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8 days in Scotland?

Downingtown...
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8 days in Scotland?

Hi,

I'm trying to plan a potential trip to the UK for July, 2014. The first week we'll be in southern England, and then we're going to take the train up to Scotland for 8 days (with the first and last days being mostly travel days). We'll be flying out of Glasgow. Traveling will be me, my husband, and our 12 yr old son.

The only absolute must-do is to visit Clan Donald on the Isle of Skye (my husband is a MacDonald). I figure we'll want to do 2 nights around Armadale.

But I'm at a bit of a loss as to what else to do, and how to travel. I can drive on the left-hand side, so driving is a possibility. Though, after reading about the Glenfinnan Viaduct, we would love to see that (my son is a huge Harry Potter fan), either from the train or car. We would like to see the Highlands, but don't want to spend a majority of our time travelling. Unfortunately, the 12 yr old does get bored on long trips.

So, any recommendations for 8 days starting and ending in Glasgow, with a few days around Armadale, and seeing some castles and lochs? Since we will have (at least) 2 large suitcases, a car seems much more convenient than rail or bus, but we're open to any of those. If we go by car, my vague idea was to arrive in Glasgow mid-afternoon, pick up the car, and drive <somewhere> (within 2 hrs) (Day 1). Stay there for 2 nights. On Days 2 and 3, do some day trips, hopefully ending up around Armadale on the evening of Day 3. On Days 4 and 5, visit Clan Donald and the Sleat area. On Day 6, drive back to Glasgow. Fly out of Glasgow on the afternoon of Day 8.

Thanks,

Carole

Edinburgh, United...
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1. Re: 8 days in Scotland?

Hi. Your plan sounds good, and you've considered your personal limitations well (12 year old attention span and luggage burden!).

A car definitely opens up more options and freedom to stop as much as you want. If you are based in the south of Skye you could easily use one of your day trips to take the ferry back to Mallaig (as foot passenger), and take the 'Harry Potter' train trip as a round trip (both directions). It's a stunning rail journey. The Jacobite train is a nice touch, but the regular Scotrail train uses the same route, so the views are the same.

For your first stopping point, somewhere around Loch Lomond and the Trossachs would work.

Abs :)

London, United...
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2. Re: 8 days in Scotland?

dayoutwiththekids.co.uk/things-to-do/aviemore

This area has lots of activities. I Googled Aviemore for Kids and this came up. You can do the same for other locations and a similar page should appear in the search results

I suspect that the Aviemore area and beyond has as good a selection of activities for children as anywhere in Scotland.

Manchester, United...
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3. Re: 8 days in Scotland?

Your provisional itinerary looks good. However, if you want to travel on the Jacobite, the timings are such that you can only do a day return from Fort William, and not from Mallaig. However, the ordinary Scotrail trains use the same lines, and you could travel one way on the Jacobite and then the other by Scotrail.

West Yorkshire...
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4. Re: 8 days in Scotland?

If you are in the Fort William area (the town itself is not too picturesque IMO, perhaps stay in Glencoe?) Then not too far away is an "Ice wall" http://www.ice-factor.co.uk/

Also near Fort William is a gondola (cable car) http://www.nevisrange.co.uk/gondola-info.asp.

I think a 12 year old might enjoy these.

And - definitely drive!

Edinburgh...
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5. Re: 8 days in Scotland?

You have a choice of train to Edinburgh or Glasgow. One 'loop' might be Edinburgh - Perth - Dalwhinnie - Spean Bridge - Kyle of Lochalsh - Skye, then returning Armadale - Mallaig - Fort William - Glencoe - Oban - Loch Lomond - Glasgow. There are shorter variations (Edinburgh - Stirling - Fort William - Skye)

Or as you say you can start and end in Glasgow and ignore Edinburgh. Sniff.

Armadale isn't really a village - it's a few houses, a hotel and a shop along the road. It's a bit out on a limb. If you're interested in getting around Skye you might look at Broadford instead. Unless of course you're stay at/near Armadale Castle of course.

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6. Re: 8 days in Scotland?

In case the OP returns, a warning to her and others planning to stay in Glasgow in July 2014. The Commonwealth Games there at the end of July mean that hotel rooms are difficult to find and very expensive. According to BBC Radio 4 today, up to you if you believe it, there may be a downturn in prices in January or February as corporates who have booked lots of rooms may start cancelling if they find out that their prospective guests can't attend.

7. Re: 8 days in Scotland?

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