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Scotland - recommendation about itinerary

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  • Scotland - recommendation about itinerary

    Hi,

    Even though this is not a travel forum I'd like to ask this nice community about suggestions on a suitable itinerary in Scotland.

    The idea is to make a DIY trip to celebrate a birthday occurring around Midsummer. We have discussed Scotland as one alternative (the others being Iceland and Lofoten). We have visited Edinburgh in the past but that's all we have seen of Scotland.

    Duration would be 1-2 weeks, how long is depending on the fit with other activities in the planning.
    Fly out June 20-ish, rent a car
    Driving max 2 hours/day on average
    Visit scenic locations...
    Picturesque villages...
    Bird watching and photography...
    Easy/moderate hiking...
    Cosy B&B and pubs...
    Taste some whisky...
    Returning home with memory cards filled with nice photos.

    Would Scotland be crowded with tourists at that time of the year?

    You can PM me.

    Thanks in advance
    Tord

    My Gallery on 500px

  • #2
    Re: Scotland - recommendation about itinerary

    It would be great to see the suggestions on the forum too Tord. Your itinerary thoughts seem like a magical tour.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/flip_photo_flickr/

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    • #3
      Re: Scotland - recommendation about itinerary

      As a taster, look up the Scottish North Coast 500 - aka NC500. https://www.countryfile.com/go-outdo...ast-500-guide/
      It's not what inspires us that is important, it's where the journey takes us.

      Wally and his Collie with our Oly bits & bobs

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      • #4
        Re: Scotland - recommendation about itinerary

        I was going to mention the NC500 too. Give a thought to Skye and possibly Mull. Mull requires a ferry but Skye has a bridge, although there is an excellent little and unique ferry that crosses from Glenelg the short hop to Skye. In with a chance of seeing sea eagles fishing at that time too.

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        • #5
          Re: Scotland - recommendation about itinerary

          There are three (3) locations that might be of interest and they are not all that far apart.

          1/- The Falkirk Wheel. As the only one in the world, It is literally one of a kind. http://www.visitfalkirk.com/things-t...falkirk-wheel/

          2/- The Kelpies. Mythological water beasts that inhabit lochs and rivers in Scotland. https://www.visitscotland.com/info/see-do/the-helix-home-of-the-kelpies-p889261

          3/- Angel of the Nauld, aka Arria. Scotlands answer to the Angel of the North. http://www.its-called-cumbernauld.co...he-nauld.shtml

          Falkirk Wheel - Lime Rd, Tamfourhill, Falkirk - Sat-Nav FK1 4RS
          The Kelpies - Visitor Centre The Helix Falkirk - Sat-Nav FK2 7ZT
          Angel of the Nauld / Arriahttp://maltwhiskytrail.com/malt-whis.../distilleries/
          Last edited by Wally; 3 weeks ago. Reason: Added extra travel info :-)
          It's not what inspires us that is important, it's where the journey takes us.

          Wally and his Collie with our Oly bits & bobs

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          • #6
            Re: Scotland - recommendation about itinerary

            Have a look at my “wish list” managed to get to most of them!

            http://https://www.google.com/maps/placelists/list/j5rr5sWDYioOWGCpjof-7UDviNv9eQ
            I didn’t get where I am today....

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            • #7
              Re: Scotland - recommendation about itinerary

              My experiences of driving in Scotland (as a visitor) is that there is a lot of it to do. The further north you go the slower the roads as they wind their tortuous (and scenic) way around mountains and lochs. Scotland is actually quite big and 2 hours driving will not get you very far.

              The main cities of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling, Perth, and Dundee are linked by motorways and the fast A9. These places will offer the typical city centre architectural and museums. Outside of these places I have found that Scotland is not particularly packed with tourists.

              A one to two week road trip of two hours driving per day will take you up either the east or west coast (and back) but not both. The further north you go the less easy it is cross from west to east without lots of driving. A push up the east coast will get you to John O Groats but I doubt you will have time to meander both ways (also the main road does not go through many picturesque villages so you will need to detour to see them). In my view the best scenery is up the west coast and here the road (sometimes the only road) will take you through all the picturesque spots. I would suggest going north from Glasgow, past Loch Lomond, Fort William, and up to Inverewe Gardens, and maybe even Applecross. This would also allow you to spend a night or two on Skye which is well worth a visit.

              Those who know the area better than me may be able to work out if it is possible to get across from Lochalsh (mainland side of the Skye bridge) to Strathpeffer (A890) and then down the A9 through Inverness, Aviemore, Pitlochary, Perth, and back to Glasgow in the time allowed without too much driving. The AA travel planner puts Glasgow-LochLommond-Tyndrum(The Green Welly Stop for whisky and gifts)-FortWilliam-Portree(Skye)-Inverewe(Gardens)-Inverness-Pitlochry(shopping heaven)-Perth-Stirling(castle)-Glasgow at 572 miles taking 13 hours. I would certainly add 50% to the time for this. Add in detours for the scenic bits and you hit your 2 hours a day for two weeks but do get a circular route. As for picturesque villages, cosy B&B, and pubs my only recommendation is Drymen which is just to the east of Loch Lommond and not quite on the above route which takes you up the west side of the loch.

              The Whisky Castle (Tomintoul) is another good shop for whisky (what else) as is J L Gill in Crieff. Drummond Gardens (near Crieff) is also worth a visit if in the area.
              Cameras: E-M5, E-PM2, OM40, OM4Ti
              Lenses (M.Zuiko Digital): 7-14mm/F2.8, 12-40mm/F2.8, 40-150mm/F2.8+TC1.4x, 12-50mm/F3.5-6.3, 14-42mm/F3.5-5.6 EZ, M.ZD 40-150 F4-5.6 R, 75-300mm/F4.8-6.7 Mk1, 12mm/F2, 17mm/F1.8
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              Learn something new every day

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              • #8
                Re: Scotland - recommendation about itinerary

                I'm just wondering what Scotland would offer over Sweden?

                Mountains and lochs/lakes: I would think that Sweden is at least as well endowed as Scotland.

                Birds: Again, I would think that Sweden has an abundance of birds that are shared with Scotland.

                I've had a lot of experience of camping and backpacking in the Cairngorms, but would recommend Mull to a visitor with limited time. There's golden and sea eagles and you can take a trip with Turus Mara (recommended) to Staffa and Lunga, for the seabirds including puffins and Fingal's Cave on Staffa.

                https://www.turusmara.com/

                You can drive down Mull and catch a ferry to historic Iona, or across Mull to Ulva Ferry, where you can take the 5 minute ferry to Ulva, which has a special charm (no cars though). On Ulva you can walk along a track and across a small bridge to Gometra, so you're then on an island, off an island, off an island, off an island: Britain -> Mull -> Ulva -> Gometra!

                Jim

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                • #9
                  Re: Scotland - recommendation about itinerary

                  Many thanks all for the recommendations and advice, I am in the process of reading resources on Internet and studying maps.

                  The rather arbitrary 2 hour limit spent driving on average is to give an idea of what I have in mind and prioritizing. Assuming average speed of 50-60 km/h on the windy roads that would amount to a round trip of say 1500 km, maximum 2000 km.

                  My Gallery on 500px

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                  • #10
                    Re: Scotland - recommendation about itinerary

                    Tord, One possibility that may not have occurred to you is to study the Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) ferry schedule and take a driving trip down the Hebrides (Islands) picking up a ferry to take you to the next one.

                    Originally posted by OM USer View Post
                    ...As for picturesque villages, cosy B&B, and pubs my only recommendation is Drymen which is just to the east of Loch Lommond and not quite on the above route which takes you up the west side of the loch.....

                    Drymen village green, pub in the background, and good restaurant behind the camera.
                    Cameras: E-M5, E-PM2, OM40, OM4Ti
                    Lenses (M.Zuiko Digital): 7-14mm/F2.8, 12-40mm/F2.8, 40-150mm/F2.8+TC1.4x, 12-50mm/F3.5-6.3, 14-42mm/F3.5-5.6 EZ, M.ZD 40-150 F4-5.6 R, 75-300mm/F4.8-6.7 Mk1, 12mm/F2, 17mm/F1.8
                    Lenses (OM Zuiko): 50mm/F1.2, 24mm/F2, 35mm/F2.8 shift
                    Lenses (OM Fit): Vivitar Series II 28-105mm/F2.8-3.8, Sigma 21-35mm/F3.4-4.2, Sigma 35-70mm/F2.8-4, Sigma 75-200mm/F2.8-3.5, Vivitar Series II 100-500mm/F5.6-8.0, Centon 500mm/F8 Mirror
                    Learn something new every day

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                    • #11
                      Re: Scotland - recommendation about itinerary

                      Hi Tord,


                      I'm a bit late to this thread, but can recommend the Inner Hebridies Isles, as I've visited Mull / Iona / Islay / Lunga / Staffa in previous years as well as the Outer Hebridies Lewis / St Kilda (last year) and Shetland this year.


                      These may be helpful in giving you an idea of what some of the islands have to offer so here's a link to my flickr albums page



                      https://www.flickr.com/photos/jambo63/albums


                      If you're going around midsummer the islands will probably be busy so if you're looking to go by ferry ensure you book in plenty of time.


                      Happy holidaying



                      Fraser
                      Fraser
                      Camera bodies: E410 and E620

                      Lenses: 14-42 ED / 17.5-45 / 40-150 ED / 70-300 ED
                      Opteka Super Wide fisheye 0.20X

                      Flash: Metz 58 AF-2
                      HLD-5 power battery holder

                      Camera: E10 plus wide angle and telephoto attachments

                      My Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jambo63/

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                      • #12
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                        • #13
                          Re: Scotland - recommendation about itinerary

                          Lots of wonderful scenic places to visit in Scotland. A much neglected but very worthwhile area is Dumfries and Galloway, especially the west of that large county.

                          In summer, the highlands can be a bit plagued with midges.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Scotland - recommendation about itinerary

                            Originally posted by RobEW View Post
                            In summer, the highlands can be a bit plagued with midges.
                            I guess Sweden is too, so Tordan will be up to speed in taking precautions.

                            Jim

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