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Home base in Scotland

Powhatan, Virginia
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Home base in Scotland

I will be coming to Scotland by way of Wales in May. I plan to have 6-7 days in Scotland and would like to have a base location, possibly north of Edinburgh. I will have a rental car and hear driving in Edenburgh is not a good idea. My thought was to have somewhere that we could take day trips out of so as not moving from one location to another.

I would like to see Edinburgh, Stirling, St. Andrews, Inverness and good scenery and small towns.

Scunthorpe, United...
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1. Re: Home base in Scotland

Stirling is a possible base.

Go to the Undiscovered Scotland website and follow the links. It can be a bit slow to load but is well worth the wait. There are lots of pictures of different places.

http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/

Stirling has a splendid Castle and a medieval townhouse - Argyll's Lodgings. Close by there are the small towns of Doune (castle), Dunblane (cathedral), Bridge of Allen.

There is good rail access to both Edinburgh and Glasgow if you don't want to drive.

There is Callendar and the Trossachs with Aberfoyle, Loch Leven (get boat to the ruined Inchmahome Priory) and up to Crainlarich and over towards Oban (although this may be too far for a day).

You can drive North for Crieff, Auchterarder and Perth or even Dundee and up the coast to Arbroath and beyond.

There are the Ochils to the east with lots of small towns - Dollar (for Castle Campbell), Pool of Muckhart, Dunning with St Serf's cross in the church...

Or head a bit further east into Fife for Kinross and Loch Leven (boat trip to the ruined castle), Falkland (Falkland Palace), Cupar, St Andrews(golf, ruined castle, ruined abbey, beaches), the coastal fishing villages...

SE is Dunfermline (abbey and ruined castle), Culross (a Royal Burgh and the most complete example in Scotland of a 17-18thC town. Make sure you visit the palace)

SW there are the Fintry Hills.

Don't miss Linlithgow (ruined castle) and there is the Falkirk wheel...

You will be spoilt for choice.

Eleanor

Elie, United Kingdom
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2. Re: Home base in Scotland

Hello! Welcome to the forum!

Perth may be a central base for you to explore from. Its near to St.Andrews (1 hour) Stirling(even closer) Edinburgh(40 minutes) and Inverness(2 hours)

You are right - you do not need a car in Edinburgh - they have great public transport and you could always get a train from where you are staying. Perth has a mainline station, which goes to Edinburgh, Stirling and Inverness.

Fife is also central for travelling to all these places - what about basing yourself there in the Dunfermline area for example. In which case are you looking to rent a holiday property?

Baincraig Lodge is not out of the way for getting to places as it's near Auchtermuchty. I haven't stayed there but know someone who has and they were very pleased. Auchtermuchty is near the motorway system and handy for travelling around and to the areas you mention.

www.baincraiglodge.co.uk

Hope this helps a little and gives you a starting point.

regards

Woody

If you need information about the Inverness and Highlands area I would be happy to help!

alyth, scotland
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3. Re: Home base in Scotland

You could base yourself in our neck of the woods, east perthshire is pretty underrated as far as attractions goes, but we do have the advantage of being central to a lot of great places within a short drive

following is a list of placesto visit which I hand out to our guests - if you want the day trips I worked out (5 in total taking you from sandy beaches to the mountains) send me a PM and I'll email them to you

Recommended Places to Visit within 1 hour drive of

Tigh Na Leigh

Within 10 Mins

BLAIRGOWRIE Here you join the A93 – the road north to skiing at Glen Shee and beyond to Braemar for the famous Highland Games and Balmoral Castle

MEIGLE Home to some of the most important Pictish stones ever carved by the primitive Scots.

Within 15 Mins

KIRRIEMUIR JM Barrie Museum (Author of Peter Pan), Gateway to the Glens Museum.

GLAMIS Magnificent Castle and grounds, childhood home of the late Queen Mother, hosts many festivals and events throughout the year.

Angus Folk Museum, excellent little museum, housed in perfectly preserved 18th century cottages in the heart of the village.

Within 20 Mins

GLENISLA Stunning waterfalls at Reekie Linn, beautiful walking around Backwater reservoir, or part of the Cateran Trail back towards Alyth.

ANGUS GLENS Reached via Kirriemuir, for superb walking for all abilities with beautiful views, river, woodland and open hillside.

Within 25 Mins

FORFAR The county town of Angus, a traditional market town centre, still hosts Farmers Markets every month

DUNDEE The Royal research ship DISCOVERY, as sailed by Captain Scott to the Antarctic is berthed back here in its hometown and is today a very interesting exhibition.

Also – Art Galleries, Theatres, Museums, Concert Hall & Exhibition Centre and plenty of shops.

Within 30 Mins

DUNKELD Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Centre, noted for Osprey watching. Beautiful walks at the Hermitage, Cathedral, Beatrix Potter Museum.

SCONE Scone Palace – the coronation place for all the kings of Scotland.

Perth Racecourse – a full calendar of racing over national hunt fences and hurdles.

Within 40 Mins

Perth Known as the Fair City, frequent winner of Britain in Bloom, due to its many hanging baskets and floral displays, a very enjoyable afternoon shopping and eating Al fresco can be spent in this pedestrian friendly city.

BRECHIN Pictavia at Brechin Castle Centre – artefacts and exhibits illustrating the life of the original inhabitants of Scotland.

CARNOUSTIE Sea side town, famous for its Championship golf links course, 1999 Open reputedly one of the most challenging in the world. The Open will returned here in 2007

ST. ANDREWS The Home of Golf and a mecca for any golfer. Steeped in history and justly famous for its university. Excellent for shopping and dining out.

Within 50 Mins

ARBROATH Just along the coast from Carnoustie. Famous for ‘smokies’ , Arbroath Abbey – where Scotland’s nobles declared their independence from England in 1320.

MONTROSE The House of Dun, designed by William Adam in 1730, beautiful gardens.

Montrose Basin and nature reserve – a wildlife centre of international importance, attracting thousands of migrating and native birds. Excellent viewing facilities.

PITLOCHRY Pitlochry Festival Theatre – a great evening out.

AUCHTERARDER A beautiful town with excellent shopping.

GLENEAGLES The famous hotel & resort with 3 championship golf courses.

Within 1 hour – or slightly longer

BLAIR ATHOLL Blair Castle, 5 star attraction in Highland Perthshire, one of the great houses of Scotland.

HOUSE OF BRUAR Just north of Blair Atholl this shopping centre promotes the best of Scottish products.

FORTH ROAD BRIDGE The famous bridge that takes you from Fife over the river Forth to Edinburgh.

ABERDEEN The Silver City – so named because the colour of the traditional granite used to build many of the houses is a light grey that reflects bright sliver in the sunshine.

STIRLING The heart of William Wallace country, the famous brave heart warrior. Stirling castle & the Wallace monument, Bannockburn battlefield and Visitor centre only a short drive away.

EAST NEUK OF FIFE A string of beautiful small towns and villages with excellent fish restaurants on the coast of Fife, including Crail, Anstruther, Elie

and St. Monans.

Elie, United Kingdom
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4. Re: Home base in Scotland

Couldn't you have added a bit more information. It was a bit scanty!!!!

W x

Powhatan, Virginia
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5. Re: Home base in Scotland

Wow! What good information! I will have to look over this and see what we come up with. Thanks, everyone for all your good info. This is incredible!

Powhatan, Virginia
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6. Re: Home base in Scotland

Is Inverness a must-see or very touristy? I am wondering if I could see just as much at the other locations everyone has mentioned. It is so far north, it would give me extra time to see all the other lochs mentioned. Would I be crazy not to go there?

Scotland
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7. Re: Home base in Scotland

There's no need at all to go to Inverness. It's not particularly touristy - just a normal town - but it's a long way north compared to the other areas you want to see. Unless you have a personal reason for going I would give it a miss. The Loch Ness area is pretty but no more so than the Trossachs or the area around Perth/Dunkeld/Pitlochry.

Elie, United Kingdom
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8. Re: Home base in Scotland

Oh - thegoodwitch - I really like you but...!!!(only joking!)Inverness is a good base to visit from. I agree its not amazing but it is a good base.If you do not go there you would be missing the area around the Moray Firth and all the castles, and the fishing villages like Cullen, Findhorn, Lossiemouth, Burghead Macduff etc. It's very different from the lochs and mountains of the west coast but beautiful nevertheless.

However it's your choice - I would suggest trying to put together an itinerary from the ideas you have been given and see what works for you. You certainly have a lot to go on.

Good luck

Woody x

Powhatan, Virginia
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9. Re: Home base in Scotland

I certainly do have a lot to go on! I will pass the info along to the others I am traveling with. Thanks to all for your great info.

Scotland
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10. Re: Home base in Scotland

Hi Woodybark

please don't think I have anything against the Inverness area. It's just that the OP said

"It is so far north, it would give me extra time to see all the other lochs mentioned."

It IS far north compared to the other places he/she wants to see.

I had a brilliant week on the Black Isle a few weeks back and know how lovely it is up there. We visited Inverness, Loch Ness and Glen Affric, and also the coast around Cromarty and up as far as Golspie.

It's stunning, but so are a lot of areas nearer the central belt.