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Where do I even begin?

Seattle, Washington
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Where do I even begin?

My husband and I would like to spend a week in Scotland and that's as far as I am in the planning process! Where do I begin? What are the "Must see" "must do" things you recommend for Scotland for first time visitors? Help!

Stanley, Falkland...
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1. Re: Where do I even begin?

I don't think there are any 'must see or must do' things.

You begin by knowing WHY you want to visit. EG - Is it to see relatives; or because its the one country in Europe you haven't been?

If you don't know anything about the country, then you co do worse than doing a little research.

There are countless 'tourist' sites and books, mentioned several times a day on these and other forum. There's even your good friend, Google.

And yes, I realise you want real recommendations from real people, but there's no point in me saying St Andrews is a 'must see', if you detest golf; or saying you must do a distillery tour if the smell of whisky makes you ill....

(Two popular activities in Scotland, by the way).

What are YOUR 'must sees' ??

Welcome to TA and the forum!

Edited: 11 March 2010, 23:32
Los Angeles...
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2. Re: Where do I even begin?

A week is not a lot of time - Scotland is a big country. If you can spare another few days, a week, that would make your trip much more meaningful. If you want to know where to begin, I would begin with spending three days in Edinburgh. Frommers puts out a book of best driving tours. You may want to check it out. Also, Karen Brown's Scotland (I think it is combined with England) Guide contains a few driving itineraries with a recommended pace and places to stay.

Edinburgh
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3. Re: Where do I even begin?

Have a look at www.undiscoveredscotland.com and www.secret-scotland.com and www.visitscotland.com to get a basic idea/ map/ highlights. Then come back with the time of year, budget, means of transport, special interests you have and we can try and help with the specifics.

Seattle, Washington
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4. Re: Where do I even begin?

Thanks very much for the guidance. We don't know anyone there...simply time to visit this Country!

Fife, United Kingdom
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for St Andrews
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5. Re: Where do I even begin?

Peterscot - wash your mouth out!! St.Andrews is a must see even if you DO detest golf...its not all about golf, its about a beautiful town, lovely old buildings, quaint cobbled streets, outstanding beach, beautiful countryside, ruined castle, exceptional cathedral, interesting University and history, history, history and yes one or two golf courses scattered about, I admit!

Selaboyd - Anna Roz is right. Scotland may look small on a map but there is so much to see and do....let us know what most interests you and we can take it from there. And I agree you need 3 days for Edinburgh on its own!

Woody x

Edited: 14 March 2010, 22:09
adelaide
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6. Re: Where do I even begin?

Thanks woodybark,

I've never been to Scotland either and I haven't the slightest interest in golf or whiskey however we are planning to go to the places mentioned for the reasons you mentioned. I do agree with peterscot, in that you can not do enough research, prior to booking and planning your itinerary. I'm probably a little more on the obssessive side with regards to that but I see that as part of the fun of a holiday. I think it's amazing that some people come here and just ask, "where do I go and what do I do?" where the threads are worth exploring as well as maps, books and ask as many specific questions s you can here. I've ben very happy with 90% of the responses I've got here and they usually set me off in a direction that I can explor further, myself.

Edited: 14 March 2010, 23:19
Glasgow
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7. Re: Where do I even begin?

Not having the slightest interest in whiskey will make no difference to a visit to Scotland as we don't make it here.

We make whisky.

(Sorry to be pedantic)

Fife, United Kingdom
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for St Andrews
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8. Re: Where do I even begin?

>>I think it's amazing that some people come here and just ask, "where do I go and what do I do?" <<

Having just been chastised for posting an inappropriate question on the London forum because I lacked the knowledge of where I should be posting I can understand the questions people who are new to the forum, ask. Sometimes it IS difficult to know where to begin - and that is selaboyd's question. Hopefully, those in the know will be able to point out what resources are available because sometimes its difficult to know where to even start looking. People will get guidance on where to look on the site to get them started - that to me is what its all about. Tony - I am not berating you, please don't think I am. Selaboyd has now got a starting point for her research and that will give her some ideas about asking more specific questions in the next few days.

regards

Woody x

Bucks, UK
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9. Re: Where do I even begin?

Well, I would spend 2-3 days in Edinburgh as suggested, then hire a car and drive to Oban, passing through Glencoe. I would then take the ferry to Mull, visit Tobermory, Duart Castle, then take the small ferry to Iona and spend the day and, if possible, the night there. That would be a not too rushed itinerary which would encompass plenty of history, castles, lochs, mountains, glens, whisky distilleries and wildlife (red deer, seals and if you're lucky and you take a boat trip, porpoises or even whales.

There are plenty of add-ons to this trip that you could do - like this for example -

www.westcoastrailways.co.uk/Jacobite_Home.cfm

or this

http://www.hebrideanadventure.co.uk/index.htm

or this

http://www.sealife-adventures.com/index.html

Charlotte, North...
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10. Re: Where do I even begin?

If, like me, you don't want to drive in the UK (or really on vacation at all), much of Scotland can be seen by using trains (and maybe buses).

If you only have 7 days (and I agree that 9-14 would be better), I'd start with 1-2 days in Edinburgh, 2-4 in Inverness (possibly 1-3 in Aviemore), then maybe 1-2 in Glasgow. If you'd rather get to one spot and do day trips, I'd encourage you to consider Inverness. You could stay there a week and do some good day trips. What are your interests? Nature, museums, hiking, food, shopping????? That would help us give you more relevant recommendations.