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Scotland tour

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1. Posted by JhimliD (Budding Member 7 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Please suggest what places I should visit if I have 5 to 6 days to go around Scotland

2. Posted by Andyf (Moderator 764 posts) 1w 1 Star this if you like it!

Here's what I wrote previously when a similar question was asked.

For Scotland the big choice is how to travel around - hire a car, or by public transport. Car gives you the most flexibility to choose the pace and attractions, and navigation isn't really hard, plus the roads are mostly quiet. Getting to the outdoorsy highlights in Scotland by public transport could be challenging, and if doing it by train / bus / tour then this will alter entirely what you can hope to see.

If you're doing something like a 5 day car tour I'd head via Loch Lomond (from Glasgow) or the Trossachs (from Edinburgh), over Rannoch Moor and through Glencoe to get to Fort William.
If you want a taste of the islands you can do a day trip from here, it's about 45mins drive to the port of Mallaig where you can do ridiculously cheap day tours on the boat to the islands of Rum, Eigg, Canna or Muck (the ferries are government subsidised, day trips from £4 ~ A$8). Look at the Caledonian MacBrayne website for details - http://www.calmac.co.uk and look for Small Isles Ferry. On a day trip to Rum you can take a tour of Kinloch Castle - highly recommended. On Eigg you can climb to the highest point, a pitchstone stump called the Sgurr, taking about 3-4 hours return.

From Fort William lots of people feel the need to climb Ben Nevis, which is a 7hr hike.
From Fort William head up the Great Glen past Loch Ness towards Inverness. You could then route through Speyside if whisky is your thing, or to Balmoral Castle if royalty is of interest to you. Then the A9 brings you back south via the Grampian mountains (train trip up Cairngorm maybe) through Pitlochry (pretty and touristy), Perth (not much to see), and Stirling (great castle).

Possible add-ons to this include:

After Loch Lomond go via Oban, another ferry port where you can do the 3 Isles Daytrip (again with Calmac ferries) which takes you across the isle of Mull (mountain views) to visit the small islands of Staffa and Iona. Staffa is volcanic blockwork, like the Giant's Causeway but 20 times better, and with Fingal's Cave. Iona is an early Christian site. See http://www.staffatours.com

A long drive up to John O'Groat's (3hrs from Inverness) to then do a daytrip tour of Orkney. Highlights of this are the neolithic sites - the Ring of Brodgar (better than Stonehenge), Maeshowe (chambered burial tomb), and Skara Brae (preserved buried village). There's also the wartime Churchill Barriers and Italian Chapel plus time in the capital Kirkwall. http://www.jogferry.co.uk

Other ideas include seeing the Charles Rennie Mackintosh buildings across Glasgow - famous architect in the early 20th century, some weird freaky buildings. South of Oban you can ride the Corryvreckan whirlpool (the world's 2nd largest maelstrom) with a company called Seafari if the dates fall right for the tides. Edinburgh has the Royal Yacht Britannia.

If travelling by train I'd try to route from Glasgow to Mallaig, ferry to Skye, across Skye by bus, then train again from Kyle of Lochalsh via Inverness and back south via Perth/Stirling to Edinburgh. The west highland line from Glasgow to Mallaig is fantastic, but without a car you're then very limited where you can go to explore.

Re budget. Motels (travelodge, premier inn) can be had from £40 to £50 per room. Hostel beds from £15. Food can be cheap - eat at a chippy from £2, pub food from £5 for dinner (Wetherspoon are a major chain who drive the budget prices), supermarket cafes are cheap too (Asda, Tesco, Morrisons). Fuel is around £1/litre. Train fares can be crazy prices and it seems to depend on booking early.

Personally I'd budget around £60 per person per day for Scotland, covering food, car hire, fuel, ferries, accom and sightseeing. More if you're a shopper or a foodie or prone to going in many visitor attractions and tours

3. Posted by JhimliD (Budding Member 7 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Thank you so much for the information. What about Isle of Skye. Is it worth visiting. People do write good things about it::)

4. Posted by Andyf (Moderator 764 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Yes Skye is good but you have to work a bit to see its highlights.

Just driving along the scenery isn't so "wow" as the mainland, in my opinion. The Cuillin hills are very dramatic but are difficult beyond the scope of normal people. Every time I've been there's not been clear weather to get views of them. The best view is a boat ride from Elgol to Coruisk, or the easiest walk is the Fairy Pools but it's now horribly busy - just do the there-and-back walk not the full triangle as it adds little and is a quagmire.

The other big sights are at the top end of Skye on the Trotternish peninsula, on which a huge landslip has created some great landscapes. Just north of Portree is the Storr, a rock pinnacle which is an easy walk, and further north the Quiraing is a walk through jumbled landscape. West from there near Uig is the Fairy Glen.

Other things to Google are kilt rock, neist point, Dunvegan castle.

And if you're up there, on the mainland nearby are Plockton, Torridon, and Kintail.

5. Posted by IainT (Budding Member 2 posts) 1w 1 Star this if you like it!

Many visitors have Skye as a "must" on their list, and it is spectacular. You do have to book well in advance for accommodation, especially in the peak season.

If you want a flavour of the "Calmac Experience" suggested by Andy, I visited Eigg in March and have some blogs on here about it.

6. Posted by king_golo (Full Member 33 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

The best way to get around Scotland is by car, and even that will take a long time as you'll often have to drive around whole mountains. That said, you might want to focus on one or two areas. If you don't know the capital Edinburgh yet, this could be a great start as it offers enough to spend 2-3 days there. The East Neuk fishing villages just north of the Firth of Forth are worth a visit and can, as far as I know, even be visited by public transport. Don't forget to include St Andrews.

If you are more into nature and outdoors, you might want to skip Edinburgh completely and head directly for the Highlands or islands. Fort William calls itself the "outdoor capital" of Britain and offers plenty of possibilities. Spectacular Glen Coe is just around the corner, as is beautiful Glen Nevis. The latter lies at the foot of Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis. From Fort William, it's about an hour's drive to get to Loch Ness, although I was a bit disappointed by it as you can often hardly see the loch from the road.

Another option, and in my opinion the best, is to visit the Isle of Skye. It's one of the most spectacular places I've seen in my life, and I still regret planning only 2 days for it. We stayed at a nice B&B just outside Portree, the island's capital, which was run by a professional photographer. If I had known that before, I would have participated in one of the photography tours he offers upon request. The place is called "Grasmhor B&B". Apart from possible photography tours, Skye is home to the magnificent Old Man of Storr, a rock formation, and the Cuillin Hills which we only saw from the distance. They looked appealing, though. Even if you don't have enough time to really get going outdoors, try Skye. Driving along its roads and stopping every now and then at yet another spectacular sight was a great experience.

Just opposite the Isle of Skye is Applecross Peninsula, as of now still untouched by tourists. In order to get there you'll have to cross Britain's highest pass. Applecross village is home to an excellent pub and also the starting point of the one and only road on the peninsula. It's coastal road driving par excellence with some great view of Skye and other islands. We stayed in a small B&B in Kenmore/Arrina (not even a village, only a row of some houses) which was among the friendliest I've been to so far.

So altogether you can't really go wrong in Scotland. It mostly depends on how you're planning to get along. 5-6 days is very short, so don't try to put too much into your holiday.

7. Posted by crainandrea22 (Budding Member 2 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Hey, Scotland is worth visiting, there are lot many things to do. If you're adventurous, go for train riding through majestic landscapes, discover whiskey distilling secrets, do white water rafting and go for recreational activity island hopping. If you're keen about the creative things, spend an afternoon in a gallery or a museum and spend your night at the theater. And, if you're shopping freak, do visit shopping expeditions. Here're few more places that you can add to your Scotland itinerary:

Rosslyn Chapel, Near Edinburgh
Kelvingrove Art Gallery And Museum, Glasgow
Highland Folk Museum, Newtonmore
Museum Of Scottish Lighthouses, Fraserburgh
Culloden Battlefield, Near Inverness
Dunadd, Argyll
Glenfinnan, (Quite) Near Fort William
Hume Castle, Scottish Borders
Glen Torridon, Wester Ross
Glen Shiel
Upper Deeside, Aberdeenshire

Have a great journey :)

8. Posted by JhimliD (Budding Member 7 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Thanks for all the suggestions...we are planning accordingly. I think isle of Skye will be my priority... Can anyone give me a detailed description of isle of Skye...where to stay...how to travel, cheap mode of traveling

9. Posted by Andyf (Moderator 764 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Skye only works if you have a car, in my opinion.

I've used a hostel at Uig called the Cowshed which I'd highly recommend. That would work as a base for Trotternish (the Quiraing, the Storr, the Fairy Glen, Kilt Rock and the museum of Highland life, and it's within reach for Dunvegan castle and neist point.

The other highlights are further south. Skyewalker hostel gets good reviews, so I'd be tempted to split your stay across the two bases in the north and south. Either that or stay in Portree.

10. Posted by JhimliD (Budding Member 7 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Ok... thanks...will lookout for that hotel