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still in planning stage

texas
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still in planning stage

I have always wanted to visit Scotland, yet only recently have I been able to take my dream in hand and consider the reality. Now that reality is setting in, I am not sure when to go, where to go or what to see, much less how much to anticipate budgeting for my trip. I will be traveling alone for the first time. I am a hopeless romantic. I love castles and beautiful scenery. I don't mind visiting larger cities, but yearn for the out-of-the-way places that are not commonly traveled. The Highlands would be my first choice and I don't mind the cold weather. Horseback riding would be something I would love to try, but not in a restricted area. Again, I have not booked anything. I am hoping to travel within the next year. I look forward to any ideas or suggestions anyone may have. Thank you in advance!

Edinburgh, United...
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1. Re: still in planning stage

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g186485-c105270/Scotl…

this is a link to an Insider page that is full of websites and suggestions.have a look through some of the stuff ,it is set out in various sections and most of it has been compiled by travellers to Scotland.

Scotland
Destination Expert
for Scotland
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7,888 posts
28 reviews
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2. Re: still in planning stage

Some things to ask yourself

- do you want to hire a car? If not, do you intend going on organised trips or alone on public transport?

- hotels? bed & breakfasts? guest houses? hostels? This will affect your budget.

- time of year for your visit - to get the most benefit I would come in the summer - you may not mind the cold but the long summer evenings will enable you to see more. In the far north in June it's light till after 11 whereas in winter you will get as little as 7 hours of daylight.

Also, some attractions close down in winter.

The Scottish schools are on holiday from the end of June until the third week in August so this period is busiest.

During June, July and August you can attend Highland Games in towns all over Scotland and the Edinburgh International Festival is on during August so if you are interested in those you might want to time your visit accordingly.

Do come back to us when you have firmed up your plans.

Ayrshire
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125 posts
3 reviews
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3. Re: still in planning stage

Hi Scotbard,

You had better ask the experts: British Horse Society at

southofscotlandcountrysidetrails.co.uk/bhssc…

southofscotlandcountrysidetrails.co.uk/aefor…

Enjoy.

texas
5 posts
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4. Re: still in planning stage

Thank you so much for your response. What is the weather like in the summer? I would probably use the public transportation system for the most part. Is there a pass comparable to the old Railpass for the train system? Summer does sound like the best time to go. I do not mind tours, but would like to go to places that are not necessarily on the tourist route. I am looking for a place that is beautiful and peaceful, but also offers a nightlife for a 40 something year old widow. Again, I appreciate your response and look forward to reading more.

texas
5 posts
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5. Re: still in planning stage

Thank you very much for the websites. The forest trail sounds wonderful. I haven't been on a horse in years; I much enjoyed it when I was young! It is something I have wanted to do for a while and whenever I picture it in my mind, I see mysself in Scotland riding horseback. Western style :) Thanks again.

texas
5 posts
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6. Re: still in planning stage

WOW, that's alot of information! Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I look forward to investigating some of the websites.

Manchester, United...
Destination Expert
for The Hebrides
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7,367 posts
67 reviews
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7. Re: still in planning stage

The west of Scotland (the highlands and islands) is a great area for getting off the beaten track. The weather in the summer is changeable, temperatures mostly between 15 - 20 celsius, occasionally a bit warmer. Western Scotland tends to have drier weather in the spring and early summer (April - Jun), with more rain in July and August. So May or Juhe would be a good time, with long long hours of daylight to enjoy.

This site may be useful for rail passes in Scotland:

http://www.scotlandrailway.com/

And this is the site for ferries to the Hebrides:

http://www.calmac.co.uk/

Most ferries sail from Oban or Mallaig, both of which have rail stations.

Enjoy your trip.

Scotland, United...
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for South Ayrshire, Glasgow
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8. Re: still in planning stage

If you have the time (lots) and the inclination you could do worse than read some of the Scottish Trip Reports by Tripadvisor members. Excellent source of inspiration:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g186485-c21729/Scotla…

Ayrshire
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125 posts
3 reviews
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9. Re: still in planning stage

Hi Scotbard,

I spent a weekend at Auchinlarie Caravan Park on the south west coast of Scotland two weeks ago and I would recommend it for part of your break in the summer months. Entertainment and surroundings are fantastic plus it's right next to the bus route to Dumfries and Stranraer.

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Madison
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1,276 posts
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10. Re: still in planning stage

Scotbard, I love visiting Scotland and enjoy the out of the way places, but also the some of the more traditional places as well. It's a very different place from either Texas or Wisconsin. You can have sunny weather in one town and over the hill its blowing rain and and you can barely keep your Goretex closed. I have some recommendations. First, do check out the tourist board site www.visitscotland.com. It has lots of ideas. In fact if you search under activities, you'll find that one of the options to search on is horseback riding. I know that you can do what they call "pony trekking" at Blair Castle in Pitlochry. Do you want to hike? Then look for walking holidays. I've gone on walking holidays many times and had a great time. I know a guide and we've stayed north of Inverness and made day trips to the places where the weather was best. This included places like Loch Maree in the west, Glen Afric, and Culbin Sands. It was fantastic. My favorite time to go is the first two weeks in September. I've sometimes done the last week of August and caught a bit of the festival. But my advice is that if you want the Edinburgh Festival then plan it, don't just drop in. Although, the crowds and experience was pretty good without planning. Pam