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Eleven day tour of Scotland

Melbourne, Australia
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Eleven day tour of Scotland

We will be coming to the UK, from Australia, for about 5 weeks in late September/October this year. We will be free to tour for about three and a half of those weeks and reckon on spending about 11 days in Scotland. Overall we are more interested in rural than city. Our first pass at planning the Scots part of the trip is as follows:

Drive north 1 day from Whitby in Yorkshire to Edinburgh. (Is that too far?) 2 nights in Edinburgh.

Drive north 2 days from Edinburgh following the coast to the Fraserburgh area. (2 different overnight stops - any ideas?)

Drive west 1 day to Loch Ness. 2 nights at Loch Ness?

Drive west 1 day to Skye. 3 nights on Skye.

Drive south. 2 nights just north of Loch Lomond, with a big day trip around to the east side of the loch through Callander to Inversnaid (and back again).

Drive south to English lakes district (Is that possible in one day?)

I have come up with this trip plan largely by looking at a map and reading other traveller's comments. I have no idea if it is a good one.

Any advice and helpful comments will be appreciated. Whilst I am used to driving long distances in Australia, it may be that some of my planned distances are too long for the type of terrain in Scotland? I don't know.

Finally, is it quite safe in terms of weather, to be doing a trip like this October? From what I have seen so far it should be cold, but not freezing, at that time of year?

Thankyou, Keith

Edinburgh, Scotland
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1. Re: Eleven day tour of Scotland

I'm mobile so i'll do this in stages or i get cut off !@!

Whit-Edin : an easy day appx 4 hrs + tourist time

You like driving?

In bad weather i'd say come up the A1 and see some towns.

Nice day, over to Darlington and use the A68 my preferred route south. Its a lovely run 185 miles

Nice day tourist route? 210 miles 4 1/2 - 5 hrs my "biking" scenic run up

Whitby-darlington-A68 left on A689 to Alston : 689 to Brampton A6071 to Longtown A7 to Edinburgh.

Edinburgh, Scotland
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2. Re: Eleven day tour of Scotland

Weather will be what it will be but I would not expect freezing/snowbound. The bonus is the midges will be all but extinct and indeed it can be a very pleasant time weatherwise.

The Lakes, say Keswick, are just over 3hrs from lomond + tourist stops but the lakes roads themselves are slow so allow plenty time if your going well in or off the beaten track. Very low limits and virtually no passing.

East coast to Fraserburgh I'll have to leave to others. Not my scene at all ;-)

Inverness is probably the most common choice of base for loch ness, but there are a plethora of options

For Inverness to Skye on a nice day I'd suggest going via Applecross, in via the coast and out over the mountain 170ish arduous but stunning miles that cant be beat - if the weather is nice.

Edinburgh...
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3. Re: Eleven day tour of Scotland

Inversnaid is an isolated place which many walkers pass by on the West Highland Way Trail, and they have a bunkhouse. There is a hotel but I'm not sure how welcoming it is to the passing visitor. it's accessible via a small passenger-only ferry from Tarbert on the west site of loch Lomond - there and back again, so to speak. It's also accessible as a long drive [as you say] through the Trossachs. So there's a plan A and a plan B. If you are going to drive west from Aberfoyle, consider turning right to the pier at Stronachlachar, where there's a nice cafe restaurant - with good views of Loch Katrine, and the mountains to its north. By October the tops may be dusted with snow. That's maybe - dependent on cold nights and the appropriate kind of wet. There's also a small and maybe twee cafe called the 'wee blether' on the edge of Loch ard.

I think it's worth looking at http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/ for ideas of other places to visit during your trip north of the border.

Edited: 29 May 2014, 21:43
Edinburgh...
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4. Re: Eleven day tour of Scotland

Fraserburgh was a pretty tough fishing town once upon a day. Not sure what it is now; haven't been there in a long time. If you're after a touristy route, I'd be tempted to head north as far as Stonehaven, cut over the hills to Banchory, up the river Dee maybe as far as Braemar, then a short double back to take the road north via Tomintoul, and into Deeside that way. That can lead you gently down to Elgin, Inverness.

One day in Inverness, not 2 IMO.

Use the extra time for your trip west. If you're heading for Skye, please investigate the route towards Ullapool, then down the west coast through Aultbea, Gairloch, Loch MAree, Torridon, Applecross, and the Bealach na Ba [= pass of the cattle]. If you like mountains you won't regret it.

Edited: 29 May 2014, 21:53
Melbourne, Australia
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5. Re: Eleven day tour of Scotland

Thankyou both, they are really helpful comments :)

Sounds like the Fraserburgh region is a bit off the normal tourist radar? I will certainly look at the alternative suggestions.

The idea of visiting the Trossachs came from a video we borrowed called Britain's Best Drives. Our base for that side trip would probably be at a place we like the look of near Criianlarich. rather than staying at Inversnaid.

Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: Eleven day tour of Scotland

You have both suggested travelling from Inverness to Skye via Applecross. It looks wonderful on the map, quite remote perhaps? Going all the way round through Ullapool and Aultbea appears to be nearly 300 miles. Would you do that OK in 2 days?

Edinburgh, United...
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7. Re: Eleven day tour of Scotland

Hi Keith,

" Going all the way round through Ullapool and Aultbea appears to be nearly 300 miles. Would you do that OK in 2 days?"

YES!

Break the journey somewhere like Gairloch and spend the days soaking in the stunning views from the road, some stops for some lovely walks, great tearooms, beaches, waterfalls, Inverewe Gardens, so much to see on that route.

Enjoy!

Abs :)

Melbourne, Australia
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8. Re: Eleven day tour of Scotland

Thanks Abs, that looks good.

9. Re: Eleven day tour of Scotland

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