Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Scotland: Revised Itineary - Request Input

Scotland: Revised Itineary - Request Input

Old Jul 5th, 2006, 04:05 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 27
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Scotland: Revised Itineary - Request Input

Hi -

After some revision, I am now working with this itineary for my trip to Scotland in October.

I hope someone can give me advice on a few things:

1. What would be a good base in Highlands (especially considering driving from D&G)? I 'd like to focus on the West Highlands. Would I have any time to see any islands?

2. Flying out of Glasgow - are there any places to stay near the airport, or would staying in the city be okay?

3. Any good car rental company suggestions?

Day 1: Fly into Glasgow, pick up car, drive to Dumfries/Galloway (staying 3 nights in Barnacle Cottage in Mersehead - where I believe Sheila said she stayed).

Day 2: D&G
Day 3: D&G
Day 4: Drive from D&G to Highlands
Day 5: Highlands
Day 6: Highlands
Day 7: Drive to Glasgow (arriving late afternoon)
Day 8: Fly out of Glasgow

Thanks,
Chris
Gwot is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2006, 04:30 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 107
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oban might be your best bet for a Highlands base. From there, too, it's relatively easy to get to the islands. Otherwise you might try staying somewhere on Mull, though this might be a hassle with the car.

As for the airport, there are places to stay round there, but they're dead pricey. It's really easy to get buses into and out of the city centre, and they're relatively inexpensive and go directly to the airport. So you're better off staying in town.

Scotland is amazing, and October is a good time to go; have fun!
lazuliangel is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2006, 04:42 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 68,691
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
Oban is fine - but farther north would give easier access to a wider area of the highlands. Oban is great for Mull and Glencoe etc. But Invergarry or w/i about 10 miles of there would be a good base for eveything from Inverness to Skye to Oban.

As for where to stay the last night - sure you could stay in Glasgow. But a car is a pain in the city so you'd probably turn the rantal in then and take public transport to the airport.

So my choices would be 1) stay somewhere along Loch Lomond. Very nice country and an easy drive to GLA,

or 2) stay right at the airport. There are several hotels there including a nice and inexpensive travel Inn. You could come in pretty late, relinquish the car and have a good night's sleep w/i walking distance of the terminal.

Rental agency? - I'd just contact autoeurope.com and see what rates they can get you. Then you can shop around to see if anyone is cheaper.
janisj is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2006, 06:39 PM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 27
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
So far so good.

http://theaa.com/ says that the drive from Caulkerbush to Invergarry is 4hr50 minutes - is that too much to do in a day? Any good places to stop between the two to break the trip up a bit?
Gwot is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2006, 07:53 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,472
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Stop for a night or for a meal?
noe847 is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2006, 07:58 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 68,691
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
have you driven in the UK before? AA (as well as most of the mapping sites) sometimes underestimate drive times - especially for those unfamiliar w/ driving on the left.

I could do it in that but w/ so much to see enroute it would make for a very long day. It is about 250 miles w/ about 1/2 on motorway. On the motorway you'll average maybe 60, 65 mph and on the other roads maybe 40 or a bit less.

So you can see it is doable - but a long drive.
janisj is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2006, 09:52 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 27
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have not driven in the UK before, but I will have driven in Ireland the week prior to my Scotland visit, so I may be somewhat used to the left by then.

I saw a post of Sheila's that went something like this (regarding a day-trip from Invergarry): "go over to Lochcarron, cross the Bealach nam Bo to Applecross, drive up through Torridon to Gairloch and Poolewe, and see the Inverewe gardens. Go on to Ullapool and complete the route in a loop".

This looks like the type of stuff I would like to see (coast, mountains, etc). Would Glencoe (which is closer than Invergarry) be a feasible base for this? I'd really like to see some islands, but will save that for a future trip.

I don't mind the 5 hour drive up to Invergarry so much, but don't want to burn myself out before I see all the cool stuff!
Gwot is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2006, 09:55 PM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 27
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
PS - noe847 - that would be a stop for a meal - to break the drive up a bit.
Gwot is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2006, 10:42 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 68,691
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
Glencoe/Ballachulish would be a good base. Invergarry is only about 35 miles farther so either would be OK. But for touring to the far NW the farther north you base the better, so Invergarry or even farther north might be better.

For your drive up from D&G - I'd leave early in the a.m. first stop on Loch Lomond for a break/leg stretch maybe a snack. Luss would be a good place to stop. Pretty village, long pier, scenery.

Then on to Glencoe. stop at the visitors center and have lunch at the Claichaig Inn down the road from Glencoe village. Then on to Invergarry by late afternoon.

This would be a long-ish but not horrible day.
janisj is offline  
Old Jul 6th, 2006, 04:43 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 27
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks! You guys are really helping me out a lot.

Now:

1) When I drive from GLA to Caulkerbush (D&G), would it be more scenic to route through Ayr? Theaa puts me through Dumfries, but I was thinking that going through Ayr and Castle Douglas might be more interesting.

2) Any recommendations on places to stay in Invergarry or Glencoe?

Thanks.
Gwot is offline  
Old Jul 6th, 2006, 04:56 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 68,691
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
If you have the time, I'd go down the Ayrshire coast and visit Culzean Castle. Then you can cut across from Girvan to Newton Stewart to Castle Douglas.
janisj is offline  
Old Jul 15th, 2006, 01:25 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 27
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm having trouble finding a good place to stay in Invergarry.

I think if we end up in Glencoe, we'll stay at the Clachaig.

Is there anything similar around Invergarry?

I would like to stay near a town so I could check out some local pubs, etc (as opposed to another self-catering place)

Any ideas?

PS - please excuse my spelling of itinerary in the subject line.
Gwot is offline  
Old Jul 18th, 2006, 10:22 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,156
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Chris

Just back from France myself. I hope you have a great trip to Scotland. I think you'll like Barnacle Cottage. How did you find it?

The problem with a generic terms like the "West Highlands" is that we have these great fjod-like things that cut the coast into lateral strips. So you can easily cover Ardnamurchan, Loch Awe, Glencoe, Oban, Kilmartin and even Kintyre from one base- and access the Small Isles, Mull, Iona, Islay, Jura, Colonsay orGigha from it.

Or you can cover Kintail, and Torridon from another and have access To Skye and Raasay.

Or Ullapool and north and take access to the Outer Isles.


But what you can do in 3 days is limited so you need to pick which one. In general, the further north you go, the more remote it is and the the more "authentic".

I can't say I'd like to be accessing Argyll from Invergarry.

Caulkerbush is a long way from anywhere. If you take a gently run at it, you could do anywhere on the mainland from there in a reasonable day, but it'll be a long drive if it's north of the Highland line.

That loop of mine is a very long day. I wouldn't do it myself in a day, unless I had to.

It's not much further from Glencoe, but enough to make the difference IMHO.

It's 5 hours anyway from Caulkerbush. In terms of the driving, I'd probably go to Inverness and down the Loch. It's longer, but the roads are MUCH better.

It would be more scenic to drive through Ayr. It would also be godawful. the roads in Ayrshire are 19th century and the traffic's the pits.

I'v had a very bad report of the Glengarry castle recently, so don't stay there. I THINK I would stay in the Invergarry Hotel. Mind you. looking at the map again, you might want to have a look at the Glenelg Inn or the Cluanie Inn (longer drives there, but...). The Clachaig's a bit... basic. The Cluanie is also a climbers' place.

If you want a town, then Plockton or Kyle of Lochalsh or Lochcarron
sheila is offline  
Old Jul 20th, 2006, 07:54 AM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 27
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi again -

Welcome back Sheila. I hope your visit to France was good. We found the Barnacle cottage because I was looking at the area, and found the website for Mersehead. It also just so happens that my g-g-grandfather was born in Caulkerbush, so I thought it would be cool to stay there. Additionally, I noted that you stayed there, so it must be good!

Not to be wishy-washy, but I'm trying to consider every angle.

What if we stayed in Kingussie? What kind of day-trips could we do from there? Is Skye a conceivable day trip? Could we drive through Glencoe on the way to Kingussie?

Could we do a day-trip from Kingussie to the North Coast (somewhere between Inverness and Elgin)? Is there anything of note in that area?

I can see right now, that I'm going to have to plan another trip to Scotland and stay a month!
Gwot is offline  
Old Jul 20th, 2006, 08:03 AM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 27
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I just found Sheila's response to the "Day trips from Aviemore" thread, and I think I can assume that this could also be a response for "Day trips from Kingussie". Thanks!
Gwot is offline  
Old Jul 21st, 2006, 02:11 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,156
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Geez! Someone who uses the search function!!! there had to be one.

Barnacle was lovely. I hope you like it. Do take time to walk round the reserve.

Skye would be a nightmare of a day trip from Kingussie. You COULD drive throug Glencoe en route there, but, again, a very long day.

The Moray coast is eminently doable as a day trip (thenorth coast is that big flat bit along the top, between John o' Groats and Cape Wrath- mind you, you could just about do that too).

Along the Moray coast, you have Fort George and the dolphins, Nairn and its golf courses, Brodie castle, Cawdor Castle, Culloden, Culbin Forest bird reserve, Findhorn and Findhorn Bay, Burghead, and its pictish remains, Duffus castle, Sueno's Stone at Forres, Clava Cairns, Spynie Castle, Elgin Cathedral and Pluscarden Abbey- a very full day.

sheila is offline  
Old Jul 28th, 2006, 09:24 AM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 27
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you all for your help. We've booked almost everything now.

We're staying the first three nights in the Barnacle, and then the next three nights in Muir of Ord.

We're driving to nearby the Glasgow airport and staying around there the last night before we fly out.

We're renting a VW Passat from autoeurope.com.

So, now all we've got to do is look for day-trip options from Caulkerbush and Muir of Ord!

Again, thanks for all the help!
Gwot is offline  
Old Jul 28th, 2006, 11:13 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 68,691
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
You'll have agreat time. Muir of Ord is a great base for the Black Isle, west coast, Culloden/Nairn/Inverness and up north/Dornoch etc. You will wish you had more time.
janisj is offline  
Old Jul 29th, 2006, 02:07 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,156
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Gwot

I did a trip report for my few days at Mersehead. Email me if you'd like a copy.

Muir of Ord; ok. YOu have options, but

1. Torridon

2.Culloden, Clava Cairns, Ardersier, across to Speyside, Rothiemurchus and hom up the A9

3. Glencoe.

you'll have to go home to rest!!
sheila is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
johnbrocksieck
Europe
8
Dec 5th, 2017 08:03 PM
hypolite
Europe
9
Feb 10th, 2009 07:08 PM
virginiarose
Europe
40
Feb 21st, 2006 02:50 PM
Georgeanne
Europe
9
May 17th, 2003 02:42 PM
NorthSideSue
Europe
4
Apr 16th, 2003 08:49 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:48 PM.