Scotland Itinerary questions

Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 06:22 AM
  #1  
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Scotland Itinerary questions

My husband, John, and I are planning a trip to Scotland in mid-August. Let me rephrase that, I'm doing the planning. Anyway, we would prefer to go in July or September but due to price of tickets and/or job constraints those months are not an option. I have a few questions. We are arriving into Glasgow on Monday, August 21, and will rent a car. Tentatively, here is our plan:

Drive to Oban area spend Monday & Tuesday night
Drive to Achnacarry area (my husband is a Cameron)and spend 2-3 nights
Drive to Skye and spend 1-2 nights
Drive to Pitlochry area and spend 2 nights
Drive to Edinburgh for remainder of trip
overnight in Glasgow night of September 1 (Friday) for return flight to US departing September 2.

Questions:

Rather than moving every few nights, would we better off renting a place (or staying at one inn/hotel/B&B) around Ft. William area for first week and day tripping the area? We do not like going from hotel to hotel each night.

Will Skye be too crowded over a weekend to stay and visit there?

Is the drive from Skye to Pitlochry just too long?

I'm also a bit concerned about Edinburgh during Festival but hope that by going during the week it won't be as busy.

Since you always ask what our likes are....we are not hikers, but we do like to explore. We prefer a more leisurely trip but driving is not a problem, unless of course it's on the opposite side of the road! While shopping is high on my list in Paris, it will not be on this trip unless I find something I can't live without that will fit into my suitcase. Achnacarry, just NW of Spean Bridge, is a must as is Loch Ness; my husband thinks he'll spot Nessie! Oh yes, we are in our 40s-50s with no children. John is not a good traveller but once I get him going, he's fine.

I think that's it for now. This is my first post so please forgive any me if I've done (or will do) anything incorrectly. I have been an avid reader for some time.
Best regards and thank you.
BeebesMom is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 07:10 AM
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A series of 2 night stays is OK - but I personally prefer picking a base and using it for day trips.

Somewhere near Ft William (not IN Ft William) would be a good base for 3 or 4 days -- Achnacarry/Oban/Glencoe etc are all nearby. But if you also want to stay on Skye that would mean a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, so your 2 or 3 night stops is OK. Skye is certainly worth 2 nights/3 days. To me it makes more sense to do it Oban > Skye > Achnacarry area > Perthshire.

I wouldn't stay in Pitlochry. Just basically a large village w/ tons of B&Bs and the theatres. Somewhere like Dunkeld would be a nice place to base yourselves.

As for the Edinburgh bit - you are arriving in town just after most of the festival activity has ended so it will mainly be in wind down/clean up mode. You should be fine as far as sightseeing goes.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 08:21 AM
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Thank you so much for your insight. I should have said Dunkeld area since we do have some family roots there. I am relieved about Edinburgh. I like your suggestion about Oban, Skye etc. It does make more sense. I will go back to reading the board for accommodation suggestions now that I have a "plan" in place. Thanks again for your help. It is greatly appreciated.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 04:28 AM
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The Fringe, Book & Film Festivals will have ended (and the Fringe is the one which attracts the big crowds) but the International Festival (the proper festival ) doesn't end until September 3rd. Tourist attractions & the streets won't be so crowded but accommodation may still be difficult. Try to book asap !!
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Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 04:30 AM
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P.S. In case you're interested, the International Festival programme comes out on March 22nd - see www.eif.co.uk.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 05:59 AM
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I would like to throw in my recommendation of a B&B that was actually a 15th century manor house called the Lunga. It's south of Oban about 30 miles, as I recall... the website for the estate is here:
http://www.lunga.com/. I used vouchers there, but the B&B rates are £23-30 per night per person, according to their website.

The estate is amazing, with all sorts of activities. The breakfast was incredible, in a huge dining room, served by the owner. Highly recommended!
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Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 01:22 PM
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Thank you all for your input. John informed me last night that he would like to go to London as well. Found cheap airfare from Philadelphia where we live to Manchester for the actual dates I wanted. Now just have to figure out best way to get from Manchester to Glasgow then from Glasgow to London and finally back to Manchester. Rail or air or combo of both? Unforunately, the rail website only goes out 3 months so that will just have to wait. I've looked at BMI, BA and Jet2. I have a really great rate on a car in Glasgow for touring Scotland however, I may just rent out of Manchester although I hate all that driving and certainly would not use the car in London. Thanks again and have a great weekend if I don't "speak" to you. Appreciate your help.
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Old Mar 4th, 2006, 03:03 AM
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BeebesMum

Can you clarify for me, please? What are the dates that are fixed? And what are the places you MUST go to?
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Old Mar 6th, 2006, 07:14 AM
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Sheila, The dates are now tentatively arriving Saturday, August 19 and departing September 1. The only musts are Achnacarry, Dunkeld and Edinburgh. With London thrown in there at the end. I've read other threads that state there is train from Manchester Airport to Glasgow and it's only a 3 hour ride; all trains I have found are over 5 hours with 2 or more changes. Do you think I would be better off flying into Glasgow, spending about 10 days in Scotland then flying from Glasgow to London for 3 days with a flight home out of London? It may be more expensive but I think in the long run it would be about the same since I would be cutting out transportation from and to Manchester. As I mentioned, I have a good car rate out of Glasgow for the Scotland portion of our trip. Thank you, again, for your help. I have gleaned a lot of helpful info from your responses on other threads.
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