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Scotland 8 days in October

Ottawa, Canada
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Scotland 8 days in October

My souse and I will be renting a car at Heathrow on October 7 and returning it to Southampton on October 15. We are fairly active, mid 60's and enjoy small towns and villages, pubs, and general sightseeing. We try to avoid big cities but would like to see the main attractions in Edinburgh. Mostly just walking, visiting castles and enjoying a nice meal. We like museums but feel we do not have the time given our expected itinerary.

We would love to receive feedback on our proposed itinerary. We are used to driving long distances in Canada but realize that distances may be misleading especialy in Scotland. Please let us know if we are trying for too much in 8 days and what you would eliminate or adjust to better fit the number of days. We love driving but it is important to stop and enjoy the view occasionally.

If you have any suggestions for must sees along the route in Scotland or nice Inns, Pubs or B&B please let us know. For Wales and other Stops south of Scotland can post separately.

Day 1 Arrive early morning at Heathrow and head for Edinburgh. We will probably stop along the Leeds route to stay a night. We understand that there are quicker routes to Edinburgh but wanted to take a different road there and back.

Day 2 Arrive in Edinburgh. Edinburgh Castle, Royal mile are a must.

Day 3 Arrive Inverness

Day 4 Isle of Skye

Day 5 Glencoe

Day 6 Cardiff

Day 8 Southampton (arriving in late afternoon).

We have experience driving on the left including Britain and New Zealand. We will be renting a compact car.

I hope this gives a good overview. We can't wait. It has been a vaction we have dreamed about for years and it's almost here.

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1. Re: Scotland 8 days in October

You are going to spend an awful lot of time in the car and not a lot seeing much to be perfectly honest

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2. Re: Scotland 8 days in October

For example driving from Glencoe to Cardiff will take approximately 10 hours.

Do you do that on your Glencoe day or your Cardiff one?

Ottawa, Canada
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3. Re: Scotland 8 days in October

This would be on the Cardiff day as we have the last day to explore Cardiff. Our boat does not leave from Southampton until Midnight. My on-line maps indicate an 8 hour drive but I think I should be adding an hour or three to each leg.

I believe I may have greatly underestimated the driving times. That means I will have to cut out some of the itinerary. Hard choices indeed. Perhaps Inverness, Isle of Skye or even Cardiff. You are correct, we must leave more time for exploring. Any suggestions on what you would cut out would be appreciated. All these places are probably must see but if we have to cut to elimate some of the driving it means we will return when we have more time. Not a bad option.

Thanks for your input. Much appreciated.

Ottawa, Canada
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4. Re: Scotland 8 days in October

I just noticed an error in my original post. There is no day 7. Day 7 is Cardiff and day 6 shoud read Glasgow.

i still think that Williamnt is correct and there is not enough time alloted to enjoying the area and too much driving. As I am too late to edit the original I think I will take your advise and rework the itinerary. I will then delete the original and resubmit. In the mean time any other suggestions would be gratly appreciated.

Edinburgh, United...
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5. Re: Scotland 8 days in October

Have you considered flying from LHR to Edinburgh and hiring a car from there? I have only been to Leeds once but unless you are going there for a specific purpose, I don't think there is much of note there. That will save you a day. Similarly, you could return the car to Edinburgh and fly to London and train it Southampton or take the train to London from Edinburgh and stop off in York or Durham. Unless of course you really want to go to Cardiff.

Dundee, United...
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6. Re: Scotland 8 days in October

Arriving off a transatlantic flight and then immediately picking up a car and driving to Edinburgh or Leeds with jetlag is not ideal. It's a long drive to both and roads in the South of England and Midlands are often heavily congested, which will add to the stress and driving time. You've maybe booked flights to Heathrow already, but if you're focussing on Scotland there are direct flights from Toronto to both both Glasgow, Edinburgh (and Manchester if you're going to Leeds) which would save a lot of hassle compared to flying to Heathrow. Even if you must arrive at Heathrow, as No_excuses_man mentions there are onward flights available from there to both Leeds and Edinburgh with British Airways which are worth investigating and will save a lot of time consuming and stressful driving.

Leeds is pleasant enough, but unless you've got a specific reason to visit it I wouldn't go out of my way to visit on a tight timescale.

Your plans in Scotland are fine, although Imverness, whilst nice enough, is not necessarily a destination in itself, so you might be better to head straight for Skye.

The last couple of days are the same as the first couple - A vast amount of driving and no time to see much. I'm not sure it's worth making such a long trip to Cardiff for such a short visit unless you have a burning desire to go there. As before,, you can fly from Glasgow to both Cardiff and Southampton (with Cityjet and FlyBe respectively), so it would save a fair bit of time to use that option instead of driving.

Boston...
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7. Re: Scotland 8 days in October

Glad you're rethinking your itinerary. Being from the US we're used to driving long distances with no problem also. However, it's not the same as driving in the UK.

I've driven all over England, Ireland, and Wales. A route will take double the time you think it will, with no time to sidetrack for some unplanned exploring, which will be the things you most remember.Results in you being rushed and stressed and seeing very little.

I know it's hard to limit your itinerary with so many wonderful places to see but you will be much happier you did.

Happy planning!

Ottawa, Canada
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8. Re: Scotland 8 days in October

Thanks everyone for your suggestions.

We do sleep well on overnight flights so driving the next morning has never been a problem for us. We do like to drive from point A to B without attraction stops just to view the country side.

That being said it is a short trip that focuses on Scotland and Wales so looking into flights further north makes sense. I will look imto other flights and resubmit the itinerary. We may still drive from London but it will be worth looking at options. In any case I will complete a trip report when I return.

Thanks again everyone.

I

9. Re: Scotland 8 days in October

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