhausted from our vacation. So many places to see, so little time. Again thanks.
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Old Feb 25th, 2009, 11:57 AM
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Dornoch Castle is a hotel . . . .

Any specific reason you want to go there? Or by chance did you have it confused w/ another castle? There are - oh, maybe a million other castles in Scotland (only a <i>slight</i> exaggeration) most of which would be higher on any "must see" list.
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Old Feb 25th, 2009, 01:07 PM
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Yes. Dornoch's lovely, but an unusual must see unless you are a golfer.
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Old Feb 25th, 2009, 01:29 PM
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Sports in July in Scotland should mean Highland Games. Sheila probably has all the info on this.

As for where -- if you or your boy like castles, go to Edinburgh for a few nights, travel to Stirling (day trip from Edinburgh), and travel to Aberdeenshire via Perth and Glamis. Aberdeenshire has the castle trail (go to Fraser, Drum and Crathes) and the whisky trail. Perth has Scone Palace and Glamis has Glamis Castle. All top places to visit for someone who likes castles. You can easily find a decent place to stay outside of Aberdeen itself (no reason to stay in the city when you can stay outside the traffic area because you'll be going west and either north or south of the town to hit the trails).

And from a young man's perspective (which I'm about 5-10 years past now), the Highlander Museum in Aberdeen is a must see.
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Old Feb 27th, 2009, 03:11 PM
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Please let me know what you think of our revised agenda.
We are now thinking of flying to Glasgow and departing from Edinburgh. We feel we should spend three nights in Edinburgh and divide up the remaining time (4 nights) in the countryside. Of course, I would like to see everything. We definitely want castles and maybe a distillery or two. We want to be a bit off the beaten track also. I would love to see the North as much as possible and maybe Royal Deeside. Am I asking too much? Do you think we should just stick to our original agenda and fly into/out of Edinburgh? I can't tell you how much I appreciate your insight. Having never been to Scotland, I feel a bit lost.
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Old Mar 1st, 2009, 02:07 AM
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I, personally, would suggest that in 4 days you can't do the north and Deeside. I'd be inclined to suggest 2 2 night stops.

How about a day's drive to Dornoch (since you're keen). The route could take in SOME, but not all of Stirling Castle, Doune Castle, Scone Palace,Dunkeld and the Hermitage, Edradour distillery, Dalwhinne distillery, Rothiemurchus Forest, the barracks at Kingussie, and Inverness. A day out from Dornoch could include, the Black Isle and Cromarty, Loch Ness, Embo and Golspie. Then take a run down the A96 as far as Huntly, taking in some, but not all of:- Culloden, Clava Cairns, Cawdor Castle, Brodie Castle, Fort George, Sueno's Stone, Elgin Cathedral, Huntly Castle. At Huntly go due south to Alford, and then over to Alford and on to Deeside. You will pass Kildrummie Castle, and Craigievar Castle.

Then on Deeside, you have options for Lochnagar Distillery, Braemar Castle, Crathes, Castle, and Drum Castle, and you have access to Mar Lodge Estate, chunks of Balmoral, and Glen Muick, Glentanar, and a whole lot more.

Then you're 2 hours drive from Edinburgh the next morning. How does that sound?
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Old Mar 1st, 2009, 01:00 PM
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Sheila
After all of this my son doesn't want to necessarily see Dornoch. Still your suggestions are exciting. Where would you suggest we stay our first night? We will be flying into Glasgow and heading north thereafter. Since we have decided not to see Dornoch, how far northeast should we head before turning toward Deeside. Could you possibly suggest some b&bs? Your suggestins of distilleries and castles are on our agenda. We will spend our last three nights in Edinburgh before heading to Dublin. Again, we REALLY appreciate your insight.
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Old Mar 1st, 2009, 11:07 PM
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Where are you coming from and what time do you land? I ask because it will have an impact on how jet lagged you are. If it's east coast, it's not that big a deal, if west, don't even dream of going further than the first bed you come to.

If the latter, stay very close by, not in the city. If the former, you might want to go up to Loch Lomond, and stay somewhere near Balloch, rather than take the motorway into Glasgow. We can point you in the right direction to have fun.

If you don't want to go as far as Dornoch, re-assess your options- you could go west and have a two day stop somewhere near Oban, then into Deeside, or you could stay just north or south of Inverness. Given your interests, maybe somewhere on Speyside.

For greatest variety, I'd suggest Oban or Dingwall or somewhere like that. As an alternative, you could look at two days in Fife instead of going north.
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Old Mar 7th, 2009, 07:24 AM
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Hi Everyone
Well I think we have finally come up with our plan. I now have enough reading materials to start my own library. I would appreciate your thoughts on the following:
2 nights in Edinburgh
1 night Pitlochry
1 night Grantown on Spey
1 night in Portsoy
2 nights Ullapool
2 Oban
Leave Oban for Glasgow and flight home

Thanks!!!
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Old Mar 7th, 2009, 08:17 AM
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Good plan. Really
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Old Mar 13th, 2009, 07:48 AM
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Hi everyone

Please don't consider me the "thing that won't go away" but I am once again seeking your advice. I have been an avid reader of all threads on Scotland and just recently saw Sheila's response to P_Texas dated March 11th. Since we won't be spending the same amount of time in Scotland, can this itinerary be tweaked for us? We definitely are not hikers but more into castles, historical sights, a distillery or two, good food and shopping. We are scheduled for two nights in Edinburgh and then have 5 more nights to see the countryside. Due to a timing issue we will fly into Glasgow and since jetlag will come into play, I was thinking of hiring a taxi/car service to take us to Edinburgh. I figure I'll skimp somewhere else during vacation to pay for this luxury. Can you make any suggestions for this service? We will be leaving from Glasgow so could you also recommend a town to stay within easy access to the Glasgow airport? Our flight out leaves at 10:30 a.m.
Your wealth of knowledge is so very much appreciated!
Denise
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Old Mar 13th, 2009, 08:33 AM
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Stay in Glasgow city centre. Good frequent airport bus runs every 15 minutes or a taxi will cost about £15. You also get benefit of access to Glasgow nightlife on your last evening.
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