Scotland in 8 days

Feb 19th, 2006, 11:14 AM
  #1  
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Scotland in 8 days

First thanks to everyone, especially Sheila and Janisj, for their recent itinerary discussions which have been a great help in planning our 8 days in Scotland in July. I would appreciate all comments on this itinerary:
Days 1 and 2 in Edinburgh.
Days 3(after picking up a car) & 4 on the way to Inverness.
Day 3 through Fife, Perth, Scone, Aberfeldy and Pitlochry. Is that too much for a day? Should I eliminate Fife even though I'd like to see the coastal fishing villages and St. Andrews?
Day 4 the castles of Blair, Braemar, Glamis and Cawdor (others?) overnighting in Inverness.
Day 5 stopping at Culloden, down along the Caledonian Canal and then over on A887/87 past the Five Sisters and Eilean Donan on the way to Kyle of Lochalsh.
Day 6 over the bridge to Skye, directly to the ferry at Armadale to Mallaig (will it be crowded and do I need a reservation?) and then Glencoe and overnight in Oban.
Day 7 to Inverary, The Trossachs, Loch Lomond and Stirling and overnight somewhere on the way to Glasgow.
Day 8 fly out of Glasgow.
I have experience driving in rural England so I appreciate the roads will be narrow and the going slow but I think the distances are manageable. Haven't even started on hotels/B&B's much less restaurants/pubs but welcome suggestions.
Jerry
jhkringel is offline  
Feb 19th, 2006, 11:58 AM
  #2  
 
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Since you had nice words to say I'll have to be gentle here

several of your days are VERY difficult and probably impossible. How was that for gentle?

Day 4 for instance - it is simply not possible to cover that much ground in one day. Just doing Blair Atoll, Braemar and driving up to Inverness would be a hugely full day. Bear in mind there are no direct roads anywhere (except for the A9 up the middle of the country). Plus each castle stop - especially those w/ a lot to explore like Glamis an Blair - will take a minimum of 90 minutes.

Day 3 is also bad - but I guess you already knew that because you asked about eliminating Fife.

If it were me - and this is just me personally - I would skip Pitlochry/Blair Atholl. Blair is great - but so are all of the other places you want to see.

Then you could drive through Fife, up to Glamis and on to Braemar. Then drive straight through to near Inverness. You can visit Cawdor in the morning before going to Culloden.

I don't really understand day 6 - you are going over the bridge to Skye but only to immediately leave again by ferry? You won't "see" any of Skye that way and only spend a lot of money for the ferry.
janisj is offline  
Feb 19th, 2006, 12:04 PM
  #3  
 
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flagging
Keith is offline  
Feb 19th, 2006, 01:17 PM
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I'm flagging just reading it

Actually although I think day 3 is long it's doable. day 4 isn't. It just isn't. You MIGHT be able to do Blair, Braemar (which is a tichy wee castle) and Cawdor. But you can't do Glamis too.

What sort of place do you want to stay in?
sheila is offline  
Feb 19th, 2006, 01:30 PM
  #5  
 
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Actually, your Day 6 is much saner than one of the days we had on our 1999 overview trip to Scotland! We left Drumnadrochit in the morning, went into Glen Affric and looked around for a while, took a few pictures of the Nessie stuff, drove down Loch Ness and past the Five Sisters, toured Eilean Donan, across the bridge to Skye, drove toward Armadale, detouring on the little road that goes through Ord, Tokavaig and Tarskavaig, then the ferry to Mallaig and past Glen Finnan through Fort William in time to make a fixed time seating for dinner in Spean Bridge. We stopped regularly and took a million pictures. Whew!

Observations:

1. My husband did the driving that day, and was so stressed out (because we had to be at dinner by a fixed time) that I drove for the remaining 10 days of the trip.

2. I would never plan to pack that much into a day again (!) BUT we saw some of the most specacular scenery of the entire trip, and we would not have seen it otherwise, especially Glen Affric.

3. If we had not gone over to Skye for that brief hour, we wouldn't have seen some of our favorite things of the entire 2 week trip: the road past the Five Sisters which is lovely, Eilean Donan castle which is pretty over the water (waste of time to go in, however), the views on the Skye detour past those 'viking' villages which were amazing, the road from Mallaig to Fort William which has some stunning scenic stretches.

4. It was very frustrating to whet our appetite for Skye and not see more of it. But we felt that way about so much of the trip; 2 weeks just let us skim the surface. We want to see more of the islands, and much more of the Highlands above Inverness. That's what the next trip(s) are for! (This past summer we got to return to Glen Affric and stayed 2 nights in the area and just hiked around the Glen)

Have fun in Scotland!!
noe847 is offline  
Feb 20th, 2006, 06:59 AM
  #6  
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Janisj - thanks for being gentle and for the suggestions on days 3 & 4. The main reason to go through Skye (other than at least get a glimpse of it) was to travel a different route back to Glencoe rather than retracing our steps on A87.
Sheila - I need a Scotland/English dictionary for "tichy wee castle". We like to stay in B&B's or small inns in answer to your question.
noe847 thanks for the encouragement.
jhkringel is offline  
Feb 21st, 2006, 01:28 PM
  #7  
 
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Accommodation?

Days 1 and 2 in Edinburgh.

No view in the B&B and small inns stake

Day 3 The Moulin Inn

Day 4 Inverness.- blech. Try the Loval Arms in Beauly.

Day 5 The Glenelg Inn

Day 6 Oban.- no idea

Day 7 The Drovers Inn in Inverernan

sheila is offline  
Feb 21st, 2006, 04:32 PM
  #8  
 
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Jerry,
Like the other respondents I think you need to calm down your itinerary. It's meant to be a holiday.
I would skip Skye unless you plan to spend at least a full day there, it's too big to do justice in an hour or two.
Accommodation in Oban - try Glenburnie Guest House on the esplanade about a mile from the town centre. It's a few years since we were there but we've had several very nice visits in the past.
To get an idea of how realistic your days are, go to theaa.com and follow the links to motoring / journey planner. For some of your days you'll need to put in a few "vias" as otherwise the site will only give the most direct route. I think the times are worked out on the basis of 60 mph on motorway and dual carriageway (freeway and divided highway?) where the maximum allowed speed is 70, and 30 mph everywhere else.
I hate to tell anyone to give Fife a miss but if you have your heart set on other destinations you might not have time to give the Kingdom the attention it deserves - you'll just need to promise to come back soon.
Craigellachie is offline  
Feb 25th, 2006, 12:19 PM
  #9  
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Some candid comments and further research and mapreading resulted in a new itinerary. I realize it may still be ambitious but our interests are beautiful scenery, quaint towns, and coastal villages. A few furnished castles - Edinburgh, Cawdor and Glamis will suffice for us. So here it is:
Days 1&2 - Edinburgh
- hop on and hop off bus tour
- Edinburgh Castle
- Royal Mile
- St. Giles Cathedral
- Gladstone's Land
- Holyrood Palace
- National Museum of Scotland
- National Gallery
- New Town
- Georgian House
- Other suggestions from various threads
- Perhaps afternoon of Day 2 to Roslin
Hotel??? Apex Internationsl or Radisson but we would prefer a nice B&B or smaller hotel, perhaps the Stuart or Elmview???
Day 3 Kingdom of Fife
Over the Forth Road Bridge and would like to see Kinross and Loch Leven and Falkland Palace but the focus is really the coastal fishing villages of Largo, Elie, St. Monans, Pittenweem, Anstruther, and Crail (any favorites?). Then St. Andrews for the Cathedral, Castle and Royal and Ancient. We would like to at least get to Glamis by the end of the day if not go through it on Day 3.
Overnight in Glamis, Dundee, Forfar or Kirriemuir. No idea for a hotel.
Day 4. Objective is to get to the Inverness area to see Cawdor and Culloden and perhaps the Clava Cairns. Could leave the Glamis area and pick up the A9 near Dunkeld or Pitlochry for faster travel and maybe stop to see Blair and the Ruthven Barracks at Kingussie, but we would prefer what seems to be a prettier route up A93 over Glen Shee to Braemar to Deeside and Glen Gairn then Corgarff and Tomintoul, through Grantown arriving at Cawdor. Is the driving too slow and difficult through this area?
Then skip Inverness and overnight in Beauly at perhaps Lovat Arms or the Priory or ???
Day 5 down to Cannich and Glen Affric and then over to Urquhart Castle and along Loch Ness to A887/87 toward Kyle of Lochalsh past the Five Sisters and Eilean Donan to overnight at the Plockton Inn in Plockton or the Glenelg Inn in Glenelg.
Day 6 over the bridge to Skye and down the west side of Sleat through Ord and Tarskavaig to Armadale and ferry to Maillig so we can take a different route back east and south. Past Loch Morar and over the Glenfinnan Viaduct to Glencoe and down to Oban to overnight at Glenburnie Hotel or Kilchrenan House or ??? Should I stop short of Oban and overnight near Glencoe and drive through Oban the next day?
Day 7 south of Oban to Kilmartin Glen and the cairns at Templewood then north to Inverary and then spend rest of day and evening in and around the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs. I can do the west side of Loch Lomond on A82 but how do I get to the area around Loch Katrine and Aberfoyle without going far north or far south or maybe taking a ferry across Loch Lomond at some point. Any suggestions on a route and on a place to overnight???
Day 8 Glasgow Airport and goodbye to Scotland until the next time.
We're sorry to miss Stirling, Linlithgow, especially Perthshire, Scone, more of Skye and castles near Aberdeen. Too many places to see and not enough time.
Thanks for any help.
Jerry
jhkringel is offline  
Feb 25th, 2006, 01:44 PM
  #10  
 
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I'm still exhausted. IMHO you are still mainly spending hour upon hour in the car. Many of the places you want to see take TIME to inhale, enjoy, relax.

It seems we can't really disuade you so just a few minor comments:

The route from Braemar north is long and slow.

Clava Cairns is practically next door to Culloden and only takes a short time to visit so I don't see a reason to drop it.

Loch Leven castle is great. But you have to take the launch out to it - this is not a quick 20 minute stop. Just viewing it in the distance from shore is not even worth a detour. Falkland Palace/Gardens takes about an hour, Pittenweem/Anstruther/Crail aren't places to just drive through - you'd need to get out of the car and explore or it really doesn't make sense to go there. Anstruther has a terrific fisheries museum and Crail has the "chocolate box" view of a Harbor. And St Andrews is worth at least 4 or 5 hours - so it really isn't possible to squeeze in Glamis too.

To get anywhere on the east side of Loch Lomond you either have to take the single track road in from Aberfoyle (and it is a long slow drive) to Inversnaid or the road up from Balmaha.

I'd really recommend trying to narrow down a bit. If this were my first trip and I was on this itinerary I would not remember most of it afterwards. It would be a blur. But that is just me - you might be able to manage it. I wish you luck.
janisj is offline  
Feb 25th, 2006, 04:06 PM
  #11  
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Thank you Janis
I recognize the problem with Day 3 and will revise it. I really want to at least get a flavor of the coastal fishing villages and St. Andrews but realize I am pushing things. I thought the trip north to Inverness would be slow so I could do A9 instead because I really want to see Cawdor and Culloden. Day 7 also bothers me. I want to see the Trossachs but don't see how. I guess I scrub them for this trip. What do you think about Days 5 and 6? Any hotel suggestions.
Thanks for you patience.
jhkringel is offline  
Feb 25th, 2006, 07:31 PM
  #12  
 
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On day 7 you could skip the south of Oban/Inverary/Loch Lomond and instead head west on the A85 past Loch Awe through Crianlarich then around and down to the Trossachs/Loch Katrine area.
noe847 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2006, 09:33 PM
  #13  
 
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jhkringel, Don't feel too bad. Sheila, Janis, and others completely revised our initial itinerary to Scotland. For the better I might add.
Nelson is offline  
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