Scotland Itinerary 14 days

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Oct 13th, 2018, 07:49 PM
  #1
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Scotland Itinerary 14 days

Please critique / review my proposed 14 day trip of Scotland (27 May - 9 June 2019)
  1. Arrive Edinburgh - rest day
  2. Edinburgh to Callander (2 nights, Roman camp)
    Blackness castle
    linlithgow palace
    Firkirk wheel
    the kelpies
  3. Callander
    Duone Castle
    Stirling castle
  4. Callander to Fort William (2 nights, Lochview guesthouse)
    Kilchurn castle
    Castle stalker
  5. Drive Glenfinnan bridge
    car ferry malliag to armadale
    Eilean Donan castle
  6. Fort William to Wick (1 night, ???)
    Urqhart castle
  7. Wick to Dufftown (4 nights, Highland Spirit B&B)
    Castle of Mey, Tongue
  8. Drive around Fort George
    Clava Cairns
    Cawdor castle
    Burghead
    Egin Cathedral
  9. Drive to Balmoral castle
    Tomnaverie Stone Circle
    Crathes castle
    Craigievar castle
  10. Glenfiddich Distillery Tour
    Balvine castle & Ballindalloch Castle (depending on after effects of the tour)
  11. Dufftown to Edinburgh (3 nights, Sheraton Grand)
    castle fraser
    Drum castle
    Dunnottar castle
    Arboarth abbey
    Aberlemo pictish stones
  12. Edinburgh castle
    Holyrood palace
  13. Edinburgh
  14. Fly out.

I did include a few long driving days, but with the long daylight hours in may/june I think it should be fine.
Also any recommendations for a decent B&B in wick for one night.
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Oct 13th, 2018, 08:15 PM
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Random thoughts - and don't take offense -- I'm trying to help:

Day 2 or 3 squeeze in Inchmahome. I'd plan that over Blackness for sure and probably Linlithgow as well.

I don't understand day 5 at all. In fact Day 5 is crazy (nuts really). You are driving all the way to Mallaig, taking the ferry, but are not spending ANY time exploring Skye and THEN are driving all the way back to Ft William. The major parts of Sky are miles/hours away from Armadale. You are planning about a 6.5 hour drive without a single stop and returning back south of Ft William. Why? That will end up about an 8 hour drive with the few stops you mention.

Then day everything goes pear shaped A 5 hour drive plus stops . . . to get to WICK? Why? Wick ain't that much.

Day 11 is flat out impossible. It is easily a 7 hour drive and you want 5 major stops.

Note -- all of the sites you list on day 9 and half of those on day 11 are essentiall ON Deeside or nearby. Would be MUCH better visited from a base in Aberdeenshire -- Ballater, Banchory or any number of other villages.

I think you need to get back to the drawing board. Either add a night or two ON Skye or skip the island entirely. Totally drop the norther loop to Wick. Rearrange the Dufftown/Aberdeenshire bits -- staying a couple of nights in Aberdeen shire would cut HOURS from your day trips.

Last edited by janisj; Oct 13th, 2018 at 08:22 PM. Reason: typos
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Oct 13th, 2018, 08:20 PM
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Meant to add -- long driving days really don't work. Sure -- there's lots of daylight. But the castles and sites don't extend their hours so they still close at 5 or 6 PM so just having a lot of daylight does not mean you can squeeze in a lot of castles. Plan on 35 mph on most of those routes -- and slower on some.
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Oct 13th, 2018, 08:40 PM
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Thanks Janis,

I wasn't sure about skye as well, just thought it might be a scenic drive. I wanted to stop at Eilean Donan apartments, but they wanted a 2 night min stay (as did the B&B at fort william) so decided to come back to fort william.

The only reason I am going to wick is to visit castle of mey (I am a "crown" tragic"), still not sold on that portion of the trip.
I might skip wick portion and have a night near inverness or head to dufftown a day early and break the journey to edinburgh near dunnottar castle.

As you said back to the drawing board. (I have already booked all the B&Bs listed so need to see what I can change)
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Oct 13th, 2018, 09:13 PM
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>>I have already booked all the B&Bs listed so need to see what I can change<<

Unless you have pre-paid non-refundable (quite rare w/ B&Bs), there should be no problem cancelling/changing bookings.
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Oct 13th, 2018, 09:26 PM
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so do you think its worth going to castle of mey?
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Oct 13th, 2018, 09:39 PM
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Wick is a long journey, and I certainly wouldn't go there just to see Castle Mey.
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Oct 14th, 2018, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by somebol View Post
so do you think its worth going to castle of mey?
Sure it is 'worth it' but on such a short visit you'd need to cut several other places and rearrange things. But you need to do that anyway so play around with other options. You need to factor in the slow driving and long distances. If I were driving as far as Wick, I'd want to include a day or two traveling to Orkney. I just don't think Wick and the far north fits with anything else you want to see.
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Oct 14th, 2018, 01:16 PM
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ok, We have removed Wick from the plans.

Day 5 will now be a trek to steal falls.
Day 6 drive to isle of skye and stay one night?
or skip isle of skye and stay overnight near urqhart
or dive straight to Dufftown using the extra day to split day 11 with an overnight near dunnottar castle.

Thoughts?
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Oct 14th, 2018, 01:28 PM
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We cannot make those decisions for you . . . BUT one night on Skye is basically useless. From your B&B (which is not in Ft William BTW it is nearly a 30 minute drive south between Onich and Corran) to say Portree is a 4 hour drive via Mallaig and slightly less via the bridge . . . But one should drive one way and leave the other so you see both Glenfinnan and Eilean Donan. So say 4 hours -- but that only gets you to Portree and you are still a long drive from many of the major scenic bits. So in order to see much you would need 2 nights.
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Oct 14th, 2018, 04:02 PM
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We stayed in the Lochview Guest House last year. As Janis said it is not in Fort William but it is not far. It is also very close to Glencoe which is ABSOLUTELY beautiful. We loved the Lochview. Owners were wonderful, they have gorgeous rooms with stunning views. I'm glad you are leaving off Wick as it is just too much driving. I would try to stay in Skye a few nights if you can juggle a few things.It is well worth it. It is hard to describe how beautiful it is. I would take one night away from Dufftown. We stayed in that area too and I think 3 nights would be sufficient (we only stayed 2 and covered a lot on those 2 days).
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Oct 15th, 2018, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by janisj View Post
We cannot make those decisions for you . . . BUT one night on Skye is basically useless. From your B&B (which is not in Ft William BTW it is nearly a 30 minute drive south between Onich and Corran) to say Portree is a 4 hour drive via Mallaig and slightly less via the bridge . . . But one should drive one way and leave the other so you see both Glenfinnan and Eilean Donan. So say 4 hours -- but that only gets you to Portree and you are still a long drive from many of the major scenic bits. So in order to see much you would need 2 nights.
Got it, thanks

Originally Posted by Sberg View Post
We stayed in the Lochview Guest House last year. As Janis said it is not in Fort William but it is not far. It is also very close to Glencoe which is ABSOLUTELY beautiful. We loved the Lochview. Owners were wonderful, they have gorgeous rooms with stunning views. I'm glad you are leaving off Wick as it is just too much driving. I would try to stay in Skye a few nights if you can juggle a few things.It is well worth it. It is hard to describe how beautiful it is. I would take one night away from Dufftown. We stayed in that area too and I think 3 nights would be sufficient (we only stayed 2 and covered a lot on those 2 days).
The additional night is to recover from the Glenfiddich tour
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Oct 15th, 2018, 01:32 PM
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>>The additional night is to recover from the Glenfiddich tour<<

Huh? The tour of the distillery is not all that long and certainly doesn't require any sort of 'recovery'.
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Oct 16th, 2018, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by janisj View Post
>>The additional night is to recover from the Glenfiddich tour<<

Huh? The tour of the distillery is not all that long and certainly doesn't require any sort of 'recovery'.
I am doing the pioneer tour which is 4 hours and involves tasting 4 kinds of whiskies plus I have to drink my wife's share as well...
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Oct 16th, 2018, 01:33 PM
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>>I am doing the pioneer tour which is 4 hours and involves tasting 4 kinds of whiskies <<

The operative word -- 'tasting' not 'drinking. It is very similar to a wine tasting / winery tour. You won't need to 'recover' (unless you are a true lightweight ) It is about 4 hours and is mostly a more detailed version of the regular tour in a very small group plus the tasting in the house. (I've taken both and as I remember the Pioneer, we tasted 5 different whiskys . . .)
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Oct 16th, 2018, 02:30 PM
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We did quite a few Whisky tours and I’m not a whisky fan either. You won’t need to drink your wife’s share. They will put it in a little container and you can bring it with you. As my husband was driving he could not drink too much but he loved having the tastings back at our B&B at night. You won’t need to recover from your tasting. Be sure you book that one very far in advance. Most of them you can just walk in for a tasting.
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Oct 16th, 2018, 03:22 PM
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Apparently you have made some revisions for day 11 but IMO you may also need to rework day 2, 8 and 9. One of the most useful aids for those driving in Scotland is the journey or route planner on the AARoadwatch website which gives approximate travel times between towns/ sites. You will however have to add another 25% or 30% to actually get an accurate time.
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