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Scotland trip June 2009, planning assistance

Scotland trip June 2009, planning assistance

Old Sep 12th, 2008, 10:27 AM
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Scotland trip June 2009, planning assistance

I've read many of the posts related to Scotland on this forum but this is my first time posting.

Background: My husband and I plan to travel to Scotland June 2009 for about 16 nights. This is our first trip abroad from the US. We have traveled extensively around the US and parts of Canada in a motorhome.

We enjoy being out of doors, driving through beautiful scenery, visiting some historic sites. Museums are okay but few make the top of our list (unless they are really special). Neither of us are much for shopping, we like to spend time in communities talking with other visitors and locals. Small, local pubs are more our thing than fancy dining.

I'd like to share my thoughts about our trip and rely on the experience of other foderites to assist in refining our plans over the next few months. After reading other posts I realize that driving 50 miles in Scotland is not like driving 50 miles across Iowa, I want to allow enough time at each stop to relax and 'get a feel' for the place, and I don't feel the need to rush to see everything (although I'd love to have the time to do that).

That said, our draft, basic itinerary for overnight stays looks like this:
Day 1: Arrive in Edinburgh, sleep
Day 2: Overnight Edinburgh
Day 3: Overnight Edinburgh
Day 4: Drive to Blair Atholl, 77 miles, Overnight
Day 5: Overnight Blair Atholl
Day 6: Drive to Nairn, 92 miles, Overnight
Day 7: Overnight Nairn
Day 8: Drive to Ullapol, 70 miles, Overnight
Day 9: Drive to Poolewe 50 miles(or a bit further) Overnight
Day 10: Drive to Portree ~107 miles, overnight
Day 11: Overnight Portree
Day 12: Overnight Portree
Day 13: Drive to Spean Bridge 99 miles, Overnight
Day 14: Overnight Spean Bridge
Day 15: Drive to Stirling 105 miles, Overnight
Day 16: Overnight Stirling
Day 17: Drive to Edinburgh 43 miles, flight home

Does this sound reasonable?
Are we spending time somewhere that might be better spent somewhere else given our likes and dislikes stated above?
Other thoughts or comments appreciated.
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Old Sep 12th, 2008, 11:58 AM
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When I was first reading your post, I was going to suggest that you do Edinburgh, Skye and the Western Isles because they're all so fantastic! But seeing that you already have some ideas, and I haven't been to most of them, I'd just say, yes, do Edinburgh, and yes, do Skye, and yes, do Stirling Castle, though I don't know that you have to stay there.

If I were doing 16 days in Scotland, I would fly into Edinburgh and do a few days there, and then head to Skye, spending a night somewhere on the way. I'd spend a few nights on Skye, and then take a ferry to the Western Isles, where I would stay in beautiful Harris for a couple of nights, and then go down to Barra or North Uist for a couple of nights. Then back to Edinburgh, stopping around Stirling or somewhere.

But I'm sure that what you're planning will be lovely, too. Scotland is just SO wonderful!
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Old Sep 13th, 2008, 04:14 PM
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please please please, drop all the driving and use thepublic transport as it great and reliable, and stop and enjoy the glesga banter remember to check the scottish tourist board for festivals that may be on while your are in thiswonderful country, try the tours of the dead both glasgow and edinbugh have them, also dont be a tourist while you are hear check out the swap your home sites and make some remarkable friends to enjoy for the rest of your life, welcome and enjoy, whoops also bring a rain coat and hat becausewe enjoy the rain with the full blast of all the seasons in one day, please use the public transport also the scottish tourist board! xax
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Old Sep 13th, 2008, 08:22 PM
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The driving you are proposing does not seem outrageous, but you could probably cut out one or two legs. You didn't say why you had picked some of those particular stopping points. For example, why Ullapool and Poolewe, both for a single night, instead of just one or the other?

But in general it does not seem to me as though you are driving too much or too far. You obviously don't mind moving every couple of nights -- we have taken trips like that as well and they can be very enjoyable.
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Old Sep 14th, 2008, 12:04 AM
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dcil52- You may find the section on our recent (May 2008) trip to the UK including parts of Scotland & the isles which we did in 14days in a motorhome. The best holiday for years!
Please click on my name and you will find my trip report.
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Old Sep 14th, 2008, 12:08 AM
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Sorry forgot to give you the title -
Beautiful Britain - Our spring fling through England, Scotland & Wales.....
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Old Sep 14th, 2008, 09:41 AM
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Here is the link to tod's trip report

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...p;tid=35148277

Your itinerary is pretty good. I might suggest taking 1 night away from Blair Atholl and add it over on the west coast or in Nairn. You actually don't need 1 over night between Edinburgh and Nairn, let alone 2. But I do like breaking the journey so the one overnight does make sense. There is a lot to see/experience around Nairn/Inverness and over on the NW coast so I'd use an extra day in either area.

Also - I personally wouldn't stay IN Stirling. I'd stay in a nearby village or town -- Callander, Doune, Aberfoyle, Port of Menteith - someplace like that.

(BTW - not sure quite what della1star is on about. Many of the places you want to visit are not easily doable by public transport)
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Old Sep 18th, 2008, 05:46 AM
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Thanks for responses so far:

tod, thanks for the reference to your trip, I hope some day we can take a couple months and travel more extensively around Great Britian. After talking about it I think we've decided to take the b&b rather than camping approach to Scotland on this trip, especially since this is our first trip overseas. That's what we do in Alaska and it works out well for us.

janisj
I appreciate the comment on the 2 nights at Blair Atholl, it's hard to judge by reading books, etc exactly how much time to spend in a particular area. Would you expound a bit on your recommendation to add the 'extra' day on the NW coast, is there a specific stop that would be better than another?
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Old Sep 18th, 2008, 06:16 AM
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My thanks to Janisj for giving you the link to my trip report - I have no idea how to do that!

dcil52 - the motorhome route was easy for us as we drive on the same side of the road as do the drivers in the UK - But France etc., is a bit of a hair-raising experience being on the 'opposite' side of the road but would suite you fine!!
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Old Sep 18th, 2008, 07:14 AM
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You are already staying 2 nights on the NW coast in Poolewe and Ullapool. I'd add a night to one of those - probably Ullapool. As it is now, your overnight at Ullapool is really just a pit stop since you are driving over from Nairn and then leaving the next morning. There is amazing scenery around Ullapool and if you stayed 2 nights there, you'd have time to explore farther north. Then you could leave Ullapool in the AM and visit Inverewe Gardens (just about a "must&quot before your overnight in Poolewe. Inverewe takes a fair amount of time.
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