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Scotland Itinerary for June...Any Opinions/Suggestions Please?

Scotland Itinerary for June...Any Opinions/Suggestions Please?

Old Mar 31st, 2010, 06:01 PM
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Scotland Itinerary for June...Any Opinions/Suggestions Please?

Hello all,

Thanks in advance for taking the time to look this over. I (38) am traveling to Scotland with my parents (early 70's) in June and have come up with a plan but would love to know if you guys think it is feasible and hear any suggestions. The intent is to have a mostly leisurely trip, given that this is just the beginning of a 4 week overall trip. We are mostly interested in nature, photography, short hikes, and then museums, castles, etc. But of course any and all suggestions would be most welcome.

Day 1-2-3 Edinburgh (Chester Residence)
Day 4 Rent Car and drive to Oban - Stay at Garragh Mohr B&B in Easedale. Stop off at Stirling on the way. Are there any other side trips we should consider this day?
Day 5 Spend morning in Oban area and then drive in late afternoon to Fort William - Stay at Glenshian B&B.
Day 6 Do the Jacobite Steam Train trip, then drive in late afternoon to Locklash - Stay at Balmacara Mains.
Day 7 Lochlash area / Isle of Skye - Stay at Balmacara Mains.
Day 8 Isle of Skye - Stay at Balmacara Mains.
Day 9 Drive to Gariloch/Laide area - Stay at Lovecrot Guesthouse
Day 10 Drive to Inverness (stopping at Glen Affric on way in) - Stay at Bunchrew House
Day 11 Inverness Area - Stay at Bunchrew House
Day 12 Inverness Area - fly out at 5pm.

A couple of questionable areas I had...Staying at Balmacara for three nights using it as a base to see the Lochlash area and Isle of Skye. The reasoning here is that I did not want to stay in a different place each night and it seemed to make sense in that we would most likely get in late on the first night and then have to leave early the last morning to make the drive to Gariloch. Does this make any sense.... or should we bite the bullet and stay somewhere on Skye?

Anyway, I hope that this makes sense and would love to get any opinions or suggestions you experts out there might have!
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Old Mar 31st, 2010, 07:24 PM
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Looks pretty good to me - and you've picked some nice places to stay. Just a couple of comments:

Is there a specific reason to travel to/stay in Oban? Oban is OK but not really a must in itself. If it was me, I'd stay somewhere west of Stirling and visit the castle, Inchmahome, maybe Doune, etc. Then the next day see Killin, Glencoe and end up at your B&B in Banavie.

As for whether to stay at Kyle of Lochalsh or on Skye - it is really personal preference.

If my feet were put to the fire and I had to choose, I'd spend all 3 of those nights on Skye. But staying on the mainland would definitely be a reasonable option. I just personally prefer staying ON Skye. My guess is those 3 days will be spent probably 80% (or more) touring Skye and 20% seeing things around Kyle.

The drive to Gairloch is doable and not bad from either Skye or from Kyle of Lochalsh.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2010, 02:36 AM
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On the way from Stirling to Easdale, if it were me, I'd concentrate on the west and major on Kilmartin Glen.

Going up to Gairloch, go over the Bealach nam Bo and through Applecross.


You are slightly off the main stream at Balmacara, but it's not any sort of disaster.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2010, 01:14 PM
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Thanks so much to both of you for taking the time to look. I just wanted to make sure that we weren't attempting to cover too much ground at any given time!!
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Old Apr 6th, 2010, 08:56 AM
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Having done some more reading, I am thinking about changing up my itinerary a bit and was hoping for additional comments/suggestions.

Taking janisj's suggestion of not going to Oban, I am now considering spending the first night on the road near Glencoe (any lodging suggestions would be most appreciated). Then, instead of doing the Jacobite Steam Train, I am now thinking that we will to that route by car on day 2 and take the ferry across to Armadale and then spend three nights on Skye.

The day we leave Skye, I am trying to decide between taking the ferry to Lewis or coming across the Skye bridge and doing the drive to Gairloch and Laide through Applecross. If we went to Lewis, we would stay two nights before heading back towards Inverness. If we went to Laide, we would head up to Durness for the second night. Does anyone have any preferences?

Also a big consideration is distances....or rather time to drive those distances. Can anyone tell me how long these drives would be and whether it makes sense to do it this way?

Thanks so much!
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Old Apr 6th, 2010, 09:54 AM
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To be honest - either option would be WONDERFUL. If budget is a consideration, option 2 would save you the cost of the ferries out/back to Lewis/Harris.

There is amazing scenery on either route - so long story short, I can't help you too awfully much You really can't go wrong. I might ever so slightly opt for staying on the mainland. But would be just as happy going out to the islands.

Driving out to Mallaig is nice - if you time the drive right you can view the Jacobite crossing the viaduct, which is in some ways even better than riding the train across. Plus you can stop at Glenfinan, etc.

For a place to stay - right IN Glencoe is an option. The Clachaig has rooms. Even if you don't stay there, (a bit on the funky side) the food is good, and plentiful.

http://www.clachaig.com/

Or for a B&B - this one is in the village http://www.scorrybreac.co.uk/index.html

Or in Ballachulish - http://www.strathassynt.com/index.asp
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Old Apr 6th, 2010, 12:38 PM
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At the bottom end of Glencoe the Holly Tree at Kentallen is good.

I'd do the Lewis leg. Fewer people do it. You are in the heart of the Gaeltacht, and you it's totally different to anywhere else. But take the ferry to Harris from Uig and drive up.
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Old Apr 6th, 2010, 03:35 PM
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I agree - if you DO decide to go to the islands, take the ferry from Uig on Skye.
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Old Apr 7th, 2010, 09:42 AM
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This thread fits a question I had. Am debating the standing stones on Lewis. The book I have says if you're taking a car on the ferry you need to reserve it ahead.

I considered taking the ferry from a bit south of Ullapool, to Stornaway on Lewis (assume that's where it lands), to see the stones. Then I guess would drive down Harris to ferry over to Uig on Skye.

My question. Could I just park the car, take the ferry over and find public transport to look at the stones, then ferry back?
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Old Apr 7th, 2010, 09:50 AM
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Oops, sorry. Did a search and found I had asked this question a couple years ago and the answer was yes, but it would be a long day.

May have to skip that part and tell myself I've seen Carnac and Stonehenge.
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Old Apr 11th, 2010, 09:43 PM
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Thanks so much Sheila and Janisj! I have finally gotten all of the details worked out with lodging and all. The plan will be to stay in Glencoe the first night...Skye for the next three nights and then Durness for two nights before heading back to Inverness for two nights. I really wanted to see the standing stones on Lewis too, but like hopingtotravel, I am going to have to be content that I have seen Stonehenge previously. But hopefully can make it on the next trip out!

Thanks again for everything!
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Old Apr 11th, 2010, 09:51 PM
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That is a very nice pace.

You really aren't staying IN Inverness (which is a good thing )

Bunchrew House is on the Beauly Firth and you very well might see Dolphins from the hotel grounds.
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