Scotland in September

Old Feb 22nd, 2008, 02:22 PM
  #41  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 68,236
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
Lots and LOTS of driving - but you knew that.

The only real problem I see is re "Day 12: Dingwall to Braemar via Drumnadrochit, Inverness and Nairn - 129m"

Drumnadrochit is totally out of the way. Just go from Dingwall > Inverness > and so on.

As for whether the Lewis/Harris leg is "worth it" -- that is a fabulous area - but you could also use the time very well in other areas. You don't need to decide now - you can wait until you are in Scotland and after a few days you will know if the driving/checking in/checking out are getting to be too much. You can always drop Lewis/Harris. You can book the ferry by phone while you are in Scotland - in Sept things won't be so busy that you can't find places to stay or get on the ferries.

And - to John o' Groats, or not -- again, you can decide when you are there. If you decide Getting to J O'G isn't the be all and end all - take a short cut across from Ullapool to Inverness.
janisj is online now  
Old Feb 23rd, 2008, 12:38 AM
  #42  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,156
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
One of the things that's heartening about your itinerary- and I must have looked at THOUSANDS since I found this forum- is that you break the mould. Now, there's good reason why the mould IS the mould, but that doesn't mean there isn't nice jelly and trifle in a bowl somewhere else (I feel I may have overdone that metaphor

I hope you don't drop the Outer Isles. They are so different from anything else you will see, as are the people.

What GreenDragon said about the north coast is right. If it were me, and I was going that close, I'd cross the Pentland Firth from Scrabster, and spend a day on orkney, sacrificing the Dingwall, Drum, Nairn bit. You can easily drive Scrabster- Braemar in a day (or look at the ferry times- they're staggered- you might be able to sail down the coast to Aberdeen and have a relatively easy drive out to Braemar).

But it's GREAT route. Please don't sacrifice the edges for the predictable middle
sheila is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2008, 03:53 AM
  #43  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 274
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
janisj (hee, got it right this time): I added Drumnadrochit so that I could drive along the banks of Loch Ness aways. Then I remembered noe847 recommending Glen Affric so I have now added another day to explore that area with an overnight at Drumnadrochit (I am now REALLY breaking the bank but, what the heck, I can always live on bread and cheese for a year )
I am excited by your 'wing it' approach. I normally book everything MONTHS in advance. I sort of like the certainty of knowing that I have a bed at the end of the day and a place on the ferry of my choice. I would love to be able to just 'wing it' as I think that would be really exhilarating, but I don't know if my nerves could stand it
Just a note on the checking in/out thing. My friend and I toured New Zealand last year and we got into a routine of simply living out of our suitcases. We had a few 2 night stays but mostly we just kept moving down the line. The pack/unpack, check in/out thing becomes second nature after awhile. The only real problem is having time to wash and dry the delicates. For this, a hairdrier comes in handy. Another issue is that it gives one little time to get to know the locals. However, my friend and I are very friendly and outgoing and it doesn't take us long to get chatting to people. After a good night's sleep we usually look forward to hitting the road again to see what's waiting around the next bend

Sheila: Glad you like the route. I'm kinda excited about it myself

Your metaphor was very apt and definitely not overdone

I will sharpen the old pencil and see if I can fit Orkney in, somehow. It appeals to me enormously because of it's remoteness (I love remote places)
Yelpir is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2008, 06:05 AM
  #44  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,472
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I don't know that I'd add a day for Glen Affric to this itinerary based on MY recommendation. While we really loved it, our itinerary for that trip was largely the "predictable middle". At the end of that trip, I said to myself: the next time I go to Scotland it will be as far up into the highlands and to the western islands as I can get. As it happens, we've gone back to Scotland three more times but with our daughters' bagpipe bands and have never had a block of time to get that far.

I'd listen to the Scotland experts and go for that beautiful scenery up north. Please share some of your photos when you return!
noe847 is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2008, 01:08 PM
  #45  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 68,236
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
If it were me and limited to your time - I would drop Glen Affric AND Loch Ness/Drumnadrochit. Other parts of your route are head and shoulders above Loch Ness in the scenic category. And while Glen Affric is really beautiful - it isn't that much different than other places you'd pass through.

I'd stick to the outer bits and include Mull/Iona, Skye, the Outer Isles, the far NW, Orkney, Inverness > Braemar via Tomintoul, and Edinburgh via Glen Shee.

By dropping Glen Affric/Loch Ness/Drumnadrochit you get a bit more "wiggle room" for Orkney and the outer reaches.
janisj is online now  
Old Feb 24th, 2008, 12:51 AM
  #46  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 274
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks folks. I'm now researching the Orkneys and the ferry schedules in the hopes of spending a day going there and back I will drop Drumnadrochit and Glen Affric to gain the extra day. All this research has convinced me that you cannot 'do' Scotland in 2 weeks. You just have to keep going back and back and back

I will have to buy my companion a nice box of chocolates for making her endure all these ferry journeys. She hates the water
Yelpir is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2008, 02:55 AM
  #47  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 274
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What do you think of the idea of taking the 0845 ferry from Scrabster to Stromnes (Orkney), driving to Kirkwall and then on to St Margarites Hope and taking the 1800 ferry back from there to Gills Bay on the mainland?

An alternative would be to explore the island during the day and then spend the night on the ferry in Stromnes and sail back to Scrabster at 0630 the following morning.

Both look pretty exciting to me
Yelpir is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2008, 05:20 AM
  #48  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 423
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Have you checked the ferry crossing times. When my hubby and I planned a island hopping trip in Scotland. We had to change the trip planned and even cut one or two things out due to the ferry crossing times not fitting in. This site might help, and we stayed a night on Mull in Tobermory a very preety place. We choose to stay there so we could get on the ferry crossing to Kilchoan in the morning, straight after breakfast.

http://www.calmac.co.uk/
crazychick is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2008, 06:06 AM
  #49  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 274
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
crazychick: Thanks for your impression of Tobermory. I would be very interested in your impressions of the road from Kilchoan to Salen on the mainland.

Yes, I have researched the ferry times very carefully and will book the ones I want well in advance. Mostly I will be taking the first ferry of the morning or the last ferry of the evening.
Yelpir is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2008, 06:24 AM
  #50  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,156
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
IF it were me, and I'm really not trying to rain on your parade, I'd use the big ferry (the Scarbster one) both ways.

Kilchoan to Salen is fine- small but fine. Are you thinking of using the summer ferry?
sheila is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2008, 10:01 AM
  #51  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 274
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Sheila

I'm not sure what you mean by the 'summer ferry'. Does the Tobermory - Kilchoan ferry only run in summer? (I am currently planning to use the CalMac Fishnish - Lochaline ferry).
Yelpir is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2008, 11:59 AM
  #52  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,156
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes, the Kilchoan ferry is summer only
sheila is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2008, 02:56 PM
  #53  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 423
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There is a winter time table crossing showing on their website.

http://www.calmac.co.uk/mull.html
crazychick is offline  
Old Feb 25th, 2008, 07:25 AM
  #54  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,156
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes, but the Kilchoan isn't Calmac
sheila is offline  
Old Feb 25th, 2008, 07:28 AM
  #55  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,313
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
And remember that the Orkney ferries are a different company (Northlink, I think) than the western isles use (CalMac).

Perhaps you should just end up with my circle route - 3 nights each in Edinburgh, Grantown-on-Spey, Orkney, Lewis, Skye, Mull and Killin
GreenDragon is offline  
Old Feb 25th, 2008, 11:29 AM
  #56  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 274
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You got some long drives there, GreenDragon: Grantown-on-Spey to Orkney and Orkney to Lewis. Are they doable?
Yelpir is offline  
Old Feb 25th, 2008, 11:50 AM
  #57  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,313
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
They are - but mostly because we're resting three days in between each one And the second drive is half ferry
GreenDragon is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
ktstel
Europe
12
Feb 24th, 2017 03:17 PM
hopingtotravel
Europe
12
Jan 26th, 2009 07:52 AM
nelcarp
Europe
33
Feb 12th, 2007 07:18 AM
gargoyle
Europe
24
Apr 21st, 2005 04:49 PM
BKay
Europe
9
Oct 2nd, 2003 03:12 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:13 PM.