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Yet another Scotland Itinerary for comments

Yet another Scotland Itinerary for comments

Jan 29th, 2006, 04:24 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Yet another Scotland Itinerary for comments

I'd like your comments for our trip in early May:

We are planning on arriving on Saturday morning in Edinburgh, and driving to Dalwhinnie to spend a week exploring around there. It seemed like a pretty centralized base. We haven't got specifics of what we want to see in that area, and will probably just take a map and stike out each day and see where we end up.

We'd also like to spend some time on Skye and Lewis/Harris, returning to Edinburgh to fly home.

My thoughts are to leave Dalwhinnie and drive to Skye on Saturday (around 5 -6 hours, about right?) then on Monday catch the 2 PM ferry to Tarbert. On Wednesday, take the 4 PM ferry from Stornoway to Ullapool, overnight there then drive back to Edinburgh to catch a Friday flight home.

I'm a little concerned about underestimating the drive times involved. I've been using the AA website and Via Michelin and hoping they're accurate.

On the drive from Ullapool to Edinburgh, will we have enough time to visit the Falkirk Wheel? We plan on arriving in Edinburgh mostly in time to turn in our car and spend the night near the airport.

I know that it's not anywhere near enough time on the islands, near Ullapool or Edinburgh, or Scotland in general, but we'd rather spend a little time to get a taste than miss it altogether. We've already pared so much of what we wanted to do out of this trip.

Thanks for your comments. I've been reading the recent Scotland questions, and you've all been really helpful.
GoAway is offline  
Jan 29th, 2006, 05:01 PM
  #2  
 
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I find the AA journey planner reasonably accurate for travel times. But bear in mind these are driving times and do not include stops of any sort.

What do you mean by 'exploring'? If you mean driving I think you might find Dalwhinnie a bit restricting for a week as it may appear central but you might end up doing a lot of repetitive mileage. You might want to consider spending less time there and stopping in a couple of places like (say) Pitlochry and Spean Bridge which give a number of options for trips.

In Harris some of the roads are quite slow, especially if you want to drive the Golden Road (east side) down to Leverburgh then back up the main road to Tarbert. Roads in Lewis are generally faster, but the distances are greater. (Don't be misled by road atlases which often show the islands at a smaller scale than the mainland.)

This may be of interest:

http://homepage.mac.com/wasleys/westisles/

Are you sure about that ferry time from Stornoway? I think it's 1345.

If you want to do the Falkirk Wheel it might be worthwhile getting a bit of mileage under your belt after the ferry on the previous day. Otherwise Ullapool - Falkirk - Edinburgh is about 250 miles or six hours drive without stops.
wasleys is offline  
Jan 29th, 2006, 07:30 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Your general itinerary is great. You are getting more off the beaten path than so many who post here.

But along w/ Wasley's, I wouldn't think Dalwhinnie is such a good base for a week's stay. It is definitely central - meaning in the middle of the country. But "central" as in convenient to lots of places - not so much. To get anywhere to the east such as Deeside you have about an 80 or 90 mile journey each way. There is the A9 to get due north and south but to get anywhere else you'll have to do a lot of zigging/zagging and backtracking.

It is in lovely country - but just don't think you'll be able to get to a lot of places w/o some quite long and repetitive drives.
janisj is offline  
Jan 29th, 2006, 11:06 PM
  #4  
 
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I think what you're doing sounds super.

I have a slightly different reservation about Dalwhinnie, which is that there's nothing there but the distillery and some blasted heath. Move up the A9 a bit, and stay in or near Newtonmore or Kingussie. I did a "day trips from Laggan" doc a year or so ago. If you email me, I'll send it to you.

YOu can get from Dalwhinnie to Mallaig (and the ferry to Armadale) in less than 2 hours, so your 5-6 to Skye is very comfortable.

Ullapool to Edinburgh is about 5 hours, so it kind of depends when you leave whether or not you can fit in the Wheel.
sheila is offline  
Jan 30th, 2006, 03:37 PM
  #5  
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Thanks for the replies.

Wasleys - yes you're right on the Stornoway ferry. I have it written down correctly but didn't translate it right.

Sheila - you have mail. Thanks.
GoAway is offline  
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