Scotland: Scone Game Day vs St. Andrews?

Old Apr 24th, 2014, 05:01 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 87
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Scotland: Scone Game Day vs St. Andrews?

Hello again Fodorites! You have been so helpful to me as I've struggled to figure out my itinerary for my 2 week trip of a lifetime to Scotland. After 6 days in Edinburgh (with one as a day trip w/ Rabbie's to Roslin Chapel), I'll be bravely renting a car at the airport to set out on a long drive around the country. Our first stop was to be via Scone for their Game Day festivities. I had wanted to see a Highland Game on my trip, but the timing hasn't worked out. I know this isn't the same thing, but a little bit of the crowd, food stalls, dog & horse competitions... sounded like a good taste of country living. Only problem, we'll be doing this in lieu of seeing St. Andrews. (Yes, I know it's not in the same area.)

I know I can't possibly see everything. It's been hard for me to let go but I think I've pretty much trimmed down to a manageable list.

This is my last paranoia. Thoughts?
noratravel is offline  
Old Apr 24th, 2014, 08:06 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,086
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Unless you are in to fishing and hunting, I see little merit in the Game Fair. It is nothing at all like a Highland Games.

There are Highland Games in Luss on Loch Lomond on that same weekend.
dulciusexasperis is offline  
Old Apr 24th, 2014, 10:46 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 721
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Also in Thornton.
jane1144 is offline  
Old Apr 24th, 2014, 12:44 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,664
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Agree with what others have said. The "Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust Scottish Game Fair" at Scone Palace has absolutely nothing to do with Highland Games and looks like the sort of event populated by annoying green-wellie wearing sloaney types who live in London but have a country pad in Scotland.

A real Highland Games on the other hand is a genuine local traditional event with everyone from wee bairns to grannies and everyone in between. Luss (suggested above) is in a particularly stunning location and well worth travelling to.

On the other hand, St Andrews is wonderful - a real highlight for many people's visit to Scotland - so it would be a pity to miss this.
Gordon_R is offline  
Old Apr 24th, 2014, 04:46 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 67,490
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
The Thornton Games would fit perfectly since it is in Fife and only about 20 miles from St Andrews.
janisj is online now  
Old Apr 24th, 2014, 05:20 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 38
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Noratravel...if you make it to St. Andrews and are a golf fan, play the Himalayas at the Old Course. It's a cross between a putting green and a putt putt course, but great fun. It was a highlight for my mother to say she played St. Andrews! Teenagers loved it too.
jglags is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2014, 07:56 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 87
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks all. And oh dear. Some major rejiggering may have to be done. Friday is our travel day, enroute to a B&B in Dinnet as a base for a mini-castle tour. Luss is too far afield. And Thornton is on Saturday. Hmmmm. I'll be rethinking...

But thanks so much. Yes, Game Day doesn't sound like what I'd thought.
noratravel is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2014, 09:04 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,086
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm getting the impression that you plan to drive from Edinburgh airport to Dinnet on Friday and this would be a stop along the way. If that was your thinking, then it isn't going to work at all anyway.

Either you plan a day taking in a Highland Games or you do not. Frankly, I wouldn't even consider stopping in Thornton. It's a run down, built up, area with no redeeming features whatsoever. You might as well attend any Highland Games in any little N. American town of which there are plenty.

Luss would be worth visiting as it would be far more like what you probably envision in terms of a scenic location etc. But not doable if you have to get to Dinnet on that same day.

Think of it like an A list and a B list. Luss might make the bottom of the A list, Thornton is definitely B list material.

I just asked my wife who lived all her life in Fife and in both Kirkcaldy and Glenrothes(Thornton is located between the two) for much of that time, what she thought of the Thornton Games. Her response was she had never heard of them! She also said she would never suggest to anyone visiting Thornton. In fact, the idea of sending someone there would be embarassing.

So all in all, I think it makes more sense to forget the Games and visit St. Andrews enroute to Dinnet. It's not much more than an hour's detour. Of course you are only going to have enough time to stop for a couple of hours but if that is your idea of having visited a place, then I suppose it will work for you.
dulciusexasperis is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2014, 10:06 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,664
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have to say, Dulcie is right on this one. Thornton is basically a nondescript overspill of Glenrothes/Kirkcaldy and not at all picturesque. I may be biassed as I have ancestral connections in Luss, but it's a much more attractive location for a Highland Games. Bet it gets busy though as a lot of nearby Glaswegians will no doubt head there for a day out.
Gordon_R is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2014, 10:56 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 67,490
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
To clarify, I wasn't advocating visiting Thornton - have driven through there on the A92 many times. It was just the Games and IF the timing worked out that would be a way to kill two birds w/ one stone (a games and St Andrews).

Of course Luss is more attractive, but if it isn't anywhere near where they are going to be on the day it won't work.

But it sounds like neither one will work.
janisj is online now  
Old Apr 25th, 2014, 02:47 PM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 87
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks all. I really do appreciate all your input.

Yes, we are driving from the airport towards Dinnet on Friday and was hoping for some diversion enroute. That's why a morning and lunch at the Game Fair seemed do-able.
(BTW - I had looked at the Highland Game schedules and realized that our itinerary just couldn't include one this trip. I hope there will be another trip someday for all the wonderful places I couldn't include.)

In an ideal world, I wouldn't think that a couple of hours somewhere actually constitutes a "visit." But as a plain old tourist, it may have to suffice. If a few hours in St. A seems unreasonable, perhaps there's someplace enroute (Glamis?) that might be visited with only a few hours.

The other idea is to leave Edinburgh a day earlier and give St. Andrew's a day and night before Dinnet.

The plan:
Edinburgh 5 to 6 nights (includes a Rabie's tour to Roslin)
Dinnet 2 nights (mini castle tour)
Nairn 1 night (Culloden, Clava Cairns, Cawdor)
Skye 3 nights (down the loch over to Skye)
Lake of Menteith area 3 nights (Lake, Stirling, Drummond Castle Garden)

It's a little of this, a little of that.
noratravel is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2014, 03:03 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,672
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
A few hours in St. Andrews doesn't sound unreasonable to me at all. We spent a night there on our trip last summer but only really spent a few hours in the town as it was our arrival day from the US.

Your itinerary includes several spots we saw on our trip, and I know you read my trip report at the time. Hope you have as much fun as we did.
Nikki is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2014, 03:32 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 67,490
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
I think you can do it all. The Rabbies tour can't be more than 1/2 a day is it?

4 or 5 nights in Edinburgh is more than reasonable. Of course in a perfect world more is better, but 4 or 5 nights is 2 or 3 nights longer than most plans we see here. I definitely don't think you'd need 6 nights.

Spending 2 or 3 hours in St Andrews will let you see a lot. An overnight would give you more time there plus you'd be able to explore some of the fishing villages like Crail and Anstruther, or maybe falkland palace.

Glamis is also wonderful - and also would take 2 or 3 hours.

So I'd cut Edinburgh 1 night and stay in St. Andrews - or- cut it 2 nights and add a 2nd night to Nairn (there is a lot to see in that area)

The rest of your plan looks great.
janisj is online now  
Old Apr 25th, 2014, 08:45 PM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 87
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Rabie's is 4-1/2 to 5 hours, which I think is a great length. It includes Melrose Abbey.
The Timberbush version is a full 8 hours (distillery tour added in).

So I'll see if my friend is willing to cut out of Edinburgh a day early and head to Crail/Anstruther enroute to St. Andrews. (Our rental is for a full week because the daily fees were more expensive. Made more sense to take it for the week and leave early.) If not, I think we'll go to Dinnet via Glamis. I'll check out Falkland Palace, don't know that one.

I can't believe my trip is finally coming up!!!! Two months away.
Nikki - your trip report was great and I'm really looking forward to following in your footsteps!
noratravel is offline  
Old Apr 27th, 2014, 08:47 PM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 87
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
So we finally decide we'll leave Edinburgh a day early and head to St. Andrews, only to find that 10 of the places I've contacted (all B&Bs/Guest Houses) so far are booked. I'll continue looking tomorrow, but if anyone has a suggestion, do let me know!
noratravel is offline  
Old Apr 27th, 2014, 08:50 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 67,490
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
Have you tried in Crail, Anstruther, Cupar?
janisj is online now  
Old Apr 28th, 2014, 05:33 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,672
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We had the same trouble finding accommodations in St. Andrews last August because of a golf tournament. We ended up at the Fairmont Hotel, which is slightly out of the town and is large enough that it wasn't sold out. It was more expensive than we had planned for that night, but our options were limited, and we had some luck by calling several times before the date to see if we could get a better rate, and finding that the rate had gone down.
Nikki is offline  
Old Apr 28th, 2014, 06:59 AM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 87
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Did get a response back from No 12 Grange Street that they do have a room. Sticker shock! Now I understand how pricey St. Andrews is!!!

Before I book it, I will explore Crail, etc. Will look at the Fairmount too - thanks Nikki.

Janis, Sheila - are you in Scotland when I am? Would love to buy you a pint (or a martini!) to say thank you for all your advice!
noratravel is offline  
Old Apr 28th, 2014, 07:49 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,664
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you really want "sticker shock", then check out the Fairmont! I did stay there once but that was a free night. The prices are all geared to fit the pockets of extremely weathly US and Japanese golfers.
Gordon_R is offline  
Old Apr 28th, 2014, 08:25 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,086
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The Fairmont's prices are in line with their prices everywhere else Gordon_R. I have stayed at many Fairmont's and always felt they delivered what you paid for.

Price and value for money are not one and the same thing are they. There are a lot of hotels and B&Bs in Scotland as I'm sure you know that deliver very little value for money indeed. A pokey little room decorated in 1960's frills and flowers with damp patches on the walls and an overcooked breakfast you wouldn't serve to your dog.

That's when I feel 'sticker shock'. A dump for 100 pounds a night. It's not the price that matters, it is what you get for your money.
dulciusexasperis is offline  

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 07:30 PM.