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Scotland - Edinburgh to Oban drive to arrive by 5?

Scotland - Edinburgh to Oban drive to arrive by 5?

Old Mar 5th, 2017, 07:35 PM
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Scotland - Edinburgh to Oban drive to arrive by 5?

Trying to figure out if this is possible and advisable. We, like everyone, have only so many days for our trip. It would help our plan if we were able to get from Edinburgh all the way to Tobermory on Mull inside of one day. There is a ferry at 1700 and 1800, so getting to Oban by 1800 would be ideal. Obviously this is not difficult based on just the drive, but we also hope to stop and see the sights on the way. Glencoe is one that we would love to see. And it will be a round trip, so we have the way back to Edinburgh 4 days later to make other stops (or stop).

So I am hoping for advice on whether it's reasonable to make that trip in that amount of time. That is, how much time should be set aside to "see" Glencoe properly, and what would be another good stop for the way home to use another couple hours? We're mostly blank slates, annoying tourists, just want to know where we should go and what we should see. Any advice is greatly appreciated Thanks!
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Old Mar 5th, 2017, 07:59 PM
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I would NOT try to fit in Glencoe en route. That would add about an hour to the drive plus the hour or two you'd want to spend in Glencoe.

See it on the way back. Hightail it to Oban and get to Mull as early as you can so you can spend some of that afternoon on the isle.

On the way back also try to visit Killin, Inchmahome Priory, Doune Castle, and/or Stirling Castle. I would take 2 days for the drive back to Edinburgh to fit everything in.
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Old Mar 6th, 2017, 02:10 PM
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We don't have two days on the way back to Edinburgh unfortunately. Thanks for the advice on the way there - it looks like a 3.5 hour drive total without getting out at Glencoe but driving by it, so if we stopped there for 2 hours, that would be 5.5 hours. If we leave around 10, that gets us to Oban around 330, seems like plenty of time. But is two hours enough? Anything else I'm missing?
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Old Mar 6th, 2017, 04:00 PM
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>>it looks like a 3.5 hour drive total
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Old Mar 6th, 2017, 05:43 PM
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Good to know. Here in the States, Google maps is eerily accurate with driving estimates. Thanks! You may be right in that case, that the best plan is to do any stops on the way back when there isn't the pressure of the ferry to catch.
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Old Mar 6th, 2017, 05:52 PM
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As I suggested -- I'd get the earliest ferry you can make. There is a LOT to see and do on Mull so it helps if you cab squeeze in an extra half day
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Old Mar 7th, 2017, 08:16 AM
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There is a ferry at 1700 and 1800, so getting to Oban by 1800 would be ideal.

If you arrive at 18:00 you'll - literally - miss the boat. You should be looking at least 1 hour before, preferably more as it'll be a good idea to fill up the car with fuel
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Old Mar 7th, 2017, 09:24 AM
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Good point -- I'd want to be in Oban a minimum hour before the sailing time. And I would not be rushing to catch the last ferry (or even the penultimate sailing) - if anything goes pear shaped you'd be SOL.

And you will DEFINITELY want to pre-book the ferry. If there is no car space again you will be SOL.
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Old Mar 7th, 2017, 11:24 AM
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We drove in the other direction, from Oban to Edinburgh airport, in 2014. I don't know exactly how long the drive was, but we left Oban on the late side, and stopped for lunch in Monteith, then took the little ferry to Inchmahome Priory and stayed there for over an hour. We also stopped in Falkirk to see the Wheel, and stayed there for about an hour. We turned our car in at Edinburgh airport. I know we arrived there during the evening rush hour (about 5:30 PM) and took a taxi to our hotel.

The time from departure to arrival was about 7-8 hours, and the stops along the way would have taken about 3 1/2 to 4 hours total, so I don't think 3 1/2 hours driving time is very far off, especially because that's about the limit of what I plan to drive in one day.

I find the driving times on Google Maps to be fairly accurate, despite what people say again and again on these forums. I've checked out driving times for routes that we take here in Italy, which is one of the places where people say the driving times are badly underestimated. The times shown match very well with our experience. Of course, if you don't know the roads, you might need to leave time for wrong turns and stopping to ask directions. We found driving in Scotland to be pretty easy, and our GPS unit got us everywhere with no mistakes, except for two times when we didn't have the precise location of our destination (including in Falkirk, where we lost considerable time finding the Wheel).
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Old Mar 7th, 2017, 11:34 AM
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bvlenci: To clarify, the OP was talking about the drive taking 3.5 hours traveling via Glencoe - not via the Lake of Menteith / Falkirk.

I agree the drive going directly as you did would only be about 3.5 hours.
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Old Mar 7th, 2017, 12:28 PM
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(including in Falkirk, where we lost considerable time finding the Wheel).

1) It's signposted
2) Check the website
3) Use the postcode in your GPS
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Old Mar 7th, 2017, 12:44 PM
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I may have missed the time of year for your trip but between May and September absolutely book the ferry places.

For 3 years, our government has been subsidising CalMac ticket prices by over 50%. The volume problems are accentuated by good weather when half of Glasgow and Edinburgh head for the hills en masse.

Last we simply couldn't get off Mull via Oban on a Saturday, we had to take the Ardnamurchan route and drive round.

Be aware the roads are mobbed in good weather, Loch Lomond to Erskine Bridge was diabolical when the sun shone. Add around an hour if you are travelling at peak times in summer.

The pound is worthless and many Brits are stopping at home!
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