Visiting the UK with my parents

Jul 14th, 2006, 09:58 AM
  #1  
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Visiting the UK with my parents

My husband and I are planning to go to the UK for 2 weeks - half on our own and the other 1/2 with my parents (73 and 82). We initially thought train travel would be a good idea, but have settled on renting a car. We are flying into Glasgow and 6 days later my parents are flying into Edinburgh. It has been left up to me to plan the itinerary and I am concerned that we may be spending too much time in the car.

These are the places/activities we would like to include: steam train trip from Fort William to Mallaig; Plockton; Kirkcaldy (looking for my great-grandparents grave stones); Annan (my Dad's cousin); Bath and somewhere half way between Annan and Bath; and, finally, London, where we are departing.

Any suggestions/ideas/cautions?

Thanks.
chriscda is offline  
Jul 14th, 2006, 02:43 PM
  #2  
 
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Please clarify - are some of those sites/places for your first week and some for the second week w/ the folks?

OR - are they the places you want to see in the 2nd week??

Which sites are for you folks?

W/o that info it is nearly impossible to help you.

Just realize - Plockton / Mallaig / Ft William / Fife / Galloway / Bath / London is a HUGE area and an awful lot of territory to cover in a month let alone two weeks, and impossible in one week.

And do you want any time IN Glasgow, Edinburgh and/or London? Makes things even harder.

So let us know which are 1st week things and which are 2nd week things, etc. After your Scotland leg is finished, trains may very well make more sense than driving.
janisj is offline  
Jul 17th, 2006, 10:26 AM
  #3  
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So far, this is what we have decided.

August 6 - arrive in Glasgow and head towards Fort William. I would like to go on the steam train between Forst William and Mallaig.
August 8th and 9th - Plockton
Augus 10th? - somewhere between Pockton and Edinburgh
August 11th - pick up parents in Edinburgh and spend 2 nights in Leven.
August 13th - Annan
Then, between the 14th and 19th?? We would need to spend at least the nights of the 17th and 18th in London. We were thinking either the 14th and 15th or the 15th and 16th in Bath, leave the car and take the train into London.

We have all travelled in England and Scotland before - last year for my parents and I. However, the day we were going to London from Carlisle, we arrived at the train station in the morning and were "delayed" until we found out that the bombs had gone off in London. As a result, we had to cancel our reservations and ended up travelling through London the next day on our way to Paris. It is a large area, but we don't believe it will be our last visit. We're trying to focus on specific areas.

Thanks
chriscda is offline  
Jul 17th, 2006, 01:43 PM
  #4  
 
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OK - that helps.

The first few days of ypur plan are pretty leisurely - which is a good thing. But then things muddy up a bit. Driving from Edinburgh to Bath really make no sense unless you have the time to stop several places enroute to see things.

If it were me, I'd drop the car after Leven and take the train to London. 4+ hours later you are at Kings Cross. Then you could spend the 13th / 19th in London w/ a day trip to Bath -- OR you could go to Bath as a 2-day break from London.

Either choice could be done by train or w/ a 1 or 2 day car rental from London.
janisj is offline  
Jul 18th, 2006, 02:07 AM
  #5  
 
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Or you could fly from Edinburgh to Bristol (for Bath) - www.ba.com or www.easyjet.com.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 08:27 AM
  #6  
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Thanks for everyone's input. I have drastically changed my plans. The first few days when I arrive with my husband is still negotiable. I have booked a place in Oban on the 6th and we are still trying to decide whether we just crash that day after our transatlantic flight or we tour around. I initially wanted to take the train but I can't see how it won't eat up a full day.

Suggestions? We have from the 6th to the morning of the 11th on our own. I would like to go on the steam train and visit Plockton and tour Skye from there.

My question is, where on the drive from Plockton to Edinburgh (where we pick up my parents from the aiport at about 11 a.m.) can we stay i that is both interesting and close enough to Edinburgh to pick up my parents.
chriscda is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 09:46 AM
  #7  
 
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I'd stay somewhere west of Stirling - around Callander. This is the Trossachs and is quite lovely - though less dramatic - scenery than out on the NW coast. Things in the area besides the lochs/waterfalls include Stirling Castle, Doune castle (great csatle but especially if you are Monty Python fans) and Inchmahome Priory on an island in the Lake of Menteith.

Unfortunately - if you are just arriving the evening before and leaving around 10:00 a.m. to get to EDI - you won't have time to see much.
janisj is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 07:38 PM
  #8  
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Here is another proposal for our trip from the 6th to the 11th (without the parents).

6th - arrive and stay the night in Oban.
7th - Oban to Plockton, via Fort William to Mallaig, ferry to Skye, across the bridge to Plockton, spend the night in Plockton
8th - tour Skye, stay in Plockton that night
9th and 10th - Drive to Stirling/Callandar, spend the evening and the following day tour the area

11th - pick up the parents

Is this too much or not enough. I don't believe I can squeeze in the train ride. What do you think?
chriscda is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 08:28 PM
  #9  
 
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A slight modification would be:

6th - arrive and stay the night in Oban.
7th - Oban to Skye, via Fort William to Mallaig, ferry to Skye, spend the night on Skye
8th - mid-afternoon over the bridge to Plockton for that night's stay.
9th and 10th - Drive through Glencoe to Stirling/Callandar, spend the evening and the following day tour the area

Just because I don't see the benefit of driving across Skye to get to Plockton, merely to return to Skye the next day. On such a short visit, the less backtracking the better . . . . .
janisj is offline  

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