Scotland June 2006

Mar 27th, 2006, 05:09 PM
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Scotland June 2006

To anyone:
We will be travelling to Sctland from Pennsylvania this coming June 10 through June 16 and then on to London for a week. My wife has done the London research and has asked me to ask for some suggestions on here for Scotland.

We will be 4 adults and 1 17 YO Female. We will have two cars available. We all love local history and dining, love great, historic sights, scenery, etc. Not into a lot of nightlife, just enjoy the culture.

We ar staying at Duchally Country Estates, in or near Auchterader.

A few questions:
1. My wife and I are golfers and may try to play one day. I think we are very near to Gleneagles. Which is the best course to play there? Or would anyone suggest another course, nearby.
2. I have heard that you can walk the Old Course at St Andrews on Sundays as there is no play there that day. Is that true, as I would love to take in that History. Can we spend a day within the St Andrews area?
3. If we want to spend 1 day in a major city, should we choose Edinburgh or Glasgow? and what not to miss?
4.What Castles or ruins are a "Not Miss" Within an hour of where we are staying.
5. Any suggestions for good, "not to miss" restaurants withing the area of our stay or a reasonable distance.

With just 1 week in Scotland, we plan to stay within an hour or so of our base. I know we don't want to bite off too much, so any suggetsions are appreciated.

Thanks much and if anyone needs help with a Kauai Hawaii trip, I can be of assistance, or Pennsylvani.
RichinPA is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 10:59 PM
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There are some Scottish experts on this forum, but I will start you off. There is a thread about called "Scotland Day Trips from Perth" that has information that will likely be very helpful for you:

Heading south from Auchterarder, you can visit Stirling, Bridge of Allan, Dunblane, and Doune.

Stirling is an old town with historic strategic importance. The Stirling Castle is one of Scotland's very best. It is on a hill in the middle of town, and commands a beautiful view. It includes a newly restored palace. The Portcullis restaurant is located right outside the castle. The Birds and Bees is a pub near the causeway, a short drive away.

The Wallace Monument is also in Stirling, and you can climb up for great views on a clear day.

In nearby Bridge of Allan, the Allan Water Cafe is known for its fish 'n' chips and ice cream. Clive Ramsays, also in Bridge of Allan, is a cafe and also a gourmet deli.

The Dunblane Cathedral is a gothic church built around a Norman tower, and restored in the 19th century. Across the square is a nice little museum on the history of the area, especially the cathedral. The butcher shop on the main street, David Bennett & Sons, has award winning steak pies. The steak and black pepper pie is one of the best things I have ever eaten!

Doune castle is a ruin of a 14th century castle which includes a room where Mary Queen of Scots once slept.

Heading north from Auchterarder, the Pitlochry area is within an hour, I think. Pitlochry is very pretty but extremely tourist-y. We enjoyed touring Edradour, the smallest distillery in Scotland, which is just oustide of town.
In Pitlochry, the Old Armoury restaurant is lovely. There is a patio outside, and the inside rooms are very pretty. They also do afternoon tea. From there you can take a nice walk along a lane lined with cottages, across the river on a swinging footbridge and along a salmon ladder. I have also heard that the Prince of India restaurant on Station Road has good food.

From Pitlochry, on the way to Blair on the B8079 you could take a short detour on the B8019 and stop at the Queen's View for a beautiful panoramic vista.

Blair Castle's admission is a tad steep, but it has nice furninshings, and a great tea room/cafteria. The grounds are pretty and you can walk a short way (5 min) up to the old village with church ruins.

As for cities, if you are only to visit one, I would say Edinburgh (although I personally LOVE Glasgow for its energy and art). The castle, the Royal Mile, and Holyrood Palace are the main attractions. We loved our walk up Arthur's Seat, not far from the Palace.

noe847 is offline  
Mar 28th, 2006, 01:31 AM
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Do try to do a tour of Edradour, as mentioned above. It's very interesting and well worth you time.
Cameron is offline  
Mar 28th, 2006, 03:11 AM
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Edinburgh for 1 day - get the Guide Friday open top bus tour from Waverley Bridge, for a good overview of the Old & New Towns. Get off at the stop nearest the Castle, tour the Castle, walk down the length of the Royal Mile to the Palace & take a tour of that, get back on the bus. Don't bring a car into the city.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Mar 28th, 2006, 03:55 AM
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Thanks so much for the tips so far. Very much appreciated
RichinPA is offline  
Mar 28th, 2006, 01:36 PM
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Playing golf at Gleneagles is obscenely expensive. Consider Rosemount at Blairgowrie for a more pleasant experience. St. Andrews is available for walking on a Sunday. There is a very challenging putting green open on that day which gives you a taste of the severity of the greens. Personally, with the small time you have available, I would give up on the idea of playing golf.The extra clothing you would have to take, the possibility of getting soaked(quite high in Scotland) and the five hours out of your limited time seem to me a waste and I am a golfer. Spend the extra time in Edinburgh and forget about Glasgow. There are so many things to see and visit in Edinburgh that one day is NOT enough. The Castle, the Royal Mile and Holyrood House are just a few of the "must see" places. My understanding is that Gleneagles Hotel charges around $450 US for bed and breakfast and that is per person and it is possible that you have to be staying at the hotel to play on their courses. My advice would be to not even consider it.
almcd is offline  
Mar 28th, 2006, 07:27 PM
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Appreciate the tips. I understand the risks in trying to get a game of golf in, but I think we may hate ouselves if on our one trip to Scotland, we didn't play somewhere. I'll look into the rosemount course. Gleneagles just looks so appealing, and we are used to high greenfees as we play in Hawaii every year.

Thanks again to all for all the tips.

If anyone has anything else to add, please feel free.
RichinPA is offline  
Mar 29th, 2006, 05:40 AM
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Some other golf possibilities are these:
1). The Old Course is not the only one in St. Andrews. There is the Eden course as well.
2). Auchterarder is a fifty minute drive from Carnoustie which is one of the British Open courses. I am sure you could get on there relatively easily.
3). Just south of Edinburgh is the village of Gullane, also home of a British Open course (Muirfield) which you could not play on. Visitors and women are not allowed on the course. However, there are three other courses called Gullane #1, #2 and #3.All are links courses and are quite challenging. Auchterarder to Gullane would be around a 1.5 hour drive.
almcd is offline  
Mar 29th, 2006, 07:12 PM
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Thanks again for the terrific info. All help is appreciated
RichinPA is offline  
Apr 1st, 2006, 11:24 AM
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noe847 is offline  
Apr 1st, 2006, 02:10 PM
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You are less than 15 minutes from Gleneagles. The green fees in June are £95 per person (Bloomin' 'eck! that's nearly as much as the Old Course!!) The nest course to play is the King's. It's also the toughest. I enjoyed my one round there enormaously. Given long Scottish summer days, were it me, I'd book a tee for as early in the day as possible and settle back to enjoy it.

Auchterarder Golf Course is a high quality course too. I went to school wit the pro there.

As someone else has mentioned Carnoustie is relatively easy to get onto and not that far to drive to.

You could aim for St Andrews another day, having had a shot at the ballot for a tee.

You can't walk on at the Old Course. To book a tee at the Old Course in advance you phone, probably about a year in advance on 01334 466666 and ask for advance reservations.

Thereafter you can only get a tee by going through the daily ballot procedure. You phone the links committee on 01334 466666 the day before you want to play before 2pm (For Mondays you phone on Saturdays). You tell them the names of the golfers and their handicaps. (If you are picked you will have to show handicap certificates) and you tell them your home clubs. The ballot is then picked at random. They have on average 12-15 slots available per day.

The cost is £120 per round and the rounds are available for 2- 4 players

You can also try to play as a single or a pair on the actual day.
The starter will try to match you with a pair or a three ball if he can.

They suggest that you check the date in advance to ensure the tees are not booked for competition.

They suggest you turn up as early as possible to maximise your chances

They suggest you phone the day before after the ballot is drawn to find out how many two and three balls there are that you might join in with.

They say it happens a lot, but they guarantee nothing!

However, as has been mentioned there are 5 other courses owned by the Links Trusts you could try instead.

St Andrews is a lovely place to vists, and if you add in te East Neuk, your whole group will enjoy it.

If you can only do Edinburgh or Glasgow, do Edinburgh.

Castle Campbell, Doune Castle, Ardoch marching camp, Scone Palace, Linlithgow Palace, Huntingtower Castle, Stirling Castle.

Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles is probably the best restaurant in Scotland at the moment. Let's Eat in Perth is very good. The Tormauking, just up Glen Devon is OK- I think it's gone a bit downhill.

Hope this helps.

sheila is offline  
Apr 1st, 2006, 06:42 PM
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Thanks so much. I think we have decided to try for just one day of golf and that at the King's Course at Gleneagles.

Thanks to all for all the info.
RichinPA is offline  

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