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Ten day driving tour done!

Canada
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Ten day driving tour done!

Well, I gave up trying to come up with a driving tour on my own, and paid someone to do it for me. Probably a wise decision. The only thing I might change is the first day, as it is a long one, but here is the itinerary:

Day 1: Edinburgh to Stirling,Falkland Palace,East Neuk to St. Andrews

Day 2: St Andrews to Pitlochry with stops in Dundee, Perth,Scone,Glamis Castle, Dunkeld.

Day 3: Pitlochry to Royal Deeside, past Balmoral, Ballater, to Crathes and Drum Castle, and possibly to Dunnotar. Finishing back in Ballater

Day 4:Ballater to Inverness via Tomintoul,Granton on Spey, Cawdor Castle, Clava Cairns, Culloden.

Day 5: Inverness to Gairloch via Urquhart Castle and Loch ness, then up through Beauly, Muir of Ord, and on to Ullapool/ stopping at Corrieshalloch Gorge. On to Laide, Inverewe Gardens, and Gairloch.

Day 6: Gairloch to Skye. Several options on routes to take. Either via Shieldaig to Plockton, or the longer route to Applecross, or a direct route through Achnasheen. The weather may determine which route!

Day 7: Touring Skye

Day 8: Skye to Oban. Many routes, one direct to Fort William, another via Ratagan Pass, Glenelg and Glenelg Brochs( this interests me). I might just skip right through Ft. William as many people don't have positive comments about it. The third route is to take the ferry from Armadale. Glencoe and Castle Stalker are on the list before arriving in Oban

Day 9: Oban, Isle of Mull/Iona tour

Day 10:Oban to Loch Fyne. Detour to Easdale, south to Lochgilphead, on to Kilmartin, Dunadd Fort. Then on to Tarbert and Inveraray. Stay here for one night before heading out early to return the car to Glasgow airport before 10am.

My only concern is with the first day's itinerary. I didn't want to miss Stirling castle so he added it to the start of this day. I do have the option of skipping it on the first day and doing a guided day trip from Glasgow at the end of my tour as I have three full days in Glasgow before leaving.

Any comments/suggestions?

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North Berwick...
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for East Lothian
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1. Re: Ten day driving tour done!

Whew! My head is spinning, but you'll surely see lots of the country. Yes, skip Stirling on the first day & add it from Glasgow.

Manchester, United...
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for The Hebrides
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2. Re: Ten day driving tour done!

I guess it depends how you want spend your time. If gazing out through the windows of a car is your idea of a good time, then go for it. Personally I think you are trying to do far too much.

Scotland
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3. Re: Ten day driving tour done!

My goodness, you really are going for it!! Although the daytours suggested are driveable in a day you'll only have time for brief stops and will miss so much. If your plan is to view the scenery and make a few stops on the way for photos and the odd castle or monument visit then you'll be okay, but if you want to explore the towns on route then you'll really be pushing it. I'd definately agree that you drop Stirling from day 1 - it merits a whole day visit and you could easily go by train from Glasgow or do a guided tour if you prefer.

Day 2 will also be a stretch especially if you want to have a good wander in Perth and Dundee and visit Scone Palace and Glamis Castle.

Day 8 I suggest you try to time your visit to Castle Stalker so that you can have lunch or afternoon tea at Castle Stalker View, very good food and excellent view over castle as name suggests.

www.castlestalkerview.co.uk

I'd also agree that Fort William isn't a 'must see', unless you plan to do Ben Nevis or are lucky enough to be there when there's a shinty match on.

www.nevisrange.co.uk

Don't try to pack too much in - you can always come back again!!

Oakville, Canada
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4. Re: Ten day driving tour done!

I agree with dhmellor, you are packing quite alot in and won't have much time to actually visit.

Canada
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5. Re: Ten day driving tour done!

Thanks for the suggestions, eveyone. Interestngly, the amount of driving done on each day is not as much as it seems. There are only a couple of days that require more than three hours total driving. I am not a person who needs to wander into all of the shops in every town. I doubt I'll bring back much in the way of souveniers other than some post cards or booklets from sites visited. It's mostly photos I'm after so I won't spend a great deal of time wandering around inside every castle.

Perth, United...
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6. Re: Ten day driving tour done!

I agree..move Stirlng Castle to the Glasgow portion - you will be able to enjoy the visit more and take it in better.

Don't try to do too much on the first day.

Manchester, United...
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for The Hebrides
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7. Re: Ten day driving tour done!

Days 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 look like long days of slow driving on winding roads, many of them single track. This driving takes more concentration, and is therefore more tiring, than most driving in the USA and Canada.

Stanley, Falkland...
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8. Re: Ten day driving tour done!

Just out of interest, what did you pay for this itinerary. I'm pretty sure there are dozens of people on here that would have produced a better one for free? However - your choice.

Anyway, suffice to say that you 'must' go via Applecross when you are in the area on Day 6. Anything else is sacrilege.

Day 8 - Glenelg brochs worth seeing but its a dead-end, I think. To save going over the same route again, check if the Glenelg ferry is running, and get that over from Skye. Very historic crossing.

Day 10 - the road from Inverary is one of the twistiest in Scotland (in places). Not one I would like to drive with a deadline to meet. I would allow 2 hours. There a stopping place called "The Rest and Be Thankful", which I would recommend for a five minute breather, and to take in the stunning views. Enjoy

Canada
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9. Re: Ten day driving tour done!

I'm not concerned about driving on twisting, one track roads. I grew up in the wilds where the twisting, winding roads weren't even paved. I'm not concerned about driving 2-4 hours a day, either, I work for public transit so I often drive much more than that. I got someone to do this itinerary for me as I was running out of time to book B&Bs. I got a lot of good information from this forum, and others, but a lot of was contradictory. I sent a long list of places I wanted to visit to the guy who did the itinerary, and he took out what wasn't doable, and put together what was the most logical route. The itinerary contains options, detours, and suggestions of must sees, don't bothers, places to stay and eat etc. It cost just under 50GBP. If I had found this forum a lot sooner I probably could have put together a good route myself, but I'm sure I'll be making a return visit to Scotland.

Oakville, Canada
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10. Re: Ten day driving tour done!

Sounds like you're all set. Have an excellent vacation. I know you'll enjoy the people, scenery and good food. When you get back please write up a trip report.