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Scotland Experts! I need a little advice, please

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Scotland Experts! I need a little advice, please

Old Feb 21st, 2010, 04:58 PM
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Scotland Experts! I need a little advice, please

Hi everyone - I've been working on this rather last minute trip for a couple of weeks, and just booked flights the other day. I'm returning to western Ireland for most of the month of March in Dingle, Ireland. I'll hopefully be on the volunteer staff for the Dingle Film Festival and might be fun to be there for St Patrick's Day.

Then the adventure begins on March 28 when I fly from Cork to Edinburgh and return from Glasgow 11 days later. I bought the Fodor's Scotland guide last week and was following their Great Itinerary and blending that with ideas here. I'll be making a solo journey. renting a car, and looking for budget to moderate accommodations.

I may only get a windshield of rain, but I want to see beautiful countryside and some coastlines. I'm mostly puzzled by the number of bad reviews of many Skye B&B's, and if anyone knows a place they were happy with, I'd love to know.

Here's what I have roughed out so far - It's VERY flexible and there's no place that I HAVE to be, just working my way up to Skye and back to Glasgow at a relaxed pace with maximum scenery:

Day 1,2 - Edinburgh

Day 3 - Fife (Crail or Anstruther? per Janis's earlier rec to another Fodorite)

Day 4, 5 - Perthshire

Day 6, 7 - Skye (but where oh where)

Day 8, 9 - Nothing planned yet

Day 10, 11 - Glasgow

Day 12 -Depart Glasgow

Thank you for your help!

Sheri
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Old Feb 21st, 2010, 05:25 PM
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What fun, working on the film festival!

Your Scotland itinerary looks quite good.

The thing about Skye B&Bs is -- none will be all that posh except for very expensive ones. I usually ignore TA for small B&Bs since the pool of possible reviewers is so small. If there are some really terrible reviews - that's one thing. But a lack of reviews or some tepid ones, not a big worry IMO.

I like to stay sort of in the center of the island - like near Sligachan. It is at the main crossroads and is convenient to any part of the island. Either at the hotel . . http://www.sligachan.co.uk/ or someplace like this http://www.blabheinn.co.uk/ or http://www.luibhouse.co.uk/

An advantage to Sligachan hotel is it serves food all day long - which isn't a given most places.

Of course, you can always stay in Portree and have shops/cafes/banks etc. But it is a bit farther from some parts of the island.

For days 8-9 -- I'll sound like a broken record here, but I'd stay in/near Callander. In fact, I'd probably stay there 3 nights and only one night in Glasgow. There is sooooo much to see do in the area. Stirling, Loch Lomond, Doune, Inchmahome, waterfalls, lochs, Killin and mega scenery -- though different than what you'll see out west.
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Old Feb 21st, 2010, 06:45 PM
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Thank you Janis! Yeah it was just weird about the reviews. I don't think you sound like a broken record! Who doesn't love waterfalls and lochs...
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Old Feb 22nd, 2010, 07:21 AM
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Hi janisj
On your various replies you suggest staying in Callandar as a base. My husband and I are staying there for 5 nights.(unfortunately time is a crunch)Is it crazy to think we can drive from there to Colloden Fields as a day trip. We are flying into Glasgow and then renting a car.As we have yet to make a Callander reservation, we are flexible to another destination, altho it does look very central.Do you have a B&B to recommend.
My husband is not too enthused about renting a car right from the G airport as his maiden drive in Scotalnd. We consider taking the train to Stirling and renting there. What do you think, or is fairly easy to navigate from the airport to the highway to Callander.
Thanks for your suggestions, Colleen
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Old Feb 22nd, 2010, 08:07 AM
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Day 6, 7 - Skye (but where oh where)

Day 8, 9 - Nothing planned yet

Day 10, 11 - Glasgow

Well this is tailored for riding, or following, the most scenic railway in Britain and one of the tops in Europe - the West Highlands Line that goes from Maillaig (where ferries from Skye land) to Glasgow, but along gorgeous seascapes and then thru desolate moors - if you could return you car in Maillag then you could go the last portion on the train to Glasgow and the train goes thru the desolate Rannoch Moor - anyway a scenic route to get back to Glasgow.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2010, 08:30 AM
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Colleen: You can rent from GLA or from Stirling -- 6 of one half dozen of the other IMO. I normally advise against driving right off a flight. But GLA to Callander is an easy drive and would be faster than traveling from GLA into central Glasgow for a train to Stirling and then driving out of Stirling.

"is fairly easy to navigate from the airport to the highway to Callander."

Highway -

Yes - it is very easy to navigate to the 'highway' from the airport. GLA is right on the motorway (freeway) that crosses Erskine bridge. But that'll only be for 3 or 4 miles. Then you'd have less than 10 miles of major road (not motorway). From there on it will be small country roads -- which is what you'll be on 90% of your time in Scotland. It's about 40 miles and 1 to 1.5 hrs max drive from GLA to Callander.

Callander to Culloden is about 150 miles and would take 3.5-4 hours each way. Doable - yes, looooong day - definitely.

If you wanted to stay a bit farther north (thus closer to Culloden) you could check for places near Perth. Not IN the city IMO - but in the general area. Perth to Culloden is just under 120 miles and about 2.5-3 hours.

But a better option might be to stay up near Inverness over one night.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2010, 09:28 AM
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I'm happy to know that 90% of driving is on small country roads.

Palenque - good idea! I never considered a train ride, and I was just reading about Rannoch Moor. Have you ever used the 'Terrain' button on Google maps? I never clicked it until the other day when I was looking of Rannoch Moor - now you can really see the countryside.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2010, 12:16 PM
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sheri - here are some resources for that routing- staying somewhere on the Rannoch Moor would to me be so so special

RAILSCOT | West Highland Railway
An illustrated guide to a line, now part of the Scotrail network, running from Glasgow through to Mallaig. Includes a chronology.
http://www.railbrit.co.uk/West_Highl...lway/frame.htm

West Highland Railway - Wikitravel
The West Highland Railway is a scenic railway in Scotland running from Glasgow to Fort William and Mallaig, with a branch to Oban, claimed by many to be the ...
wikitravel.org/en/West_Highland_Railway


Rannoch Moor Feature Page on Undiscovered Scotland: The Ultimate Online Guide.
http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.u...oor/index.html

Moor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rannoch Moor (Scottish Gaelic: Mòinteach Raineach/Raithneach)is a large expanse of around 50 square miles (130 km²) of boggy moorland to the west of Loch ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rannoch_Moor - Cached - SimilarRannoch - Moor of Rannoch Hotel, Rannoch, Perthshire
En-suite accommodation and restaurant. Includes details of the rooms, menus and photo galleries.

Reservations - Restaurant - Openings - Bedrooms
www.moorofrannoch.co.uk/

And staying on the Rannoch Moor to me would be awesome - in some remote B&B or hotel
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Old Feb 22nd, 2010, 01:14 PM
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sheri__lp: I didn't see PQ's first post since I was composing mine for Colleen at the same time. A train journey would be fine -- however there are the practicalities --- like what you'd do w/ the car??

There is nowhere on Skye or in Mallaig where you can drop the car and.

You could drop a car in Inverness -- but then you'd have to do Skye by public transport which isn't all that convenient.

One option would be to do a R-T train trip from Ft William to Mallaig and back on the same day - but that could mess up other parts of your plan, and you wouldn't cross Rannoch Moor.

Your other option would be to take the train out and back from Glasgow, Helensburgh, or Tarbet. Would take some planning on your days 8-9, but is doable.

But personally I don't think it fits in your itinerary that well.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2010, 01:18 PM
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Yes the logistics ain't good - but when riding the train i did notice a remote station in the heart of the Moors that had parking and several folks got off the train and left driving.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2010, 01:27 PM
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"but when riding the train i did notice a remote station in the heart of the Moors that had parking and several folks got off the train and left driving."

Yes PQ my dear . . One has to GET TO Rannoch station by car which is not just a 20 minute drive from somewhere . . . It is a 1.5+ hour drive from Killiekrankie on the A9 which is the closest main road.

Been there several times -- by car and by train . . . .
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Old Feb 22nd, 2010, 04:59 PM
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I love that PQ is so passionate about the train. I agree the logistics may not be the most convenient (this time anyhow)

I do want to experience that remoteness - I want to listen to some beautiful silence.

Speaking of listening to things - do you listen to music during your travels? I'm ripping a bunch of stuff to my computer tonight but I'll carry a very select number of CD's with me.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2010, 06:42 AM
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do you listen to music during your travels?>

Only in Scotland and then it's only "You take the High Road and i'll take the Low Road"...
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Old Feb 23rd, 2010, 07:28 AM
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I guess I should get the soundtrack to "Brigadoon"!
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Old Feb 23rd, 2010, 07:39 AM
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I haven't driven the road from Killekrankie on the A9 to Rannoch Station as I've only been there by train, but it's about 1.5 hours as janisj said; however, I believe that's out and back. If you really want to experience the moor and if it fits your itinerary (haven't really followed it) you could drive out and spend the night at the Moor of Rannoch Hotel. This is an excellent hotel, more like a B&B, and about the only building there except for a small cottage and the train station...highly recommend it. There are also numerous walking trails.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2010, 08:35 AM
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"but it's about 1.5 hours as janisj said; however, I believe that's out and back."

Nope -- that is each way . . . It is about 40 miles of 30 mph road . . . .

Staying at Rannoch station hotel would be a great experience -- just depends on how you want to use 2 days of your itinerary.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2010, 08:42 AM
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Rannoch - Moor of Rannoch Hotel, Rannoch, Perthshire
Rannoch Station is less than a minute's stroll from the Hotel, both for arranging your journey here and for days out. The Caledonian Night Sleeper runs ...
www.moorofrannoch.co.uk/

Rannoch - Moor of Rannoch Hotel, Rannoch, Perthshire
Rannoch Station is less than a minute's stroll from the Hotel. The Caledonian Night Sleeper runs every night, except Saturday, from London Euston to Rannoch ...
www.moorofrannoch.co.uk/directions.htm

Well yes that is the hotel by the station, out in the middle of nowhere (actually Rannoch Moor) that i remember from the train

and it presents a new scenario -i assume you can ditch the car in Fort William and take the train to Rannoch Station and the hotel - i assume there are trails or whatever to explore around the hotel -put up here for a day or so and then as the site says the Caledonian Sleepers stop here nightly (ex Sat no service i think) and take you by cover of night back to London.

Or ditch the car in Fort William - take the train to the Moors hotel and then go on by day train to Glasgow.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2010, 08:46 AM
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Anyway it seems there are no direct roads from Ft William area to Rannoch Station - only one road, Janis' mention i guess from the east but a huge detour if coming from Ft William- so returning a car in Ft William and taking the train could be a great option.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2010, 09:08 AM
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It has been several years since I was in Scotland however visited Anstruther and Skye and wanted to add my two cents!

While on Skye we stayed in Dunvegan-it is a longer ride to that side of Skye however worth it (in my opinion). We stayed at the Atholl House-not sure if it is still there-wonderful stay and great food.

We also visited Anstruther though did so b/c my husband has family there. We enjoyed our stay greatly. We stayed in a town called Wormit and did day trips from there visiting Glamis Castle, St. Andrews and Forfar (husband has family there as well).

We rented our car in Glasgow and returned it in Edinburgh (we did a reverse loop from what most people do b/c of visiting relatives). We also used train travel in between the Cities.

Have a great trip
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Old Feb 23rd, 2010, 09:08 AM
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Thinking I'd pick up a car as I arrive in Edinburgh so I can make a clean getaway on my Day 3.

For coming back to Glasgow - I think I will drop off the car on my way into town and get a taxi back out the next morning - is that reasonable?

Thanks again for the further discussion on the Rannoch Moor debate.
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