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Scottish Highlands - Route Recommendations

Scottish Highlands - Route Recommendations

Aug 14th, 2009, 07:42 AM
  #1  
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Scottish Highlands - Route Recommendations

Hi,
So I've finally decided a broad itinerary and places to stay as under and would great appreciate route recommendations - would prefer the scenic options as it's a driving holiday with some must see places/things to do along the way.
Thanks all,
Alok

22 - London-Carlisle (via the lake district), night in Carlisle
23 - Carlisle-Loch Lomond, night at the Honeysuckle Cottage - http://www.welcometoscotland.com/acc...suckle-cottage
Came recommended by Partick at Culag which would have been my preferred option but was unavailable - http://www.culag.info/CULAG/CulagIndex.htm.
24 - Loch Lomond-Oban. Given various recommendations on the forums staying at Glenburnie - www.glenburnie.co.uk
25 - Oban-Skye - have the ferry crossing booked at 3.05pm from Mallaig to Armadale. Night at Marine House at Portree
26 - Skye-Ullapool - at some point on this day need to head to Inverness airport to drop someone off for a 5pm flight. Night at the Dromnan Guest House - http://dromnan.com/.
27 - Ullapool-Loch Ness. Staying at the Birches http://www.lochnesswelcome.co.uk/sec...ail.asp?sID=85
28 - Loch Ness-Crail- staying at http://www.caipliehouse.com/
29 - Crail-Somewhere close to London so I can drive to London to get in by 11ish on the 30th morning.
AlokG is offline  
Aug 14th, 2009, 08:38 AM
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Sorry - but your plan is more than a little crazy.

Oban > Skye using the 3:05 ferry means you won't get to Portree until very late in the afternoon. No time at all is budgeted for Skye itself.

Then the next day you want to drive from Portree to NE of Inverness to the airport and then back across to Ullapool.

Then the next day from Ullapool back across to the east side of Loch Ness

The next day from Dores to Crail in Fife (Caiplie House is a very good choice BTW)

Then the next day to somewhere w/i 150/200 miles of London.

And your poor parents along for this trek??

What is the point -- to put as many miles as possible on the car or to actually see something?
janisj is online now  
Aug 14th, 2009, 08:49 AM
  #3  
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janisj,
any recommendation. should we aim for the 1.45 crossing? also Ullapool to loch ness seems to be an easy drive - only 2 hours - 4 if we stop along the way. agree that the day from skye to ullapool is a little crazy and can try drop them in ullapool and then head to the airport. also from loch ness to crail is long. open to ideas to change ferry crossing times/ destinations etc.
thanks
AlokG is offline  
Aug 14th, 2009, 08:49 AM
  #4  
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also the stay in crail was based on your recommendation on another post. thanks.
AlokG is offline  
Aug 14th, 2009, 09:02 AM
  #5  
 
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Sorry - but your plan is more than a little crazy.>

jj please try to convey the same meaning without belittling the OP as you often do - brutal honesty yes but tone it down as it may put off folks. Just a suggestion. Cheers
Palenque is offline  
Aug 14th, 2009, 09:05 AM
  #6  
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can skip one place if it eases things. any ideas on what can be taken out would be great and also where i can spend that extra time - guess on skye?
thanks
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Aug 14th, 2009, 09:07 AM
  #7  
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except the issue about going to inverness airport - so maybe skip ullapool and spend a night around inverness - maybe even on loch ness and then the next night between there and crail?
AlokG is offline  
Aug 14th, 2009, 09:13 AM
  #8  
 
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I honestly think you need to re-think things a bit. None of your drives will be as quick as you hope/plan. You are trying to cover 2/3 of Scotland in 5 days. Each of those drives are "doable" but they leave no time to stop/explore,/catch one's breath.

IMO something has to be cut. What that is really depends on what your musts are. The drive from Portree > Inverness airport > Ullapool really is the worst since that will be pretty much driving all day. That is a minimum of about 6 hours just car time w/o stops or meals or anything.

And the Crail to somewhere north of London is a bad drive. Just using Leicester as a measuring point -- it is almost 400 miles and 8 hours straight drive time.

You really need to add days or cut places . . . .
janisj is online now  
Aug 14th, 2009, 09:15 AM
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PQ -- I am actually trying to help the OP -- your contribution is what exactly???

I did not belittle the AlokG - He is not crazy -- but the itinerary is, just a bit.
janisj is online now  
Aug 14th, 2009, 09:17 AM
  #10  
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happy to cut a place as can't add days. don't have a must and would rely on your experience of the area for that. thanks.
AlokG is offline  
Aug 14th, 2009, 09:24 AM
  #11  
 
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Crail back down to London is indeed a long drive, but split - sensibly - over two days it's not THAT bad. Within the constraint that AlokG has already decided to do a round trip drive from London (as opposed to flying or taking a train up to Scotland, which is what I do these days), I don't see what other option he has but to allow 2 days drive there and back.
Gordon_R is offline  
Aug 14th, 2009, 09:33 AM
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OK - There are three "givens" that I can see.

1) You have a VERY long drive day one London > Carlisle.

2) You beed to get to Inverness airport the fatrenoon of the 26th

and 3) You have a VERY long drive Crail to London.

So I'd personally try to simplify the bits in between. Ullapool is central to a LOT of amazing scenery -- but it is just too far away especially having to cross to I'ness and back.

Assuming you keep the Loch Lomond stop on 23-8, I'd drop the Oban stop. You can leave Loch Lomond, drive through Glencoe and catch an afternoon ferry at Mallaig.

Stay the nights of 24-8 and 25-8 in Portree. That way you'd have a full day free on Skye.

Then on the 26th drive to Inverness and drop the folks at the airport and stay at Dores. This would not be such a bad driving day and you'd have time to stop and see things.

27-8 drive to Crail and stay 2 nights. This will give you time to see Balir Castle and Perth enroute to Crail and then St Andrews and Fife the next day.

Then you'll have the VERY long driving day back towards London on the 29th -- but at least you'd have some easy days beforehand . . .
janisj is online now  
Aug 14th, 2009, 09:37 AM
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GordonR: I agree, the London > north and north > London drives are doable (especially broken as the OP plans) - but it is the days in between that make the original plan so difficult. A long drive to get somewhere is fine -- but long drives each and every day of the holiday is the hang up IMO
janisj is online now  
Aug 14th, 2009, 10:02 AM
  #14  
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thanks for this. so i skip oban and head straight to skye and spend 2 nights there. on the way from skye i skip ullapool and head straight via inverness airport to the loch ness stop (is that and dores the same thing). also as skipping the night in ullapool can do the 2 nights in crail. as these would then be easy driving days (relatively) could do the longer drive to london. thanks for your suggestions. any suggestions on things to do en-route now that i will probably have more time on those days.
thanks again
AlokG is offline  
Aug 14th, 2009, 10:25 AM
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Yes - your B&B is in Dores on Loch Ness.

Now you'll have time to drive through Glencoe (definitely stop at the visitors center) and stop at Glenfinnan.

Then on Skye, you'll have a full day to drive around the Trotternish Peninsula (amazing scenery) just north of Portree - and either go to Dunvegan Castle and Tallisker Distillery, or to the Sleat Peninsula and Elgol on the southern end of the Isle.

On your Dores/I'ness airport day you'd have time for a photo stop at Eilean Donan Castle (no need to go inside) and to visit Urquhart castle and Culloden Moor.

In Fife - you can pick among lots of great places -- St Andrews, the other fishing villages besides Crail, Falkland Palace/gardens, Hill of Tarvit, maybe Loch Leven Castle. But St Andrews and Falkland plus visiting a couple of the other fishing villages would be a pretty full day.
janisj is online now  
Aug 14th, 2009, 10:53 AM
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22 - London-Carlisle (via the lake district), night in Carlisle>

why stay in dreary Carlisle and not in the fantastic nearby Lake District itself, where you could well spend another full day too.

Janis - i just see on so many threads you (and others) start right off by saying 'how idiotic', etc. like you did here - now this OP has been around Fodors for a bit but the typical first-time poster often leaves in tears it seems - i just think the words 'crazy', etc. should be dropped and just say 'your itinerary is not realistic but not say 'idiotic' or 'more than a little bit crazy"

AlokG - i do not find your OP itinerary crazy at all and would well do this well thought out IMO itinerary in a Scottish heart beat. Skye is small and though you could hang out there for days your plans are OK as you have a lot you want to see

Actually it sounds like OP is just using the Skye route to reach Inverness which makes total sense to me and i have done exactly the same thing, but by train and boat.

I took the scenic West train to Kyle of Lochlash (sp?) - then the bus over the bridge to Skye - then a bus to the ferry to Maillag - it was the best way for me to get to the even more scenic railway Maillag-Glasgow - so OP may just be doing it utilitarian as well and not have Skye as a real sightseeing goal.

OP - when driving to Inverness try the road pretty much follows the course of this really scenic rail line - many lochs - wild areas, etc. think the moor has associations with Lord of the Rings movies or books.

It does not seem to me that you are driving thru the bleak Ranloch Moor, which the train from Maillag goes thru - this is a totally mind-blowing sight to behold - bleak but beautiful.

#
Rannoch Moor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rannoch Moor is a large expanse of around 50 square miles (130 km²) of boggy moorland to the west of Loch Rannoch, in Perth and Kinross and Lochaber, ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rannoch_Moor - Cached - Similar
#
Rannoch Moor Feature Page on Undiscovered Scotland
Rannoch Moor Feature Page on Undiscovered Scotland: The Ultimate Online Guide.
http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.u...oor/index.html - Cached - Similar
#
Rannoch Moor Photos | TrekEarth
This Rannoch Moor photo gallery is part of the TrekEarth Photo Gallery, a website devoted to photos from around the world.
http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/Eur.../Rannoch_Moor/ -


Now approaching the Fife and famous bridges over it - yup St Andrews is one of my top favorite towns in the U.K. Neat old town nestled along the shores of the North Sea (or whatever they call it here) - a great seaside area with some ruins and then the cobbled old streets - famous university - Prince William i believe went here. A great stop before Edinburgh

And the cantilevered Firth of Forth train bridge is a very famous piece of bridge architecture very famous - i took the train over it but then could not see it - you will be on the road bridge so you can. And at the southern end of the bridge is Queen's Ferry (not sure of name) - a once thriving Victoria seaside resort i believe but which is worth a stop just to oogle the Forth and the bridge.

#
The Forth Bridge Feature Page on Undiscovered Scotland
The Forth Bridge from Queensferry ... When it was first constructed, the Forth Bridge was regarded as the eighth wonder of the world. ...
http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.u...rthrailbridge/ - Cached - Similar
#
South Queensferry travel guide - Wikitravel
Sep 17, 2008 ... The first sight that most visitors to South Queensferry have is of the two bridges that cross the Firth of Forth between South Queensferry ...
wikitravel.org/en/South_Queensferry -

anyway janisj is acclaimed by me and others and the British expert and her vast knowledge of things from a tourist point of view (not as comprehensive as locals but in a way better because locals IMO often don't see things from the point of view of a foreign tourist, etc. - she has shown unparalleled knowledge of tourist things in the U.K. on Fodors - i just wish she would tone down her comments that like here i at least find off-putting and many OPs may never respond as a result.

Cheers and don't nip the whisky too much- and be sure to try the Haggis!
Palenque is offline  
Aug 14th, 2009, 11:11 AM
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PQ: Copying from wikipedia is not very helpful. I think the OP has a great handle on what they need . . . .

Plus they are on a driving tour so crossing Rannoch Moor is not an option.

And -- they are driving up on an August Saturday so finding a place in the Lake District will be a tall order. They tried that already - ergo the change to a stop in Carlisle.
janisj is online now  
Aug 14th, 2009, 11:27 AM
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PQ: Copying from wikipedia is not very helpful. I think the OP has a great handle on what they need . .

why do you say that?

i think mentioning the fantastic views of the Firth Bridge from Queensferry is unique info and to give more links i think is well in order.

Why do you think what i gave in links - not copying at all - could be very valuable. Unless you once again accuse me of plagiarizing as you often have... all the words are mine except the links
Palenque is offline  
Aug 14th, 2009, 11:51 AM
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PQ: You still don't get it why so many get sooooooo very VERY exhausted w/ your continual copy/paste.

If someone thinks a view is nice they say so - in their own words. They don't copy what wiki or undiscoveredscotland or whatever site says about the view. (unless of course, they have never actually seen it themselves)

Giving someone a link to a useful site - everyone does that when appropriate. But copying info wholesale - what good does that do except use up space?

So - yet another thread off in a ditch
janisj is online now  
Aug 17th, 2009, 05:03 AM
  #20  
 
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I might have made some comments but I hate to intrude on private grief and you seem pretty much set.
sheila is offline  

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