Glad to hear that you will be camping in Scotland.
The best place to camp in the Highlands is probably Glen Orchy as there are no restrictions from Rangers i.e. you can build a fire etc and it's not heavily occupied therefore no-one to ask you to keep noise down. The Rangers do check the areas from time to time so usual camping rules apply i.e build fires on places where they have been built before and take your rubbish with you. Further up in the other Glen's such as Etive and Coe you cannot build fires and will be asked to limit noise such as a radio etc and will be charged for camping there.
You will be able to access the Hidden Valley within the Three Sisters from any of these Glen's via a hike if you are not hiring a car. If you didn't do it in your last trip then it is definetly worth the hike (about an hour and a half in from the viewing point at Glen Coe) If you take the bus from Glen Coe to Fort William where you will find hostels as well as camping areas (again charges will apply here but usually only circa 10 pounds pppn) where Ben Nevis can be climbed in circa 4 hours and the views are worth the hike as it is the tallest peak in the UK.
If you need anymore info on camping/hiking in Scotland let me know. What else do you intend on doing i.e. activities, White Water Rafting, Climbing or Sightseeing??? And where in Scotland are you planning your trip?
If you require any further information drop me an email at: [e-mail deleted] I will reply (I am currently travelling Australia so it may not be straight away)
Good Luck and Happy Travellin'
[ Edit: Sorry, no personal contact info in the forums, pls use message center ]
First, good call on choosing to go to Scotland... I was there a few summers ago, spent a few days in Edinburgh and did a 4-day trip through the highlands and it was probably the highlight of my 3 months in Europe. A lot of people were telling me to go to the Isle of Skye... don't know anything about it but it might be worth looking into.
Yeah, $1100 sounds expensive for a flight, but as someone else posted, no flight to Europe is going to be cheap in August. I am flying Chicago to Paris (both big cities, should have cheap flights) in mid-march for $398 and am looking for flights in August also... can't find anything cheaper than $1000. Prices go up A TON. That said, London is known to be the cheapest (along with Frankfurt and Amsterdam) so I do think it's worth looking into flying there and getting to Scotland another way anyway, but if it is not a huge price difference, remember that your time is valuable too and you may not want to spend it all in airports/train/bus stations. I flew in and out of Preswick on Ryan Air (from Dublin and to Oslo). I think the flights were pretty cheap, but I don't remember exactly, plus it was 2.5 years ago. It was pretty painless to get from Preswick to Edinburgh (if that's where you're going), but it did require a train to Glasgow, running across town, and another train to Edinburgh, plus there's probably extra commuting you'd have to do in London and the cost of getting from airport to airport adds up. I don't recommend spending time in Glasgow... I was stuck there for a day and didn't think too much of it.
I meant to mention that if you fly into Prestwick (which is 45 mins from Glasgow) that if you show the ticket collector your boarding pass that you will get half price fare. This is circa 5 pounds (with pass 2.50) as Prestwick is a ticketless airport so to speak you will only be able to do this coming out of Glasgow as you won't have your ticket when returning until you get to the chek-in desk. It will however save you some money (as 5 pounds for a train fare is extortionate even by Scottish standards and I am a Scot haha)
RyanAir is definetly your best option. I flew from Prestwick to Oslo for 35 pounds last year going out then 45 coming back so if you can manage a bit of flexibility with your dates then it should work out relativley cheap for you once you get from the States.
One thing to be aware of with Prestwick is the times. If your flight gets into Prestwick at say 6am the trains may not be running for an hour or so - so that is something to check and the same applies circa 11pm when the service stops (and you don't want to be stuck out in Ayr for a night as local B&Bs will cost a small fortune)
If you can get a flight into Glasgow International there is a bus service which runs at all times and is around 2.50 into the City, which is where you would get the bus from if heading up North.
Buchanan Street Bus Station should have a website that you can locate bus itinerary's and costs however both GLA Intl and Prestwick have services to take you directly into the City.
If I think of anything else I will drop you a message.
Have a good time
Can you fly Ryanair from the US/Canada? I thought it was just within Europe...?
Nevermind! I just had a flash of my Grade 3 teacher and read the whole post instead of skimming...
I have been informed about the infamous Scottish Midges that I should watch out for when camping? Does anyone have advice on this? Or could you tell me what they are? It sounds like it might be a misquito but I'm not quite sure.
Indeedy the Midgey is a menace and I am afraid there is no getting away from them especially in summer and especially when it has been raining. Get some insect repellant as the bites are itchy as hell. You will usally see them in swarms and yes they are similar in size and bite to the mozzie. Some people aren't bothered by them but if you are prone to a lot of mozzy bites like I am then you will be midgey fodder for sure.
Try getting a student fare to London, or an under 26, they're usually a lot cheaper. Shop around with airlines.
Also, check out www.megabus.com - this is THE cheapest way to get around the UK if you are a traveller.
The bus goes from Victoria Station and is overnight (no luxuries - its just a bus/coach) takes around 8 hours, but it will only cost you around £4, which is a hell of a lot cheaper than the train or regular coach service. Megabus also does trips throughout Scotland aswell if you're looking to travel about there.
Although if you're flying into Heathrow, it'll cost you money to get to London (i cant remember how much) , but probably not as much as a flight would cost.
Macbackpackers is also a good 'tour' to book, they do the travelling bit, and lots of fun history/banter etc. Website is www.macbackpackers.com.
Also, www.syha.org.uk is the scottish youth hostels association website.
NOT looking like a tourist (though it may be hard because I will be carrying my backpack
In the cities, which is where you are most likely to be a target as a tourist, leave your backpacks in the station lockers and travel with a smaller container like a "bum bag" or "fanny pack" or whatever you may call it. Of course make sure you keep your IDs and money *inside* your clothing in a separate wallet.
the flight wich will cost us near $1100 per person. Someone suggested to me to fly to a "cheaper" part of Europe and take Ryanair to scotland. So my question is, where to fly to for a cheap fare?
Check out the Ryanair site and see where their cheapest flights to Scotland tend to go from.
Look for the largest cities of this list and try to get a flight there. Then, looking at your local area, are you flying from the nearest airport or the nearest major international airport? If I look for a flight from my local airport to the UK I can easily spend $1000. From the nearest international airport it will drop a few hundred. From the nearest major international airport it is even cheaper. If you can get a friend or family member to run you to the latter, even giving them money for filling their tank will be cheaper.
Also, don't book your flights yet. Keep your options open until about June. Roughly two months in advance is when most cheaper flights start to hit sites like Expedia and Travelocity. If you buy now you are paying "retail". Wait for the sale!