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Just Returned From Scotland

Discussion in 'European Timesharing' started by Timeshare Von, Apr 4, 2018.

  1. Timeshare Von

    Timeshare Von TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    David & I just returned from our two week holiday in the Scottish Highlands. Our first week (actually 6 nights) was at the MacDonald Spey Valley CC (aka "Dalfaber") resort. We were very happy with the unit (a 1BR cottage) and location (Aviemore).

    Our second week (also 6 nights) was a return to the Moness Country Club in Aberfeldy. This was a return trip for us, as we were there back in 2006.

    I have posted reviews (plus some photos) here on TUG for those who are actually members and who have access to them.

    We found late March to be a fine time to be in Scotland. While some of the more remote and unknown historical sites were not yet open for tourist season, it was nice to be able to visit others without a lot of visitors. The downside to shoulder season, is that several of the places we wanted to visit were under renovation/restoration before the full summer season arrives. That said, we were still able to see and do a lot during our 13 days there!

    I would encourage anyone considering a visit to the UK to look into their heritage pass programs. I believe Britain, Ireland and Scotland each have their own. Also note that the heritage pass in the US is also accepted thanks to a reciprocity program. But beware, there are multiple groups with these visitors' passes. Sites often belong to one or the other . . . and which places you plan to visit will help you decide which, if any, pass will be the best value for you.

    We used our "Historic Environment Scotland" pass just enough to "break even" on it. Instead of buying the "Historic Trust of Scotland" pass, we purchased and used the National Trust for Historic Preservation (here in the USA) pass for the reciprocal benefits. The cost of the US pass was about a 70% savings as compared to the one for Scotland . . . plus we now have the pass for use at US heritage locations, plus others abroad, for the next 11 months.

    I'll leave you with one of my favorite photos from the trip!
    [​IMG]
    Urquhart Castle, on the Loch Ness, near Inverness
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2018
  2. Talent312

    Talent312 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    We have the eggsact same photo from our trip (too late to walk down).
    We did the boat ride on Loch Ness (cold)... Did not see the "monster."
    We drove from Inverness to Edinburgh.
     
    silentg and Timeshare Von like this.
  3. kwelty

    kwelty TUG Member

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    I was thinking about getting this pass, but when I Googled it, all I get is a conservative think tank. Is Heritage Foundation the right name?
     
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  4. Timeshare Von

    Timeshare Von TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    This is the link to the organization I joined that had reciprocity in Scotland too. It's the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
     
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  5. kwelty

    kwelty TUG Member

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    Thanks Yvonne, I used to belong to that. I might have to re-up.
     
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  6. Timeshare Von

    Timeshare Von TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Happy to help . . . and thank you. I looked up and corrected my original post with the name of the organization. (Too lazy this morning at 7am!)
     
  7. elaine

    elaine TUG Member

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    Going to Scotland this summer. Was Urquhart free or what was the discount with the US pass? Also, did you use the pass for Stirling or Edinburgh castles? We have a family of 4 so the $30 pass sounds like a bargain.
     
  8. Timeshare Von

    Timeshare Von TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    You really need to be careful as to which pass is for what sites. Urquhart is not free . . . and is part of the "Historic Environment Scotland" pass so our US pass that we bought for $30 was not valid for free admission with that. For us, we paid around £45 for DH (adult) and £38 me (senior) for a 14 day pass, which did include Urquhart. Both Stirling & Edinburgh are also part of this pass. We didn't go to them this trip, however, as we had been back in 2006.

    The organization/pass that has reciprocity with the $30 family pass available through the National Trust for Historic Preservation is "Historic Trust of Scotland". Some of the places we used our US pass for were the Culloden Battlefields, Hugh Miller's Birthplace & Cottage and the Brodie Castle. Also, note that the "family pass" for the NTHP is good for husband & wife and it may be possible the reciprocity in Scotland won't be for your entire family. We were told both of our names needed to appear on the pass for the two of us to be admitted under the reciprocity. We had no kids, do that wasn't in play for us.

    Again, you really need to research the places you *THINK* you'll be visiting, see which organization they're affiliated with and then decide if buying a pass makes sense for you.

    I hope this makes sense and helps.
     
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  9. elaine

    elaine TUG Member

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    Thanks. I had already researched and did not see Urquhart covered, so was confused with your photo. The explorers pass works as a 3 castles for price of 2 for us, so we’ll get that.
    Planning to go back in a few years in retirement as there is so much to do and see.
     
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  10. Timeshare Von

    Timeshare Von TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Here is the website with their list . . . Urquhart Castle is listed as covered.

    And this site helps to navigate through the choices available to visitors.

    Looks like Edinburgh and Stirling Castles may be covered by both of the passes I've been talking about.
     

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