Scottish Itinerary

Apr 23rd, 2002, 08:24 AM
  #1  
B. Aiken
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Scottish Itinerary

We are planning a trip to Scotland for early August, proposed itinerary is
-Fly to Manchester
-Visit Glasgow, then drive to Loch Lomond & stay there Night 1
-Drive to Fort William, stopping at Ben Nevis, Glen Coe, etc., stay in Fort William Night 2
- Take the West Highland RR to Mallaig, ferry to Skye, spend time there & then return to Mallaig, RR back to Fort William & remain there Night 3
- Drive to Stirling, spend time there, stay at Kinfauns Castle Hotel Night 4
- Drive to Edinburgh, stay there (during Festival) for Nights 5, 6, 7
- Drive to Lake District, stay there Night 8
- Drive to Manchester, fly home

Does anyone have comments about the "doability" of this plan? And any recommendations? Thanks for any help!
 
Apr 23rd, 2002, 08:37 AM
  #2  
janis
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A little rushed but actually pretty good for a short trip.

A couple of comments. Fort William is not a "destination" worthy of two nights on your short itinerary. It is really just a cross roads with tons on B&Bs/hotels. The train to Mallaig is really beautiful. But I would drive instead and spend the night on Skye. The ferry goes to Armadale in the far SW corner of Skye and most of the sites are far from there. So arriving on foot for a day trip won't allow you to see much. Then you could return to the mainland and continue your itinerary.

Do you already have your accomodations in Edinburgh? Good places book up months ahead for August and many require a 4 night minimum during Tattoo/Festival time. So if you haven't yet, I would book a B&B in Edinburgh ASAP! Like Today.
 
Apr 23rd, 2002, 08:51 AM
  #3  
Sheila
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Fine up to Fort William. "Stopping at Ben Nevis" is a little vague. What did you have in mind, specifically?

I would agree with Janis about Skye. Last time I was over there, however, I did see that there are a few people offering drivers for day tours. The train journey is fantastic and would be great fun to do; but I think you will feel very frustrated by the rest of the day spent on the service bus.

Kinfauns Castle Hotel is a good hour's drive from Stirling:-just outside Perth.

As to Edinburgh, fine; but, as Janis said, get your accommodation booked NOW
 
Apr 23rd, 2002, 09:46 AM
  #4  
ron
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Assuming you are flying overnight to Manchester, 425 km of driving plus visiting Glasgow on your first day seems to me to be ambitious.
 
Apr 23rd, 2002, 09:47 AM
  #5  
Mel
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Hi, Sheila!
How was Greece?
Waiting for a trip report...
 
Apr 23rd, 2002, 12:26 PM
  #6  
Sheila
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Mel; I'm working on it right now; and Ron, your arithmetic's a bit dodgy. It's just over 300k from Manchester to Glasgow- about 2 1/2 hours, all on motorways- and Glasgow to Loch Lomond isn't more than 45 minutes.
 
Apr 23rd, 2002, 01:04 PM
  #7  
ron
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Sheila, I didn't do any arithmetic. I just entered Manchester Airport and Tarbet (as a proxy for Loch Lomond - perhaps that was a bad choice?) in Shell Geostar and up came 425 km, 4h 22m. Add to that the time to clear immigration, rent a car, drive into Glasgow and park the car, visit Glasgow (even if one doesn't like Glasgow that must at least take two hours?), drive back out of Glasgow, I think its a long day for someone who probably did not have a good night's sleep.

But if I was B. Aiken, I'd believe you before me, since you have probably done the drive and I haven't, because I wouldn't.
 
Apr 23rd, 2002, 01:46 PM
  #8  
Iain
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Good advice by the poster suggesting NOT staying the two nights at Fort William. To be blunt, it is a tawdry, embarrassing, tartan hole.
You could stay at or near Glen Coe instead.
The rest sounds okay, if a bit hectic.
Bring wellies.
 
Apr 23rd, 2002, 01:47 PM
  #9  
Sheila
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Maybe the wrong Tarbet?

I've certainly done the Manchester/Glasgow bit and the other bit, but never together. And I've certainly driven on the wrong side of the road after a long flight, but never when I've been going round the world the wrong way. I guess the drive doesn't frighten me. It's really down to how B. Aiken deals with jetlag.
 
Apr 23rd, 2002, 02:03 PM
  #10  
janis
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Actually - the drive from Manchester to Glasgow is not bad. Motorway all the way. BUT "visiting" Glasgow and then on to Loch Lomond is a bit much. If it were me I would drive from Manchester, stop for a short break near Carlisle or Moffat, and drive straight on to Loch Lomond. Skip any foray into Glasgow. Just too much on the first day. Much better to have a few extra hours to unwind at Duck Bay or wherever on Loch Lomond.
 
Apr 23rd, 2002, 02:54 PM
  #11  
Bill
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I agree that the first day is too much. I like Janis's idea. Also, I agree with the notion of not staying in Ft William. I stayed in a Guesthouse in Onich and it was great. I can't think of the name, but it was about 100 yards NW of the Onich Hotel and had a spectacular view of the Loch. Easy drive into Glencoe from there.

Drive to Skye and spend a night there. You'll wish you had spent four. If I was spending a night on Skye, I'd make sure I passed Eileen Donan castle on the way out. They say it's the most photographed castle in Ireland and there is a VERY good reason for it. I really enjoyed it.

Bill
 
Apr 23rd, 2002, 04:52 PM
  #12  
Tony
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If you do stay at Loch Lomond, consider the Bonnie Bank Guesthouse. Very nice, reasonably priced B&B right on the Loch.
 
Apr 23rd, 2002, 05:31 PM
  #13  
Kierin
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B.
I am not going to try to give you advice, but if I were you I wouldn't try to pack so much into so few days. My husband and I tried to do that when we were in Scotland/England a year ago! And the greatest thing we did on that trip (which was fantastic) was to drop our plans and to do what felt best at the time! Including spending more time than planned at places we wanted to see! There are always Bed & Breaks to stay at. And actually we found some wonderful places to stay that we had not originally planned on!! Good luck and enjoy!!
 
Apr 23rd, 2002, 07:16 PM
  #14  
Cindy
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Janis:

What are wellies, and why do we need them? Really, I'm wondering what kind of clothes we're going to need in Scotland in July, especially while we're in the Outer Hebrides.
 
Apr 23rd, 2002, 11:19 PM
  #15  
janis
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Cindy - you are likely to have all sorts of weather. No snow of course, but just about anything else is possible. Warm and sunny if you are lucky while windy and blustery on the islands is a possibility. You will not need any heavy clothing, but dress in layers. That way you are ready for anything. Some days - especially on the mainland will be in the high 70'sF and others may be rainy and dreary.

Something you'll need - but wait to buy it in Scotland - is insect repellant for the possible midges. Be prepared to tuck your trousers into your socks and have long sleeves if you encounter swarms.

And leave the wellies home . Marvelous things, but take up way too much room in the luggage.
 
Apr 23rd, 2002, 11:58 PM
  #16  
Sheila
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Wellies are Wellington Boots- ie rubber boots which go to the tops of your calves. Don't bring them. You won't need them.

Otherwise I agree with Iain on missing out Fort William as a place to stay. There are lots of nicer places within a few miles if you are determined to be close to the station
 
Apr 24th, 2002, 02:12 AM
  #17  
B. Aiken
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Thank you all for your input, very informative. Our stop in Glasgow was to be very limited, for Greenbank Garden on Flenders Road in Clarkston. I think we will skip it & drive straight on thru to Loch Lomond. We are considering staying at Inverbeg Inn.

Re Fort William, we had planned to stay at "The Grange" for 2 nights. It sounds like we might be better off staying in Glen Coe & just driving up for the RR? We are set on the RR journey; it's been a wish of my husband's for many years. Unfortunately it will leave us without a car in Maillaig - perhaps we will just do the RR round trip back to F.W. and forget about Skye for this trip Any recommendations for lodging around Glen Coe?

We are now planning to stay on Night 4 at Culcreuch Castle.

For Edinburgh we have secured accomodations and tickets to Tattoo and festival events. (Whew!)
 
Apr 24th, 2002, 09:48 AM
  #18  
Sheila
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As to the Glen Coe question, I'm a great fan of the Pierhouse in Port Appin, which is 25 minutes drive south of the bottom on Glen Coe; and the Holly Tree at Kentallen is nice too.

Before you commit to the Inverbeg, be sure you understand what sort of a place it is. Very nice- I like it lots- but not a lot of American tourists, if you understand what I mean.

The Clarkston thing goes right over my head

As to missing Skye- what time is the train you are meaning to get? and what time back? It might even be worth your while getting the bus to Portree and back just to see the mountains.

Have you checked cal-mac's web site?
 
Apr 25th, 2002, 06:04 AM
  #19  
B. Aiken
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Thanks for Glen Coe area recommendations ....

The garden in Glasgow is listed in a publication called Britain's Gardens, published by the British Tourist Authority. We're very interested in gardens, hope to seek out any that will be in the vicinity of our travels.

We're now thinking of staying near Glasgow the first night. It sounds like there is a fair bit of traffic, etc. near Loch Lomond, not sure that we'll feel up for dealing with crowds.

 
Apr 25th, 2002, 06:47 AM
  #20  
ron
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As the person who first suggested that your first day might be overly ambitious, I am pleased that you are considering stopping at Glasgow. It is a much under-appreciated tourist destination. If you end up staying south of Glasgow because of the Greenbank Garden, look up Pollak House and the Burrell Collection to see if these two nearby attractions are of interest to you.
 

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