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Visiting Scotland in May for six full days. Some help?

Rome, GA
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Visiting Scotland in May for six full days. Some help?

I realize a million messages get posted along these lines, and I've read the forums and captured as much information as I can as regards sites to see, routes to take, etc.

But, I'd like some specific-to-my-trip tips/ideas if anyone is willing to take a moment to help out. If so, I truly appreciate it!

1.) I plan to visit in May or June of this year and travel solely by rental car and train.

2.) I'll be flying in on the evening of day one, spending six full days in Scotland, and flying out on the morning of day eight. I can add a day or two if needed.

3.) My interests include mountains, cliffs, rivers, lakes (lochs), castles, beautiful natural scenery, very old or very quaint villages/towns, lochs, abbeys. and rural drives.

4.) I'd like to stay mostly in Bed and Breakfasts, cottages, castles, with hotels being last on my list.

I want to take a relatively leisurely pace (trips between sites/cities lasting no longer than one- to two-hours, and I realize rural roads can take twice as long as a "normal" drive. However, I am completely okay with taking the FULL day to travel/tour/enjoy. I also realize the days are long in May and June.

A few points of interest, but not REQUIRED: (I have not researched these locations geographically, so I understand they may not be possible in six days)

1.) Tour the West Coast

2.) Train Travel -- Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh route

3.) The border abbeys

4.) Edinburgh

5.) Moffat (for its toffee shop)

6.) The Isles (?)

My budget is $5000 - $6000 for two people, to include airfare, rental car, train fare, lodging, and food, but this is flexible. I was able to do this same-length trip, staying in Bed and Breakfasts and even two five-star hotels in Ireland last May; is a trip to Scotland a similar-cost endeavor?

Thanks again in advance for ANY tips!

Plano TX
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1. Re: Visiting Scotland in May for six full days. Some help?

Hi Jason,

My husband and I are taking a similar trip in May and will also be there for 6 full days. We fly into Edinburgh and will spend that day and the next exploring the city. On day 3 we will pick up our car rental at the airport and head towards Inverness with stops along at the way at Stirling, etc. We are going to spend 2 nights near Inverness and use that as our base for exploring the area. Then we are heading to Skye for 2 nights. We are staying at the Hotel Eilean Iarmain on Skye and plan to use that as a base for exploring some. On Day 6 we drive back towards Edinburgh with stops along the way at Glencoe, Ft William, etc. and then will spend our last night in Edinburgh before leaving the next morning.

We are flying out of Texas and so far with airfare, lodging, car and additional expenses (like whisky and ale), we will be close to $5k for both of us (maybe a little over, but who's counting!) I am still researching all of our "points of interest" and the list is continually growing.We hate to be rushed around so we're keeping our itinerary light and easy!

Hope this helps a little!

Edited: 04 January 2013, 19:41
Stanley, Falkland...
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2. Re: Visiting Scotland in May for six full days. Some help?

<<< I'd like some specific-to-my-trip tips/ideas >>>

But you don't say what your trip is!?

If it resembles your points of interest, then I can't see how you can do that at a leisurely pace.

I think you need to prioritise what you want to see and do. See what the top 3 are, and work around those. Anything else is a bonus.

EG - Edinburgh - Borders - Moffat - West Coast. That's 5 days gone already.

Rome, GA
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3. Re: Visiting Scotland in May for six full days. Some help?

That does help, thanks! I'm flying out of Georgia, US.

I wanted to add to my Original Post a sample itinerary for the GREAT, well-informed folks on here to critique for me.

Thanks in advance, everyone!

Edinburgh

Kelso

Jedburg

Moffat

Glen Etive

Dalness

Glencoe

Isle of Skye

Wester Ross (Inverewe gardens)

Pitlochry

With possible offshoot train trips:

Either:

Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh route, and/or

Fort William to Mallaig

I realize some of these locations overlap a bit, or might be "too far," and that's the feedback I'd LOVE. Note that a few of the places can just be pass-throughs or lunch-stops.

Jason

Plano TX
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4. Re: Visiting Scotland in May for six full days. Some help?

I think Peterscot said it pretty well above - pick your priorities and then focus around those. That's what I'm trying to do. I figure that anything else that I see along the way is going to be an added bonus. It sounds like you have a pretty good attitude though and don't plan to drive around like a maniac to see everything on your list! I've heard and read extensively that the local cows and sheep have a way of throwing a wrench into the best made plans! :)

Rome, GA
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5. Re: Visiting Scotland in May for six full days. Some help?

Oh, yes, I am very laid back.

On my trip to Ireland last year I had probably ten day's worth of cities and sites to see, but I only had six days, so I just took my time and visited places as I had the time. When I realized I'd need the final daylight for finding my next lodging, I'd skip the last few places on that day's list or just move them to the next morning.

So, I'm for sure going to narrow my list down--hopefully with the help of this forum, and prioritize everything.

Thanks!

Jason

Plano TX
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6. Re: Visiting Scotland in May for six full days. Some help?

I currently have a list of about 10 pubs and restaurants I want to go to in Edinburgh alone... I think I'm going to have to pare the list down a bit!

Stanley, Falkland...
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7. Re: Visiting Scotland in May for six full days. Some help?

Jason,

I'm really not sure what you are looking for?. Your list of places includes some lovely spots, but I can't say if they are too far or whatever, as I don't know much about the duration of your trip.

Why not group the places in terms of what you hope to see EACH DAY? How long are you planning to stop at each place? Or, if you are just going with the flow, then fine..

If, by day 5 you have only reached Glencoe, then its fairly obvious you won't see much of Skye or Inverewe. Would you be bothered?

Rome, GA
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8. Re: Visiting Scotland in May for six full days. Some help?

This was what I was thinking, based SOLELY on Google maps. I do realize that rural roads take MUCH longer to travel than A roads, but I'm not sure if Google takes that into consideration with its travel times.

Here is a more detailed itinerary:

Day 0

Fly-in to Edinburgh in the evening

Day 1

Explore Edinburgh (Two or three sites)

Kelso

Jedburgh

Moffat

Day 2

Glasgow (pass through)

Kintyre Peninsula 3 hours from Glasgow - kILLean Estate or Oatfield house while on the peninsula

Day 3

Glen Etive

Dalness

Fort William (pass through)

Day 4

Mallaig

Isle of Skye

Day 5

Plockton (pass through)

Stromeferry

Day 6

Wester Ross

Ullapool

Inverness (Take a train to Kyle and back again)

Pitlochry

Day 7

Fly out of Edinburgh in the morning

Scotland
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9. Re: Visiting Scotland in May for six full days. Some help?

This looks totally unrealistic to me.

Day 1. You would have time for Edinburgh but not Kelso, Jedburgh and Moffatt.

Day 4. You can see a bit of Skye in one day but why not slow down and see ab it more of the island. 2 nights would be far more practical.

Day 6. Again, you'll only glimpse these places through a windscreen

Rome, GA
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10. Re: Visiting Scotland in May for six full days. Some help?

Ok, that's the kind of feedback I need.

A couple of notes and a question or two:

1.) I'm not sure how much of Edinburgh I want to see. Cities aren't my favorite "sites," but if there's a beautiful cathedral, etc, I'll hit that for an hour or so and then be on my way. Knowing that, does that allow for Kelso, Jedburgh, and Moffatt if I only want to see the Abbeys in Kelso and Jedburgh and the toffee shop in Moffatt. In other words, I don't see myself spending longer than a few hours (at the most) in each city (Edinburgh, Kelso, Jedburgh, and Moffatt).

2.) I really would like to spend two days in Skye. Where should I cut from the rest of the trip to add this day? What's the least interesting on my list?

3.) What should I cut from Day 6?

Thanks a lot!