scotland itinerary question

Old Apr 10th, 2006, 09:45 AM
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scotland itinerary question

i am planning a 10 day trip to scotland and here is what i think we'll do - 2 nites in edinburgh, 2 nites in fort william, 2 nites in inverness, 3 nites in glasgow (flying out glasgow on the last day so essentially only 2 days there). we'll rent a car. i kinda want to fit in skye in the trip but it seems way out of the way (i just checked on google map) for the drive - what do you guys think?
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 10:45 AM
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I hope that your overnights are not in the order you mentioned. It makes more sense to go to Edinburgh then Inverness, Fort William and finally Glasgow. However you will find many Fodorites not impressed with either Inverness or Fort William. The later is fine if you plan on climbing Ben Nevis, otherwise there are better choices.

Skye is doable if you eliminate Inverness and/or Fort William.
Not knowing your interests it's difficult to advise on an alternative itinerary.
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 01:17 PM
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thanks for your advice - i really just started out planning so everything is up in the air. we plan to take public transportation from edinburgh to glasgow and then pick up a car from there. that's why we'll drive from glasgow to fort william then inverness, if that makes sense. and then return to glasgow since we fly out there on the last day.
my boyfriend is a photographer wannabe so i try to plan scenic routes... we probably are not going to climb ben nevis, but we want to try some less strenuous hikes.
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 02:06 PM
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Rent a car and drive!! Scotland is an amazing country filled with so much natural beauty that it's best seen at a slow pace and in a car. If I were you I would skip Edinburgh completely as it's just a busy, crowded tourist town, and the locals only go up there for a night on the town. I've visited and seen Scotland through the eyes of someone living there as I had a Scottish friend and in all my visits we just got in a car and drove and took every side road (saw some of the best views, cottages, unmapped lakes and great B&B's) we could find. Get a map and a trusty car and don't be afraid to just explore. Scotland is filled with the nicest, most helpful people and they will always keep you headed in the right direction. Glasgow can be your official touring spot as it's has so many great historic sites, make sure to see the University, it was founded 41 years before America was discovered!Have a wonderful time! Oh, skye is pretty, but it will always rain there, always.
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 02:14 PM
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thanks feistygirl. i got a bit of complicated travelling going on here and that's what we are starting off in edinburgh and ending in glasgow. i got some work scheduled in edinburgh for a week, and my boyfriend will fly in end of the week so we'll drive around afterwards. we are likely to base our last part of travel in glasgow since hotels seem to be more affordable there (i barely started looking, could be completely wrong .
hmm maybe we'll avoid the rainy skye. boyfriend's photography equipments can't get wet and we aren't a big fan of the rain anyways. thanks!
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 06:55 PM
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just a few comments - I would never pick a city simply because it has cheaper accomodations. Glasgow has lots of charms - but for a first time visitor to Scotland probably not the best place to spend nearly half your time.

neither Inverness, or especially Ft Willaim are naything to write home about. Ft William is really just a cross roads (of train, road, and water transport) full of B&Bs. There really sin't nay reason to stay there even one night.

Inverness is (slightly) better. But you would do better staying in a small town or village in that area instead of right IN Inverness.

There really isn't any advantage to taking public transport from edinburgh to Glasgow to pick up a car. Driving in Glasgow is, if anything, even a harder place to drive than Edinburgh.

I would pick up a car as you leave Edinburgh and head north to somewhere near (not IN) Inverness. Then to Skye and then south to Glasgow to fly out.

You might drive through Ft William - but you don't need to stay there.
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 08:12 PM
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i really appreciate your comment... one thing about car rental though, if we pick up a car in edinburgh and drop off in glasgow, the price nearly doubles. that's why i think we'll take public transportation from edinburgh to glasgow and pick up a car from there...
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 08:22 PM
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One caveat...If you don't like rain then Scotland may not be the best place to visit. In Scotland rain at some time is likely and is part of the experience.

The comment that it will "always" be raining on Skye is pure hyperbole. In fact of the numberous times I've been there it has been sunny as often as it's been rainy.
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 10:30 PM
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&quot;<i>if we pick up a car in edinburgh and drop off in glasgow, the price nearly doubles</i>&quot;

Have you shopped around? There are very seldom drop off charges so it shouldn't cost any more to pick up a car in Edinburgh and drop it in Glasgow, than to pick one up in Glasgow.
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 10:56 PM
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yeah we don't like it when it rains, but i have a week of work in edinburgh so i don't get to choose vacation location as much... that's why i am flying in edinburgh and flying out glasgow too.

as for car rental, i checked on expedia and the price is $156 vs $266 for a week's rental (gla-gla vs edi-gla)... the difference is quite significant!

thanks all.
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 11:05 PM
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Try autoeurope.com and other sites. I have never seen that sort of difference for the same class of rentals. And in over 30 UK rentals I have only faced drop off charges twice. Are you sure you are comparing apples to apples. Often cheaper rates don't include all the same extras.
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 11:29 PM
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&quot;If I were you I would skip Edinburgh completely as it's just a busy, crowded tourist town, and the locals only go up there for a night on the town.&quot;

I think that's a misleading statement and, in my experience, not true.

The locals certainly go there for more than a night on the town.

Edinburgh is far more than &quot;just a ... tourist town&quot; - with plenty of cultural activities, a rich history, stunning architecture, great nightlife and some excellent restaurants, beautiful parks and great walking.
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Old Apr 11th, 2006, 03:42 AM
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I was going to comment on the same, very strange quote as hanl did. That's certainly not how Edinburgh seems to one who lives here, like me. I surmise feistygirl's Scottish friend doesn't actually live in Edinburgh and maybe isn't a city person ? Most of the year (i.e. outwith the festivals) I am not even aware of tourists being around, and I go out nearly every night to the theatre, art exhibitions, restaurants etc. It is certainly not just for tourists - I count myself lucky to live in a beautiful city with so much to do (and I moved here from London).
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Old Apr 11th, 2006, 04:34 AM
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Caroline, I agree about the friend not living in Edinburgh - it sounds like the kind of thing that people used to say in the East Lothian village where I lived, and where some people's attitude was that Edinburgh was for snobs! Typical &quot;country versus town&quot; mentality...
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Old Apr 11th, 2006, 06:15 AM
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My hunch is feistygirl has visited w/ a Glaswegian friend who doesn't like Edinburgh very much. A few of her other comments sort of lean that way - suggesting there are more historic sites sites in Glasgow than in Edinburgh?!

And my poster-sized enlargements of pics of the Trotternish Penninsula and Glen Brittle definitely belie the &quot;fact&quot; that it always rains on Skye.
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Old Apr 11th, 2006, 06:50 AM
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I recently visited Scotland from Wisconsin. We visited Edinburgh - you really shouldn't miss it! It was wonderful. We also spent one night in Fort William, but I agree with the posters here. Unless you want to climb Ben Nevis, or photograph it, there really isn't any reason to stay there. We also went to Skye. It was fantastic! It did rain - but it was still wonderful. Breathtaking views that any photographer would love to see. The Glenco area was also beautiful. We skipped Inverness, just drove through it because I had heard so many negative posts here. My son is staying in Dalkeith, Scotland for a semester. He visited Glasgow and did not care for it at all. He said that he will not go back there if he can help it. He much prefers Edinburgh and goes there every chance he can get. Oh yes, we really thought Roslin Chapel was well worth a visit. It is close to Edinburgh. Good luck with your planning. Scotland was wonderful - I am so grateful that I had a chance to visit this beautiful country and meet the kind, considerate, helpful people.
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Old Apr 11th, 2006, 07:30 AM
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Personally I found Edinburgh beautiful and fascinating. Glasgow was so scary to drive we took a taxi. FWIW a few years ago there was a long post on this board discussing favorite and most beautiful cities, etc. I think Edinburgh came in second to Paris.
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Old Apr 11th, 2006, 09:11 AM
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I also have to lend my support to Edinburgh as one of the best cities anywhere. Is this another Edinburgh vs. Glasgow feuds? I thought by now most would be over such a silly argument. I have often posted on the reasons for visiting Glasgow,but my heart still belongs to Edinburgh.

As to the crowded touristy comment, other than the tour groups at the castle, I've never felt like there were many tourists around at all.As Caroline mentioned, I don't notice them at all. As to historic sights, I think I'll give the nod to E.

If I ever emigrate, Edinburgh is on my short list.
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Old Apr 11th, 2006, 12:03 PM
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Yes - even as a Glaswegian born &amp; bred I would have to recommend Edinburgh over Glasgow to a first time tourist. In fact, I would say that Edinburgh is a &quot;must see&quot; for any visitor to Scotland (but don't tell any of my friends or neighbours I said that).

Jim
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Old Apr 11th, 2006, 06:37 PM
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thanks all! despite spending all day trying to find accommodations in edinburgh (it was difficult because i am attending this huge conference there and a lot of good location hotels are booked, and i need a full week of stay), your comments made my day - i definitely won't regret spending a week there!
as for the rest of our trip, we are thinking skyes and glasgow, and probably one more small town, preferably close to a hiking trail (not the super climber type, but we can probably handle a normal trail).
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