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Scotland trip June 2009, planning assistance - lodging

Scotland trip June 2009, planning assistance - lodging

Old Sep 25th, 2008, 06:17 AM
  #1  
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Scotland trip June 2009, planning assistance - lodging

Based on feedback from my previous post we have decided on the following itinerary, I would now like to ask for lodging recommendations.

We prefer bed & breakfast, inns or guest houses. I have budgeted for medium/moderate rates. The best way to describe what we are looking for is the best value, clean, reasonably comfortable accommodations and a decent breakfast.

As I mentioned earlier this is our first time abroad. It will be my husband and I traveling.

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.


Itinerary:
Day 1: Arrive in Edinburgh, sleep
Day 2: Overnight Edinburgh
Day 3: Overnight Edinburgh
Day 4: Drive to Blair Atholl/Pitlochry, 77 miles, Overnight
Day 5: Drive to Nairn, 92 miles, Overnight
Day 6: Overnight Nairn
Day 7: Drive to Ullapool, 70 miles, Overnight
Day 8: Overnight Ullapool
Day 9: Drive to Poolewe/Gairloch 50 miles(or a bit further) Overnight
Day 10: Drive to Portree (or other Isle of Skye location) ~107 miles, overnight
Day 11: Overnight Skye
Day 12: Overnight Skye
Day 13: Drive to Spean Bridge 99 miles, Overnight (considering Corriechoille Lodge)
Day 14: Overnight Spean Bridge
Day 15: Drive to Callander/Dunblane/Stirling/Trossach's area ~105 miles, Overnight
Day 16: Overnight Same
Day 17: Drive to Edinburgh ~50 miles, flight home

Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.
dcil52 is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2008, 06:41 AM
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Thought #1 - you're doing it smart. You are not making the mistake of doing the 'plaid blur' tour, taking in too many sites in too short of a time. If you love history and historical sites, you can't go wrong in Scotland, but you've chosen some great areas. Skye itself is magical and wonderful (I just spent 4 nights there in June). If you want my trip report with pics, it is on here as well as on my website:

http://www.greendragonartist.com/BI/...otland2008.htm

I presume you will be renting a car, that is the best way to find the fun places, mingle with the locals, etc.

We had a great stay in Edinbane on Skye, at the Lodge at Edinbane. Hazel and Pete were gracious and fun hosts, and their cooking is great!

We rented a self-catering apartment in Edinburgh, but we had 6 people so it would probably be too large for you. However, it's worth a look - the upper apartment is fine for two people, and it's very convenient to the Royal Mile. You won't need a car in Edinburgh, pick it up on the way out of the city.

I also have a lot of info on my article on planning a trip to the UK/Ireland: http://www.greendragonartist.com/Art...clesEurope.htm

Good luck! We have a lot of great Scotland resources here.
GreenDragon is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2008, 07:11 AM
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Hi,

Looks like a great itinerary. In Ullapool I stayed at the Riverside. I would classify it as a small Inn.

http://www.riversideullapool.com/

It was clean but not at all fancy and the owners were very nice. About a 5 minute walk from the quayside. For dinner they recommended a restaurant that we drove to within 10 minutes.

In Portree we stayed at the King's Haven Hotel (small hotel) at the top of the hill overlooking the water. It might be charming to stay below along the waterfront. The Chandlery restaurant, next to the hotel, had the best fish and chips ever and the portion was enough to split. It's been a few years since I've been to Scotland so things might have changed but check out this restaurant.

In Pitlochry (and many other places but Edinburgh) we went to the TI to get a room for the night. The TI charges a minimal fee for booking and each place was clean and the people were very nice. Depending when you're going (if outside of the main tourist season) you can pickup rooms on the fly giving you more freedom. In Ullapool we stopped at the first place we saw (above) and in Plockton I walked around looking for rooms (Plockton was busy, even in September).

adrienne is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2008, 07:25 AM
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On the Isle of Skye, we liked the Roskhill House B&B.

It's near Dunvegan and there's a nice restaurant (built in an old school) nearby as well.

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Old Sep 25th, 2008, 01:54 PM
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Edinburgh, for me is tough. I just don't know of anywhere that fits your bill. On my own dollar, I tend to stay in Travel Lodges or teh like- central, cheap and functional.

Blair Atholl/Pitlochry, -I'd pick EITHER the Atholl Arms in Blair Atholl or the Moulin Inn at Pitlochry. owned by eth same people. The Atholl Arms is a bit posher.

Nairn- not certain of that either. I like the Spey Bay Hotel at Spey bay.

Ullapool, - I'd stay at the Summer Isles and damn the cost.

Poolewe/Gairloch -I LOVE the Pool House Hotel, but rumour has it it's gone upmarket a bit since I last paid a bill there. My sister is keen on the Poolewe Hotel. You might look at the Badachro Inn.

Skye_ Eilean Iarmain or Sligachan.

Spean Bridge - the PIne Trees used to be THE place, but it's changed hands, so I'm less sure now.

Callander/Dunblane/Stirling/Trossach- I like the Highland in Stirling. And the Red Lion. The Tormaukin in Glen Devon's become a bit samey- but it's a fab location still.

sheila is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2008, 03:50 PM
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Hi dcil52,

I enjoyed the Dene Guest House when I visited Edinburgh this past April, http://www.deneguesthouse.com/. Breakfast was great and the owners very helpful and friendly.

It is right on the #36 line (the bus stop is right across the street heading to the train station and around the corner when coming from the train station). Its location is also convenient for the #23 and #27 lines.

Do you know about Greyfriars Bobby? I must have seen the movie when young so it is something that has stayed with me. Since making my visit to Edinburgh I have learned how Not everyone knows the story, lol! If you know about Bobby, then you will want to visit the Museum of Edinburgh for a special display (it's one of the city museums, most (all?) free and described here: http://www.cac.org.uk/).

Cheers.
scotlib is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2008, 04:32 PM
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Your finalized itinerary is very nice. One question: &quot;<i>I have budgeted for medium/moderate rates.</i>&quot; What do you consider &quot;medium/moderate&quot;? What is your actual budget?

You can get by for less in some of those rural areas and will need to budget more in Edinburgh - plus anyplace you may want to splurge like maybe the Summer Isles. So what do you want to spend average per night?
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Old Sep 25th, 2008, 05:00 PM
  #8  
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Thanks for the comments so far.

-I'm not familiar with Greyfriars Bobby, but I'll look it up!

-janisj - On average I hope not to spend more than $140 (US dollars)per night, I realize some may be less, some may be more.
dcil52 is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2008, 11:50 AM
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janisj - I responded to your note quickly last night and probably could have stated it better. We aren't tied to a really tight budget, most nights I would hope to pay about &pound;75-&pound;80 and a few nights might be higher. I looked at the Summer Isles on-line after you and Sheila mentioned it, wow, it looks wonderful!
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Old Sep 28th, 2008, 04:15 AM
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I suspect most of the places I mentioned will be a bit higher than that, although I think the Summer Isles is the only real &quot;splurge&quot;. If I'm travelling in Scotland, I tend not to book, and just see what comes up, but that course of action depends on your circumstances.
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Old Oct 7th, 2008, 11:21 AM
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Narrowing down the choices.
Edinburgh - the Cameron Bed &amp; Breakfast, tripadvisor.com reviews were good, seems to be a good value, 10 min from town centre, near buses. Questions: Is anyone familiar with this place? Will I regret not staying nearer the town centre area?

Blair Atholl/Pitlochry - Several seem to fit the bill; Dalgreine Guest House, Ptarmigan House, Craigatin House, Atholl Villa, Woodburnhouse. Any thoughts or comments about one vs another?

Nairn - Not finding a lot specifically in Nairn that meets my preferences. Is anyone familiar with Invernairne B&amp;B?

Ullapool - Trying to justify Summer Isles!

Skye - Greendragon sold me on Lodge at Edinbane once I read about the location, type of lodge etc. She also wrote a great review on tripadvisor.

Spean Bridge - Corriechoille Lodge, recommended in the books and I've had a friend that has stayed there and loved it.

Stirling/Callendar - The out of town location of the Auchenlaich Farmhouse seems to appeal to me when I look at the options. Reviews on the internet are a couple years old though. Is anyone familiar with this facility?

Any comments or thoughts greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old Oct 7th, 2008, 11:45 AM
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http://www.scottishaccommodationindex.com/edinburgh.php
this website may be of use to you whilst in Edinburgh (my home city)
lots of small hotels B&amp;B's and guest houses listed.
i would look for places in the Minto Street,Mayfield ,Dalkeith Road area,there are lots about.I pick this area beacuse it is nice ,lots of Goergian town house used ase accomodation ,also this area is on th edge of the main city center,20-30 minutes walk or a 10 minute bus ride to all the sights.Edinburgh has a wonderful public bus service that gets you round the city quickly and cheaply..
you can also use the links from this website to find accomodation in other areas of Scotland.
In Pitlochry i recently stayed in the MacDonald B&amp;B which was about &pound;30 pppn.
http://www.macdonalds-pitlochry.co.uk/
it is right on the main street and was very nice.the decor was not to my taste but the place was recently decorated and i had some great breakfasts there during my stay.
this is my Trip Advisor review of my stay there.
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Rev..._Scotland.html
and this is my trip Advisor report of my short weekend in Pitlochry.
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserR..._Scotland.html
can't help you much with the rest of your itinary but hopefully this will give you some ideas.
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Old Oct 7th, 2008, 11:48 AM
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Someone else has mentioned the Moulin Inn in Pitlochry ( it is about a mile outside the town),it is a place I enjoyed greatly,I didn't stay there but my brother and his wife have and they rated it very highly.
On my previous posting i metioned my reprt on a weekend in Pitlochry if you click on that you will see a photo i took of the Moulin Inn.
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Old Oct 7th, 2008, 09:39 PM
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We did Scotland last summer, and I must say, I think those distances, in view of the fact that roads are not always the best, is covering a lot of territory...why not take it a bit slower?
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Old Oct 8th, 2008, 04:59 AM
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For $140 you could get any B&amp;B, I think - in &amp; around Edinburgh, they mostly range from &pound;25-&pound;60 *per person* per night.

The Cameron is not in a very nice area and is right on the outer edge of the city. Even in the middle of the night it would take more like 20 minutes on the bus, and it's not on a route with a lot of buses.

For &pound;50-60 pppn you could get a grand B&amp;B in the New Town (the central Georgian part) - look at Abercromby Place, Northumberland Street &amp; Dundas Street. The Walton Hotel at the bottom of Dundas Street gets good reviews here &amp; is I think a bit cheaper. It's uphill to the very centre of town but on a good bus route.

2 Cambridge Street also gets vg reviews here &amp; is very close to the centre (a more or less flat walk).

The Castle View Guesthouse (not to be confused with the Castle Guesthouse) also has always got good reviews here &amp; is as central as you can get - it was up for sale a year or so ago but still seems to be in business. Warning - it's pn something like the 4th &amp; 5th floor of a townhouse &amp; doesn't have a lift.

A bit further out (a genuine 10 minute bus ride) is the pleasant area of Morningside where 2 nice people I know have B&amp;Bs - Pringle's Ingle and One Albert Terrace (not to be confused with the one in Musselburgh).

I can suggest other good areas just outside the centre if you need more.

Presumably you will only pick up the car when you leave Edinburgh ?

And a general question, what do you mean by inns ? Here it means pubs but I gather that to Americans it means something more like B&amp;Bs.

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Old Oct 8th, 2008, 06:28 AM
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Thanks for responses so far.

unclegus - the Moulin Inn is still on my list for Pitlochry, I was just wondering about the other places. It's really hard to narrow it down, there are a lot of choices.

caroline - I appreciate your take on the Cameron. I'm going to take a closer look at the options nearer the town centre, my gut feeling is this is where I'd rather be if possible.

We are going to pick up the car when leaving Edinburgh.

My definition of inn would be a larger B&amp;B, smaller hotel or a pub with sleeping rooms.
dcil52 is offline  
Old Oct 8th, 2008, 06:56 AM
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Regarding the Cameron B&amp;B ( I live only a mile away from it),it is a small place ,but you have to climb quite a flight of steps to reach it.
It is just across from the busy Cameron Toll shopping center and the roads around the area can be quite busy,the house itself it set back a bit from the road so noise will not be a problem.
Apart from the shopping center there is not a lot else in the area ( ie no bars or resturants within a mile or so) but it is close to bus stops that will get you into the city if a few minutes.
www.lothianbuses.co.uk
there is some major road works going on in the Dalkeith Road at the monent that is diverting traffic and this will be ongoing for another 8-10 weeks.
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Old Oct 13th, 2008, 05:29 PM
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Just to confuse you further......

In Edinburgh we LOVED the Aaron Lodge. ₤60per night. One of the best value for money of our whole trip, just lovely. Great room, amazing landlord, lovely breakfast and the bonus of the bus at the door (although we had a car, we used it a lot)

On Skye our best find was Aileen Cottage ₤50 per night, on Broadford Bay. Quaint and lovely, amazing breakfast in the nicest sun room and the friendliest landlord, who insisted I use his clothes line.

Hope this helps.
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Old Oct 14th, 2008, 12:02 AM
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The Aaron Lodge is about half a mile south of the Cameron B&amp;B and was extensively extended and refurbished last year,basically it is a new hotel (used to be called the Kirkland Guest House)It is on the same road that connects to Cameron Toll and is about a 15 minute bus journey to the center of town,it is also very close to the Royal Infirmary Edinburgh's main Hospital.
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Old Oct 14th, 2008, 01:16 AM
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Much too far out - not even in the city.
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