UK itinerary help

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Jan 27th, 2018, 08:39 AM
  #21
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Back again with an update. After a reality check by me, the over achiever (I want to see everything in 16 days) and this forum (the voices of reason), we have decided to omit York from our itinerary. It was of interest mostly to me due to my father and I would enjoy seeing it with my daughters, so I'll be back! Besides, once I told my bird-loving, outdoorsy friend about Mull, the decision was made.

I've been encouraging my friend to at least do some research so she can have some input on what we do. She's a love and would be happy doing anything, but planning a trip is a big part of the fun! Out of the blue she texted me GREENWICH and later asked about Avebury vs Stonehenge. Having not seen any of them, I am fully supportive of doing so and viola, she has some day trips to plan while we are in London .

So here's the plan so far:
Sep 7 depart SFO for LHR
Sep 8-13 London
Sep 14-24 Scotland- Edinburgh, Inchmahome, Skye and Mull
depart LHR Sep 24 at 2pm ( We haven't bought plane tickets from Scotland to LHR yet so we can leave from GLA or EDI in the morning)

I want some advice on the best route to take in Scotland. Would it be more efficient to take a train to Edinburgh and start there, or train to Glasgow and go to Mull first? If we end in Edinburgh, we can fly out from there. If we fly out of GLA we will need to spend one of our nights there.

Also, recommendations for B&Bs or hotels (nothing fancy we are on a budget) in these locations would be greatly appreciated. We are hosteling it in London, but since we can split costs, I want to be more comfortable in Scotland.
TIA!
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Jan 27th, 2018, 09:22 AM
  #22
 
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Nice (new) plan.

>>Would it be more efficient to take a train to Edinburgh and start there, or train to Glasgow and go to Mull first?<<

Makes no real difference since jet lag won't be an issue. I'd perhaps lean towards flying in to GLA and doing Mull first, then Skye, then the Trossachs/Inchmahome, drop the car and finish up in Edinburgh.

Re places to stay - what is your budget? If you can get in I would highly recommend Seaview bed and breakfast | Award winning four star gold bed and breakfast accommodation Fionnphort Isle of Mull close to the Isle of Iona,Abbey and Staffa ferry in Fionnphort. It is VERY convenient to that end of the island and Iona and the food is wonderful. I'd stay there over Tobermory but that would be OK too.
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Jan 27th, 2018, 09:25 AM
  #23
 
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Sorry about the long title for Seaview's link -- I just entered the url and Fodors converted to all that . . .
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Jan 27th, 2018, 11:01 AM
  #24
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[QUOTE=janisj;16661325]Nice (new) plan.

Makes no real difference since jet lag won't be an issue. I'd perhaps lean towards flying in to GLA and doing Mull first, then Skye, then the Trossachs/Inchmahome, drop the car and finish up in Edinburgh.[QUOTE]

So you would recommend flying up to Scotland rather than taking the train?
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Jan 27th, 2018, 12:31 PM
  #25
 
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Flying or train makes little difference really -- but if you are picking up a car and heading out (to say Mull) it would be easier to collect your car at the airport and be on the road to Mull in a few minutes.
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Jan 27th, 2018, 04:18 PM
  #26
 
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Nancy, if you fly from Glasgow back to London I would suggest you stay at the Holiday Inn Express the night before. It was really quite ideal. We turned in out car to Enterprise the night before (saving us a day's rental). The morning of our flight we walked over to the airport with a well-marked breezeway. Perhaps the easiest departure morning I've ever had.

Hotel is very nicely done too. Our stay was in summer 2016 .
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Jan 27th, 2018, 04:20 PM
  #27
 
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Also when looking for lodgings in Edinburgh I found several the best prices were not on Airbnb but rather on HomeAway.
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Jan 28th, 2018, 01:10 PM
  #28
 
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I'd consider taking trains London-Scotland and maybe doing a few-hour stop in lovely York en route (or a whole day) - anyway rather scenic ride after Newcastle as it goes along sea at many points. There is also the Caledonia Sleeper trains that are the ultimate daytime time saver - they go to Glasgow and Edinburgh and even places like Ft William and Inverness, etc. National Rail Enquiries - Official source for UK train times and timetables for train info and booking your own. Sleeper train: https://www.scotrail.co.uk/plan-your...donian-sleeper.
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Feb 3rd, 2018, 10:50 AM
  #29
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So here's what we have so far:

Sep 8- 12- London
Sep 13 train to Glasgow- stay Kilmartin area
Sep 14-16 Mull
Sep 17-19 Skye
Sep 20 Callander
Sep 21-23 EDI
Sep 24 fly EDI to LHR in the am for pm flight

The flights from London to GLA just seemed more complicated and an early departure put us in the middle of rush hour. I "street viewed" the route from the central train station in Glasgow to the A82 and it looks way better than driving in Edinburgh (I definitely would NOT do that again!). For those of you who are familiar with Glasgow, correct me if I am wrong! We'll stop in Kilmartin for one night so we can enjoy the drive there and spend some time wandering the sites the next day before we head to Mull. The drive from Skye to Callander will be our longest so the plan is to see Inchmahome and possibly Doune on the way to Edinburgh on the 21st.

Janisj, your suggestions of places to stay on Mull and Skye are awesome! I wanted to stay at Sligachan the last time, but with 3 of us it was not in the budget. The sad thing is, both place's twin rooms are booked for the above dates . And I thought we were planning well in advance! We will either need to pay more for a family room (I love my BFF, but we need 2 beds!), or stay somewhere else which bums me out.

We could try and reverse our route so we do Skye before Mull. If we do that, the twin room on Mull is available. Still booked at Sligachan though. The cheapest family room at Sligachan is $254 (US) a night- gulp. Doing this route would mean driving from Kilmartin to Edinburgh which is longer.
Sep 8- 12- London
Sep 13 train to Glasgow- stay Callander
Sep 14-16 Skye
Sep 17-19 Mull
Sep 20 Kilmartin
Sep 21-23 EDI
Sep 24 fly EDI to LHR in the am for pm flight

OR, we try something like this:

Sep 8- 12- London
Sep 13-15- EDI
Sep 16- Callander
Sep 17-19 Skye (no twin room)
Sep 20-22 Mull (Twin room available)
Sep 23 GLA (see Kilmartin on the way from Mull to GLA)
Sep 24 fly GLA to LHR in the am for pm flight

I need fresh eyes on these plans. I am beginning to get cross-eyed! Any way we do it, we are either stuck paying more than we want to stay at Sligachan, or we try and find somewhere else to stay on Skye. I want to book the rooms asap since it's clear our dates are filling up. Thanks AGAIN for your awesome help and advice!
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Feb 3rd, 2018, 11:18 AM
  #30
 
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Any would work but I do like your third option and just stay in Portree if Sligachan is too pricey or unavailable. You wouldn't have to stay AT GLA on the 23rd. You could stay somewhere along Loch Lomond like Tarbet or Luss and be w/i an easy drive of GLA. Kilmartin to Tarbet only takes about 90 minutes so you'd have a fair amount of time to explore the area. And Tarbet to GLA take barely 45 minutes, Luss to GLA about half an hour.
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Feb 4th, 2018, 09:42 AM
  #31
 
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But a half-day or so in Glasgow could be nice - especially old Victorian parts.
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Feb 8th, 2018, 10:36 PM
  #32
 
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You might be interested in this site for info on the RAF base at East Moor, Sutton on the Forest.
RAF East Moor, Yorkshire
Even if there is not much there now I highly recommend a visit. Two years ago I visited the area where my dad was based at Chelveston and I still have to pinch myself that I was there. I was blessed to have two local people from the 305th Bomb Group memorial group show my husband and I around. A few concrete block buildings and a couple of crumbling bomb shelters remain but not much else of the base.
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Feb 9th, 2018, 07:10 AM
  #33
 
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If you are going to take the train to Scotland consider taking the night train. It will save you sightseeing time and could be an interesting experience.

See: https://www.seat61.com/CaledonianSleepers.htm
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Feb 9th, 2018, 08:04 AM
  #34
 
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It looks like you have decided not to stop at Inchmahome and Doune, but just in case your plans are not set in stone, I wanted to give you a recommendation for a b&b in Doune. It was one of our favorite b&b's in Scotland.

welcome - Glenardoch House Bed & Breakfast

The home is beautiful, the rooms are comfortable and spacious and the breakfast was amazing.

We really enjoyed Doune castle. We picked it because we thought our teens would enjoy the Monty Python connection (we saw Spamalot in London) but we all enjoyed it. The audio really makes the castle come alive and gives you a sense of what all the spaces were like when the castle was in use.
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Feb 10th, 2018, 12:13 PM
  #35
 
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I've taken Caledonian Sleepers thrice and loved it twice. When I had private compartments - one time I decided to sit in regular seats at no extra fee and though they promised 'reclining seats' they barely did and very little room between them. A nightmare. But private compartments were amongst the nicest night trains I've ridden which includes those all over Europe.
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Feb 10th, 2018, 12:45 PM
  #36
 
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Can't imagine why anyone would choose seats over berths unless broke. After all, you aren't paying for a hotel room.
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Feb 10th, 2018, 06:06 PM
  #37
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Originally Posted by Jennifer_Travels View Post
It looks like you have decided not to stop at Inchmahome and Doune, but just in case your plans are not set in stone, I wanted to give you a recommendation for a b&b in Doune. It was one of our favorite b&b's in Scotland.

welcome - Glenardoch House Bed & Breakfast

The home is beautiful, the rooms are comfortable and spacious and the breakfast was amazing.

We really enjoyed Doune castle. We picked it because we thought our teens would enjoy the Monty Python connection (we saw Spamalot in London) but we all enjoyed it. The audio really makes the castle come alive and gives you a sense of what all the spaces were like when the castle was in use.
We will be visiting Inchmahome and possibly Doune on the way from Edinburgh to Callander. The Glenardoch House looks absolutely lovely, but I am travelling with a friend and need 2 beds. They only have doubles. Thank you for the suggestion though!
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Feb 10th, 2018, 06:11 PM
  #38
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Originally Posted by Scootoir View Post
You might be interested in this site for info on the RAF base at East Moor, Sutton on the Forest.
RAF East Moor, Yorkshire
Even if there is not much there now I highly recommend a visit. Two years ago I visited the area where my dad was based at Chelveston and I still have to pinch myself that I was there. I was blessed to have two local people from the 305th Bomb Group memorial group show my husband and I around. A few concrete block buildings and a couple of crumbling bomb shelters remain but not much else of the base.
That site is where I got the information that I have on Eastmoor. I have shared some great pictures with others on there who had family stationed there. This trip we will unfortunately be skipping it. I would rather share a visit there with my daughters. While my friend would happily tag along, it holds no meaning for her. Thank you forgoing to the trouble of finding that site for me. It is certainly obscure so not may know about it. A reason to return, eh?( Had to show my Canadian there since Eastmoor was an RCAF base
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Feb 10th, 2018, 06:13 PM
  #39
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Originally Posted by 5alive View Post
Nancy, if you fly from Glasgow back to London I would suggest you stay at the Holiday Inn Express the night before. It was really quite ideal. We turned in out car to Enterprise the night before (saving us a day's rental). The morning of our flight we walked over to the airport with a well-marked breezeway. Perhaps the easiest departure morning I've ever had.

Hotel is very nicely done too. Our stay was in summer 2016 .
Thank you for the suggestion! I think this is what we might do! An easy departure sounds great to me.
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Feb 11th, 2018, 01:56 AM
  #40
 
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If your friend is interested in Greenwich, I highly recommend the painted hall tours

https://www.ornc.org/painted-hall-ceiling-tours-tickets
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