Scotland in early June

Old Sep 14th, 2003, 03:21 AM
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Scotland in early June

I am planning a trip with three families (10 people) to Scotland for about a week starting around May 28 2004. Ages - mostly 21 & up, but two earlyteen boys. First time visits for most of us. We plan on staying 2-3 nights in Edinburgh, but want to get north for the rest of the trip. Interests - some fishing, one round of golf, and general siteseeing (Castles & bloody stuff for the boys). Visit St. Andrews for a day.

Questions:
* Where would you stay? With a large group, I don't want to spend all of our time checking in and out of B&B or hotels. A good central base location for daytrips and for those not interested in golf or fishing to have something to do. (Inverness? Ft. William?)
* We'd like to go to a Highland Games celebration, but most of them seem to be later in the summer. Any suggestions for the last week of May-first week of June?
* I'm not sold on using Scotrail all of the time, but really don't want to rent a bus for the group. Any thoughts on that?

Thanks -

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Old Sep 14th, 2003, 07:14 AM
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I would rent a cottage (or 2) if possible. they rent from Saturday tjo Saturday. We stayed in Callendar at the Leny Lodge. Very nice, much more reasonable than a hotel.
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Old Sep 14th, 2003, 12:49 PM
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I totally agree w/ bigtyke. I have taken groups of between 6 and 13 a few times and traveling around from base to base gets really tiring and is time consumung.

With 10 you could easily rent a 4 bedroom cottage or even part of a castle somewhere in the center for a week -- near Stirling, Perth, Dunkeld or places like that. Instead of a bus get 2 or 3 cars (depending on the size).

Then you can as a large group or in smaller groups visit Edinburgh, Glen Coe, St Andrews, even Skye as day trips.

In June it will be light until VERY late at night so you will never be driving in the dark making daytrips a lot easier.
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Old Sep 15th, 2003, 01:01 PM
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Where would you stay? Without a doubt rent a big house in Perthsire or Angus. I can give you some good web links, if you like.

* Any suggestions for the last week of May-first week of June?

Next year's fixtures aren't up yet, but Blackford is the last Saturday in May, Markinch is the first Sunday in June, Strathmiglo, Cornhill and Hawick are the first Saturday in June and Forfar is the first Sunday in June. Blackfors is my home patch and I love it.

* I think you need 2 or 3 cars. Otherwise some poor sucker's whole holiday will be chauffeuring the rest.
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Old Sep 15th, 2003, 04:02 PM
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Good advice - if we can stay in one place for most of the week we will check into getting a cottage or house or even a castle! Your suggestions on places to stay are a little south of what I was thinking. I was thinking that I need to be north of Sterling to get closer to the Highlands. Any suggestions and links for really nice places (that may be oriented towards fishing and close to golf) would be appreciated.

I did find a Highland Games site that has some dates for 2004.
http://www.albagames.co.uk/Highland_...00.htm#BM129th Are some games better to attend than others?

Thanks - Bob
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Old Sep 15th, 2003, 04:44 PM
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Just to get you started here are a couple to look over:

www.uniquescotland.com/tirinie/index.html these are two cottages near Pitlochry sleeping 5 and 6 so renting both would be perfect for your group.

And www.mackays-self-catering.co.uk/ is an agency w/ over 2000 properties in Scotland including a lot sleeping 10 or more. They have one large farmhouse east of Pitlochry that sleeps 12. another one is a large flat in a mansion in Fortingall (near Aberfeldy) that sleeps 10.

But doing a web search will find a lot of others . . . .
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Old Sep 15th, 2003, 10:57 PM
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Bob,

I think you need to look at a map
Nowhere that has been suggested is south of Stirling (nb spelling). And yes, some games are better than others. But it's generally a matter of taste which.
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Old Sep 16th, 2003, 03:05 AM
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My geography is nearly as bad as my spelling! I did look at Mackay's list and it certainly includes a wide variety of options in cost, location, and amenities. So many choices... so much time for the choosing. Thanks
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Old Sep 16th, 2003, 03:42 AM
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bob

If you tell me what sort of place you think you might like, I may be able to find you a suggestion or two. We rent something big at least once a year and I feel like I know every rental site in north Scotland.
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Old Sep 17th, 2003, 04:28 PM
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Thanks Sheila - I'm trying to get group concensus on what they really want to do... So far the opinions are split in a predictable way - golf, fishing, whiskey trail for the men, and for the ladies- shopping, scenery, and history. (My daughter attends at St. Andrews and wants to get out of the Fife/Edinburgh area and get up into the Highlands).
It sounds like we will spend 2 nights in or near Edinburgh, finish up with a night in St.A. and have probably 4 days/nights elsewhere.

Is the last weekend in May a holiday of some sorts? I was looking at scheduled Highland Games events and they appear to skip that weekend.



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Old Sep 17th, 2003, 05:31 PM
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I'm afraid you will have a really hard time finding cottages to rent if you only want to stay in one place for a few nights. The VAST majority only rent for full weeks (usually starting on a Saturday) from easter through September. Outside of the high seasons they will offer "short breaks" - but almost none will do that in summer.

The point is if you book a centrally located house you can get to all the places you list (golf, fishing, whiskey trail, shopping, scenery, and history) w/i reasonable day trips.

For example, somewhere along the Dee (sort of in Sheila's neck of the woods) would place you within an hour's drive of the Whiskey trail, Culloden, the castle trail and a hundred other places.
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Old Sep 18th, 2003, 03:03 AM
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Just a though Bob, why not spoil yourself and stay in a castle. We used a company www.celticcastles.com last year and they great. As has already been mentioned self catering, ie you cook your own meals or go out to restaurant may be the beest value, however, in peak season these are week long lets. On the other hand take exclsuive use of a castle - Castle stuart sleeps 16 and is family run you can see it on the celtic castles web site and it is located near to Inverness. This would give you access to central and highland areas of Scotland. If you are coming into the Edinburgh as your gateway to Scoltand choose a castle in this area. Bothwick I have stayed in as well and this is great.

Anyway hope this is useful

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Old Jun 3rd, 2004, 02:31 AM
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Trip is over - one we will remember forever. Thanks to all whose suggestions - even those we didn't listen to - helped formulate our plans.

A comment about weather and midges - based on my experience the weather is always fabulous in Scotland and midges are a figment of an overactive imagination. Neither issue was a problem during the past 2 weeks.

We stayed in Spean Bridge near Ft. William. As suggested it is a quiet place, convenient to the train and bus, with little to do except outdoors activities such as fishing, hiking, biking, and enjoying some of the best scenery. Restaurant choices without a car are limited and tend to book early. We were told that the Old Pines Guest House/Restaurant has been sold and new owners have not taken over yet. We opted to pass on this place because it may be in transition. We stayed 3 days (Inverour Guest House - a pleasant place to stay which I recommend). Learned to fly fish with James Couts (search of 'fishing scotland')- another once in a lifetime experience. Enjoyed Ben Nevis and Annochmoor (sure I spelled that wrong) via the tram to the top. The view is priceless.

Driving through Glen Coe in a drizzle is a haunting experience. We used Bruce's Highland Tours to move us from Glen Spean to St. Andrews with a few stops in between.

Also spent 2 days at Dalhoussie Casltle Hotel just outside of Edinburgh. Enjoyed it and paid through the nose for it. A word to the wise - find out what level your room will be - we were on the 4th level.... my wife counted 105 steps from the lower level restaurant to our room. No elevator/lifts. I came back from the trip 4 pounds lighter (and many GBP lighter but that is a different story!) in part due to 105 steps several times a day.

As you can see from this and other posts - we were busy and now happy to be home. Thanks again.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2004, 09:10 AM
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Thanks for your report bob.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2004, 10:55 PM
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That would be Aonoch Mor, Bob; and a tram!! (LOL).

I'm so glad you had a good time. Did you get to a Highland Games?
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Old Jun 3rd, 2004, 11:55 PM
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OMG-that's Aonach Mor
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Old Jun 4th, 2004, 12:44 AM
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Unfortunately, we were a little early and in the wrong places for Highland Games.

The closest we got was when we went into a pub late on a Saturday afternoon. 30 or so men (some with their young kids) with Celtic Rangers gear were chanting, singing, pounding on the table, cussing and most importantly drinking while watching the end of an important football match against Dunfirmine (sorry if I spelled that wrong also). We enjoy and love our sports in the US, but not with the same amount of passion (and profanity) that these guys did. Everyone in the pub was signing songs in unison! I wouldn't have missed that moment for the world.
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Old Jun 4th, 2004, 01:03 AM
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They were wearing Celtic AND Rangers gear???

That's Dunfermilne
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Old Jun 4th, 2004, 01:11 AM
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White jerseys w/lime Green Stripes 'Carlings' logo. and I thought that I sort of understood football after a steady diet of it for 2 weeks. Now cricket.... that's a game to truly wonder about.
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Old Jun 4th, 2004, 01:53 AM
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It certainly is. One of my all time favourites is a faux pas by a match commentator some time ago when the West Indies were playing England in a Test Match. He said in a very straight-laced manner, ".....the batsman's Holding, the bowler's Willey." (Michael Holding bowled for the West Indies while Peter Willey was an opening batsman for England).

The rest of the commentary team were in hysterics for the rest of the day and to this day, the unfortunate gentleman hasn't figured out what he did wrong.
 

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