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Which Isle Would You Recommend I visit on this latest trip to Scotland and Why?

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Mar 20th, 2008, 06:09 PM
  #1
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Which Isle Would You Recommend I visit on this latest trip to Scotland and Why?

Greetings all,

I will be visiting Scotland once again in the autumn for a conference which is based in Stirling.

After the conference, I have a couple of days before I need to get to Glasgow to meet with my mother's cousin before I fly back home.

The closest I've ever gotten to any of the Scottish isles was Kyle of Lochaish where I waved to the Isle of Skye.

I will have one day to travel from Stirling, one day to be on the island and one day to travel back to Glasgow to meet the cousin.

Which isle would you recommend with those limitations? I was leaning towards the Isle of Skye but I just finished reading some about Mull & Iona. But then again some of you may have an even better recommendation.

Thanks so much.
Deb
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Mar 20th, 2008, 06:21 PM
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Mull. But it would break my heart to be there only one day!
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Mar 20th, 2008, 06:26 PM
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My vote is for Mull and Iona. I was there with two nephews (11 and 14) and they still have great memories of that part of the trip. I thought they were absolutely magical. We saw Duarte and Torsay castles. Go out to Fionphort for the trip to Iona, a five minute ferry ride. At Fionphort you can also arrange a trip to Staffa Island. We were enchanted by the puffins there. The boat which takes you out will stop on Iona where you can stay and spend as much time as you want and then take the ferry back to Fionphort. You can do this in a day.
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Mar 20th, 2008, 07:31 PM
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With the limitations you describe I would plump for Arran. Its close enough to Glasgow and Stirling that you wont need anything like a day for travel back and forth. The ferry crossing gives great views up the Firth of Clyde and the island itself is described as "Scotland in miniture". Do some research, i don't think you'll be disappointed.
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Mar 20th, 2008, 07:35 PM
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irishface (or anyone who knows) -

Do you know what time of year the puffins are on Staffa?
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Mar 21st, 2008, 11:24 AM
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We were there the first week of July, but don't know how long they stay.
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Mar 21st, 2008, 12:36 PM
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I'd second the suggestion for Arran.
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Mar 21st, 2008, 01:04 PM
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And a third for Arran in your situation - very pretty with the lovely Brodick Castle.

With more time I would choose Mull and Iona - perhaps next time!
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Mar 27th, 2008, 05:54 AM
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With only one full day I would just stay on Iona. There's too much to see on Mull for one day - it's quite big - but you would get an overview as you cross it. (Will you have a car or are you using trains & buses ?)

Iona IMO is perfect for a day and it's much nicer in the evening when the daytrippers have gone.

You should be able to do a trip to Staffa from Iona too, if you cajn tear yourself away for long enough. Puffins not predictable IME - a friend went on year in May & was tripping over them, I went the next May and didn't see a single one. Not sure what the chances are in the autumn, though.
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Mar 27th, 2008, 08:14 PM
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Mull/Iona, Iona, or Aran are all good choices - but w/o knowing what sorts of transport you plan on using it is really difficult to give the best recommendation.

Driving or public transport??
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Mar 27th, 2008, 08:51 PM
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Janis...

I will be driving.
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Mar 27th, 2008, 09:16 PM
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Great - in that case I'd personally recommend Mull/Iona. Assuming you can get an early start from Stirling (rent the car the evening before so you don't have to faff about in the a.m.) you can be on a mid morning ferry from Oban to Mull and have all that day/night and the next full day/night to explore Mull/Iona. It will not take a day to get from Stirling to Mull.

Then on day 3, get a morning ferry off of Mull to Oban and you'll be in Glasgow by lunch time.

I'd stay the 2 nights in Fionnphort so you will have a base for Mull, the ferry to Iona and the boat to Staffa.
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Mar 28th, 2008, 07:00 AM
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These would not be my choice, but I'm well known for my antipathy to Mull.

Me, I wouldn't go to any island for a day, because of the travel time lost. However if you were insistent, I'd go to Skye, because there's a road.....

The puffins are indigenous, but it's very hard to see them other than in May/June.
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Mar 28th, 2008, 09:26 AM
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Thank you for that information, Sheila. We are going in May. I don't know why but I have a fascination with seeing Puffins.
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Mar 28th, 2008, 09:38 AM
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LCBoniti: If you are going to be in/near St Andrews you can take a boat out to the Isle of May and spend a couple of hours exploring the island, seeing MANY varieties of sea birds and actually walk (very carefully) among puffin nests.

one2travel: If you only had one day I'd agree w/ Sheila. But the way I see it you actually have 2.5 days/2 nights, right? You were including a day travel to and a day travel back and Stirling > Oban/Mull > Glasgow are not long distances and don't require that much drive time.

Skye is wonderful of course - but I would reserve it for another time when you can spend a few days on the isle. Mull/Iona/Staffa is very doable in 2+ days.
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Mar 29th, 2008, 05:33 AM
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Iona is beautiful, it has the most amazing beaches in the world and has a very spiritual and serene atmosphere. Myself and 2 friends travelled there 2 years ago from Tobermory - word of warning, Mull is a very large island and I cant remember off the top of my head but it was a longer than expected drive to Fionnport to get the ferry across to Iona so would advise u check ferry times etc well in advance. Also the island was taken over with tourists and happy clappy hippy types (no offense!) during the day - we were very lucky to get there later in the afternoon and so had the island to ourselves in the evening and early the next morning.

I was in Skye last september and really really loved it so it also comes highly recommended!! The drive from Glasgow was about 4 hours so say it would be over 3 from Stirling and was spectacular, like something out of a whisky ad! Skye itself is very dramatic with rugged scenery. We stayed in Portree which has plenty of accommodation, restaurants and bars and then the following day went for a drive round the north costAgain it was full of tourists! My friends couldnt understand why there were so many pics of myself and my bf together in what looked like the middle of nowhere but we were spoilt for choice in asking folk to kindly take a pic of us.

Another option may be to head to glasgow after ure conference and get a short flight up to the Isle of Barra in the outer hebrides? This is one of my favourites places in the world google it and u will see why! U could then get a flight back to Glasgow and meet up with your mothers cousin?

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Mar 29th, 2008, 07:49 AM
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Yes - Mull is larger than one might realize. The Iona coach day trippers just about all arrive on the same 10:00 ferry from Oban and leave the same time in the afternoon. The road from the ferry to fionnphort will be a slow slog if you get stuck behind the parade of coaches across the isle. But at all other times there is very little traffic. The best bet is to get an early morning ferry from Oban - or to wait and take the noon or 2 p.m. sailing and you will be "coach free".
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Apr 6th, 2008, 04:59 PM
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bookmarking - thank you!
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Apr 8th, 2008, 11:56 AM
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And, as janisj has recommended in the past, check out the Sea View B&B in Fionnphort We're staying there in late June/early July.
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