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Scotland

Discussion in 'European Timesharing' started by cp73, Aug 26, 2019.

  1. cp73

    cp73 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Heading to Scotland next month for 2 weeks. Will be staying in Edinburgh then renting a car to Inverness, Skye, Oban, then back to Edinburgh. Although I think I have my itinerary down any must see things you would recommend I might have missed.
     
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  2. mjm1

    mjm1 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Depending on your interests, I would recommend a few places to consider. The Stirling Castle and the William Wallace Monument that is nearby, as well as St Andrews, especially if you are a golfer.

    I loved the movie Braveheart, which is an embellished story of William Wallace and Scotland’s fight for freedom, which motivated us to visit Stirling and the Monument. We enjoyed both very much.

    Have a great trip.

    Best regards.

    Mike
     
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  3. jme

    jme TUG Member

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    Chris, hello again.

    Funny how we get together via TUG and PMs to talk about pending trips. You've helped me on several occasions
    and I hope I've helped you. All the little tidbits sure make a difference, and maximize enjoyment.
    I know you, so I'm quite confident your planning and homework are well done already.

    So in spite of that, I put together a little info for those who might want to consider such a trip to Scotland.
    I'm hoping this will do two things: 1. make you get even more excited than you are,
    and 2. encourage others to make plans to visit this wonderful place.
    It's not on everyone's list, but it should be. It was definitely one of the best trips we ever made.

    So Chris,
    You'll love Scotland!....we spent two weeks there a few years ago, a perfect length of time, and what we saw still remains the most beautiful vistas we've ever seen, and I sincerely mean, bar none. The Highlands are spectacular, and you'll love driving anywhere....
    We literally put over 1200 miles on the rental car.
    It's all the most foreign terrain (foreign to your mind), almost like another planet, like nothing you've ever seen, and nothing prepares you for going around bends in the road and suddenly seeing humungous mountains of pure deep green,
    i.e. bare green pastures, rising up to great heights, farther than you can stretch your neck to see out of the window, with a lot of gargantuan boulders strewn about, and high, very high, rocky cliffs and
    countless plateaus everywhere you look. And the Red Deer, wow. Huge antlers, and you'll see them randomly as you drive the highways.

    And don't forget the Highland Cattle you'll see everywhere, with their long shabby bangs hanging down as they peer at you motionless.
    We stopped many times just to gawk at them. And sheep wander across the road as if they already got the memo that you've been pre-warned to give them the
    right-of-way. Such a magnificent sight. And the short stone walls ---cairns---that traverse every field like a mapping off of all boundaries amongst the neighboring farmers. You might catch a glimpse of the sheep-herding dogs working the flock.

    Highland Cattle
    :
    https://www.google.com/search?q=scotland+cattle&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=UHKIvTGZKnLCJM%3A%2Co-fx3L20KS7HoM%2C%2Fm%2F01g19s&vet=1&usg=AI4_-kQShwKTKFAZkq-vuHtB-P3N9bbVRg&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiMh8fEoqHkAhVmUt8KHUTRBEAQ_B0wGnoECAkQAw#imgrc=UHKIvTGZKnLCJM:

    Sheep:
    Scotland has more sheep than people.
    In June 2013 the sheep population was 6.57 million on about 14,800 farms, according to the Scottish government.
    https://www.google.com/search?q=sheep+in+scotland&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=c72nghzPPvD3AM%3A%2CT0Xh3H3zYMmyoM%2C_&vet=1&usg=AI4_-kQe0iJfNrV5YlFgUYe5d1kLFMhpcA&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjvpLzgoqHkAhXknuAKHU44BJcQ9QEwAHoECAIQAw#imgrc=c72nghzPPvD3AM:


    The town of Stirling is really great, and the Stirling Castle is a must-see. That was a great day.
    Stirling is fairly close to St. Andrews, which is another worthy town to visit---very historic and charming, and lots to see.
    Stirling Castle:
    https://www.google.com/maps/uv?hl=en&pb=!1s0x48886292283cd5a7:0x7c5004fb1541fb67!2m22!2m2!1i80!2i80!3m1!2i20!16m16!1b1!2m2!1m1!1e1!2m2!1m1!1e3!2m2!1m1!1e5!2m2!1m1!1e4!2m2!1m1!1e6!3m1!7e115!4s//lh4.googleusercontent.com/proxy/_3tjIuDsCFGt_hY5tB96TcsOnTgOxDrf_2e1EmvyioXGC8t2S6ufQoXJspq8TIzMnT7YXUqAVbHsnw8KT0uj6kwNqHSSbEsYvwoDs76DWobpDqdh4wIwOJQekiLOWqjebOEKCeJmeYNCS9nzvicxHLMjOQneIMo=w480-h320-k-no!5sstirling castle - Google Search!15sCAQ&imagekey=!1e1!2shttp://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTtau5ogjStWWesm2B3pM-cMfpkBOTZFpDkUVT-z9ueDjIqRElZ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjFrrOrtaHkAhVBT98KHcPTA2EQoiowHXoECA0QBg



    Driving up the West Coast:
    Oban:
    The drive up the West Coast is lonnnnnggggg, and occasionally it gets monotonous despite the non-stop beauty, but when you turn the corner and pull into Oban, it's a WELCOMED SIGHT...civilization at last! And what a lovely civilization it is. Shops and cafes everywhere, and the quaint little harbor full of fishing boats and sailboats. Oban is a colorful but quirky little town, with a lot of nice shops and cafes around the harbor area....just walk around and spend a couple or three hours---- very memorable.
    Don't forget to purchase your kilt there, you're gonna need it, brother.

    When you finally reach the ferry which will take you to the Isle of Skye, bundle up.
    A great experience looking out at raw nature at its finest,
    and the wind, oh my. But it changes when you reach the island itself and begin to circle it in your vehicle. First, Beware----it's a one-lane road,
    and a few times you'll have to stop and pull off so you both can squeeze by each other to continue. It's funny actually, and so unique. Just smile and wave.


    Isle of Skye:
    Let me tell you ahead of time-----the Isle of Skye is THE most beautiful and stunning meeting of land and sea on the planet.
    We've been to Hawaii twice and Scotland blows it away. Stop at several pull-offs and just look.....you'll feel the breezes as they blow in moist air from the sea....don't lean over too far to see the cliffs, altho I did for photographic reasons and was glad I did.
    Above all, on Skye, make it a point to drive ALL THE WAY around the island,
    especially visiting the pull-off called the Quiraing.
    Nothing like it, and probably the most gorgeous sight in Scotland. That has burned a place in my mind forever,
    and my wife and kids still talk about it.
    Here are a few pics, but BEING THERE is the only thing that really does it justice.
    https://www.google.com/search?q=quiraing&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=nPRYgEBHoM0l_M%3A%2C3Kny8eCl8So-1M%2C%2Fm%2F0gwck7&vet=1&usg=AI4_-kSC-S4bJbTvrLXJA3HXDqrHzBuWSg&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj175TJnaHkAhVShuAKHTBLAuUQ_B0wHHoECAsQAw#imgrc=nPRYgEBHoM0l_M:

    Also
    https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/the-quiraing

    The Old Man of Storr is another fun sight---it's a peculiar rock formation---like a grouping of spires atop a small mountain,
    so you must know where it is as you approach it, and look for it or you'll miss it.
    https://www.google.com/search?q=old+man+of+storr&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=AWb1oPXy_pv-rM%3A%2CkwBwOrMlxBeVCM%2C%2Fm%2F03m4lt&vet=1&usg=AI4_-kS4GVWhB6F5gFvV1Kx5JwJYoJ-UJA&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjAtKrQoKHkAhXkRt8KHSKtBJ8Q_B0wHnoECAUQAw#imgrc=AWb1oPXy_pv-rM:

    The Needle:
    https://www.google.com/search?q=ima...kAhWtmuAKHamYBpMQsAR6BAgJEAE&biw=1280&bih=666



    Oban street view
    :
    https://goo.gl/maps/bcGbuvNZkxtPbdVT9

    If you're ever lucky enough to catch the Highland Games, it's worth every bit of time and effort. There's nothing like it,
    and it's a sure thing you won't forget it. They are scheduled throughout the summer and into Fall, even September.
    Here's the 2019 schedule:
    https://scotlandwelcomesyou.com/scottish-highland-games/

    Highland Games:
    https://www.google.com/search?q=highland+games+scotland&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=t8TDJeRcpNM1bM%3A%2CzxYP_bL0WdEqzM%2C%2Fm%2F02wggl&vet=1&usg=AI4_-kQnpdbsOZRYn8jXzgl35WsckqjZQQ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwil042gpKHkAhVimeAKHWRfArkQ_B0wHnoECAoQAw#imgrc=t8TDJeRcpNM1bM:


    Edinburgh
    :
    Visit the historic grand old Balmoral Hotel and the beautiful park adjacent.
    The luxurious hotel was the place where JK Rowling holed up in a special suite to complete the FINAL Harry Potter book.
    We actually stayed a full week in the Balmoral Hotel--a top near-the-corner "domed" room (as seen from front, etc...and a large round
    window which opened, and big enough to step up and "get inside"----
    4 feet of circular space extending from wall to glass of window,
    like a huge tube, where you could curl up and sit).
    We could see Edinburgh Castle on top of the mountain in the distance.

    One night Tom Jones was performing and we could see the colored spotlight beams shooting up into the sky, and could HEAR him singing.
    Since we opened the window by cranking it the old-fashioned way, the sound was clear as a bell and traveled all that distance. We enjoyed that free concert.

    Balmoral Hotel:
    https://www.google.com/maps/uv?hl=en&pb=!1s0x4887c78fb1aef435:0xa11d8809c1de85b!2m22!2m2!1i80!2i80!3m1!2i20!16m16!1b1!2m2!1m1!1e1!2m2!1m1!1e3!2m2!1m1!1e5!2m2!1m1!1e4!2m2!1m1!1e6!3m1!7e115!4shttps://lh5.googleusercontent.com/p/AF1QipOhURtssRwVc68_DbHG7jTYHje4qEc6NAAdetYF=w706-h320-k-no!5sbalmoral hotel edinburgh - Google Search!15sCAQ&imagekey=!1e1!2shttps://media2.trover.com/T/5874c0ef10b26874fd01109e/fixedw.jpg&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi0hZPdsKHkAhVGdt8KHXGoCHcQoiowHXoECAsQBg

    Princess Street Gardens & Park---a block or two from Balmoral Hotel:
    https://www.google.com/maps/uv?hl=en&pb=!1s0x4887c7903a68bd9f:0x481fdaa775ca6cb0!2m22!2m2!1i80!2i80!3m1!2i20!16m16!1b1!2m2!1m1!1e1!2m2!1m1!1e3!2m2!1m1!1e5!2m2!1m1!1e4!2m2!1m1!1e6!3m1!7e115!4s//lh4.googleusercontent.com/proxy/UFue7hh-w8Hr9SpKUMkZwG0IACHhRUj7cmlbL2PoScrV6qrf-XF1RfvKbXpwP9s0DfY_T_6Igxy7PYNJBP_wMwlKaDYd7PY08rRTL94o0-FKPKinPd4ZbqKwnEq76WbxRcabReTQSOB09G2Iv2gtZvZz_oJgmw=w601-h320-k-no!5sprincess street gardens edinburgh - Google Search!15sCAQ&imagekey=!1e1!2shttp://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRRc5Q02L3j09Y99BvfKCyMIlyySx1voD8DWtpQUGgkNCAIw2wU&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiNkOX9saHkAhVhh-AKHeUVAnoQoiowJHoECAsQBg

    Gardens location: (minimize that Blue-White column on left using little arrow)
    https://goo.gl/maps/R4dMohPQSAALkH4L8
    Edinburgh Castle--definitely worth a tour.....mysterious, dark, depressing type of castle...the Queen refused to live or stay there.
    But it's a must-see.
    https://www.google.com/maps/uv?hl=en&pb=!1s0x4887c79a2099c0f7:0x469a1eebe54c0a58!2m22!2m2!1i80!2i80!3m1!2i20!16m16!1b1!2m2!1m1!1e1!2m2!1m1!1e3!2m2!1m1!1e5!2m2!1m1!1e4!2m2!1m1!1e6!3m1!7e115!4s//lh6.googleusercontent.com/proxy/uhJJRFMzqVt9OMVpXlyQDRcmu4NnCHiHpks2dfsyXaBkfnTanFBuXMdG5ZeMLnXDaR7lSVaxmaLvAua9ceaFl20WIKPrmrbm2e0nnFmtujSJrE4oDxSF35Tx72dPDJtoiaGHyQHhlK4Aw07skgOme7_3_JK07Q=w465-h320-k-no!5sedinburgh castle - Google Search!15sCAQ&imagekey=!1e1!2shttp://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcStk4vPRekRjSmjXsk34siMfF-ILppd3MChpgukbpgaICqCgE_t&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjRy7Lys6HkAhVynuAKHfUgBzoQoiowI3oECA4QBg

    Also walk the Royal Mile and do the Holyrood Castle tour. It's interesting, and that's where the Queen stayed when in Edinburgh.
    https://www.google.com/maps/uv?

    hl=en&pb=!1s0x4887b87717a3a003%3A0x27abd4db1967f9d6!2m22!2m2!1i80!2i80!3m1!2i20!16m16!1b1!2m2!1m1!1e1!2m2!1m1!1e3!2m2!1m1!1e5!2m2!1m1!1e4!2m2!1m1!1e6!3m1!7e115!4shttps%3A%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com%2Fp%2FAF1QipNrCZCAJI_HqNCdd2Xe6JZAYGqrBOG7eOMZUVfK%3Dw438-h320-k-no!5sholyrood%20palace%20-%20Google%20Search!15sCAQ&imagekey=!1e10!2sAF1QipNrCZCAJI_HqNCdd2Xe6JZAYGqrBOG7eOMZUVfK&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjq9snQq6HkAhXnc98KHQ_nALkQoiowG3oECA0QBg


    ***One very important thing to remember while you're in Edinburgh....
    THERE IS A HARD ROCK CAFE! When you're about to die for a mouth-watering cheeseburger and hot beautiful golden-brown fries,
    or a big, thick, juicy New York Strip Steak or the big, slobbering 16 oz Cowboy Ribeye, or even the Chicken Fingers,
    along with a tall, fat ice-cold Coke, now you know where to find it.
    And I must say, that was a most welcomed find---the meal was outstanding.
    We were definitely having American Withdrawals at that point,
    but thankfully we walked (well, rolled) out of there completely satisfied.
    https://www.hardrockcafe.com/location/edinburgh/

    https://www.hardrockcafe.com/menu.aspx


    There's a lot more to see and do in Scotland, but those things listed above are well worth it, and enough to "chew on" for now, shall we say. Enjoy
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2019
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  4. mjm1

    mjm1 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    jme, thanks for sharing your fantastic insights. As I noted in an earlier post, my DW and I have been to Scotland, but only saw Edinburgh, Stirling and St Andrews over a three day stay. We want to go back, so I will keep your suggestions in mind.

    Best regards.

    Mike
     
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  5. PrairieGirl

    PrairieGirl TUG Member

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    Jme, thanks so much for giving all the rest of this info as well as Chris! My best buddy and I spent 12 days in Ireland this summer and had a fabulous time. We made the decision then and there that our next journey would be to Northern Ireland and Scotland, so this information is something that I'm going to keep filed away for that trip!

    In Ireland we were able to base ourselves at a TS just south of Dublin for 6 days and do tons of day trips. Do you thing that would be an option for Scotland as well? And if so, what area do you suggest basing ourselves in?

    TIA!
     
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  6. jme

    jme TUG Member

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    We were in Scotland for 2 weeks in July of 2001, and took our 2 children, 12 & 15 at the time. We stayed the
    first week at the fabulous Cameron House Resort in Loch Lomond...
    specifically in the little 2-story "lodges" or cottages, which functioned as a timeshare into which we traded.

    Adjacent was the old hotel.The lodges/cottages were scattered around the property, and were awesome.
    We used that as our base for travel up the west coast to Oban, the Isle of Skye, and for our excursions
    over to Stirling and St. Andrews, etc.
    Cottages:
    http://www.cameronlodges.com/rentals/searchbuckets/cameronhouselodges-properties-alexandria/

    http://www.cameronlodges.com

    Hotel:
    https://www.google.com/maps/uv?hl=en&pb=!1s0x4889acb3da6f14ed:0x1b2ff777cb696ca5!2m22!2m2!1i80!2i80!3m1!2i20!16m16!1b1!2m2!1m1!1e1!2m2!1m1!1e3!2m2!1m1!1e5!2m2!1m1!1e4!2m2!1m1!1e6!3m1!7e115!4shttp://www.trackeame.com/sem-tracker-web/track?c=202049&n=gm&pr=H&u=http://www.despegar.com/hoteles/h-202049!5scameron house scotland - Google Search!15sCAQ&imagekey=!1e1!2shttp://media.staticontent.com/media/pictures/bb0c408b-830f-4bcf-b0ca-b6141cf0afe9&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi4--Hq-6HkAhXFpFkKHYe7C6oQoiowHHoECAoQBg


    We also drove around the gorgeous Loch Lomond, stopped and visited several great little towns along the way,
    where we shopped, had lunches, saw the gardens, homes, etc, etc,
    spent some time in the town centers, etc.
    While there at Cameron House Resort we ran into a few professional golfers staying at the hotel, since the Scottish Open
    was being played at the
    Loch Lomond Golf Club up the road. We saw John Daly and other American players as they walked around the hotel...
    pretty cool. The following week the
    British Open Golf Tournament was being played at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club in Lytham St Annes, England.

    Adjacent to the lodges was the old fabulous and historic hotel, Cameron House Hotel, as mentioned. It had everything---
    restaurants, bars, all kinds of rooms, even an indoor swimming pool.
    Beautiful place with lovely grounds. Had fun watching the geese.
    A real Bagpipe player welcomed us as we pulled up initially to check in. Nobody there but us---how wonderful!
    Our children still talk about that. It gave us all chill bumps.

    The hotel was gorgeous, and we dined there a good bit, or had tea and scones. That was usually mid-afternoon,
    most every day.
    Sadly it burned down in December of 2017, but is being restored carefully and faithfully and will reopen in 2020.

    It was an idyllic setting for our restful week, except when we traveled to Oban and the Isle of Skye for a day trip.
    Yes, we did that as a day trip with our kids.
    It was an ambitious day trip to say the least, and took the better part of a full day, but we did it, so it can be done.
    I would now consider staying a night somewhere along the way,
    whatever, just for logistics and an easier go of it. It wasn't bad, in fact a beautiful day sightseeing, just a long drive.
    While on the way, we did stop a good while in Oban, which was awesome.

    The second week we moved to the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh where we paid cash. That was extraordinary,
    and we truly enjoyed Edinburgh. We mostly enjoyed the city,
    the Gardens where we sat and relaxed daily, and saw the city's sights such as the castles, and walked the Royal Mile.
    We walked a lot otherwise too. Did some shopping as well. Bought a fabulous antique clock
    which we still enjoy every day....had it shipped home.


    There are other places in Scotland to call a "home base". A castle or old historic inn would be perfect, and an experience
    totally unique to remember and cherish. That's what I would do, without question.

    (Same for Ireland----why visit those countries and not stay in such a fantastic place? A home base can be anywhere!
    We want to visit Ireland next year.)
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019
  7. mpumilia

    mpumilia TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    We spent a memorable week (8 days, 7 nights) at the Kilconquhar Castle Estate- a timeshare resort on the Isle of Fife. We were able to explore St. Andrews, Edinburgh, The Roslyn Chapel (The Davinci Code), Sterling Castle, Loch Lomond and the Isle of Fife area.
     
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  8. jme

    jme TUG Member

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    Kilconquhar Castle Estate is EXACTLY what I was talking about regarding "other" cool places to stay, but I couldn't remember the name.

    Thanks!!!! It's perfect, and I'd stay there in a heartbeat!!! How beautiful!

    Here you go:
    https://www.google.com/maps/uv?hl=en&pb=!1s0x4886545f898aa361:0x36b275250b6230ce!2m22!2m2!1i80!2i80!3m1!2i20!16m16!1b1!2m2!1m1!1e1!2m2!1m1!1e3!2m2!1m1!1e5!2m2!1m1!1e4!2m2!1m1!1e6!3m1!7e115!4shttps://lh5.googleusercontent.com/p/AF1QipNQbswxh1KPXXa3fnYZ8tHWv_SB-yXXXtD9FaHp=w488-h320-k-no!5skilconquhar castle estate - Google Search!15sCAQ&imagekey=!1e10!2sAF1QipNQbswxh1KPXXa3fnYZ8tHWv_SB-yXXXtD9FaHp&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjoq8Ke_aHkAhXxYN8KHYdkBKYQoiowFHoECA4QBg

    Back then we chose Cameron House just because it was a larger resort, was on Loch Lomond, and had the great cottages,
    which were quite luxurious. But Kilconquhar Castle was a heavy contender.
     
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  9. geist1223

    geist1223 Guest

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    We had a great week at Kilconquhar in the Kingdom of Fife (one of the last Kingdoms of the PICTs). We spent 2 days in Edinburgh, a day in Stirling, a day at Falkland Palace and Garden (has the oldest and still in use Tennis Courts in the world), and a couple days just driving and walking around Fife including visiting the "Bunker."
     
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  10. mpumilia

    mpumilia TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Yes- we also visited the bunker. Very interesting.

    We stayed in a timeshare cottage on the premises of Kilconquhar. We rented it through a fellow Tugger who owned there at the time.
     
  11. cp73

    cp73 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Wow thank you all for your comments. Now for sure we are going to Sterling Castle. I also added William Wallace Monument which wasn't on my radar before. I need to find the oldest tennis courts and the bunker to see how to squeeze them in as well as the Falkland palace. Marty also thank you again for your wonderful list and points of your trips. I should have sent you a note weeks ago to at least check to see if you had been there. It looks like your trip hit the same parts of the country that we will be traveling. The only thing I didn't like was your comment about driving. I already have been a nervous wreck about it. I even downloaded a UK driving simulator on my iPhone which I have been crashing into things with. I loved looking at the pictures you had attached also. You definitely did get my excited about going.

    I just finished season 2 of Outlander a few nights ago. Still crying from that episode. There are a few locations in that series that I also want to see around Edinburgh. If you haven't watched it you should. I also wanted to go see the standing stones of Callendish which is on the Isle of Lewis. Problem is that it is way out of the way of everything and there is only one ferry per day that makes the crossing. I found I could fly in and out in one day but my wife has no interest in going there so see a bunch of rocks. So I have identified a few other places on our route that has a few standing stones similar to what was in Outlander. Just not as many (over 60) as the ones in Lewis all in one location. The ones in Outlander were made of styrofoam. There are over 300 locations in the UK of standing stones (Stonehedge is the most famous).

    I will post after I go and return.
     
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  12. jme

    jme TUG Member

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    Hmmm, I don't remember writing anything negative about driving in UK.
    I think all I said was that we drove a lot, and it was all beautiful, sometimes monotonous.

    Nevertheless, DON'T WORRY about the driving....just remember, "miss them on the left". So when a car is approaching in the distance,
    go to their left, and stay to the left..... HaHa.....it's sounds simple but it's effective.
    I never had a problem at all.
    Driving on left:




    A big worry for me after arriving and realizing I had to do it, too, was pulling into a gas station to refuel,
    but it was fairly idiot-proof, and I was fine after stopping the first time.
    You will want Unleaded Petrol, not Diesel (unless you got a diesel vehicle).
    LOOK at which side the fuel cap is on (left or right), and pull in appropriately. Some caps open with key, some with button inside.
    Working the petrol machine was fine. There's help if you need it.

    When you pick up the AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION VEHICLE (hope you requested that!) you could always ask them
    to show you how to open the fuel cap, etc. (or anything else).

    Use the GPS on your phone--TAKE THE CHARGER to use in the vehicle (find out what connects it to the power source to recharge). Or take some small extra power sticks already charged, just in case...they work great when walking around all day in a city, too, when you're snapping pics every 2 seconds and power drains!!!!
    (Back then I had no GPS, so nothing but huge Atlas maps, 40 pages thick, LOL......the old-fashioned kind!)
    Today, mine is Google, using up-to-the-minute satellite, and that's definitely the one to have anywhere in the world.... it's superior in every way.

    Know how the fuel pumps work...... Google it, or See below.
    Here's one good video:


    another:


    On both our 17-night trip to England and our 14-night trip to Scotland in back-to-back years, I drove over a thousand miles
    on the rental car. Frankly, despite my own worries, it was a piece of cake, and once you go down the highway a few miles,
    it's easy. A couple of roundabouts and you've got it too.

    Most roads between towns are "country roads", so that's good and that's easier.
    I always like to pick up and return a rental vehicle on the side of a big city (or an airport) which is located with the
    least amount of city driving required to get out, or come in.

    For example, let's just say London: If you're driving north from London, for instance, arrange to pick up the vehicle
    nearer North London (or at the northern-most airport)...
    so, whichever location seems easier to avoid city traffic.
    If Edinburgh airport, it won't matter much because it's about the same to go N, S, E, or W. Major roads go in all directions.

    But in general, wherever you go using rentals, Google the location and check it out.
    If city traffic is awful or prohibitive, and if it's possible and not more expensive,
    pick a rental car location that's on the periphery and closest to the edge leading out, so you don't have to
    go thru the city center to head to your destination, if you're worried.
    Most of the time, tho, we're stuck with airport rentals. Just sayin'.
     
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  13. Laurie

    Laurie TUG Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    We spent 2 consecutive weeks, first at Kilconquhar (in the "castle") and then a lodge at Cameron House. Loved both, the locations were very different, and in fact my avatar is from a short hike right off the road, close to the town near Cameron House, above Loch Lomond.

    From Kilconquhar, I really loved walks along the coast. Early in the trip we went on one all-day van tour from Kilconquhar to points north, which was a quick way to see a lot (inc. Nessie), but almost too much for one day without enough time to stop at the most beautiful places -- after that, we self-toured. From Cameron House, loved walks along Loch Lomond in Trossachs Nat'l Park, and various trips to the west. We drove thru the gorgeous "Rest and Be Thankful Pass" a few times, and also dined at the Drovers Inn pub up the road. We saw many interesting standing stones, east and west coast, though not the most famous or far-flung ones, but you can find them. Those are the things that most stand out in my mind, though we also did most of the usual things, inc Sterling Castle and Edinburgh.

    My regrets were missing the ferry to Mull (I can't recall details, but I think we didn't have a schedule and/or pulled in a few too minutes late to board our car), and also not allocating time for Isle of Skye. I think we needed a third week. :)
     
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  14. geist1223

    geist1223 Guest

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    As mentioned above we spent at week at Kilconquhar. The first week we spent at a self-catering cottage on a working farm just north of Inverness. From this location we visited Inverness, Skye, John O'Groats, Dunrobin (castle tied to Patti's family), drove all the way around Loch Ness, Culloden Battle Field, Nairn, Fort George, etc. Then we drove the north route to Kilconquhar.
     
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  15. mpumilia

    mpumilia TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    My husband didn't like driving there. Everything is left. Tons of roundabouts which make that even more challenging. Narrow country roads- tight with stone walls- where cars will come at you head on and one of you is expected to pull over. Be aware of cameras on the highway everywhere.

    My son and I were also the back seat drivers "helping" him out. You can't understand all the signs. As the driver, my husband missed a lot of the scenery as he had to concentrate hard where he was going.

    We did not drive into Edinburgh. That would have been crazy altogether. We hired a car to take us in to see the castle and also he Roslyn Chapel outside the city.

    This all said, from what I am told, it is much easier to drive in Scotland than other European countries.

    Definitely make sure you reserve an automatic. One less thing you have to deal with. We did rent right at the airport in Edinburgh and drove out and back in no issues except the torrential downpours!
     
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  16. Glynda

    Glynda TUG Member

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    The first time we went to England, we stayed in London for several nights and then took a cab out to Heathrow to rent a car because we didn’t want to drive out of London. After picking up the car and heading to Kent (prior to GPS) we got lost and ended up in London. From then on, if planning to drive after London, we just rented in London and drove out. We’ve taken 12 trips to Great Britain over the years and have rented a car for most of them. On one trip with hubby and my mother, hubby got called back to the US for a work emergency. I had to drive for the first (and last I hope) time there for another week. With GPS and automatic drive, it’s not that as difficult anymore.
     
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  17. geist1223

    geist1223 Guest

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    When we drive outside of the USA Patti is the Navigator. I have found it relatively easy to drive in Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland, New Zealand, and Australia- even with a Manuel transmission. I really focus as I come out of a Parking Lot, after that everything seems to flow smoothly. I actually like Round-a-bouts. They are better than stop lights. As we approaching a Round-a-Bout Patti using clock directions will tell me which exit to take i.e take the Exit at 3 o'clock, 9 o'clock, etc. System works for us. The small roads in the country side just make it more fun.
     
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  18. cp73

    cp73 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Great comments about driving. We are renting an automatic with GPS as well as maps and gps on the phones. We dont pick up our car until day 5 at the Edinburgh Airport and then take it directly up to Inverness. No driving in Edinburgh. I enjoyed the videos. Where we live there are lots of roundabouts that I have driven through. I have my wife as a driver also incase needed. I think I will be fine after the first few minutes. I have been driving a UK simulator on my iPhone and also found one for my iMac. So I am getting use to it. I just need to remember what all the signs mean. I have to stop and get gas? Oh boy another challenge.
     
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  19. cp73

    cp73 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Back from our trip of 2 weeks in Scotland. So much to tell. Driving wasn't so bad. After a few days I had the hang of it. Although my wife kept telling me I was going to drive off the road on the left side. Also had a problem of getting in the car on the wrong side almost everytime. It took me a while to realize that I wasn't making eye contact with other drivers because I was looking at their passengers.

    During our trip we stayed at the Marriott Glasshouse in Edinburgh and then we stayed at 4 different B&Bs in Inverness, Skye, Oban, and Linlithgow. We had never stayed at B&Bs before and now we love them. IMO they are so much better than staying in a big hotel. At two of them we were greeted with scones and other deserts, tea, and coffee at check in. You get such great personal information staying at them that you just don't get at hotels. Also it was nice to meet and talk with the other travelers staying. In Scotland they are limited to a total of six guests. Over that and they are no longer considered a B&B but have another taxing classification. If you ever get a chance stay at the Arden Country House in Linlithgow. A beautiful modern farmhouse located in the countryside. The owner is a fantastic cook and person. My wife said she would return to Scotland just to stay there again. Thats a long way from California and my wife hates flying!

    Our weather was pretty good. Very little rain and it was sunny about half the time. The temperature was in the low 60s generally. I did get a kick out of all the pictures you see of Scotland it is sunny. At least during our trip it was cloudy a lot of the time.

    We also only saw those long haired cattle (Coos) a couple of times. I asked and then said that very few farms now have them because they are expensive to raise and take longer to get to maturity. They mostly have the same cows as we have here in USA.

    My favorite castles were Sterling and Blackness Castle (Fort William in Outlander, the prison where Black Jack Randall got Jamie). At Sterling you really could get the feel of looking out over the vast area and see William Wallace charging the castle. We went inside lots of other castles.

    I also really enjoyed the Cava Karins near the Culloden Battlefield and the Standing Stones and Karins in Kilmartin Glen. If your into prehistoric history these places are a must. The stones are from about 3000-5000 BC and they really dont know their purpose or why they were made. Similar to Stonehedge in England.

    Scotland is such a beautiful country. It is green everywhere and the mountains are full of overflowing streams and water. Never seen so much green and beauty.

    Another observation I had was that I noticed very few new housing areas. Most housing looked at least 50 years old. Their population doesn't seem to be growing. I was told most young adults go to college away and never come back. Some come back after they raise a family and to retire. This was especially true in Skye.

    We also really enjoyed the food in Scotland, except in Edinburgh. We tried eating in pubs but just didn't care for it. Once we got outside of Edinburgh we loved the restaurants we visited. It was also important to have reservations for dinner. Without reservations you wont get in the better restaurants. In fact most the restaurants require a reservation. Just not enough of them for the tourists. If you go be sure to figure out where you want to eat by the day before, make reservation, and you will be fine. We didn't have this problem in Edinburgh.

    We loved our trip to Scotland. It was very easy to get around and early September was not crowded at all. I was told that the crowds in the summer making driving very difficult.

    I made a slideshow of my photos from our trip. Its about 17 minutes long. If you would like to see it here is the link.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
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  20. mjm1

    mjm1 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Glad you had a great time. We look forward to going back to Scotland some time.

    Best regards.

    Mike
     
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  21. Laurie

    Laurie TUG Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I appreciate your trip report, and your slideshow. We also really liked Kilmartin Glen, thanks for the memory!
     
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  22. jme

    jme TUG Member

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    Great video, Chris (and wife Kerry---you can tell her she's now famous!)

    As I told you in a private message earlier today, it really brought back wonderful memories of our trip.
    It's a different kind of destination and experience, no doubt, one that many never make,
    as Scotland is so remarkably different, but I still say easily that Scotland is the most spectacular and
    beautiful scenery we've ever encountered, and, like you,
    as we recall the things we saw, it only seems better and more beautiful in our minds....it's strange in that regard.

    We've been to Hawaii twice (Maui and Kaua'i), the Caribbean several times, and the Bahamas, but Scotland blows them all away.
    I truly enjoyed your video, as I did your Italy video (prior to our trip last October).
    Appreciate the time and effort you made to help others! Kudos my friend!
     
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  23. Glynda

    Glynda TUG Member

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    Chris, you, and others contributing to this thread have certainly put Scotland back on our list. We did a few days in Scotland 25 years ago with our daughter but did not make it to the islands. We did love what we saw and did. Our daughter was quite was convinced that she saw the Loch Ness monster! As she was about seeing the Easter Bunny once! :ponder: Thanks everyone for your posts. TUG is such a great community!
     
  24. jme

    jme TUG Member

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    Talk about Scottish tales....

    After a very fine pint of Guinness,
    I saw the Loch Ness monster, the Easter Bunny, AND the Tooth Fairy sitting together in an Edinburgh pub! ;)
     
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  25. Glynda

    Glynda TUG Member

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    :D:D:D
     

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