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Scotland - Need a couple small towns to be based in....

Scotland - Need a couple small towns to be based in....

Old Jan 30th, 2009, 05:53 AM
  #41  
GKS
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Hi Sheila! Thanks, I emailed you yesterday, hope you got it.

So the ferries only run on certain days? If we have a car with us but are not arriving or leaving on a Wednesday, will we have a problem?
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Old Jan 30th, 2009, 09:42 AM
  #42  
 
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We have fond memories of our 3 night stay at Craigellichie in Sept 1998.

Plus you can see it from across the river as you walk around for your tour at Macallan (sp). Or you can take a long walk on the Spey River Trail. The town itself is quite small but has that definite whiskey smell in the air.

The staff at the hotel were exceptional and I loved the little library upholstered in tartan. DH had gotten food poisoning from too raw lox at another location and spent most of a day in bed. I read books in the little library and the solicitous staff wondered if they could do anything for me.

I requested an Irish coffee. (Don't ask for one of these in Scotland or Ireland either one if you are expecting something like you get in San Francisco). Apparently the coffee making apparatus (probably French press) was on one floor and the booze on another. I could hear feet pounding up and down the stairs.

Yes their bar is most unusual especially for Scotch drinkers!
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Old Jan 30th, 2009, 12:02 PM
  #43  
 
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We spent three nights on Islay last summer and loved it. My trip report:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=35150085
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Old Jan 30th, 2009, 12:33 PM
  #44  
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Where on Islay do you recommend staying? Ideally we're looking for a not-too-expensive hotel (around $100-$170 or so a night) that's in a location where we can walk to town or be in town and walk to the local pub or restaurants. Any suggestions?
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Old Jan 31st, 2009, 06:06 AM
  #45  
 
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Is that per person, or per night?

Ignoring the price guide so you look at places...

The place I like best is the Port Charlotte, but it;'s a tad dear. We had a bizarre but pleasant experience in the Lochindaal in Port Charlotte the last time we were there, and folk who were staying there spoke highly of it. we are massive fans of the Rhinns area.

I've also stayed quite satisfactorily in the Bridgend and the Harbour. I'm not a massive fan of the style of the Harbour. I am a massive fan of the style of the Lochside (also fits your bill). DON'T stay at the Port Askaig.

Now, about this concept of "town"?...

Given you'll be there for 5 days, have you thought of self catering?

Given that you're going in July, book soon.
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Old Feb 9th, 2009, 06:57 AM
  #46  
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Me again with another question. So I think my brother is now going on the trip with us, and we'd like to do about 4 nights in Belgium first (we're half Belgian and have never been there). This means shaving nights off elsewhere...to do this, I'm thinking about cutting out Skye, though I'd still like to do one night near the Eileen Donan castle if it's worth it (is it worth it?). What do you think? If we have time on Islay, do you think missing out on Skye is a big deal? Or will we still get a good sense of the islands? Islay is as beautiful as Skye is, right?

Again, thanks for your help - it's so hard to truly get a sense of these things in guide books!
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Old Feb 9th, 2009, 07:48 AM
  #47  
 
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I've not been to Islay (yet!) but I will say Skye was one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen in Scotland. Also - Eilan Donan itself is a great place, a photo op for the ages. Inside, it's another castle. It was rebuilt a couple times, and is not the original, even for this century

If you are going to go up to that area at all, I'd take Skye over Eilan Donan.
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Old Feb 9th, 2009, 08:41 AM
  #48  
 
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Islay and Skye are completely different to each other. Skye is full of grandeur and magnificence (and one measly distillery).

Islay is more rolling hills and beaches, (and distilleries- did I mention distilleries?)

I have a friend who reckons that one falls in love with ones first Hebridean island, and Islay was mine (North Uist was his). I think there's some truth in it. I like Skye well enough but wouldn't rush to return
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Old Feb 9th, 2009, 09:50 AM
  #49  
 
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Yup, and Skye was mine! And I didn't even see the beautiful parts the first time I went there. One of the reasons I like it so much is that it has such different, unusual landscapes, such as in the Quiraing. AND it has a village large enough I could live in it and not feel totally isolated (Portree). Since I grew up in Miami, I'm taking it by small steps - living out in the middle of nowhere would probably drive me batty.
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Old Feb 9th, 2009, 10:46 AM
  #50  
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Oh boy....what to do! Maybe instead of 5 nights on Islay I could do 2 on Skye and 3 on Islay? That way I'd have a taste of both, right?
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Old Feb 9th, 2009, 12:48 PM
  #51  
 
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I have a better idea. Come back again, next year
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Old Feb 9th, 2009, 01:16 PM
  #52  
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LOL. You never know!!
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Old Feb 10th, 2009, 05:05 AM
  #53  
 
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It's addicting. You can't possibly see everything in one trip, seriously - don't try, you'll drive yourself crazy. I have to plan for trips now with the assumption I'll be back again someday, otherwise I'll go insane.
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Old Feb 11th, 2009, 11:04 AM
  #54  
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Okay, after trying to decide between Skye or Islay, or split time in both, I'm now just in love with both places! Though I must admit, the amazing scenery of Skye is what really has me.

What do you guys think about me cutting out my two nights in the Speyside area so I can do 4 nights on both skye and Islay? Or will I want the variety that that area will offer? (I know, subjective question there! lol)

It would thus look like this (after 3 nights in Bruges

Land in EDI - 2 nights

1 night Loch Ness area (to break up drive, and I must say I've been to Loch Ness, haha)

4 Nights Skye (perhaps 2 in Portree, two in Trotternish?)

1 night in Oban (to help with the drive and catching a ferry)

4 nights in Islay

1 night in EDI and leave the next day.
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Old Feb 11th, 2009, 11:27 AM
  #55  
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Or even 1 night in the speyside area (just to see it) and then only 3 on Islay?
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Old Feb 11th, 2009, 02:12 PM
  #56  
 
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Since you ask, I think you could ditch Loch Ness, and you've got one too many in Skye. I'd add one near Oban. (Since you ask).
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Old Feb 11th, 2009, 02:24 PM
  #57  
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Thanks Sheila! Do you think then that it would be doable to drive from the Speyside area to Portree and visit Loch Ness on the way? We certainly don't need a whole night there if it's easy to incorporate it in the drive.
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Old Feb 11th, 2009, 02:38 PM
  #58  
 
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". . . . . visit Loch Ness on the way? We certainly don't need a whole night there"

One doesn't "visit" Loch Ness - one drives along it for a looooong way on the route to Skye - so you will see Loch Ness -- probably more that you want The only stop you'd need would be a short visit at Urquhart Castle.

As for your nights on Skye "perhaps 2 in Portree, two in Trotternish?" Even if you want to split up your stay on Skye - this split doesn't make much sense. Portree is at the base of the Trotternish Peninsula so no need to move.

If you wanted, 2 nights in Portree and 1 or 2 nights somewhere at the south/east end of the Isle makes more sense.
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Old Feb 11th, 2009, 03:56 PM
  #59  
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Would 2 nights in Plockton be good (and cheaper) instead of Portree? I'm having such a hard time trusting drive times (and am seeing many warnings!), but would that enable us to see most of the island without being trapped in the car too long?
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Old Feb 11th, 2009, 04:06 PM
  #60  
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Sorry, and one more question, the drive time that i'm coming up with from Craigellachie to Portree is 4 hours and 13 minutes. Is that at all accurate? Or do you think it would be closer to 6, with only short rest stops?
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