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Travelling to Scotland

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1. Posted by Matthew578 (Budding Member, 5 posts) 17 Aug '10 23:52

Sorry if this is sloppy don't use forums very often.

My name is Matthew and I've wanted to go to Scotland for ages now, but there is an issue i have... I haven't much knowledge on the geography; where i would go what places i should stay at landmarks ect. Another thing is I am 17 and am going to need to get a job when i get there (i will be 18 by the time i leave plan on saving money and getting a boost). What i am trying to get at is some help anything is welcome. Looking to know more about where i should go job situations hostiles to stay at random facts all up to whatever you would like to say as long as it follows the lines of something to do with Scotland. Thanks a million to anyone who helps.

2. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru, 3535 posts) 18 Aug '10 07:04

Theres so much to Scotland from the islands, highlands, coastal areas and cities! What interests you most? How long are you planning on stay?

To get a job l would guess you would need a visa unless your dual nationality? The economic market for jobs is very tight at the moment in the UK - but l guess if you are not picky about what you do - bar work, waiting tables to working to working in McDonalds lm sure you will find something.

My sister lives in Edinburgh and l love the city - having her based there is a great excuse to visit (obviously l want to see her too!) - the castle is fabulous and well worth a day, as well as the Royal Mile wandering up and down the side alleys exploring, soaking in the atmosphere, the city has a wealth of festivals especially now in August with the Fringe followed by the Royal Miltary Tattoo and then over hogmany an amazing New Years Party. Ive barely touched on what the city has to offer!

I really enjoyed visiting St Andrews as well - famous for its golf and university town but the town itself is very pretty place to wile away a few hours.

Im sure there are others on here way more qualified than me to advise more but Scotland is a good choice - plus you also have the rest of the UK on your doorstep also - and as lm learning to appreciate more and more of late we really do have such an amazingly beautiful country that we dont often appreciate enough as we should.

Heather

3. Posted by flyingbob (Inactive, 842 posts) 18 Aug '10 08:26

Obviously, you know about the work permit rules - yes? No permit, no work.
Scotland is just so diverse. there are big cities (Edinburgh, Glagow etc.) and tiny little hamlets with no more than few cottages, a pub and maybe small shop. Then nothing for miles. it like Canada, but on a much smallr scale.
Thew way forward in Scotland, to see it - is hiring a car. Sure - you can walk, take a bus or train, or get a package, but driving is the best option. Stop and start when you want and get off that beaten track.
The lovely thing about Scotland is that although there are no public footpaths, like in England or Wales - there are also no laws of tresapps either. So you can, in theory - go where you want and camp where you like. Although it is courtesy ta tell the land owner (if you can find them), that you're pitching your tent for the night.
The islands off the west coast are so varied too. From the easy walking along the beaches and tracks on Arran, to the ruggedness and mountains on Mull.
The weather is always a challenging factor when walking the hills and glens. This year has seen some pretty windy and wet conditions. I was in Aberdeen just yesterday - and it was jolly cold.
Abn excellent websites to get you going is..
http://www.scotland.org
It contains everything you need to know about visiting the country.
If it's work you're looking for, then you need to contact the Foreign Office in London - or the British Embassy closest to home. They both have excellent links on their websites.

[ Edit: Edited on 18-Aug-2010, at 08:28 by flyingbob ]

4. Posted by Matthew578 (Budding Member, 5 posts) 18 Aug '10 12:50

Thanks a million Heather, i plan on staying for 3 months all of my senior summer which is July threw to August. Plan on getting a Work Visa granted my stay should be cheap since i plan to hop around to B&B and places along those line... Bringing my bike with a trailer and that will be my transportation, if anything ill just camp (knowing some camping grounds would be wonderful). Honestly the most interesting thing for me would be the highlands but with how long im staying i plan on seeing the islands and coastal areas as well and if need be i will stay longer.

Thanks to you flyingbob as well, and you pointed out one of the things that i would love to get around to. "The little hamlets" That is truly what id like to see in Scotland since i can see castles and spend a day or a few days immersing myself in the ancient glory of them, but id also like to see the quiet life along with the city. What im getting at is any "Hamlets" that you know of please post them and i will look into. Thanks for the website as well ill research on there some if not more then some. Oh and i will be on a bike that will probably be the majority of my transportation if not a bus.

Matthew

5. Posted by helzr87 (Budding Member, 2 posts) 18 Sep '10 11:31

Hi welcome to Scotland for when you come! There are lots of great places in the country when you come to visit, as mentioned Edinburgh has lots to see and do.... (if you I recommend one of the haunted city tours.. they are good fun and give you a bit of the city history!) Further up north has some gorgeous places to visit, especially up in the Highlands! Glasgow is good for shopping and the nightlife! But like also mentioned away from the cities are a lot of smaller towns and villages, I live on the southwest and the nearest city to me is Glasgow about and hour and a half away! But if you want to travel between cities the megabus company is a good way to travel about very cheaply, if you book early you can get seats for £1. And it stops at all the major cities! Good luck for your travels, hope you have a great time :)

Helen x

6. Posted by bluewaav (Inactive, 627 posts) 19 Sep '10 04:55

Hey Matthew,

If you're going to hop on and off the bus, then get a bus pass. But before you do, it's a good idea to ask the ticket agent about where you are going in case it is better to get point-to-point tickets. I think Edinburgh to Glasgow is under ten pounds, if I remember correctly. But to go to, say, the Isle of Skye or Mull or even Loch Lamond, it would probably be worth it to get a pass.

The highlands are beautiful, but remote. If you just have a bicycle, you can do it if you are fit, but bus transportation of Skye (I'm not sure about elsewhere as I have only been to Skye) is very limited and frustrating without other transport. Hitchhiking is common, though, and really safe, so you can always do this, especially when it rains sideways (which wouldn't be fun on a bike) You will get more than your fill of hamlets on Skye. Almost everything is a hamlet. The most populated, if you could say this, places are towns. Small towns. Base yourself somewhere central if you want to use public transportation like Broadford, in where many public buses run through. If you like seafood, Broadford is great for this, also. Mmmm....

I've mentioned the Isle of Mull and Loch Lamond, but they are by name only. I have only heard they are beautiful, Loch Lamond in particular, which I saw a little of out of a bus window- I couldn't take my eyes away! I'll let others comment on other islands and lochs in the Highlands.

Some hostels, believe it or not, do allow you to work for accomodation. Some will even pay you. From what I understand, this is completely under-the-table, but I never did it, so don't quote me on it. Basically, you work for two to four hours a day. It isn't difficult work. But it would be wise to show up with the proper legal permit than hope for under-the-table work.

Hopefully, this helped.

Steph

7. Posted by JoyC (Full Member, 99 posts) 22 Sep '10 21:54

You MUST visit Mull. You can travel the island by bike, or check Craigslist and see if someone with a car wants a passenger. Loch Ness and Loch Lomond are amazingly beautiful. Ediburgh is my favorite city that isn't located in Italy (I firmly believe that when you die, if you are good, you go to Italy. If you are bad, you go to Arizona). Largs is lovely... actually you can't go wrong anywhere in Scotland. Wonderful country with great people and beautiful scenery!

8. Posted by Tootsie (Budding Member, 15 posts) 23 Sep '10 05:07

We LOVED living in Dalwhinnie in the Highlands, It's in the middle of nowhere (thats why we loved it!) We ran The Grampian Lodge, a shabby excuse for a hotel, but we kept the guests happy will good food and a warm bed!

The scenery is breathtaking and the locals good fun albeit hard to understand!

If I were 17 there'd be no stopping me, I'd travel everywhere in the world possible before settling down.

Go for it!

9. Posted by paul stall (Budding Member, 3 posts) 23 Sep '10 08:18

Scotland would be great, explore the world!

Its such a massive place to just live in the same area all your life

:)

10. Posted by tricky (Respected Member, 322 posts) 23 Sep '10 08:50

Just seen this post now. I am from Aberdeen but live in Edinburgh and have done from 18 years old to now, 34 so I know the City very well.

I go camping to a different part of Scotland almost every year, rarely returning to the same place as I like to see it all so if you have any specific questions then let me know.

Places I would recommend (in no particular order) are:
1. Sandwood Bay (most remote beach in the UK). You could camp there no problem. Durness nearby is where I camped and it also has a hostel. I did have a car then though.

2. Plockton/Kyle of Lochalsh and the Isle of Skye - absolutely stunning. Think Hamish McBeath was filmed here. Skye is failry flat although there is the Cuillin mountain range. Dunvegan campsite is awesome. One of the best locations I have ever camped.

3. Pitlochry in central Perthshire - absolute heart of Scotland, stunning scenery. Several campsites, small town, prob some bar work, hostel etc.

4. The West Highland Way. Close to a 100 mile walk from Milngavie (near Glasgow) to Fort William. Only 2 weeks ago 1 additional mile was added to this trek taking you to the centre of the town. May is the best month for this imo but August and September could be equally as good weather permitting. Plenty camping en route wild or otherwise. Possibly one of my favs of all time and I have trekked national parks in South America which are stunning.

5. Fort William/Ben Nevis - you can't come and not climb our highest mountain. it's only 3 hours up and the same down but worth it.

6. Loch Ness - heaps of lochs all just as beautiful but you might see Nessie!!

7. Gairloch on the west coast - brilliant for walking, camping, peace. Lovely people.

8. Mallaig - as above. Also you can get the ferry from here to places like Eigg, Muck, Rum, various small islands. Even up to Skye.

9. Oban - gateway to many more islands.

10. Edinburgh - hundreds of must see sights and speaks for itself.

There you go, 10 must go places. Plan it well and you could cycle all of that.