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Scotland Itinerary - is this realistic?

Old Dec 4th, 2008, 11:59 AM
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Scotland Itinerary - is this realistic?

I'm in the preliminary planning stages for a May 2009 trip to Scotland. Would appreciate comments and advice about what I've come up with to date. I have not included any sights in Edinburgh because we have seen most of them already.
Monday: Arrive Edinburgh 11:00 am. Drive to Stirling. Tour Castle and Heritage Center. Overnight Stirling.
Tuesday: Drive to Perth. Tour Scone Palace. Drive to East Neuk Fishing Villages. Overnight East Neuk
Wednesday: Drive to Inveness. Loch Ness, Culloden Overnight Fort William.
Thursday, Glencoe, Oban, Overnight Oban
Friday: Mull and Iona. Drive to Border with UK and overnight there. Is this too ambitious for 4 and half days? I need to go to Wiltshire in the UK. Would you drive it or drop the car off and fly there?
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Old Dec 4th, 2008, 12:07 PM
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"Is this too ambitious for 4 and half days?"

Yes!

I really don't know where to start.

EDI > Stirling > Perth > Crail/Anstruther > Culloden > Inverness > Ft William > Oban > Mull > Iona > Oban > Carlisle or thereabouts. That is not a 4-day trip - more like 7 days at VERY minimum and even that would be very rushed.
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Old Dec 4th, 2008, 01:17 PM
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You could do the first 4 days, although why you would want to is a mystery.

But "Friday: Mull and Iona. Drive to Border with UK and overnight there." is not even thinkable, never mind doable.

And, just to avoid the foxes' paws, the United Kingdom (UK) is Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Great Britain is England, Wales and Scotland- contrary to what most of the English think.
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Old Dec 4th, 2008, 01:26 PM
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Just tackling your last question - I wouldn't try to drive back down to Wiltshire unless you had a lot more spare time and loved driving (and I'm not sure I'd recommend it then). Fly from Glasgow or Edinburgh to Southampton or possibly Bristol, depending on where in Wilts you're staying.
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Old Dec 4th, 2008, 01:27 PM
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Hey, your my kind of guy, fast and furious. However, not doable. Perhaps dropping East Neuk and going direct to Inverness, not stopping until Oban. Day three Mull & Iona. Day 4 to Borders.
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Old Dec 4th, 2008, 03:39 PM
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rogeruktm: I don't think the OP meant "The Borders" but just south near the England border on the M74. If he really DID mean the Borders, then the plan is even more "un-doable"
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Old Dec 5th, 2008, 12:48 AM
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Thank to all of you for looking at this. I thought I had too much on this. I will rework and repost.
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Old Dec 11th, 2008, 11:49 AM
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Sad thing is, the way you have this set out, you miss some great stuff even near where you will be.

No Glamis Castle? It's not that far from Perth (28 miles) and not far from Blair Castle (on the A9 to Inverness), which is also worth a stop. Glamis is great, was the home of HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and should be on your list.

And when you're near Inverness, instead of turning south and west to Ft. William, you could go to Dunrobin Castle, which is a fantastic fairytale estate (albeit a bit north of Inverness), and/or east to Cawdor Castle, which has nice grounds and is the legendary home of MacBeth (it post-dates him by about 200 years).

Loch Ness is nice, but it's a loch and there are others in Scotland no less attractive (occasionally more so). The big underwater lizard patrolling it is kind of hard to spot, other than in cheesy souvenir form.
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Old Dec 12th, 2008, 03:14 AM
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IMO you need at least 2 days for Mull and Iona. Driving to Wiltshire via the M&4/M6/M5 would be no fun - either fly as already suggested, from Glasgow, or get the train.

Sheila, ooh, chippy ! I'd put it rather the other way round, most English people (other than fascists) don't think about being English at all, they just think of themselves as British. IMO this is because there isn't a distinctively English culture, and the Scots and Welsh are lucky that they do have distinctive cultures.
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Old Dec 12th, 2008, 09:28 AM
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Mike,

Try using Google Maps at maps.google.com Use the "directions"
link and add in your many destinations.

You'll see why everyone is telling you
this can't be done. Sometimes seeing is believing!

Rob
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Old Dec 17th, 2008, 10:59 AM
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Thanks everyone for your input. I've redone this and would appreciate some more comments:
Day 1: Arrive and stay around Edinburgh some light sightseeing/trip recovery. Overnight Edinburgh
Day 2: Stirling, Trossachs and Pitlochry Overnight Pitlochry
Day 3: Rothiemurchus Forest Overnight Inverness
Day 4: Loch Ness Wester Ross, Overnight in Skye or Lochalsh
Day 5: Eilean Donan Castle Overnight in Oban Appin Area
Day 6: Glasgow - Flight to Bristol
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Old Dec 17th, 2008, 12:59 PM
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You've missed one very useful fact - you can fly from Inverness to Bristol.

So you can now rewrite it as a linear trip starting in Edinburgh, ending in Inverness

As a backup you could also do Inverness to Southampton
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Old Dec 17th, 2008, 01:02 PM
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<<< and the Scots and Welsh are lucky that they do have distinctive cultures. >>>

And most of those "distinctive cultures" were invented in the 19th century - typically by the English or locals wanting to make money out of the English
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Old Dec 17th, 2008, 03:09 PM
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So Alan, you would recommend I spend a little more time in the Inverness area and skip Oban and Eilean Donan Castle? Maybe that way I could hit Glamis and Dunrobin Castles? What do you think? I am thinking having a place to stay for 2 nights is prefereable to running around all over the place. How far is Skye from Inverness?
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Old Dec 17th, 2008, 04:10 PM
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You do realize Eilean Donan is a "drive by" w/ at most a 5 or 10 minute stop for a photo op?

Eilean Donan is the least of your problems. You are trying to tour a (quite) large country over 5 one-night stands. A night someplace doesn't equal a full day to explore.

Either -- plan on covering less territory - or - add some more time in Scotland. Where are you going after getting to Bristol/Wiltshire?
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Old Dec 18th, 2008, 03:33 AM
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Well you could do the following

Edinburgh
Glasgow
Stirling
Pitlochry
Oban
Isle Of Skye
Inverness

Only 11 hours & 420 miles of driving

Cut Oban out & go direct to Fort William instead will save 2 hours of driving

If, as I suspect, you are going to Glasgow purely for a flight then you can save another hour & 30 miles of driving by going direct to Stirling

You could get the Caledonian Sleeper train from Inverness to London, from where it's only a couple of hours to Wiltshire - but you do save the time travlling south & the cost of a hotel room
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Old Dec 18th, 2008, 06:00 AM
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Great advice. Does Stirling have flights to London or Bristol? If I cut out Oban, will I still see highlands?
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Old Dec 18th, 2008, 07:49 AM
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"Does Stirling have flights to London or Bristol? If I cut out Oban, will I still see highlands? "

Oban isn't in the Highlands - and Stirling doesn't have an airport.
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Old Dec 20th, 2008, 08:08 AM
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Janis, with all respect, there is no way you can say Oban is not in the "Highlands". I know you know you can't draw a map with a line on it to say what's in and what's not, but Oban is culturally, geographically, geologically, linguisticly and culinarliy Highland. It is not in Highland Region, but another great skelp of the Highlands isn't either.

And, mike, you will be in the Highlands from Pitlochry to Skye and back to Inverness.

The comment about Stirling was simply about taking the shortest route between two points.
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Old Dec 20th, 2008, 08:24 AM
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yeah, I know about Oban. My comment was in response to "If I cut out Oban, will I still see highlands? "

If his point is to "see" the Highlands, he doesn't need to go anywhere near Oban . . . . .
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