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Trip to Scotland in December 2014 (before Christmas)

Burke, VA
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Trip to Scotland in December 2014 (before Christmas)

Hi all! My husband and I are planning a trip to Scotland for 14 days in December 2014. We would like to include malt whiskey visits and really relax and not drive. Is it possible to do this without self-driving? He really wants to "relax in some pubs/restaurants and experience the 'water of life'," which means we shouldn't be driving afterward. We would like advice as to what we can add to the itinerary besides Edinburgh and Speyside. We'd really like to spend several days in each place (max of 3-4). We live outside of Washington DC and are just starting our planning. Oh, and another question - do things close down in December/will we be snowed in?

Manchester, United...
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1. Re: Trip to Scotland in December 2014 (before Christmas)

There will be plenty of things to do and hotels and restaurants open in Edinburgh. Don't really know Speyside that well, so I'll leave others to advise on that. You may experience adverse weather, but more of an issue will be the short daylight hours - only about 6-7 hours daylight at that time of year.

Fife, Scotland
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2. Re: Trip to Scotland in December 2014 (before Christmas)

December here is definitely cold, long dark mornings and early dark around 1530hrs – 1600hrs, frost is usually the problem rather than snow but each year is different.

You can check here www.maltwhiskytrail.com/pages/view/the-trail to see what is open and when, I know a couple of them are reasonably close to rail stations

As for other things to do – if travelling by train (scotrail) you could visit a number of places it depends on your interests

www.scotrail.co.uk/discover-scotland

You could try a tour but remember the weather might upset plans

timberbush-tours.co.uk/our-tours/…

rabbies.com/scotch_whisky_tours_scotland.asp…

glasgow scotland
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3. Re: Trip to Scotland in December 2014 (before Christmas)

Yep lack of daylight at that time of year is a killer, seriously impeding your site seeing time!

Is there a reason why you picked that time of year?

Whisky Distillery's tend to be in country areas like Speyside so therefore public transport is very spartan, so you will have to choose carefully which ones to visit if without a car.

Weather wise we can get 4 seasons in one day! highly unpredictable although it will be cold but on the main not unbearable, there could be snow, there could be not!

Bingley, United...
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4. Re: Trip to Scotland in December 2014 (before Christmas)

Most distilleries won't be offering tours in December unless it's something related to celebrating Hogmanay

Burke, VA
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5. Re: Trip to Scotland in December 2014 (before Christmas)

Thanks all for your help. We wanted to travel in December, because it is off season, colder for drinking whisky, and maybe we could shop the Christmas markets too. The daylight hours will be duly noted -- I suppose that would mean more time curled up near a fire with a great glass of Scotch whisky in hand!

glasgow scotland
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6. Re: Trip to Scotland in December 2014 (before Christmas)

Hmm, don't think I would agree with your reasons for going at that time of year, think of all that stunning scenery you are missing out on!!!

If it was me I would curl up in front of my own fire and just get a bottle from the off license!

But it's your money and your vacation!

Manchester, United...
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7. Re: Trip to Scotland in December 2014 (before Christmas)

OP, if you are free to visit Scotland at a different time of year, I suggest you seriously consider that, for all the reasons given above.

San Francisco...
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8. Re: Trip to Scotland in December 2014 (before Christmas)

Hi! From sunny California and just returned back from a family vacation to lovely Scotland in July 2014. Unfortunately, we only had 4 days in Scotland. Visited Glasgow, Edinburgh (and Castle), and Stirling (Castle and Wallace Monument). Also took a tour to the Loch Ness, Glencoe and Highlands (with a visit to the Urquhart Castle) from Glasgow. We booked our tour with Discover Scotland (http://www.discoverscotlandtours.com/) and it was the best tour ever. They are a small tour company, which was great (more personalize attention). The scenery was AMAZING! I couldn't find any other tour company that would visit Urquhart Castle. Our driver even made an unexpected side trip to allow passengers to meet and feed Scotland cows. They were so cute! It definitely made our tour extra special for my 13 year old son. The tour even included a taste of whisky during our lunch pitstop (they recommend that you bring lunch but there was a restaurant available too)! Although, I'm not familiar with Scotland during Christmas time, I'd highly recommend a tour to the highlands. Thanks.

Aberdeen, United...
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9. Re: Trip to Scotland in December 2014 (before Christmas)

As a lover of malt whisky( I agree its best while the weather is bad- snow going sideways outside is best), and a dweller in Aberdeenshire, I do not see why you shouldn't come to Scotland in December. Personally I would suggest finding a lovely town over in Speyside, Elgin springs to mind, as the biggest town on the railway line. Find a distillery that still does tours in December, (I'm sure there will be a few- even our wee one at Glen Garioch does.) Visit the distillery- one will do they all pretty much tell you the same thing, buy a load of different whiskies and enjoy your holiday. Whichever town you decide upon will have local tourist information so you can still get about during the day to see our wonderful countryside, then curl up in front of a peat fire and enjoy yourselves. If you feel you want to see more you could try Oban, also a great town for whisky lovers, and perhaps Aberfeldy, personally not so fond of Lowland malts.

Manchester, United...
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10. Re: Trip to Scotland in December 2014 (before Christmas)

It's good that no 8 enjoyed his/her recent visit so much, but that doesn't actually tell you much, OP, about your plan to visit at Christmas. Scotland in July and Scotland in December are very different places!