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I want to plan a whiskey/zoo visit for my hubby's 30th

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I want to plan a whiskey/zoo visit for my hubby's 30th

Hi, I'm looking to go to the Scottish Highlands mid January 2015 for my husbands birthday. I would leave on a Sat night, stay the night, visit a distillery or two, the zoo and then fly home on the Sun eve.

Can someone recommend a couple of distilleries near the zoo? a hotel nearby to stay in? the best way to do this?

Thank you,

Rachel

Edinburgh...
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1. Re: I want to plan a whiskey/zoo visit for my hubby's 30th

Posted in "Scottish Highlands" which is a pretty big area.

WHich zoo did you have in mind?

glasgow scotland
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2. Re: I want to plan a whiskey/zoo visit for my hubby's 30th

Am I reading that right that you plan to travel up on a Saturday evening , stay the night ,try and fit in a couple of Distillery's and the Zoo,presumably Edinburgh? All in a Sunday morning/afternoon?

Sorry but you are going to need a day or two longer, at least come up on the Friday morning and make a weekend of it!

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3. Re: I want to plan a whiskey/zoo visit for my hubby's 30th

Lots of things in the Highlands including a big amount of Distilleries are closed for the season in the Winter. Also take into account it will be dark around 3.30pm in the afternoon and it may be very cold or even be snowing.

If you want a Zoo. Edinburgh is the place, plus it's not seasonal, so lots to see and do. So, best to go and ask at the Edinburgh Forum...you may be lucky with the Zoo and see some baby pandas.

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4. Re: I want to plan a whiskey/zoo visit for my hubby's 30th

I can't see that you've got time to do anything other than visit Edinburgh (or Glasgow). Visiting the countryside when there are only 7-8 hours of daylight and the weather can be inhospitable is often challenging. If you stick to a big city at least you will have plenty of places to go and things to do if the weather is bad. Flying up on a Friday and back on the Sunday would be the way to go.

If you want ideas for a hotel you had best give a budget, as otherwise folk could spend a lot of time suggesting places that are not in line with your expectations.

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5. Re: I want to plan a whiskey/zoo visit for my hubby's 30th

Thank you people for your comments/queries! He is a research scientist, and has always wanted to go to Highland Wildlife Park to see the polar bears, he been talking about it forever, hence my desire to go there rather then Edinburgh (he also does quite a bit of work in Edinburgh so I want to stay away from there if possible)

I can't come for longer then this as I have a baby whom I will have to arrange childcare for.

I would love to get to the zoo for opening time at 10, then be there for 3ish hours, and then go on a whiskey tour. I don't mind which one...

Budget for hotel is no more than £100 if possible, but I don't know what the range is, so I not sure if I'm aiming too high or low etc.I would just like it to be close to the zoo if possible.

Is there anything I can do?

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6. Re: I want to plan a whiskey/zoo visit for my hubby's 30th

The Wild Life Park is open from 10 to 4 in January, so the only problem could be the weather.

I think you should look online for which Distilleries will be open at that time of year. I know we tried to go to one in April, there was snow and ice on the ground then. The Tourist Office in Aviemore told us it was the only one that was open at that time of year. We drove all the way to it and it was closed until May. I would think they would be little call for tours in January.

Incidentally, Whiskey is Irish or American. Whisky is Scottish..

Edited: 19 August 2014, 19:56
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7. Re: I want to plan a whiskey/zoo visit for my hubby's 30th

Logistically I feel this is virtually impossible.

You can get an 18.35 flight from Gatwick to Inverness and, assuming car hire firms are then shut, you could stay in Inverness overnight, hire a car on the Sunday morning and, 90 minutes later, be at the Wildlife Park. (It would have been less confusing if you'd have said wildlife park not zoo at the outset). The return flight is 16.00 so you'd probably have to leave the Highlands soon after noon, not even two hours after you arrived. Further, are Inverness car hire firms open on Sundays in January?

An alternative is to fly into Edinburgh or Glasgow but you have to add at least 60 minutes more driving time. For Glasgow you have the option of flying from Luton (out 17.30, back 18.50), or Heathrow (out 21.00, back 17.10).

Edinburgh permutations are Stansted (out 20.25, back 21.20), Gatwick (out 18.00 or 19.55, back 20.00), or Heathrow (out 18.35 or 19.50, back 19.40).

If my reading of the timetables is correct, your only realistic options are Stansted, Gatwick or Heathrow to Edinburgh and back. I'll leave you to investigate Saturday evening, Sunday morning and Sunday evening opening and closing times for car hire offices at Edinburgh airport.

According to AA route finder, it's a 2 hour 40 minute drive between Edinburgh Airport and the wildlife park.

One final point - whisky not whiskey.

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8. Re: I want to plan a whiskey/zoo visit for my hubby's 30th

ANother possibility would be the Euston/Inverness sleeper service BUT it doesn't run on Saturday nights.

You could possibly leave by train on Friday night and that would give you the leeway you need for a couple of whisky tours and a decent visit to the Wildlife Centre.

I think you need an extra day to make sense of this visit, and I would travel straight through Edinburgh, heading for Kingussie/Aviemore/Inverness. You could travel up Friday night, arriving bright and early on Saturday, and you could return overnight on Sunday.

You can pick up a car in Aviemore after breakfast Saturday, and I'm sure they can arrange a drop-off even if they're closed on Sunday.

http://www.scotrail.co.uk/sleeper

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9. Re: I want to plan a whiskey/zoo visit for my hubby's 30th

Hello

Highland Wildlife Park is near Kincraig, about 45 mins from Inverness. 20 minutes further down the road is Dalwhinnie distillery but you may need to check on tours in Jan.

Only thing I would warn of is the very real chance of snow at that time of year making driving difficult

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10. Re: I want to plan a whiskey/zoo visit for my hubby's 30th

You're a local, contentscot, so speak from experience no doubt, but the Highland Park website says it's a 90 minute drive from Inverness [Airport] to the park.