Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Scotland Holiday suggestions

  1. #1
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    2,729

    Scotland Holiday suggestions

    Booked flights to Edinburgh for July 2019. We have a total of 14 nights. Looking some suggestions on the itinerary from any Scots or folks who have traveled there. I have only been to Edinburgh, so virtually all of it will be new for us. Here are places that I have on the list, but of course nothing is carved in stone yet:

    Edinburgh
    Stirling Castle
    Oban
    Mull/Iona/Ulva
    Glencoe
    Fort William/Jacobite steam train
    Isle of Skye
    Loch Tummel/Pitlochry/Cairngorms area

    I love castles, history, rural scenery, and WHISKY!! I am renting a car and am up for driving the long distances required plus I love natural beauty of the Scottish landscape. Some of those places listed above are just along the route I have planned. What else am I missing? Cheers in advance.

    Frank
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  2. #2
    West Coast &, of course, the Livet for whiskies. The Highlands are stunning. But there are areas less well-travelled... I would suggest the Borders, especially towards the east (about an hour's drive south from Edinburgh) - there are extraordinary ruined abbeys, dating from the days of Edward & the Border reivers. Dryburgh (a favourite of Walter Scott), Melrose, Jedburgh, Kelso.

    Also an hour's drive, in the opposite direction, is the East Neuk of Fife - a stretch of gorgeous wee fishing villages, with beautiful wee whitewashed cottages with orange pantile roofs. Also, Anstruther & Crail are the home of the Scottish at-folk renaissance - King Creosote, The Pictish Trail, James Yorkston (the Fence Collective) - you might get lucky, & score a wee festival).

    The south west - Burns country - Dumfries & Ayrshire, is also often missed, & is very beautiful.

    PM me if you want any info about Edinburgh - my hame toon!

  3. #3
    I just visited Glasgow. I see we share similar loves, save for maybe whiskey! We did do one of the tourist trips up to and around Loch Lemond and Loch Ness. I prefer to leave the driving to those who know those narrow roads, but also mainly because the steering wheel and driving on the "wrong" side just do something to my brain. And Glasgow is also not too long a drive, you might consider going there as well. I can say one thing. I LOVE the food there! We spent 4 days in Scotland, and 4 days in Manchester, 2 in Copenhagen and another 4 in Warsaw. Being Polish myself, I have a preference for Polish food, but I found myself liking Scottish food even more! Nothing I had in the other cities was quite as good as what I enjoyed in Scotland. I'm sure you'll enjoy your trip!

    BTW, I absolutely LOVE haggis! Had it three ways. One was at a pub with neeps & tatties (turnips and mashed potatoes), one at an Italian cafe made into a ravioli filling with a killer sauce and one where it was fried into balls. YUM!
    Last edited by Andyyyy; 09-19-2018 at 03:20 PM. Reason: BTW

  4. #4
    Fried haggis is a total "morning after" breakfast staple. Washed down with the first irn bru of the morning, & you'll be fit for the whisky by lunchtime.

  5. #5
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    2,729
    Quote Originally Posted by per anporth View Post
    West Coast &, of course, the Livet for whiskies. The Highlands are stunning. But there are areas less well-travelled... I would suggest the Borders, especially towards the east (about an hour's drive south from Edinburgh) - there are extraordinary ruined abbeys, dating from the days of Edward & the Border reivers. Dryburgh (a favourite of Walter Scott), Melrose, Jedburgh, Kelso.

    Also an hour's drive, in the opposite direction, is the East Neuk of Fife - a stretch of gorgeous wee fishing villages, with beautiful wee whitewashed cottages with orange pantile roofs. Also, Anstruther & Crail are the home of the Scottish at-folk renaissance - King Creosote, The Pictish Trail, James Yorkston (the Fence Collective) - you might get lucky, & score a wee festival).

    The south west - Burns country - Dumfries & Ayrshire, is also often missed, & is very beautiful.

    PM me if you want any info about Edinburgh - my hame toon!
    Oh man - this is great info - cheers! Almost makes me feel guilty for missing these parts, especially the Fife fishing villages and the ruins/villages in The Borders. The problem is the time - only two weeks - and since we are headed north/northwest, those places seem very out of the way. I can see why you would need 3 or 4 trips to fully "get" what this country is all about, and that wouldn't even cover it I'm sure. Definitely has me thinking though, and like I said nothing is carved in stone, except the fact that I've always wanted to get to Skye and Mull. Thanks again .....I'll keep you posted.
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  6. #6
    Member hFx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Posts
    304
    Drumnadrochit and the Loch Ness! You'll miss the Highland Games of traditional Scottish sports (which is in August) but do visit Fiddler's for the best Haggis in Scotland and an awesome collection of whiskey.
    My Progressive Workshop at http://soundcloud.com/hfxx

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Kalamazoo Michigan
    Posts
    2,614
    My father actually just got back from a vacation to England, Ireland, and Scotland. Met up with him yesterday. Scotland highlights for him were Edinburgh, Loch Ness (he also toured some castle near there), and the Giants Causeway. Scotland is a bucket list place for me someday, but have not made it there myself yet.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveSly View Post
    Loch Ness (he also toured some castle near there)
    Lol! That would be Castle Urquhart, on the banks of Loch Ness (near Drumnadrochit). I once saw in the New Year in the ruins of Castle Urquhart - there was a group of twelve of us, spending a week around hogmanay in two wee cottages about a mile away.

    The local whisky is Glen Ord, distilled at Muir of Ord - a fine, but less well-known, drink, with a distinctive citrusy edge in the 12.

  9. #9
    If you find yourself up near Inverness, the Culloden battlefield is fantastic. The visitor's center is quite new and really well designed, including one of the coolest digital recreations of a battle I've ever seen - basically a view from above where you can track the entire course of the battle.

    In Edinburgh, do not miss the Scottish National Museum and make sure to see the Lewis chess pieces. I also recommend Holyroodehouse which is extremely interesting and has an amazing collection of artifacts in the rooms after Mary's chambers (actually the room Rizzo supposedly died in). The view from Arthur's Seat is worth the climb.

    Stirling Castle is also great, and don't miss the little loophole in the wall where Mary was allowed to look out when she was a little girl (it's in an out of the way spot near the back of the castle).

    If/when we return, I'd spend more time on Skye and maybe try to get to one of the outer islands as well.

    Bill

  10. #10
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Brussels
    Posts
    2,705
    my parents lived for five years in Edinburg in the late 80's, so I visited a few times (generally in August and EoY festivities).
    - In august I'd hang around for a week in the city (9 festivals at the same time) and the parks across Princess Street, where the artistes were performing bits to entice evening tickets sales... Lotsa fun. Don't know if Vinyl Villains still exist up on Leith Road, close by the Nelson monument, though - the place was punkish then, but that may be different nowadays. The Royal Mile and Arthur's Seat are musts (count a bit less than half a day to climb up, stay a while and climb down).
    - But after one week, I headed out camping for the highlands (both north & south of Loch Ness), but also those of the of the Lowlands (close to Lake District and Borders), which deserve more attention IMHO - especially that those counties have very rich historical feats & places.
    - the upper eastern coast is relatively dull and if some cities are fine (St Andrews, where golf was born/invented), others are grey (Aberdeen). Malt-wise, my faves are north of Inverness (Glen Ord, Morangie, Dalmore and Balblair), but the countryside is very average, IMHO. If you heading to meet Nessie from Edinburg, go by the inland route , rather than the coasts... Shorter distances and shorter breath as well.
    - The western coast is obviously more spectacular than the eastern coast, but it's also a lot rainier (if you're planning to catch a sunray up there, you're quadrupling your chances on the east coast). If Edinburg is a rather nice but sleepy capital (or was... things could've changed), it is also more spectacular than the industrial Glasgow, which is much more vibrant, but also one of the more violent western European cities. GG is much miore fun, IMHO, especially if you like partying. The two distilleries close to the city have some dynamite full-bodied malts (Auchentoshan and Glengoyne) in their best expressions. Just north of GG, you got the Trossachs mountains, spectacular park, but bring a reserve raincoat. Btw, you'll find palm trees around the coast, as you will also on several of the small islands (gulf stream arriving between GB and Irish mainlands.

    I've done a lot of areas, but never headed out for the Hebrides, didn't feel the need to, IMHO, for two reasons:
    1) didn't feel the landscapes would dramatically change from the mainland
    2) detested the smoky/peaty malts they brew and distil out there.
    3) you've got of peninsulas to give you an "island feel"
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from heroin-addicts to crazy ones

  11. #11
    ^^^ "Vinyl Villains still exist up on Leith Road" — it's still there! & still punky (it's close [a] to Boughton St, which is pretty hip, & [b] even closer to Valvona & Crolla [about 15 metres], the best deli in Britain).

    "industrial Glasgow, which is much more vibrant, but also one of the more violent western European cities" — this was certainly the case in years gone by; however, in work done by the Violence Reduction Unit, which has pioneered a revolutionary "public health" approach to gang violence, & with whom I have had the privilege to collaborate through my own work, knife-related violence has been reduced by over 50%,a staggering achievement. In many ways, Glasgow's contemporary tragedy is the double incineration of Rennie Mackintosh's exquisite School of Art.

  12. #12
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    2,729
    Thanks for all of the thoughts guys.

    One of my biggest dilemmas right now is deciding to do either:

    4 nights on Skye, 2 nights in Glencoe/Highlands

    3 nights on Skye, 3 nights in Glencoe/Highlands

    ??
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    Thanks for all of the thoughts guys.

    One of my biggest dilemmas right now is deciding to do either:

    4 nights on Skye, 2 nights in Glencoe/Highlands

    3 nights on Skye, 3 nights in Glencoe/Highlands

    ??
    Close call. I'd say split the difference and go 3/3. Plenty to do in both spots, and you'll be walking away from both wishing you had more days. Unless you wanted to explore the Outer Hebrides I think 3 days on Skye would be enough, given the overall time limitations.

    Bill

  14. #14
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    2,729
    Quote Originally Posted by Sputnik View Post
    Close call. I'd say split the difference and go 3/3. Plenty to do in both spots, and you'll be walking away from both wishing you had more days. Unless you wanted to explore the Outer Hebrides I think 3 days on Skye would be enough, given the overall time limitations.

    Bill
    Yeah, thanks, I'm leaning more towards the 3/3. From Skye we are going south to Glencoe area, then heading to Mull for another three nights to stay at this beast (this Castle is already booked!):

    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    Yeah, thanks, I'm leaning more towards the 3/3. From Skye we are going south to Glencoe area, then heading to Mull for another three nights to stay at this beast (this Castle is already booked!):

    You can't go wrong with this plan. Glengorm looks amazing!

    Bill

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •