Yet another Scotland trip

Old Apr 13th, 2005, 11:04 AM
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Yet another Scotland trip

Granted that I'm completly insane to try this, but... We arrive in Glasgow early on the 24th of May. Rent a car and drive to Glencoe, Drumnadrochit and on to Inverness. (3.5 hrs total drive-time)25 May Culloden, Old Scone, Stirling and Bannockburn. (4 hours total drive-time) 26 May Edinburgh and catch a 9pm flight to Germany from Glasgow Prestwick. (2 hours total drive-time) I know it's not enough time to do it well, but it's the time we've got before the boy's wedding in Germany. Comments?
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Old Apr 13th, 2005, 11:50 AM
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aye, better not have too many wee drams with all that driving!
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Old Apr 13th, 2005, 12:21 PM
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I suggest you forget Glencoe and Inverness. Some of the prettiest scenery we saw on our Scotland trip last year was between Crieff and Aberfeldy. You can incorporate this drive into your itinerary as well as Stirling and Edinburgh. Save the rest for another time.
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Old Apr 13th, 2005, 12:22 PM
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There are others here who know these routes a lot better than I do, although we did cover some of this territory on our trip last year. I can just offer that we found a lot of the drives to take much longer than we expected, with speeds averaging around 30-35 mph.

Personally, with only three days, I'd skip going all the way to Inverness. There is much to do and see within striking distance of Glasgow and Edinburgh.
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Old Apr 13th, 2005, 12:23 PM
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Sorry, I should have mentioned that the area between Aberfeldy and Crieff is called the Sma' Glen. One of Fodor's Scotland residents, Sheila, recommended this beautiful area and she was right on.
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Old Apr 13th, 2005, 05:59 PM
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This itinerary is crazy.

Day one -- are you arriving after a transatlantic flight? If so, it is even worse.

Glasgow airport to Glencoe, at least an hour at Glencoe (more if you have lunch at the Clachaig), on to Loch Ness/Drumnadrochit, an hour at Urquhart, and on to the traffic and congestion in Inverness. Not a fun or even safe drive if you are jet lagged. (If you are not flying in overnight it is easier)

Day two - Inverness to Culloden, at least an hour there (otherwise it is barely worth stopping), Scone Palace - a 2 hour stop, Bannockburn - 45 mins to an hour, into Edinbuurgh during the afternoon commute.

And then on the next day you have to drive across the country to Prestwick which will take you more than 2 hours because of afternoon traffic in Edinburgh and around Glasgow.

Basically you will spend the majority of these three days in the car. I'd personally confine this trip to the area from Glencoe and southwards. LOTS to see and MUCH more doable in 2+ days. Glencoe, Stirling, the Trossachs, Bannockburn (not one of my "A List" sites but certainly worth a stop), Edinburgh.

Where are you going in Germany - Is there a flight out of Edinburgh? This would make things a lot easier.
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Old Apr 14th, 2005, 09:54 AM
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I wish there was something reasonable out of Edinburgh, but even at 2 hours drive time I will be saving $300/hr. going out of Prestwick. We arrive 0825 Glasgow after a 7 hr trans-A flight departing 2030 our time. Plan on some melatonin and the late hour letting us get some sleep on the flight. (I have slept standing up in a moving vehicle )We were thinking of doing Edinburgh first then reverse the route I posted. Thought it might work better going North first. Like historic places more than scenery, though would like to see Loch Ness. Not sure of how much time to plan in Edinbugh. Would like to tour the castle, but no real plans after that. We're history buffs with more interest in medieval rather than later periods. That's why I thought Edinburgh last. Like some museums, but again mostly medievall history oriented. We have a branch of Leeds near here so I can get an armour fix easily. Thanks for your replies. You post 'em, I'll read 'em.
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Old Apr 14th, 2005, 03:23 PM
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Have you considered hiring a car and driver to take you around for those couple/few days? I don't know what the going rate is right now, but I remember going there with my grandma many moons ago, when we only had a couple days there and that's what she did. The driver served as a tour guide also and tailored the routes to our interests. He filled us in on what we were seeing, answered questions, went at our pace and we got to relax and enjoy the scenery instead of having to negotiate the narrow scenic roads (driving on the "other" side) with our jet-lag addled brains! If you have it in your budget you might consider it as an option.
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Old Apr 15th, 2005, 06:15 AM
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Another option. By train from Glasgow to Inverness. We can be there by 1330. Rent a car there if we feel like it and see Drumnadrochit. Doesn't say which route we'd take though. It would be nice to at least go through the Glencoe-Ft. William area.
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Old Apr 15th, 2005, 07:07 AM
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I am not sure what you are saying regarding taking the train. From Glasgow the route to inverness does not go through Ft. William. You can go to Inverness via Perth, Pitlochry or the longer route via Aberdeen. There is a train service that goes to Ft. William with the train terminating at Mallaig.
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Old Apr 15th, 2005, 07:42 AM
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I stated that poorly. I didn't know what route the train took. I have since found that, as you stated, it goes through Perth, etc. Perhaps I could take the train to Inverness then drive south through Ft. William, Glencoe, etc.
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Old Apr 15th, 2005, 08:15 AM
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you seem to want to see Ft William and Inverness. True - Culloden is near Inverness, and Glencoe is near Ft William. But the two towns are among the least charming in all of Scotland. neither is really worth a visit.

What is it you hope to do - travel through a lot of places with a glimpse (either by train or by car) - or do you want a 2 1/2 visit to a couple of areas where you can actually see something?

Glasgow to Inverness to Edinburgh to Prestwick in 2+ days (after an overnight flight no less) will be frantic whether you take the train or drive.

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Old Apr 15th, 2005, 09:55 AM
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I'd like to go through Ft. William/Glencoe areas, but I'd miss them in favor of Culloden, Stirling, Bannockburn, etc. I like battlefields. I do my research first. I'd actually like to drive from Culloden-Nairn to see the terrain the Jacobites marched the night before the battle. If time were no issue I'd hike it. I've marched those distances and more and can relate somewhat to how tired they must have been just from that night's march. (not to mention hungry)
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Old Apr 16th, 2005, 04:16 PM
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Gargoyle,
I don't want to dampen your enthusiasm for our history but I don't think your original trip is realistic within the time you have. It's maybe just my own preference, but why not restrict yourself to fewer places and take time to really experience them? You won't get anything of the atmosphere of somewhere like Glencoe unless you take two or three hours to get away from the visitor centre, car park etc. In two and a half days Glencoe, Bannockburn and possibly Scone Palace are enough - too many visitors get killed on our roads because they push themselves too hard trying to squeeze everything in.
26 May are you saying 2 hours drive from Edinburgh to Glasgow Prestwick airport? Only if there are no delays of any kind which is not realistic unless you leave Edinburgh early afternoon.
Take it easy, take time to appreciate what you see, and live to come back another day.
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Old Apr 18th, 2005, 01:18 AM
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Gargoyle; it's your trip and if you want to do it it's up to you. But you may by now have noticed a unanimity in the advice you're getting. The bit that stopped me in my tracks was Glasgow, Glencoe, Drum, Inverness- 3.5 hours. I get the mickey ripped out of my around here for undersetimating drive times (there are those who say I drive too fast, but that is ridiculous. It would be more than that without stopping for a wee!

Scotland is LITTERED with battlefields.

Given your interest in battles and museums, might I suggest:-

Edinburgh- castle. Take the bus/train. THEN hire a car and go as far north as Killiecrankie. See Blair Castle (it's better than Scone Palace for a visit anyway). Stay the night.

Next day stop, on the way south, in Perth, and see Hal o' the Wynd's House and the Fair Maid's House and the site of the Battle of the Clans on the North Inch; keep coming south and stop, first at Sheriffmuir and check it out; see if you can work out who won. Then stop at Bannockburn. You can't really do Stirling Bridge, since no-one knows where it actually was; but you'll get the context. You could do the castle in Stirling, or, better, Doune Castle. Learn about the Bonny Earl o' Murray.

Can't be bad, in two days, tho' frankly, it's still too much.
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Old Apr 18th, 2005, 05:09 AM
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What an ambitious itinerary! I spent two weeks in Scotland last summer, following roughly the same route - though we added Skye. We spent three days in Edinburgh. On a tight schedule, that is what I would recommend.
 
Old Apr 18th, 2005, 08:21 PM
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Somewhat back in my right mind now, how's this sound? Two train trips. Arrive GLA at 0825, train leaves Paisley at 0927 arrives in Inverness 1330. Car rental in Inverness, visit Loch Ness area, Culloden, overnight in Inverness (very early night.) Train departs Inverness at 0755 arrives Stirling 1029. Car rental in Stirling. Tour Stirling area spend the night near Edinburgh. Tour Edinburgh castle leave for Prestwick about 1600 for 2100 flight. Better?
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Old Apr 18th, 2005, 09:46 PM
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OK - a train from Glasgow to Inverness makes good sense - especially after an overnight flight.

But I don't see any advantage to renting a car for one day, turning it in, taking a train to Stirling, renting another car, going to Edinburgh and on to Prestwick.

Just rent one car -- pick up in Inverness and drop off at Prestwick.
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Old Apr 20th, 2005, 05:17 AM
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It's two miles from Glasgow Intl. to the train station in Paisley. Is it reasonable for a flight scheduled wheels down at 0825 GLA and catch the train at 0927? Would I be wise to purchase a ticket or wait till I'm there? The 0927 train arrives Inverness at 1336. The next train leaves at 1055 and arrives at 1516. Long wait between.
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Old Apr 20th, 2005, 02:30 PM
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You SHOULD be able to do that, provided you're not delayed at Customs or Immigration. Get a taxi.

Don't get the ticket in advance.

It's not a through train. You have to change stations in Glasgow- Central to Queen Street (If anyone mentions Buchanan Street Bus station, I swear I'll scream). Check what time the Inverness train leaves Queen Street. It may be that the differnetial is such that you can be on the Inverness train if you go straight to Queen Street
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