We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Scotland in November - itinerary help please!

Washington
Destination Expert
for Seattle, Family Travel
Level Contributor
6,141 posts
18 reviews
Save Topic
Scotland in November - itinerary help please!

I have a son studying at St. Andrews.

My husband and I have decided to spend a few days in November traveling with him when he is off during reading week. It's coming up quickly and I need to firm up our plans! I am having trouble deciding where to go with our limited time that will allow us (and my son) )to see a bit more of Scotland. We are renting a car. I have considered going North to Balmoral, then back to Stirling or to Perth. My son has been to Glasgow.

We could spend just one or two nights in Edinburgh, but I would like to have a full day, at least, for my husband and I to explore Edinburgh. We are open to anything, enjoy exploring the history, castles. My son has a National Parks Pass. Could you provide any recommendations for our short time?

1. Friday - St. Andrews

2. Saturday

3. Sunday

4. Monday - Edinburgh?

5. Tuesday - Edinburgh

6. Wednesday - fly out of Edinburgh

Thanks for your recommendations and ideas.

Scunthorpe, United...
Level Contributor
3,583 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Scotland in November - itinerary help please!

There will be restricted day light in November. Have a look at this website:

undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/ustours/index.html

There are several tours that you could do using St Andrews as a base.

Edinburgh, United...
Level Contributor
81 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Scotland in November - itinerary help please!

The east coast has lots to offer with lots of Coastal villages...make sure you squeeze a trip in to Anstruther Fish Bar for some fish and chips to fight off the cold!( around 20 mins from St Andrews )

You might also enjoy heading to Loch Lomond if your travelling north at some point, it's a beautiful part of the country with some great scenery!

Enjoy your stay x

Edinburgh, United...
Level Contributor
81 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Scotland in November - itinerary help please!

The east coast has lots to offer with lots of Coastal villages...make sure you squeeze a trip in to Anstruther Fish Bar for some fish and chips to fight off the cold!( around 20 mins from St Andrews )

You might also enjoy heading to Loch Lomond if your travelling north at some point, it's a beautiful part of the country with some great scenery!

Enjoy your stay x

alyth, scotland
Level Contributor
663 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Scotland in November - itinerary help please!

following are some day tours we recommend to our guests, if you base yourselves in St. Andrews, add approx. 45 minutes driving time.

You will need to start no later than 8.30 am, its getting dark by about 4.30pm and will be dark at about 4pm by mid November.

Some of the visitor attractions & castles might be closed in november, but the scenery will be spectacular - as always.

GLENSHEE AND ROYAL DEESIDE

(Approx 80 – 120miles)

Take the A926 to Blairgowrie; there turn right onto the A93 Braemar road. At Bridge of Cally the road begins to rise as you enter Glenshee. The road at the Glenshee Ski Centre is the highest main road pass in Britain at 2.199 feet.

Continue on to Braemar, home of the famous Royal Braemar Gathering held on the first Saturday in September. Visit the Braemar Highland Heritage Centre. This award winning visitor centre tells the history of the village and the surrounding area in an entertaining and informative way.

Six miles north from Braemar lies Balmoral Castle, the Queen’s holiday home. Part of the castle and the gardens are open to the public from March to August 1st when it closes whilst the Queen is in residence for her summer holiday. Next to the castle car park you can visit Crathie Church where the Royal Family worship while in residence at Balmoral then have a quick look and a ‘wee dram’ at Royal Lochnagar Distillery.

Continue along the A93 to Ballater – watch out for the “By Royal Appointment “plaques – and then Aboyne, named from the Gaelic “place of rippling water”. Both towns are ideal spots to enjoy a late lunch.

A little further is the town of Banchory, another 3 miles east and you will find the haunted Crathes Castle and Gardens. Now turn right onto the A957 towards the seaside town of Stonehaven and Dunnottar Castle. A dramatic and evocative ruined cliff top fortress in a truly stunning setting (one photo oportunity NOT to miss).

Homeward bound - take the A90 towards Dundee, Fettercairn distillery (the oldest licensed distillery in Scotland) is just off the main Aberdeen-Perth Road (A90) and well worth a stop – you may even get another ‘wee dram’.

Interrupt your journey at Brechin and visit Pictavia at the Brechin Castle Centre to discover the story of Scotland’s ancient pictish tribes, then return to Alyth via Forfar (A94) and Kirriemuir (A926)

A DAY TOUR OF HIGHLAND PERTHSHIRE

(APPROX. 80 – 120 miles)

In Blairgowrie take the A93 up to Bridge of Cally. Turn left onto the A924. The road meanders through the Strathardle Valley up to the picturesque village of Kirkmichael. Leaving Kirkmichael the road climbs trough rolling hills then descends to Pitlochry. You will pass a sign for Edradour, the smallest distillery in Scotland. Make the detour for a friendly guided tour and sample a ‘wee dram’ of it’s unique malt.

You will enjoy strolling trough the colourful streets of Pitlochry and visiting the Power Station and Dam, one of nine hydro stations in the Tummel Valley. You can watch Salmon going upstream trough the windows of the fish ladder.

Take the A9 north out of Pitlochry and after a few miles watch for the left hand sign to The Queen’s View. This viewing point over Loch Tummel was a favourite spot of Queen Victoria. Decide whether to go on and complete the cicular route down the B846 to Aberfeldy, or alternatively drive back to the A9 and head further north to the Pass of Killiecrankie where the first shots of the Jacobite uprising were fired in 1689. The wooded gorge is a famous beauty spot and there are lovely walks here. Moving on up the A9 you come to Blair Castle – a magnificent turreted baronial castle, home to the Duke of Atholl. The castle has 32 rooms and each is a treasure trove of porcelain, furniture, paintings etc. (The Atholl family NEVER threw anything away).

Continue now a few miles up the road to the House of Bruar for some retail therapy. A little further are the Falls of Bruar. A path takes you from the car park up the west bank of the river to spectacular views of the gorge and upper falls. The path is steep and uneven, but you are following the footsteps of Queen Victoria, William Wordsworth, Robert Burns and William Turner. All of whom were lavish in their praise of the falls. The round trip back to the car park is about a mile.

Return to Alyth via Pitlochry and Dunkeld on the A9. From Dunkeld take the A923 to Blairgowrie and the A926 towards Kirriemuir.

DUNKELD, ABERFELDY AND LOCH TAY

(APPROX. 60 – 100 MILES DEPENDING ON ROUTE)

In Blairgowrie take the A923 to Dunkeld, passing the Five Lochs – Marlee, Clunie, Butterstone, Craigluish and Lowes. In spring and early summer stop at the Scottish Wildlife Trust Reserve at Loch of the Lowes and watch the Ospreys on their nest or feeding their young.

Dunkeld is a very picturesque small town. The 17th century Little Houses in the centre of Dunkeld have been tastefully restored by The National Trust for Scotland – just behind them on the banks of the River Tay lies the 12th century Dunkeld Cathedral. You can walk down to the river for a fine view of the old Dunkeld Bridge, built by Thomas Telford in 1809.

Beatrix Potter spent her summer holidays in nearby Birnam where she created Peter Rabbit, Mrs. Tiggy Winkle and Jeremy Fisher. A small museum is dedicated to her and her work.

Leaving Dunkeld, join the A9 for about half a mile and turn off at the sign for The Hermitage. This National Trust Forest has a beautiful woodland walk (approx. 3miles) leading to a picturesque folly built in 1758 above a wooded gorge of the River Braan.

Further up on the A9 at Ballinluig, take the turning for Aberfeldy and enjoy a drive trough lovely rolling countryside. Aberfeldy’s sights include a Watermill, Black Watch Regiment Monument and the famous Birks of Aberfeldy. This scenic walk has been famous for over 200 years, ever since Robert Burns was moved to write a poem about it. The circular walk, which is also a nature trail, follows a path through woodland, than crosses the Falls of Moness.

Leaving Aberfeldy you can either head south on the A826 trough Glen Cochill, eventually arriving back at Dunkeld – or you can continue on to Kenmore, a pretty town at the eastern head of Loch Tay. Kenmore is well known for water sports and maybe you have time a quick cruise on the Loch.

To return home, head south trough Glen Quaich, joining the A822 at Amulree, then Dunkeld, Blairgowrie and Alyth.

Glamis Castle, Kirriemuir and the Angus Glens (approx 40 miles – 80 miles if Glens included)

Take the B954 to Meigle. Turn left to join the main Perth –Aberdeen A94. You may want to stop in Meigle to visit the Museum which houses the largest collection of Pictish Stones in Europe. Also worthwhile checking is Mervat’s Store and neighbouring Picture Gallery for a bit of retail therapy.

Follow the A94 towards Forfar – a few miles up the road you will find signs for Glamis Castle, the childhood home of the late Queen Mother, birth place of the late Princess Margaret and legendary setting of Shakespeare’s play Macbeth. Tours of the castle are not too long and very informative (last tour is at approx. 4.30pm). The castle is set in magnificent parkland, which includes the Italian Garden and a Nature Trail.

The village of Glamis is worth a visit too and houses the Angus Folk Museum (National Trust of Scotland), telling the story of domestic and agricultural life in days gone by.

Leave Glamis on the A928 for Kirriemuir, birthplace of J.M. Barrie (the author of Peter Pan). There is a small museum in a little whitewashed cottage, displaying many personal possessions and mementos of the author.

The Camera Obscura, donated by J.M. Barrie is also worth a visit.

At Kirriemuir you can decide which of the Angus Glens you wish to visit – Glen Isla, Glen Prosen or Glen Clova. Each has a charm of its own.

Return to Alyth on the A926 from Kirriemuir – or if you have chosen Glen Isla, return via the B954.

East Neuk of Fife...
Destination Expert
for St Andrews
Level Contributor
10,229 posts
173 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Scotland in November - itinerary help please!

Balmoral Castle is advertising Winter Guided Tours between 11 and 2 on Saturday 6th, 20th and 27th November only. £9.50 for adults and £8.50 for students.

www.balmoralcastle.com

I would allow yourself the 2 days you have set aside for visiting Edinburgh as there is a LOT to see and do. With Friday being your day for St.Andrews that leaves you with the weekend so a visit to Balmoral would fit in on the Saturday - I hope its not Saturday 13th that is your day!!

I would have suggested Falkland Palace seeing as you are in Fife and so near but it closes on 31st October. I wonder if this will be a problem with other places too?

To go to Balmoral you need to drive through Dundee and then Blairgowrie so perhaps a visit to RRS Discovery in Dundee may interest you?

www.rrsdiscovery.com

"As Discovery Point has an extensive range of audio visual displays and hands-on interactives as well as the ship itself, we recommend you allow up to 2 hours for your visit."

That would allow you time to get to Balmoral for the 2pm tour but then a long drive back to St.Andrews in the fading light/or dark! What about overnighting in Braemar then heading back via Pitlochry and Dunkeld (missing out Blairgowrie) for a scenic drive?

Dunkeld is a lovely wee town with beautiful walks nearby and a cathedral to visit too

www.dunkeldcathedral.org.uk

You don't have a lot of time unfortunatley but don't underestimate the beauty of St.Andrews and that you may just want to spend more than a day looking round.

Have a great trip

Woody x

East Neuk of Fife...
Destination Expert
for St Andrews
Level Contributor
10,229 posts
173 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Scotland in November - itinerary help please!

Tom and I posted at the exact same time so he has mentioned some of the things I suggested but his itinerary is a lot more detailed and he knows the area very well so heed his (many)words!

W x

Washington
Destination Expert
for Seattle, Family Travel
Level Contributor
6,141 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Scotland in November - itinerary help please!

AWESOME!

Thank you all! This is exactly what I was looking for. Let me read and research, then I am sure I will be back with a question or two.

alyth, scotland
Level Contributor
663 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Scotland in November - itinerary help please!

sorry about the many words - but thought it would give you a good idea of possible drives for the east coast of Scotland

and please check before you go if castles & visitor attractions are open.

Specially - National Trust properties close in October (sometimes they do open by special arrangements or on certain dates so it's worth checking)

Glamis is the only castle I know of - being open in November & December (specially magical in December with the Christmas decorations)

but Dunnottar being a ruin anyway is just one of the best for taking pictures & getting a bit of fresh air after a drive (being a good mile from the top car park....)

Washington
Destination Expert
for Seattle, Family Travel
Level Contributor
6,141 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Scotland in November - itinerary help please!

Thanks Tom. Coming from Seattle we are used to early darkness and rain this time of year, though we are always trying to escape it! Your information has been most helpful. I am plotting now and checking open times.

Though I could linger in St. Andrews, because my son has been there for a couple months, he is anxious to explore other areas. Hopefully we can find a happy medium. Perhaps a distillery tour for to keep my husband happy...

East Neuk of Fife...
Destination Expert
for St Andrews
Level Contributor
10,229 posts
173 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Scotland in November - itinerary help please!

Edradour Distillery(Scotland's smallest) is open in November AND at the weekends and being in Pitliochry may suit

www.edradour.co.uk/placevisit.asp

Woody x