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Yet another Scotland Itinerary that needs help!

Yet another Scotland Itinerary that needs help!

May 3rd, 2008, 08:19 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 2
Yet another Scotland Itinerary that needs help!


I am going to Scotland from May 17 - 27 with my 60 year old mother. We want to see Glasgow and Aberdeen where our family is from and also want a general feel of the country. A combination of castles, prehistoric sites, scenery, pretty towns, that type of thing. We prefer small towns to cities, but like I said, Glasgow and Aberdeen are must-sees. We aren't planning on doing any hiking.
It is so difficult to decide what to see. Here is a thought so far, but I'm concerned it might be too much. I'm not sure what to cut out...

Sunday May 18 - arrive in Glasgow in the morning and drive to Edinburgh
Monday May 19 - Edinburgh
Tuesday May 20 - visit Roslin and drive to Stirling/possibly Callander? (night around Stirling) - suggestion for nice town?
Wednesday May 21 - Drive to Aberdeen - night in Aberdeen
Thursday May 22 - Drive to Nairn (stopping at Clava Cairns, Culloden, Cawdor) - night in Nairn
Friday May 23 - Here is where I start to get confused. I was thinking of driving over to Plockton for the night.
Saturday May 24 - Is it worth driving to the Fort William area via Skye or a better direct route?
Sunday May 25 - Drive into Glasgow (via Glen Coe, Loch Lomond) - night in Glasgow
Monday May 26 - day and night in Glasgow
Tuesday May 27 - fly home

Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated. I don't want to kill us, but I'm just not sure what to cut out or if it is okay as is.

Thanks very much for any help!
pesapesa is offline  
May 3rd, 2008, 08:40 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 65,818
I only have time for a couple of very quick comments right now - but will come back tomorrow w/ more and others will also be able to help . . .

1) I would NOT get a rental car until you are leaving Edinburgh on the 20th. You don't want/need a car in Glasgow and definitely don't want/need one in Edinburgh.

2) May 23-26 is a Bank Holiday weekend so nice places in anywhere scenic will be full. You should book any B&Bs fro the Fri/Sat/Sun nights ASAP if not sooner.
janisj is offline  
May 3rd, 2008, 09:11 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,454
Hello pesapesa,
there is a very recent thread that you might find by looking for "Aberdeen" -- discussing the merits of crossing the country for a very short visit to Skye. This is a bit repetitive of that thread, but I would suggest dropping Ft. William/Skye from the itinerary.

(For plotting driving distances, www.theaa.com is very helpful. They are usually longer than you think they will be.)

Since your family is from Glasgow and Aberdeen, why not add a day more in each of those places? There is enough to see in the region around Aberdeen to keep you busy for several days, not just two. And you'll probably drive for close to three hours just to get there, so you really only have half a day in your current itinerary.

Also, having recently looked at accommodations for that weekend myself, I second Janisj's advice about the bank holiday weekend in the middle of your trip. Let us know how things work out!
Barbara_in_FL is offline  
May 4th, 2008, 03:27 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,156
Let's seebr /> Glasgow and Aberdeen
castles, prehistoric sites, scenery, pretty towns
no hiking.

Comments. I agree that you should not have a car whilst in Glasgow. There is nothing you can do (IMHO) to not have west east jetlag- I assume you're coming from the US. Shoot me if I'm wrong- so I would stay in Glasgow when you get there. Take a bus/taxi into town and your accommodation and chill for a bit. Do Glasgow things. I have a Glasgow list I can email to you, if you want. Spend the next day there as well, and then take the train to Edinburgh- either late on the 19th, or early on the 20th.

See Edinburgh on the 20th. (I have an Edinburgh list too)

Pick up your car on the 21st and head off.This fascination with Roslin defeats me but, if you MUST, you should also manage Stirling. Consider the Tormaukin Inn in Glendevon for that night.

It's an easy run from Glendevon to Aberdeen- say 2.5 hours without stopping, but I would stop if were you- in Perth for a walk along the river and some shopping; in Meigle for the sculptured stones; at Glamis for the castle, and at Stonehaven for a look at Dunottar, and a wander round the Harbour. Spend the evening, and some of the 23rd in Aberdeen. (If your visit is to be that fleeting, consider staying at the Redgarth in Oldmeldum.

Visit, Daviot Stone Circle, and the Maiden Stone and Huntly Castle and Sueno's Stone on your way north to Nairn on the 24th.

This bit would merit another full day.

You then pick up Clava Cairns, and Cawdor castle en route to Plockton on the 25th. It's not a long drive and is very scenic.

If it were me, I'd go straight south on the 26th via Fort William and Glen Coe, stopping on Loch Lomondside overnight if your plane is late in the day; or at the airport, if it's early.

The 26th May is a Bank Holiday, which is NOT a public holiday in Scotland. Public holidays vary from place to place. It IS a Glasgow holiday- and I would expect that to have more impact on the west coast, than the fact that it is not an Edinburgh holiday. OTOH, the 19th May is an Edinburgh holiday. This should not impact on you- it really only applies to offices, not shops or museums and such.

sheila is offline  
May 4th, 2008, 05:56 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 2
Thanks very much for your help. Sheila, I only put down Roslin because of the recommendations in guidebooks. I was going through Peter Irvine's Scotland the Best and he strongly recommended it so I put it in my itinerary because we were so close. I honestly do not have very many friends who have been to Scotland so I am relying heavily on guidebooks. Thus, the reason I have posted here! I will eliminate that trip down and will cut out Skye. Thanks very much for the other suggestions. I am from Canada, not the US (we're a bit sensitive that way), but I get your point about driving after a flight and will take that into consideration. I would just rather end the trip in Glasgow rather than starting it there. I don't intend on using the car in Edinburgh, but it is so much cheaper to pick up and return the car at the same place so I was just going to park it in the hotel once we arrive and I thought 50 miles or so was very reasonable consider there will be two of us in the car. I have the Sunday and Monday of the bank holiday booked, but will immediately book something for the Friday and Saturday! Thanks again for taking the time to reply. There are some great ideas!
pesapesa is offline  
May 4th, 2008, 07:48 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 65,818
"It is so much cheaper to pick up and return the car at the same place"

I have not found that to be the case almost anywhere in the UK. Check out autoeurope.com - among others. There are seldom drop off fees.
janisj is offline  
May 5th, 2008, 01:03 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,156
Sorry for treading on your sensibilities. If you think Canadians are sensitive, try calling a Scot English!

I suspect three days' les rental will compensate for any drop off fee. You may well do this anyway (I probably would), but you should know the options. Do ask if we can help more
sheila is offline  
May 5th, 2008, 05:18 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,110
I will be in Skye on the Whit Sat and Sun. We booked it about 5 weeks ago and I was told then that whereas the Fri /Sat were very busy, from then on was better.
I know you've now decided to drop Skye but this may be of use to anyone else reading this thread.
Maybe I'll see you on the road somewhere!
Frances is offline  
May 5th, 2008, 06:48 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,156
Parking at a hotel in Edinburgh is not necessarily available. Many hotels don't have parking. And you'll pay to park it in a garage.

I know you probably want an easy way to Edinburgh. There are buses that go from the airport to downtown Glasgow where you can connect with a bus to Edinburgh. Both routes run frequently; the trip costs about L10, and takes 2 hours.

You can also switch to the train in Glasgow but that requires a bit of a walk with luggage.
Mimar is offline  
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