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Coming home - but where do I go?

victoria, australia
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Coming home - but where do I go?

We are a mid 50's Australian couple visiting the UK for the first time next May. As part of the trip, we are renting a campervan in Derby then heading up to Scotland for 8 days of exploring.

My mum was born in Falkirk and emigrated to Austrailia as a new bride in 1952, but sadly we have lost all contact with the family there - I haven't heard from them since I was a child.

So we will probably visit Falkirk (park the camper out of town and train in I suppose) just to get a feel for the place - and then head off!

Any ideas for a good iteinery? We are interested in beautiful lochs, mountains, wildlife, history, castles etc. The camper is compact - but equipped for wild camping which sounds like fun.

And what sort of weather might we expect in May? Chilly I guess? Maybe we'll even see rain! That would be a GREAT experience!

Any suggestions most appreciated.

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for Edinburgh
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1. Re: Coming home - but where do I go?

May is usually a pleasant month weather wise with temperatures in the high teens. Rain is always possible in Scotland at any time of year but hopefully not all day every day in May!!!

Falkirk is a small town and you would have no problems parking the van in the centre to have a look around- although not sure about overnight

parking. Do visit the amazing feat of engineering that is the Falkirk Wheel whilst you are there, I have to say there is not much else I would recommend for visitors in Falkirk- a bit run down type of town. http://www.thefalkirkwheel.co.uk/

For some basic itinerary ideas try looking at the visit Scotland tourist site which has some driving tour suggestions and start from there. www.visitscotland.com

Manchester, United...
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for The Hebrides
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2. Re: Coming home - but where do I go?

There's a fair chance of some sunny and dry-ish weather in May, especially in the west of Scotland. And that is the area which might suit you best for scenery as well.

After Falkirk, why not head west via Loch Lomond, Glencoe, Fort William and then across to Skye. You can cross to Skye by ferry from Mallaig, and return by the Skye Bridge to Kyle of Lochalsh - this route back passes Eilean Donan Castle, which is famous from many calendar picures!

If you are discreet, wild camping is definitely possible in out-of-the-way parts of western Scotland.

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3. Re: Coming home - but where do I go?

wife and I are also mid-fifties, both born and brought up in glasgow but spent the past 25 years in very flat cambridgeshire so we really miss the scenery

braoadly the best of scotland is to the west and north and you must see some or all of loch lomond glencoe fort william inverness the islands

last year we spent a week in wester ross and were so impressed we booked the same cottage for the same week this year - so the itinery which follows gives more detail on the wester ross area - i urge you to do it - it is wonderful!!!!

definitely see falkirk wheel also stirling castle

then take a9 to inverness and the follow the road to ullapool

detail starts here

just aafter garve leave the ullapool road for achnasheen and on to kinlochewe and then torridon

at torridon take the detour to diabaig - this is a must

he torridon hotel has a posh but pricey restaurant - the inn on the same grounds serves good pub food (looh it up on the web - we stayed in the boathouse - expensive but sooo worth it we saw many birds from the window alos pine martins and seals)

head south from torridon towards shieldaig (which has a good pub and restaurnat)

now take the coast route to applecross which has a great inn

return to the 'main' road via the mountain passroute

continue south round lochcarron general direction of kyles of lochalsh

take the scenic route to kyle via plockton - home of a great inn and hotel by the samr name

from kyle cross the bridge to skye - time on skye as schedule allows

now head back from kyle on the main road to fort william - one last detour to glenelg

detail ends

now contunue fortwilliam ballachulish thru glencoe to crianlarich then down the banks of loch lomond and back into stirling\falkirk

let me know if yo uned anything more

(of course you should also see edinburgh - with hte castle right in the centre of town it makes it that bit different from other towns

if you have time for glasgow its main attraction is great free museaums housed in nice parks

try the main museum and art gallery plus nearby transport museaum and kelvingrove park (plus the university)

or the burrell collection in pollock park

or the house for an art lover in bellahouston park)

Manchester, United...
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4. Re: Coming home - but where do I go?

beeble's itinerary is a good one, but be warned that parts of it are not to be embarked upon lightly in your camper van, especially the high road (Bealach na Ba) to Applecross, which is very narrow, steep, winding and single track.

Perth, United...
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for Perth and Kinross
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5. Re: Coming home - but where do I go?

I would echo DHMellor's warning about some of the roads...I find the A82 along Loch Lomondside daunting in a car never mind a campervan. It is very narrow in parts - hugging the loch, however if you are a brave and a confident driver then the scenery is not too be missed. Forewarned is forearmed I always say!

Glasgow, United...
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6. Re: Coming home - but where do I go?

Be prepared for any weather in May - I have had sunburn and snow - both in the same week! However it is usually a pretty good month.

Hamilton, United...
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7. Re: Coming home - but where do I go?

For the Falkirk part of your trip consider Linlithgow. It has great history and a palace where you could relax for a day before moving on via Stirling. The train journey from Linlithgow to Falkirk will take 10 minutes maximum.

8. Re: Coming home - but where do I go?

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