Scotland in a week: which bits?

Jan 22nd, 2013, 03:07 PM
  #1  
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Scotland in a week: which bits?

I'm quite ashamed that I've never been to Scotland so that looks like the next trip. My companion only has a week and wants to travel around by car from Glasgow.
Looking at the map and Lonely Planet, it seems to be north from Glasgow, along Loch Lomond to Fort William and Glen Coe. Then either north to Inverness and Culloden or west to Skye. South again from Fort William via Oban and a boat trip to Mull/Iona/Staffa and back to Glasgow.
I myself will have more time to spend in Glasgow where I have list of things to see.
Could all you Scottish Experts please comment on this idea. Main restriction is the One Week. It will be end of May.

How bad are the midges? Do they respond to bug spray?
How slow are the roads? We're used to driving on the left.
Do we need to book B&Bs? Suggestions?
Are there whisky distilleries and how do we fit them in and drive too?

And any other advice please.
Thanks.
gertie3751 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2013, 03:28 PM
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Topping as I also have a trip to Scotland in May. I made a typo on the title so it is listed as Very Early Planning for Scotland May 2012. There have been some good suggestions in the responses.
Challiman is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2013, 03:55 PM
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Thanks Challiman. Let's hope between us we get some good replies!
gertie3751 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2013, 09:17 PM
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Just a few random responses:

• Edinburgh is not mentioned . . . Are you interested in visiting the city?"

"How bad are the midges? Do they respond to bug spray?
How slow are the roads? We're used to driving on the left.
Do we need to book B&Bs? Suggestions?
Are there whisky distilleries and how do we fit them in and drive too?
"

• I've never really experienced bad midges in May. You might see them but they are primarily a summer thing.

• Some of the roads can be very slow --especially along the west coast and on the islands. For instance most of the roads on Mull and lot of them on Skye are single track.

• In many areas you will be fine not pre-booking B&Bs. However you can use local Tourist Information Offices to find accommodations either for that night or for future nights.

• There are lots of distilleries - deciding which one(s) to visit can wait until you've firmed up your itinerary.

Now -you only have one week so I'd only do one of the islands Mull/Iona OR Skye -they are both time intensive. If you do Mull/Iona -- I would not do a day tour. There is a lot to see on Mull so I'd take the car over on the ferry and stay a night or 2.

Also you mention Ft William twice . . . Please PLEASE don't stay in Ft William.
janisj is online now  
Jan 22nd, 2013, 09:23 PM
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janis knows Scotland -- pays to listen

Here's our trip from the same time last year:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...rip-report.cfm

We had 8 days and no city stays so you'll have to pick and chose. One of our best trips.
indy_dad is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2013, 06:12 AM
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Thanks both.

janis:
Edinburgh isn't on the list because my companion has already been and we won't have time for that as well as Glasgow. I may get there on the way back for a few days.
I was thinking EITHER Inverness and Culloden OR Skye but not both. What do you think?
And why not stay in Fort William? It seems a central jumping off point.
Looks like Mull is recommended above other places.

i_d:
Thanks for the link and I'll note the places to stay. Also the tip about paper maps.

Yes, the picking and choosing is the main problem. We are more interested in looking at scenery than walking in it. I'm very concerned not to just wizz past it all, need to go at a pace to see as much as possible without rushing.
gertie3751 is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2013, 09:40 AM
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"And why not stay in Fort William? It seems a central jumping off point."

It is central but it is not very nice. There are sooooooo many wonderful places to stay - don't waste a night in Ft William.

"Looks like Mull is recommended above other places."

Not really 'above' other places -but wonderful in its own right. Which island is "Best" is totally subjective. Some will say Skye, some Mull, some Islay . . . and some will prefer somewhere completely different.

"I was thinking EITHER Inverness and Culloden OR Skye but not both."

Actually, the Inverness area (don't stay IN Inverness) and Skye are easy - 2 days near Inverness and 2 or 3 days on Skye would be a good use of time.

Or 2 days/nights near Inverness, one night in Glencoe, and 2 days/nights on Mull would also be a good 5 days.
janisj is online now  
Jan 23rd, 2013, 02:41 PM
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Helpful stuff janis. Thanks.
gertie3751 is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2013, 06:11 AM
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janis, I am looking more closely at places to stay and I wonder if you can tell me how far we can realistically get on the first day after arriving at Glasgow airport early afternoon and picking up a car. Is Loch Lomond about right or would somewhere outside Fort William be on? Bear in mind that we might want to stop in distilleries and tea shops and look at the scenery. And do you have any recommendations? The Scottish Tourism website is full of nice-looking places. Thanks
gertie3751 is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2013, 06:47 AM
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Saving for me - and apologies to the OP that I cannot help
soogies is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2013, 11:04 AM
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Where are you flying from? If long haul, driving the first day isn't recommended. The jetlag makes it extremely tiring and can be dangerous.

Having said that though- driving from GLA to the west side of Loch Lomond takes no time at all and probably would be OK/doable.

GLA to Luss for example is only about 25 miles and maybe 40-45 minutes. To Arden/Cameron House area even less 20-ish miles 30-35 mins.

either would be a lovely stopover, you could walk along the loch, have a pub dinner, get a good night's sleep.

Otherwise - I'd stay in Glasgow the first night.
janisj is online now  
Feb 3rd, 2013, 11:12 AM
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Thanks janis. We are flying into GLA from LGW on EasyJet, having been in London for a week at a meeting. I've found a good OS Road Atlas of Britain so now can visualise the distances better. Looking at GLA to Luss, it might be a good lunch stop. Then we can move on further if the weather is good. Just thinking it will be good to have a reservation for the first night, especially as it is a weekend and tourist offices will probably be closed.
gertie3751 is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2013, 12:56 PM
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"Looking at GLA to Luss, it might be a good lunch stop. Then we can move on further if the weather is good. Just thinking it will be good to have a reservation for the first night, especially as it is a weekend and tourist offices will probably be closed."

Great - jetlag won't be a problem. Yes - Luss for a lunch stop, walk through the village and out the pier, and then back in the car.

I'd stay that night in Ballacullish or maybe in Glencoe at the Clachaig http://www.clachaig.com/
janisj is online now  
Feb 3rd, 2013, 01:04 PM
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You are a complete star janis. Thank you.
gertie3751 is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2013, 06:21 PM
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Little trip from Glasgow


I have about 3-5 free days in and around Glasgow and was thinking of a little trip ...maybe Arran? How quick and easy is it to get there on public transport? Is there anywhere else you recommend?
gertie3751 is offline  
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