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self-drive tours

SW PA
5 posts
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self-drive tours

A friend and I are planning a trip to Scotland in May. We want to rent a car and drive ourselves around; we both dislike the canned tours where you have no flexibility. I did a bus tour of Britain several years ago with Trafalgar and I don't want to do the same thing again. I'm working with my travel agent and Brendan tours, and have contacted myguidebritain.com about the same thing. We wanted to compare accomodation choices, prices, etc. What does anyone think about just booking the airfare and car online and winging it once we're there for b&b's/hotels/etc.? May is not high season, and there is so much information on the web. I book b&b's for the vacations my hubby and I take each year over the net and have not been disappointed, but I'm just a little leary of booking with the online company - at least if something isn't right with Brendan I have my travel agent to fall back on. For instance, Stonefield Castle is listed with Brendan as a 5 star accomodation, but the reviews here were very disappointing.

Anyone have any suggestions? Any information would be appreciated!

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alyth, scotland
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663 posts
21 reviews
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1. Re: self-drive tours

check out the trip reports of truetexan

it looked like they had a great time in scotland

driving - some B&B should be booked in advance depends

on time in may you are planning to travel

May 7th and May 28th are holidays in Britain and lots of

people will be going away on those weekends.

Most can be booked over the net - www.visitscotland.com has good listings of B&B/Guesthouses, www.theAA.com has a good site to look for accommodation as well. Fall back is to check on tripadvisior for comments from fellow travellers.

Have fun planning

Russell, Kansas
Level Contributor
586 posts
80 reviews
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2. Re: self-drive tours

During May, not booking B&B ahead may work out ok, or may not. My son and I were over last May and I did book our B&B accomodation ahead of time. I just looked at a gazillion websites, picked ones that looked nice and if the email communication was polite and professional I booked online. Was not disappointed with any of my choices.

One note, the lodging we booked in the Loch Ness area, I am very glad I did book ahead. We were in the lounge looking at the menues of the local restaurants and I swear, the doorbell rang 5 or 6 times with other travellers looking for a room. It was so funny when the owner stated, "I do think I need to get a larger NO VACANCY sign!"

Stirling, United...
Destination Expert
for Stirling
Level Contributor
14,627 posts
7 reviews
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3. Re: self-drive tours

It does depend where you go - in more rural places all the B&Bs for miles around can be booked if there's a big wedding. You can always use the local tourist info offices who will book you a bed for the evening in your destination if you ask them in the morning. They will usually find you something. B&Bs rated with the tourist board in Scotland are pretty reliable, even the 1* ones will be clean and comfortable, although not luxuruous.

4. Re: self-drive tours

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TripAdvisor staff removed this post because it did not meet TripAdvisor's forum posting guidelines with prohibiting self-promotional advertising or solicitation.

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Removed on: 04 September 2008, 17:42
SW PA
5 posts
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5. Re: self-drive tours

Thanks tomjunior, I will check out trutexan's story. We are planning on May 14 to 24th, so will not be in Scotland for the two holidays you mentioned. But thanks for the info!

snoopysmom0702

SW PA
5 posts
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6. Re: self-drive tours

thanks to bobelinks and clafoutie for insight - I had not thought about local events such as a wedding booking up area accomodations. We will check out as many as we can and make some choices. I hope we have as much fun as it sounds you did!

snoopysmom0702

SW PA
5 posts
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7. Re: self-drive tours

thanks to kansabeck for the tip about Lock Ness. We sure do want to stay in that area, so I guess we will be sure to book ahead. Where did you stay and were you happy with it?

snoopysmom0702

Scotland, United...
Destination Expert
for South Ayrshire, Glasgow
Level Contributor
14,894 posts
311 reviews
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8. Re: self-drive tours

Hi Snoopysmom - Here are trutexans trip reports on the Scottish Trip Collection Inside Pages:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g186485-c21729/Scotla…

Some other trip reports of interest in there too.

cheers

PC

9. Re: self-drive tours

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

TripAdvisor staff removed this post because it did not meet TripAdvisor's forum posting guidelines with prohibiting self-promotional advertising or solicitation.

We ask all of our members to keep their forum messages free of self-promoting advertisements or solicitation of any kind - members affiliated with any tourism-related business should not include commercial contact information or URLs in their forum messages.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 04 September 2008, 17:42
Russell, Kansas
Level Contributor
586 posts
80 reviews
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10. Re: self-drive tours

There is tremendous amount of debate over whether Loch Ness is worth seeing and everyone has their own opinion. Personally, I like Loch Ness. I am not however into searching for Nessie and have never been to either of the two Nessie museums. The appeal for myself and my son, was the fact that it is so totally different than any lake here in the US where we live. The peat in the surrounding hills makes the water a dark colour that I had no idea about. We did stop at the Clasman hotel to use the loo before we did the Jacobite cruise and I thought the folks there were forgetting to flush the toilets. All of them had, well, yellow water in them. It wasn't until we were listening to the commentary on the cruise that we learned the water is naturally that colour and not because someone forgot to flush. The scenery surrounding Loch Ness is beautiful and definately different from where I live the rest of the year. I will say as well, I have not seen a loch in Scotland anywhere that wasn't absolutely stunning. Even the little ones hold their own charm.

The B&B that I booked was http://www.glenrowan.co.uk/ I was completely happy with it. One never knows booking online, sight-unseen, but even my 15 year old son, the typical cynic enjoyed it. The hosts are gracious and it is spic and span clean. The location is another plus. It's a short 10 minutes walk to Urquart castle and we walked to all our evening meals and then walked more just because we love to walk. Inverness is 20 minutes drive so we considered it a perfect base for our exploring of that area.