Where to stop between Skye & Keswick?

Old Mar 9th, 2012, 09:20 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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Where to stop between Skye & Keswick?

Hi everyone,

It has been a long time since I have posted and I have always really appreciated the help I have received on Fodor's Forum such as from Morgana who gave us some excellent tips on Yorkshire.

Here is my question, after spending two days on the Isle of Skye,we will be driving from Skye to Keswick England and do not want to do the drive in one day so we would like ideas for a place to spend the night and places to see along that route. I do not mind driving 4-5 hours a day these two days as we will be spending 1 week at our final destination for rest and relaxation. I have looked at guides, and I see many places I would like to stop (such as Hadrian's Wall), but I can't decide what is reasonable and do not want to miss something wonderful while we are driving down the motorway. We will be visiting in early October and we have a National Trust pass that allows us into properties of both Scotland and England as we love to view estates, especially ones that include houses and gardens. We also love beautiful scenery and off the beaten path drives and historic sites. We prefer not to stop in a large city such as Glasgow but mid size towns are okay. We are also willing to take a route off the motorway if realistic. What is a reasonable route with must see stops in between that can be accomplished in two days and will allow for us to arrive at our destination near Keswick by about 2 PM? Thanks!
cosmos is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2012, 09:30 AM
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I'd maybe stopover somewhere in Ayrshire -- visit Culzean Castle (a don't miss IMO), Robert Burns sites -etc. Broadford to Ayr is about a 5.5 hour drive. It is a bit of a jog off the direct route though

Ayrshire to Keswick is about 3 hours so you could detour at Carlisle and explore a bit of the western half of Hadrian's Wall before hitting Keswick.
janisj is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2012, 10:45 AM
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Thanks Janis for your quick reply. I checked and Culzean Castle is a National Trust property on our list, so that is great. Is there anything else in Ayrshire that we should see along that route, and should we take the loop route south from their to get to the Lake District, or get back on the motorway? I like the idea of coming around the back way if there is time!

Also, will we have much time to stop at the Burns sites? Which do you suggest?
cosmos is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2012, 01:39 PM
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Culzean isn't actually a castle but a late 18th century architectural folly. It has a stunning setting on the cliffs over looking Arran but I have never liked the combination of neo-classical proportions with Scottish baronial bits added. In a technical context it is one of my least favourite houses.

It is still worth a visit for the view from the cafe.

The Ayrshire coast is fairly windswept due to the fact that it takes a battering from the prevailing winds coming from the Atlantic and much of it.

It is well worth having lunch at Culzean and continuing on to somewhere like either

http://www.trigonyhotel.co.uk/

or

http://www.millbraehouse.co.uk/rockcliffe.html

The first is one of our favourite small hotels in the north with a very warm welcome and a strong restaurant. The second is at the bottom of our garden is lovely and a 2 minute walk to the beach.

Your NT card will allow entry into Threave gardens and the castle or Broughton House in Kirkcudbright which was home to the artist EA Hornel, one of the original "Glasgow Boys".

If you have any interest in wildlife just north of Dumfries is one of the most amazing sights in the UK. For some reason the powers that be have decided to artificially support of population of wild Red Kites. They now number around 200 and each day at around 2pm most of them converge on Laurieston which could be on your route with more time. They are the 3rd largest bird in the UK after the Sea and Golden eagles and it makes for a spectacular sight to see so many in one place in the wild.

I would really put some effort into the research for this part of your trip. I have spent my life in all the areas which you are travelling. We rate the Dumfries and Galloway coast above anywhere between Syke and Keswick. We love it here!

An over night here would leave time in the morning before setting off the Keswick which will be 2 hours away.

The wall is an easy day trip from Keswick and less than an hour from there. Try to make it to Tullie House museum in Carlisle which has the region's best Roman exhibits. St Martin's church in Brampton has some beautiful Burne-Jones stained glass and is on the way to the way.

If you get chance try to stop at Rheged visitor centre on the junction of then M6/A66 as it has the best regional food hall and a great cafe.

Would you like help around Keswick ? I was married in Armathwaite and MIL lives in Braithwaite.
DickieG is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2012, 05:02 PM
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Culzean is magnificent IMO (horses for courses . . . ) The Adam architecture, decor, setting, gardens, even the Eisenhower connections.

So go and tell us whether Dickey or I have it closer to the mark. Not far away is wonderful Crossraguel abbey - and all the Burns sites. Plus the great places farther south that Dickie mentions.
janisj is offline  
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