Scotland--Perthshire or points south?

Aug 1st, 2006, 01:48 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 13
Scotland--Perthshire or points south?

We leave for Scotland in 2 weeks. We will visit Edinburgh for several days, and after that we have 3 unplanned days before taking a 3:00 pm train from Edinburgh back to London (wish we were flying back to London, but too late to change that now). Because this is such a short time, which ends in a long train ride, I was thinking we wouldn’t want to spend it in transit to some of the more remote places.

My tentative plan was to take a train from Edinburgh (this is a Saturday) to Perth, rent a car and drive to Blair Atholl. Not too long of a trip, but still pretty countryside. We could drive around the area of Aberfeldy, Kenmore, or Blairgowrie for the rest of Saturday, or tour Blair Castle if the weather is too bad, and drive/hike in the area on Sunday, or possibly go over to Glamis. Then spend another night near Blair, and drive to Stirling and tour that on Monday (would like to see Stirling Castle, Doune, and the Campbell castle if possible). Then if we have done all that, return the rental car in Stirling, catch a train to near Linlithgow (?) spend the night at Carriden House(?) and see Linlithgow on Tuesday morning, then get ourselves to the train station in Edinburgh for 3:00 train.

Now my husband, who has not previously sounded interested in his family history, feels reluctant to leave Scotland without seeing some sight related to his Lockhart ancestors. The internet says these sites/properties/castles are in East Ayrshire and South Lanarkshire (Kilmarnock, Galston, Carnwath, Biggar). But there’s really no way to know if any of these places actually has a connection to his ancestors because we know so little about them. And I’m not seeing much else in the guidebooks that looks terribly interesting in these places.

So, my questions:
--Go to the southern areas or go to Perthshire? We are mainly interested in history rather than natural scenery, although I think we’d all like to see at least a little of the Highlands (traveling with our 2 kids, age 17 and 20).
--I’ve read about roads being terribly crowded in Scotland in August, especially the more western routes, toward Loch Lomond and Ft. William. Does it get crowded in Perthshire too? Are we likely to get stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the A9?
--I was assuming we would need to make reservations for accommodations in Perthshire in advance. Is that right?
--Scotland seems to have a lot of “folk museums.” Are any particularly good? Has anyone been to the People’s Museum in Edinburgh? (My guidebook says it shows “the social history” of Edinburgh’s inhabitants.)
--Can anybody work a miracle and tell me how we could get to the gazillions of places in Scotland I want to see but can’t (Cawdor, Eileean Donan, Plockton, the Moray villages, Glen Affric, East Neuk)?

Thanks for your help.
marcan is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 01:58 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Well you can't get to a gazillion places so we'll just have to moderate a bit

About the Lanark/Ayrshire bit - since you don't know for sure if your husband's family even came from that area - I'd personally skip it this trip. It would give your hubby a chance to research a bit before a later trip (you will fall in love w/ Scot

As for your original Perthshire plan - it looks quite nice. My only question is what the train trips? It is easy to rent a car from edinburgh or EDI and drive up towards Perth yourselves. Then you can maybe see one or two of teh sites enroute - like Castle Campbell/Dollar Glen for instance.

Same coming back down - just turn the car in before taking the train to London.
janisj is online now  
Aug 1st, 2006, 02:00 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Darn - don't know how I deleted that but should have said
". . . research a bit before a later trip (you will fall in love w/ Scotland so there probably will be another trip some time)"
janisj is online now  
Aug 1st, 2006, 03:49 PM
Original Poster
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About renting a car in Perth, I was trying to avoid driving in Edinburgh.
marcan is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 05:27 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 307
We were just in Scotland for 2 weeks and rented a car a the Edinburgh airport after a couple of days in Edinburgh. We took a cab ride to get the car which took about a half hour. It was pretty easy to follow the map to head over the bridge north into Fife. There was a delay due to some road construction around the bridge, but smooth sailing after that.

I was also thinking that it might be faster and easier just to rent the car at the airport. Another option is to head over to Stirling first, instead of heading north right away. Then you avoid the bridge backup. It only takes about a half hour or so to get from the airport to STirling on the highway.

Your ideas to see the Blair castle and Glamis castle sound good. We loved Glamis Castle tour. Please read my Scotland and London Trip Report part B if you want to read more about it.

Also, you mentioned taking a train from Stirling to see Linlithgow. it only takes about a half hour to drive from Stirling to Linlithgow. It is right off the highway on the way to the Edinburgh airport. Very easy to find.

Good luck!


gopack is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 05:36 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 64,276
Driving out of Edinburgh in the morning is not that bad (it is the driving around IN Edinburgh and trying to park that can be pretty difficult). But if you don't want to try that - go out to EDI. From there it is a pretty straight shot.
janisj is online now  
Aug 6th, 2006, 04:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,156
If I had 3 unplanned days and I wanted to spend them somewhere within striking distance of Edinburgh, I'd either go into the Borders or to Perthshire. I'm definitely NOT a fan of Lanarkshire- except for New Lanark- or of Ayrshire.

In either Perthshire or the Borders you will get a great mix of scenery and history.

You'll only get bumper to bumper traffic on the A9 someplaces, at the weekend. So a) stay off the A9- much nicer roads to use anyway; and b) don't travel at the weekend.

You're probably OK for accomodations. The schools go back here (but not in England) a week on Monday and that takes a lot of the pressure off.

Some folk museums are better than others. I'd be more inclined to suggest the People's Palace in glasgow than its Edinburgh equivalent

The way to see all the places you don't have time for is.................
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sheila is offline  

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