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Scotland Itinerary Help - 7 Day 6 Night

Old Aug 14th, 2016, 06:10 AM
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Scotland Itinerary Help - 7 Day 6 Night

My wife and I are traveling to Scotland from the US for 7 Days / 6 nights.

We are arriving in Edinburgh via the Redeye on Sat Oct 8th and leaving from Glasgow Fri Oct 14th.
Major factor to consider: Oct 12th is our wedding anniversary, so we will be trying to be somewhere for a romantic night in a B&B/Hotel and nice restaurant.

So far we are planning on staying in Edinburgh at the Old Town Chambers for 2 nights. Leaving Monday AM to head towards Stirling Castle for a few hours.This is where we need help. We would like to see Skye and/or Eilean Donan Castle. But we also are interested in maybe doing a few Whisky Tour’s in Speyside.

- I have been thinking about driving from Stiriling Castle to Glencoe/Fort Williams area for Monday night (Oct 10th).
- Head to Skye for Tuesday and stay on Sky Tuesday night (Oct 11th) visiting the Skye Museum, Fairy Pools, Old Man at Storr, Castle Dunvegan stay in Portree area.
- Then head from Portree to somewhere closer to Speyside on Wednesday seeing the sights as we drive to celebrate our anniversary on Wed Night (Oct 12th)
- On Thursday do we do some tours and then head to Glasgow.

So my questions are:
1) Should we skip Skye and do more of a homebase in the highlands to see more of Glencoe, Speyside, Craingorms?
2) If we only want to go to speyside to do a Whisky tour is it worth it to go there, if we prefer seeing more natural sights?
3) So really I am asking do we do Skye or not  And if not what should be some other places that can give us some of those natural sights?

A little more background. I drive a lot even in the US, have spent holidays in the UK, New Zealand and Ireland driving myself, so I am not worried about learning to drive there.

Thanks for any help!
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Old Aug 14th, 2016, 07:23 AM
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Let me propose a quite different itinerary that might cover the same bases but different, if you get my meaning.

Including Speyside and Skye along with Glen Coe etc. - in October - runs the risk of a LOT of driving in what could be so-so weather conditions, not to mention decreasing daylight.

What if you stayed farther south with a loop something like this? https://goo.gl/maps/ixyZdf6buNJ2

This includes Stirling and Glen Coe (be sure to explore Glen Etive just east of Glen Coe - more remote and beautiful IMO) - but then heads south to Oban, then over to the Isle of Mull, the second biggest of the Inner Hebrides (after Skye.) Mull is packed with marvelous scenery, interesting and colorful towns, a terrific waterside castle of its own - (Duart Castle - http://imgur.com/9kd53CN ) as well as access to Iona if you want.

There are historic distilleries in Oban and in Tobermory on Mull, you could see numerous neolithic and ancient landmarks at Kilmartin, visit picturesque Inveraray with its grandiose castle, and return to Glasgow via Loch Lomond.

This would involve less driving and more time seeing things rather than driving between them. Submitted for your consideration.
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Old Aug 14th, 2016, 11:48 AM
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>>- Head to Skye for Tuesday and stay on Sky Tuesday night (Oct 11th) visiting the Skye Museum, Fairy Pools, Old Man at Storr, Castle Dunvegan stay in Portree area.
- Then head from Portree to somewhere closer to Speyside on Wednesday>My wife and I are traveling to Scotland from the US for 7 Days / 6 nights.

We are arriving in Edinburgh via the Redeye on Sat Oct 8th and leaving from Glasgow Fri Oct 14th.
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Old Aug 14th, 2016, 12:33 PM
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Ft William (not such a great place to stay BTW)>

that's janis opinion she always dishes out - others actually like a larger city with all the amenities of a larger city and Ft William is a nice enough time. It has lots of accommodations and restaurants, etc.

I stayed there twice and rather liked it - no not you quaint sleepy village but you get enough of those.

To me a great place to stay but it depends on how you judge was is not great or great - very subjective. Janis states it often that Ft William is 'not a nice place' but she should say IMO rather than making a factual statement as she always does.

Scottish towns like most British towns are not the most romantic but I find them more the real Scotland and Scots in many ways than those tiny villages - which are nice but don't be afraid to stay in a proper town sometimes too and see a different slice of life.
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Old Aug 14th, 2016, 01:47 PM
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Pal HAD to stay in Ft William his two visits because he takes trains and the train stops there. If one has a car and can go where they like, there are 100 nicer places to stay - larger and smaller. If one has only stayed in Ft William when in the area -- of course that is where one would recommend.

But unless one stays up the road in (the very nice and pretty darned posh) Inverlochy Castle, there is no 'there' in Ft William. It is not a terrible place but it is just that there are so many that are soooooo much nicer. Why settle?

So yes, IMO . . . and IME (been to Scotland more than 30 times so yes, IME)
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Old Aug 14th, 2016, 02:12 PM
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If one has only stayed in Ft William when in the area -- of course that is where one would recommend.>

I am not recommending Ft William as a place to seek out - just say it is not the pitt you make it out to be as you constantly have and it for some be 'not terrible' but nice and fun.

Ft William (pop 10,000-the second largest town in the Scottish Highlands after Inverness) is a pleasant historic regional town- please do not make it sound so awful as you have-it can be a nice base for many nearby popular destinations. I enjoy a more real vibrant town - one with lots of shops, pubs, etc. Who is to say who is right or wrong about there being a 'there there'? Depends what kind of there there you are looking for.

Cheers!
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Old Aug 14th, 2016, 02:20 PM
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I often take the train and never stay in Fort William. There are several excellent places to stay along the train route. Of course Fort William will have more restaurant choices and B & B's if that's what is meant by amenities but one certainly doesn't need to stay there to have options and, IMO, you're much more likely to find better restaurants/ pubs as well as accommodations somewhere other than Fort William. I really don't like the term touristy but can't think of a better description in regards to F.W.
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Old Aug 14th, 2016, 07:05 PM
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Thank you everyone so far, great suggestions.

I think we agree Skye just feels too far. We have found a great place to stay in Barcaldine as well as great restaurant near the B&B. So the new itinerary will remove Skye and even Speyside.


Gardyloo your itinerary sounds much more appealing with some tweaking

The only thing we are debating is the Isle of Mull, we were wondering if it would be worth it to head towards the Cairngorms after Stirling Castle and then head towards Invergarry before heading south towards Glencoe.

Opinions?

If you all say to skip the Cairngorm because we wont be heading into the park, then maybe Isle of Mull is better.

Thanks again!
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Old Aug 14th, 2016, 10:19 PM
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The Cairngorms really don't make great sense for this -- you would be driving way north only to return south. 'into the park' or not really isn't an issue -- the Cairngorms are simply a mountain range and the 'park' covers an enormous area (almost 2,000 square miles) w/o an 'entrance' as such. All the way from Deeside to Glenshee to Blair Atholl to Perth to Speyside.
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Old Aug 15th, 2016, 04:13 AM
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http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...n-scotland.cfm

is my trip report of a 7 night stay in Scotland. We had a night in Ratagan, on the mainland side near the Skye bridge, and spent all of 5 hours on Skye the following morning before heading on to Inverness.

Our fellow posters are correct that you would not have time to see the sights you mention on a 1 night stopover.

Two points: First, Grants at Craigellachie

http://www.housebytheloch.co.uk/

is the place we stayed in Ratagan. A more romantic place I would find hard to envisage. Unfortunately I see they are already booked for almost all of October including your dates.

Second point: If you should find an alternative place to stay near the Skye bridge: while four or five hours is obviously not much time, in our view we got a 'sense' of Skye - many of the hills are largely barren of trees which was a novel sight for us. And we drove down part of the 'single track' road (a true Scottish experience) to Elgol on a lovely sunny day. I'm just pointing out that if you are modest in your expectations, it can still be worthwhile to visit a place.

If you want to do something similar, I'd try this:

Arrive early am (I assume that's what you mean by redeye in Edinburgh on 8 October.)

8 Oct - Edinburgh, all day. Not a lot of time for Edinburgh, but there it is.
9 Oct - Sleep in after your redeye flight. Pick up car in afternoon from the airport, drive to Crieff, about an hour away from the airport.
10 Oct - Crieff to Inverness; lots of things to do in Inverness, from the Clava cairns to the famous battle site.
11 Oct - Leave Inverness, taking the lovely drive past Urquhart castle and Loch ness, then head west past the Five Sisters of Loch Duich to somewhere near the Skye bridge.
12 Oct - Take a peek at Skye before heading to Glencoe; you will retrace your steps a bit (since I don't advise messing with ferries on a tight schedule) with the objective of Glencoe for the night.
13 Oct - Morning in Glencoe, or if you prefer, head via Stirling castle to Glasgow.
14 Oct - leave from Glasgow
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Old Aug 15th, 2016, 06:40 AM
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Understand that 'peek at Skye' would have to be at the southern end and 90 minutes from most of the places one would want to see on the island. Would be the ultimate 'tick off a list', going there but not seeing anything.
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Old Aug 15th, 2016, 09:47 AM
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Ok Its looking like sticking to Glencoe and Oban and Isle of Mull are our better options for this trip. We definitely will try and make it back when our daughter is older.

Also we are aiming at staying at http://www.ardtorna.co.uk/accommodation.html and dining at
http://hawthorn-restaurant.co.uk/

thoughts on those if anyone has visited?
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Old Aug 15th, 2016, 10:46 AM
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That place looks really nice . . . it is about half an hour outside of Oban

>>when our daughter is older.
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Old Aug 15th, 2016, 11:17 AM
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Not on this trip
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