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08/04/2004 11:20:48 AM · #1
I'm going on a mini holiday to Scotland for a week soon, does anyone have any recommendations of places to visit?
We were planning on making our way to the Isle of Coll, taking in as many sights on the way as possible... unless anyone can suggest anything better?
Places to stop in-between Scotland and Yorkshire would be okay as well!

Thanks,

Bob
08/04/2004 11:33:05 AM · #2
Depends a bit on the way you are going - assuming you take the 'long' way around through Fort William, the road across Rannoch Moor and then through Glen Coe is some of the best scenery in the bottom end of the Highlands. The visitor center at the top end of Glen Coe is also surprisingly good. Might be worth being a National Trust member if you planned on going to a variety of places - it starts being financially worthwhile quite quickly.

Road through Glen Coe
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I personally like going to the Isle of Skye //www.skye.co.uk/, though that's a wee bit further North. A great loop that I did quite recently, is taking the road to Mallaig, (stopping at Glenfinnan for the view down the Loch and the 'Harry Potter' viaduct), then getting the Ferry to Skye. The road is single track, twisty and good fun to drive on the way to Mallaig. The ferry trip is quite short but you get a great view there too. There are quite a few good art/ craft shops in the approximate area that the ferry stops, as well as 'art trails' around the island (to different artists shops) which may or may not be interesting.

You can drive to Portree on Skye and get decent fish & chips in the harbour. That takes you along past the Cullians and some pretty stark, dramatic scenery. Then you can drive back over the Skye bridge, along the Road to the Isles to Fort William, past Eilean Donan castle. We stayed at a great B&B in Fort William - little bit more expensive than most but a beautiful place, fantastic breakfast, lovely rooms and free internet/ laptops in every room ;)

Hunting Tower Lodge Can't recommend it highly enough. The owners were really friendly and welcoming. They also rent classic cars if you wanted the convertable
experience in an MG. Staying in Fort William was a good base for heading out in various directions.

There are also a few things worth doing in Fort William - like going up Nevis Range //www.nevisrange.co.uk/summer/ / Ben Nevis (either hiking or getting the ski gondala up) and there is also a pretty good whisky distillery visit in Fort William, or so I'm told. They also have a herd of Highland cows at the distillery.

Luss, on the banks of Loch Lomond is also worth a stop. As is Oban, both for the Folly up on the hill side, but also the sea life center is pretty good.

Luss/ Loch & Ben Lomond
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Fort William/ Loch Linnhe, from the Crannog Seafood Restaurant //www.oceanandoak.co.uk/(fantastic food - probably the best in the area)
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Loch Sheil/ Glenfinnan
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The Cullians on the Isle of Skye
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Eilean Donan
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Loch Sheil/ Glenfinnan
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If you wanted something more urban, Glasgow is great - good shopping on Buchannan street, another fine bus/ tourist tour to give you a quick over view of the city (leaves from George Sq, near the city chambers). The West End of Glasgow is more studenty/ 'bohemian' but with good nightlife. Good art galleries there too - the Gallery of Modern Art is interesting and the Kelvingrove Art Gallery is worth a visit too.
//www.glasgowmuseums.com/

Edinburgh is more touristy than Glasgow, with plenty of sights - depending when you are going you may or may not be around for the Edinburgh International Festival & Fringe - zero hotel accomodation but tons of stuff going on then. (15th Aug to 5th Sept //www.eif.co.uk/) Just walking around the streets is fantastic then - but there is nowhere to stay...
Depending on the types of castles you wanted to see (ruined vs. rebuilt) Edinburgh is either fantastic or boring - though it is certainly imposing, on the large rock in the center of the city.

If you like Whisky I'd personally try to get to the Speyside region of the country - plenty of tours to go on there too. All of this very much depends on what you'd like to see/ do in your week.

Message edited by author 2004-08-04 12:03:58.
08/04/2004 11:33:28 AM · #3
Bob,
Edinburgh is a great city...so much history and great shots. There is a narrarated tour bus that goes around the city. You can get off at any of the stops and then get back on when the next bus rolls around which is very frequently. It might seem a little cheesy on the advertising brochures but it's a great way to get a bird's eye view and then go back to what you want to spend more time at. The castle is a must-see in my opinion. Inverness is another great town. Very nice hiking trails around the area over Loch Ness. Ask a local for directions.
Scotland is one of my favorite countries. Enjoy your trip!
Tammy
08/04/2004 12:02:46 PM · #4
Thanks for the responses... Gordon, you should work for the tourist board!
I have a friend from school who lives in Edinburgh, and I have visited before, definitely my favourite British city, blows all the others away. Shame I didn't take pictures then! We thought we'd stay away from Edinburgh this time though, as we want to get away from it all for the week.
Any more suggestions?
08/04/2004 12:08:32 PM · #5
Originally posted by BobsterLobster:

Thanks for the responses... Gordon, you should work for the tourist board!


Heh - thank you :) Just happened to have had a good trip, pretty recently so it is all fresh. We did a whistlestop tour, covering most of what I talked about in two days. Heading a bit further North from Fort William you can see Loch Ness - very dark, brooding and of course with a stuffed monster in every shop. Castle Urquhart //www.aboutscotland.com/ness/urquhart.html is pretty neat.

This clickable map and tour guide looks quite good for ideas too.

If you want more suggestions or comments on specific ideas - let me know. I've been to quite a few corners of the country in the 26 years I spent there.

If you want some ideas for more wild, scenic places to visit - check out the photography of Colin Prior for ideas - but realise that for some of these mountain shots he climbed the same mountain over and over again for 5 or more years :)

Message edited by author 2004-08-04 12:13:11.
08/04/2004 02:11:24 PM · #6
Hi :) First off, TAKE ME! hehe Its been about 4 years since I've been back to Scotland. I was born in Fife but lived mostly in London till I moved to the states in my teens. Scotland is an amazingly beautiful place full of historic castles and beautiful landscapes. I only recently got into photography, so I have been making a mental list of the sites I have seen and loved and plan to photograph once I go back. Like the other guys said, city life photos can't be beat in Edinburgh and Glasgow. The Lochs are stunning, best time to photograph them would be while the mist lays on the water, I think thats just gorgeous. 90% of the people on The Isles speak Gaelic, so that should be interesting for you. I was going to compile you a list of the places I thought were most beautifl and then I ran acrsoss this website, hope it helps :)

//www.rampantscotland.com/visit/visit_index.htm

Hope you have a safe and wonderful time! :o)

08/04/2004 02:19:30 PM · #7
Thanks guys, I'll post more questions if I need to when we do a rough plan of what we intend to do before the weekend.
08/04/2004 04:47:29 PM · #8
Originally posted by aerogurl:

Hi :) First off, TAKE ME! hehe Its been about 4 years since I've been back to Scotland. I was born in Fife but lived mostly in London till I moved to the states in my teens. Scotland is an amazingly beautiful place full of historic castles and beautiful landscapes. I only recently got into photography, so I have been making a mental list of the sites I have seen and loved and plan to photograph once I go back. Like the other guys said, city life photos can't be beat in Edinburgh and Glasgow. The Lochs are stunning, best time to photograph them would be while the mist lays on the water, I think thats just gorgeous. 90% of the people on The Isles speak Gaelic, so that should be interesting for you. I was going to compile you a list of the places I thought were most beautifl and then I ran acrsoss this website, hope it helps :)

//www.rampantscotland.com/visit/visit_index.htm

Hope you have a safe and wonderful time! :o)


That's a great link... thanks a lot!

I fancied doing some Puffin-spotting on Lunga off the Isle of Mull, but apparently it's way too expensive for us to make our way there with a car (ferry crossings are REALLY expensive), so we might go to the Isle of Skye. Am I missing anything? Where's the best (not too expensive) place to see puffins?

Thanks,

Bob

Message edited by author 2004-08-04 16:48:55.
08/04/2004 04:48:13 PM · #9
Oops!

Message edited by author 2004-08-04 16:48:41.
08/04/2004 05:42:44 PM · #10

From experience I know that on the coast close to Edinburgh there is a fishing village called North Berwick. About a mile offshore there are two islands Craigleith & Fidra, there are lots of puffins and different birds here, especially during breeding season (may-august i think). Also check out Bass Rock, there are gannets and other seabirds here, the gannets are Huge.

Here are some links to different Scottish Tours featuring birds:
//www.turusmara.com
//www.farneislands.co.uk/farne.html
//www.wild-in-scotland.com/tours.php
//www.farne-islands.com/information
//www.birdtours.co.uk

Hope that helps :)
08/05/2004 02:32:19 AM · #11
Originally posted by aerogurl:

Also check out Bass Rock, there are gannets and other seabirds here, the gannets are Huge.


:-) Here's the Bass Rock!

Had a look at it this morning as I passed. It's covered in white Gannet and Seagul poop just now!

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08/05/2004 04:04:42 AM · #12
Loch lomond and loch ness would be my pick. The landscape is absolutely wonderful. They are great for fishing too.
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