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Scottish Highlands itinerary

Melaka
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Scottish Highlands itinerary

Hello.

We will be spending 3 days and 2 nights in the Scottish Highlands. Inverness will be our base. I would be grateful for views / opinion on our proposed itinerary.

1st day - Edinburgh - Stirling- Callander -Rannoch Moor- Glencoe-Urquhart Castle, Loch Ness, Inverness

2nd Day- Inverness- Cromarty- Dunrobin(Golspie)/Falls of Shin-Assynt- Ullapool- Gairloch-Inverness

3rd day- Glen Affric- Fort Augustus- Speyside distillery-Grampian mountains-Caledonian Canal- Pitlochry-Perth-Edinburgh

San Jose, California
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1. Re: Scottish Highlands itinerary

IMHO you are cramming too many things into each day. Although Scottish roads are good, travel time is a lot longer than here in the US.

You could rush through Edinburgh castle, jog the Royal Mile and get on a train for Stirling, then run through Stirling Castle, but you'd be missing so much.

I would suggest not trying to see all of Scotland in 3 days! Limit yourself to Edinburgh and Stirling, then plan of seeing the highlands on another trip.

Scotland is too wonderful and packed with great history to rush through it.

New York City, New...
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2. Re: Scottish Highlands itinerary

Yes, I agree you've packed your days. Most people would give at least a day to Edinburgh, then maybe go to Stirling Castle and drive up to Glencoe through Callander and Rannoch Moor in another day, and then up to Urqhart Castle, Loch Ness and Inverness the next day. Ullapool and and Gairloch are in one direction from Inverness and Cromarty and Dunrobin in the other direction. This would take two days. Glen Afric and Fort Augustus are in the opposite direction from Speyside.

You either need more days or fewer sights. Use via michelin to plot your route and then add 25% to the time.

Pam

Stanley, Falkland...
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3. Re: Scottish Highlands itinerary

Check your map.... the Caledonian Canal is not near the Grampians or Pitlochry.

You could see it (Neptunes Staircase), just north of Fort William on day 1, if you slow down for 10 minutes.

Pretty rushed, I agree.

www.viamichelin.com

www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk

Scunthorpe, United...
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4. Re: Scottish Highlands itinerary

I use AA route planner for distances and driving times.

http://www.theaa.com/route-planner/index.jsp

Are you intending to STOP and LOOK ROUND any of the places on your list?

DAY 1 Assuming a clear road with no holdups this will take about 6 hours PLUS stops. I assume you will need lunch even if it is only a sandwich. What about stops for photographs? Are you intending to stop and look at Stirling? If so this will take 1-2 hours. Callendar, another 30 min. Glencoe say 30 minutes. Urquart Castle - 30-60minutes. Last tickets are sold at 5.15. I understand you can no longer get good pictures of the castle from the road or car park - you have to pay to go in for pictures.

DAY 2 I reckon this is 6-7hours in the car with no stops. This is another very long day. Are you intending to go round Dunrobin Castle? From their web site "Please allow at least 1 hour for your tour of Dunrobin Castle and further time to spend in the gardens and museum. Don’t forget about the Falconry displays at 11.30 and 14.00 – these take about 30 mins. "

Falls of Shin - this could take 30min+ It's not going to give you much time for Ullapool and Gairloch or are you just intending to drive through and miss out on all the goodies.

DAY 3 What are your expectations of Glen Affric? You really need to get out of the car and walk - even if it is only the walk to Plodda Falls. Driving there and back doesn't begin to do it justice. What do you mean by the Caledonian Canal - is it the bit from Fort Augustus? Are you planning on a tour of the distillery - if so have you checked up on times and how long this will take? What do you mean by the Grampian Mountains - this covers quite a big chunk of Scotland. Are you intending to get out of the car in Pitlochry and Perth or just drive straight through?

I have a feeling you will see a lot of Scotland but in fact end up not remembering much of it as it will all be a blur. I'm reminded of the comment by an American when asked if she had had a good holiday "I'll tell you when I look at the photos".

I think you do need to seriously rethink these 3 days.

Melaka
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5. Re: Scottish Highlands itinerary

Thanks so much everyone for the views.

We have set one day exploring Edinburgh. The next day is the Highlands trip! . We will be pushing off from Edinburgh for the journey. We will spend 2 overnights in Inverness before heading back to Edinburgh

We definitely are going to stop at Stirling Castle.I'm not sure whether they want to enter the Castle as we understand that a part of the Castle is currently undergoing renovations. We have had suggestions to take pictures from outside the Castle.

If we can't take pictures of Urquhart Castle from the car park, perhaps we will skip it then and also Drumnadrochit which we understand is a charming village.

As to the 2nd day- how can we make it less packed? I know that Ullapool & Gairloch are on the North West side and Dunrobin Assynt , Golspie is on the North East side. But we've heard so much about the lovely scenic passes from Golspie to Ullapool that we just had to put it in. We dont intend on visiting Dunrobin Castle- just to pass it.

On to the 3rd day- we will have to take out the Speyside distillery and go for ones nearer to our journey- Could anyone recommend me a few? I have 3 members who are Whisky enthusiasts. We had to take out the Glenmorangie Distillery on our 2nd day as most of the members wanted to visit other places.

We are definitely going to rethink this all over again. Thanks again for your views!

You

Edited: 01 August 2010, 01:02
Gig Harbor...
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6. Re: Scottish Highlands itinerary

In June we visited several of the stops on your itinerary. IMHO Cromarty was not particularly interesting and rather far from your other stops. Urquhart Castle is an excellent ruined castle, although we did not find anything particularly charming in Drumnadrochit. We stayed at Tigh na Bruach in Invermorriston, probably the loveliest B & B we have ever visited. Fort Augustus is right next to it--we went there for dinner. Inverness was not far in the opposite direction.

We did not drive quite all the way up to Ullapool (we stopped at the gorge), but we thought Loch Torridon and Glen Torridon were the most scenic parts of Wester Ross. If you only went that far into Wester Ross, you might also have time for a bit of Skye.

If you are near Pitlochry, Queen's View is worth the short detour. And we also enjoyed Dunkeld Cathedral on the way back to Edinburgh.

Melaka
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7. Re: Scottish Highlands itinerary

Thanks Historyteacher_8 for letting me know about Wester Ross. If we have to choose between the North West Highlands and the North East Highlands, my group would definitely pick the North West. I'll let my group know about Wester Ross and see what they think about it.

About Cromarty, We've read quite a bit about it hence that's why we wanted to visit the village. Could you explain a bit more why you didnt find it particularly interesting?

Scunthorpe, United...
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8. Re: Scottish Highlands itinerary

On day 1 you will be driving along the shores of Loch Ness and through Drumnadrochit anyway .

Day 2

If you are not wanting to go round Dunrobin Castle, I would suggest skipping Cromarty(nice but then so are many of the small Scottish towns and you can't see them all) and Dunrobin and head to Ullapool (stop off at Corrieshalloch Gorge and the Falls of Measach ). Unless you are desperate to do Ullapool(from what I can remember there wasn't a lot to the town) you could miss Ullapool and take A832 round the coast to Gairloch and then back to Inverness. This is a marvellous drive - take your time and stop off at Inverewe gardens.

Have a look here for some ideas:

undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/ustours/gairloch-…

Day 3

Scrub Glen Affric as you don't have time to do it. Take A9 through Aviemore to Pitlochry. You will have travelled through Fort Augustus and along the shores of Loch Ness to Inverness on Day 1.

Distillery ideas around Pitlochry:

Blair Athol (check detals carefully as has been undergoing refurbishment).

discovering-distilleries.com/Blair%20Athol/b…

Edradour Distillery in Pitlochry which does tours.

scotlandwhisky.com/distilleries/…Edradour

http://www.edradour.co.uk/placevisit.asp

No doubt others will come in with other suggestions.

Melaka
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9. Re: Scottish Highlands itinerary

EESW thanks so much for the reply!

Will let my mates know about your suggestion!

But to miss Glen Affric ... sigh... Could we do Glen Affric on the 1st day instead?

Scunthorpe, United...
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10. Re: Scottish Highlands itinerary

Sorry there just isn't time on Day 1. This is already a very full day with a lot of driving.

I an understand your disappointment about not seeing Glen Affric - it is beautiful but you really need to walk it to appreciate the glen. It coud be a toss up between doing Glen Affric and then heading to Edinburgh or doing the distillery visit. Check out milages and distances on this.

Don't despair too much if you don't manage it - you will see plenty of other good scenery on Day 2 - honest.

eg Corrieshalloch Gorge and the Falls of Measach

undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/ullapool/corriesh…

and information for a short walk if time allows:

walkhighlands.co.uk/ullapool/corrieshalloch.…

Eleanor

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