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Spending week in Scotland -recommendations needed please...

Atlanta, Georgia
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Spending week in Scotland -recommendations needed please...

Will be traveling throughout Scotland by bus/rail for 2 weeks. Starting in Edinburgh to Aberdeen to Inverness and back to Glasgow. Would love to stay in countryside for hiking/boating. Would also like to stay on different parts of the coast. Only want to spend a couple of days in the actual cities but prefer smaller towns for rest of the trip. Are there any recommendations for towns/villages, in the countryside and on the coast, that can be reached by bus/rail? Thank you!

Stanley, Falkland...
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1. Re: Spending week in Scotland -recommendations needed please...

I don't know the Aberdeen - Inverness leg, but almost anywhere between Edinburgh and Aberdeen would meet your criteria.

Coming south from Inverness by rail, you 've got Aviemore, Dunkeld, Dunblane, etc.

You might want to head to Fort William by bus from Inverness, and get the bus or train back to Glasgow through some of the best scenery in the UK.

For the coast, try Nairn, or Dornoch, as well as the east coats places.

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2. Re: Spending week in Scotland -recommendations needed please...

From Edinburgh take the train to Leuchars then the bus to St Andrews where there is the most amazing beach and small historic university town. From there the East Neuk coastal walk goes through the most pretty little fishing villages of Crail, Pittenweem, Anstruther and Elie. http://www.fifecoastalpath.co.uk


Scunthorpe, United...
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3. Re: Spending week in Scotland -recommendations needed please...

Another alternative if you want to hike is to stop in Peebles (bus from Edinburgh). This is a delightful old fashioned town. this area is well off the usual tourist beat which is a shame as it does have a lot to offer.


Download a pdf of walks around Peebles here:


The John Buchan way starts/ends in Peebles. Download a pdf about it here:


If you are into Mountain biking then Glentress Forest is only a couple of miles away. You can hire bikes and the 7Stanes is serious stuff.


I would also second 3nations suggestion of St Andrews with its ruined castle and cathedral.

Moving north, there are two possible stops on the railway line between Edinburgh and Aberdeen - Arbroath and Stonehaven.

Arbroath is a small fishing village with a ruined abbey.


Stonehaven is a bit further north and you can walk to the remains of Dunottar Castle - even more dramatic than its pictures....



Between Aberdeen and Inverness is Elgin, again on the railway line. This again is off the main tourist beat but has a lot of character with its ruined cathedral and Spynie Palace.




If you are interested in Whisky then Glen Moray is close by and does tours.



Peterscot has suggested Nairn which is closer to Inverness and has much more of a seaside feel.

His idea of coming back via Fort William is also well worth considering - as there is serious walking round here. Ben Nevis for a start....

plus other suggestions here:



Fife, United Kingdom
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4. Re: Spending week in Scotland -recommendations needed please...

I would definitely recommend stopping in the Aviemore area for a couple of days to do your hiking and boating(canoeing on lovely rivers!) Aviemore is in the Cairngorms National Park and is also a stop on the main rail line from Inverness to Perth/Edinburgh/ Glasgow. There is loads of accommodation in the area to suit all budgets and miles of hiking and cycling trails with fantastic scenery.


If Aviemore is too touristy for you there are other towns and villages round about which cater for tourists like Grantown on Spey, Boat of Garten and Nethy Bridge




Woody x

PS I would second visiting St.Andrews - its a beautiful city, with wonderful old buildings and great to explore on foot.

Edited: 31 March 2010, 11:30
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5. Re: Spending week in Scotland -recommendations needed please...

Before you venture on the bus network,make sure you go to to INVERNESS BUS STATION just across from the RAIL STATION.

At Inverness bus station there is a huge variety of timetables and info as the information centre at ELGIN BUS STAION has now recently closed which is a shame.

To make sure your trip is hassle free I strongly suggest a BLUEBIRD or STAGECOACH bus and SCOTRAIL train time table or start conversing with visitscotland for info.

The Inverness to Aberdeen Route bus number 10 is great too stopping off too along the A96 at Fochabers where you can hook into the Speyside way that links you to the coast or into the whisky trail.

For superb scenery and walks along parts of the Speyside Way that also connect to the coast from Speybay(dolphin watching) to Buckie(not too pretty) and Cullen(beautiful),buy yourselves the bluebird/stagecoach weekly bus ticket that allows unlimited travel around the Moray area as the 336 bus service covering Speyside,will be invaluable,cost about £25.

Highlander Hotel in Craigellachie worth a look.

Bus stop at the square in Craigellachie near the Craigellachie Hotel.

Either walk along the River Spey to the working distillery town of Rothes or take the 336 bus and you must visit only ONE single distillery then I recommend the GLENGRANT distillery, if not, at least for the stunning waterfalls at their Victorian Garden entry £3 but well worth walking along the wooden walkway and the hewn out rock face, within arms length as you walk along.Spectacular.

You can also buy some picnic items from Simpsons bakery and take a picnic along to GlenGrant gardens in their new picnic area and sit in the major's dram hut with it's magnificent chandelier made of Stag antlers or have a homemade pancake at the GlenGrant tearoom.

Try lunch at the newly refurbished Seafield Hotel,Rothes or a snack of homemade soup at Simpson's bakery on New Street.

Opposite Simpsons walk along Burnside Street ( you will see flood alleviation works going on but do not let that deter you) and walk up to the end of Burnside Street to reach the GLENROTHES distillery aka HIGHLAND to the locals, home of GLENROTHES single malt and a contributer to the famous Grouse Blended whisky and the Cutty Sark.

From GLENROTHES there is a sign for the Dounie and Faeries well and it is a 5km roundwalk round to the waterfalls then down along the 9 holes golf course with absolutely tremendous scenery and views stretching across the Convals towards Dufftown and the silvery Spey snaking along below your vantage points along this walk.

At the end of this short walk you have reached the ruins of ROTHES CASTLE and further along down the hill to arrive outside the gates of the J&B Justerini and Brooks distillery off the High Street where there is a bus stop nearby.

Take 336 bus back to Craigellachie and onto Dufftown and visit the resting place at Mortlach cemetery of the founding fathers of the Glenfiddich distillery,the GRANTs even look at his birthplace in Dufftown still a private residence. Word of warning Glenfiddich can be hellishly overcrowded with bus tours,who are there for the free tour,that is why I rccomend the GlenGrant in Rothes but again it it is the only distillery with these amazing Victorian Gardens and natural waterfalls.

There are many walks around here too and the tourist information is situated in the clock tower.

There are usually ceilidhs on on a Thursday evening in Dufftown ask the tourist office at the clock tower in Dufftown and check your bus timetable as taxis are practically non existent.

Back at the Craig take 336 to Elgin and from there take the Knockando bus service usually Tues and Thurs twice a day and look at the rebuilt Knockando Parish church with unusual round tower and stained glass windows designed by the Dunbar-Naismith architects.

Don't miss a walk along the famous Telford bridge at the Craig.

From Craigellachie visit pretty Aberlour again along the Speyside way near the FIDDICH INN where it hooks you up on the SpeysideWay and you walk the couple of miles to Aberlour.

Visit Alice Littler Park and the tearoom run by volunteers in the old railway ticket office of Aberlour and walk along the River Spey as you walk along the Speyside Way towards Cardhu Distilley and Ballindalloch Castle.

You could theoretically get as far as Aviemore!

Now you are all distilleried out go to Elgin and visit the fantastic ELGIN CATHEDRAL and make your way up to the tower for a breathtaking view across the Moray Firth,again look up HISTORIC SCOTLAND on google.

Have an evening ghost walk of Elgin check with information centre now situated at the Cooper Park public library across from the bus station.

Visit Johnstons cashmere mill,but for food go to the BEAVER TRAVEL cafe in South Street,Elgin, open 10am to 3pmas it is essentially a travel agents with a cafe but the homemade soups.paninis and scones are amongst the best in Elgin...bizarre but worth a visit.

Or book supper at the ROYAL HOTEL in Elgin for a romantic and tasty dinner,this being the original home of James Grant the whisky baron,lord provost of Elgin and founder of the GlenGrant distillery

Again take the 336 bus service from Elgin to Forres and visit Grant Park with its stunning floral displays in the summer,well worth a look and eat at McKenzie & Cruickshank tearooom upstairs in their ironmongery shop in the High Street of Forres.

Brodie Castle is worth a look but check opening times and it is worth seeing when the daffodils are in full bloom in April.

If you have any time left head for Huntly by train from Keith or Elgin and visit the well preserved Huntly castle and have a look round Deans shortbread factory and have a bite to eat at the Copper kettle old fashioned tearoom or the Gordon Arms or the posh Castle Hotel in Huntly.

6. Re: Spending week in Scotland -recommendations needed please...

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