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Scotland - any ideas?

Travel Forums Europe Scotland - any ideas?

1. Posted by ashschu (Budding Member 17 posts) 8y

Well....sick as a dog on New Years Eve so I figured I could start solidifying some of my travel destinations for this summer.

Scotland is somewhere that I MUST visit this year. I will most likely be in the UK from July onwards. From those that live in the area or have been there, any recommendations on when to visit? I have heard to try to steer clear during July and August as it gets very busy and expensive. Would September be a nice time to visit? Is it all Autumn-y by then? I'm not afraid of a little rain or anything, I live on the WE(s)T coast of Canada so I'm pretty used to it! ha ha

Also, anywhere that I should see? I am hoping to spend some time in Edinburgh of course, maybe visit Glasgow. Hopefully visit Loch Ness (I know, so touristy but how can I not!?). I was thinking it would be nice to explore some of the isles. Are any easier to get to, or extra interesting to visit? Are the Orkney Islands worth the trip? I am especially interested in the castles, walks (I'd prefer an easy hike over hardcore trekking), small towns to explore, anything with gorgeous views/scenery, I do enjoy a bit of shopping so markets are nice. I love history so old buildings, museums etc are good as well.

Pretty much any recommendations would be welcome. I have no particular place that I must visit in Scotland. I kind of thought I would find a starting out place and go from there.

2. Posted by Sam2000 (Inactive 121 posts) 8y

Been there a couple of times.

Edenburgh is deffinately worth a visit. You have the castle there, built upon a huge batholith in the centre of the city, there you have the crown jewels which are impressive. There are a wealth of quaint museums to go to in the city, many of which are very interesting.

Also in Edenburgh you have the Earth Centre (or something along those lines), which, again, is interesting.

Loch Ness, it is touristy, but it is a beautiful destination. Also worth a visit, if not more so, is Loch Lomand (sp?)

I'd recomend going to the Isle of Mull at some point, from Mull you can get a boat out to Fingles Caves which is both geologicaly and historically interesting. The caves are also great for bird watching, if that interests you. Also seals and other marine mammals are seen regulary off Mull.

Ben Nevis (highest mountain in Britain) is quite dramatic too if that sort of thing floats your boat!

Thats all I can recomend, personally.

3. Posted by summer910 (Respected Member 1342 posts) 8y

Edinburgh is definitely a must-see. The Edinburgh Castle, Palace of Holyroodhouse, National Gallery of Scotland and Arthur's Seat are just some of the many highlights in this lovely city.

You also might want to consider day trips to Glasgow and Stirling, both pretty interesting to explore. I quite enjoyed my visit to Stirling Castle. If you're into whisky, how about taking a tour of the various distilleries around the country? That should make for a memorable trip.

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 1, 2008, at 6:00 AM by summer910 ]

4. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru 2026 posts) 8y

I lived in Edinburgh for a short while. It's a very attractive place and well worth visiting. I'm an Edinburgh person, and not a Glasgow person, but Glasgow is lively and there's lots of cultural stuff, so probably worth a visit if you're into that.

I've been to the Highlands three times now and have seen some stunning places - the Highlands are gorgeous. The Isle of Eigg, the mountainous bits of the Isle of Skye and the Torridon area are my three favourites, scenery is up there with anywhere in the world.

I've also had the 'pleasure' of ski-ing at Cairngorm - a must-do on the rare occasion that the conditions are right, nowhere else in Europe is downhill skiing such an exhilarating battle against the elements .

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6. Posted by coldwarspy (Travel Guru 1108 posts) 8y

Edinburgh is a beautiful city and worth a few days. The castle is stunning and you can get nice views from the churchyard and cemetery below it on the west end of Princes street. I wudnt waste ur money goin into the castle. Its really not much to see. Theres the crown jewels and armour n stuff, but you can see better stuff in the Scottish Museum on Chambers Street. Even the view from the castle is kinda weakas it looks out over Princes street and new town. If you like castles I can tell dozens to go to that are better than Edi Castle.

August is festival time, so if you go book ahead - way ahead.

Around Edinburgh are some nice places. The borders are a great day away to visit some of the Abbeys - see my gallery for pics.

North Berwick is a nice coastal town only 20 min by Train from Waverly Station.

The Pentland Hills are great for hikes and views of the city. Take the Bus heading towards Hunters Trsyst from princes street - get out at last stop.

around Scotland. Glasgow is great for nightlife - MUCH better than Edinburgh. And Musuems. I think Loch Lomond is much nicer than Lochness. Its not far from Glasgow. Take Balloch Train from Glasgow Queen Street - get out at end of line (Balloch). From there u can take a ferry around or higher bikes. Luss is a nice village on the west of the Loch. many. Isle of Aran is stunning! Take the train from Glasgow to the west coast line and take a ferry to Broddick (I think been a few years) The island is easily bicycled or Rent a car. Its like a Mini Scotland.

Isle of Rum is a cool remote island in the Hebrides - take the train to Mallig(sp) and cross on a private boat (I think 2 a day). The island is only 20-30 people. a Bar, and a castle. But book Accommodation in the castle ahead of time.

Shetland! The best islands iv been too - far in the north and in summer ull get never ending light! If you go ask me and i can give you advice - too much to list here.

PM for specific info.

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 4, 2008, at 6:06 AM by coldwarspy ]

7. Posted by saraeg (Full Member 39 posts) 8y

great advice above. i would second Loch Lomond over Loch Ness. the Trossachs (where Loch Lomond is nestled) are nothing short of gorgeous, and if you're in Edinburgh or Glasgow, are only a hop away.

Mallaig, your possible stop off point on the way to Isle of Skye (well worth your time) is a lovely coastal town in itself, worthy of taking a day in while on your way to the Isles (got stranded there once when the ferry's didn't run and didn't mind a bit!)

also, only a short train ride from Edinburgh is Perthshire: the beautiful tiny towns of Pitlochry, Aberfeldy, Loch Tay, etc. it's a great weekend getaway.

as far as the time of year, yes, the prices will drastically go up in July/August as will the crowds (avoid Edinburgh especially due to the festival, unless you want to attend and push your way through the Royal Mile to see either a very great show or a ridiculously horrible one.) September and October are both good months. into November and December you'll get much colder temps and more rain (especially on the Isles, but you'll never escape that there.)

have a great time.

8. Posted by Graceful58 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 8y

Scotland is a beautiful country and I would go back in a New York minute.

I would recommend the Isle of Skye and the Highlands both are really beautiful areas. Another idea would be to do a search on Highland Games in Scotland. We were fortunate to see the games in Fores and it was a really great time. Also, we were fortunate to catch a Sheep Dog Trial which was extremely fascinating to watch the skills of both the dog and the handlers. We happened to spend the evening up in the North Highlands and the hotel we stayed at was having the trials the morning we woke up on a huge mountain behind the hotel. The dogs were sent to the top of mountain and herded four sheep down the mountain and had to separate two sheep from the four and drive them into the fenced in area. It was a real treat for us to happen upon this.

Here is a link the to Highland Game schedule.

Where ever you go you'll have a great time, it's a beautiful country.


9. Posted by george1979 (Full Member 101 posts) 8y

i second most of the above. Especially the part about Loch Lomond - it is one of the most beautiful places on earth (biased ;)). In saying that i'm almost at the end of my RTW trip and i still think its up there with anyplace i've seen.
Also spend a few days in Glasgow if you can. The museums, galleries (all free too) and most importantly, the night life are some of the best in the UK. Take a look in on the Glasgow School of Art - its an amazing building. Also has the best shopping in the UK outside London.
And get up into the Cairngorms or any of the other moountain ranges - really nice.
Have fun in Scotland!


10. Posted by hellosweet (Budding Member 26 posts) 8y

Being a Glasgow girl myself im a little biased...but I would say its a must to visit Edinburgh for the sight-seeing aspect. There is a bit of rivalry between Glasgow and weegies tend to think we´re a bit cooler lol but Edinburgh is a really beautiful city, while Glasgow has great nightlife and better shops. As for when is the best time of year I think Scotland is best between May to August, it can be really warm and sunny in May and June, but for some reason it rains alot in July. By the start of September it will start to get colder and the nights draw in but its still nice. Scotland may not have the best summers but the daylight is amazing, it does not get dark till around 11 at night and from 8pm till then there are always beautiful pink/purple skies :) Also, although I have never been the Isle of Skye is supposedly one of the best places for travellers to go. The best thing to do would be to rent a car and just drive through Scotland staying at B&B´s that way you will get to see all the countryside and find some really unique places.
..I´m feeling a little homesick now!

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 15, 2008, at 12:28 PM by hellosweet ]