Scotland

February 15th, 2011 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

I’ve got a mate’s wedding in the north of England in July, and am looking to spend some time holidaying in before the wedding. It would be stuipid to fly so far just for a weekend.

I’ve been to Scotland before but just Edinburgh for a couple of days – did a bus tour around a lake.

For those who have been to Scotland, what would you recommend in terms of both places to stay and things to do. Will have between one and two weeks in Scotland. Ideally we’d like to see some amazing scenery, do some walking or even cycling tracks, go out on some waterways etc. Also nice to see any historic sites but that is secondary to nice scenery.

Cost is of course a major factor, but not the most important factor.

Tags: ,

46 Responses to “Scotland”

  1. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,070 comments) says:

    Go to Skye, then do the train journey from Kyle of Localsh to Inverness.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. ciaron (1,441 comments) says:

    Mony Halls made the Outer Hebrides look actractive last night.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. BeaB (2,142 comments) says:

    Agree about Skye.
    We stayed at a cheap (for Britain) but comfortable guesthouse Navaar in Edinburgh – good bar and breakfast. The whisky measure is bigger than in England!
    Go to Stirling and the Wallace monument. Culloden is a spooky and beautiful spot. We also loved Oban.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Macfre (22 comments) says:

    All the above plus go to Fort William then over to Glencoe. Amazing place, you can feel the atmosphere. If you have time go to the real highlands (above Inverness). Somewhere like Durness or Tongue on the North coast. If time doesn’t permit that then Loch Ness is always good, but a bit touristy.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Yeti (64 comments) says:

    Head up to Loch Lomond – it’s stunning and you can do all the things you mention, i.e. cycling & walking. Check it out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loch_Lomond

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Manolo (14,030 comments) says:

    DPF, rent a car and drive to Dufftown (four hours away from Edinburgh), when you will have the opportunity to visit a number of Speyside single-malt distilleries, e.g., Glenfarcas, Glenfiddich, The Macallan, Aberlour, Balvenie, etc.

    A must-do trip for any lover of fine scotch whisky.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Ryan Sproull (7,259 comments) says:

    Here’s some info you can probably use, DPF:

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. alex Masterley (1,523 comments) says:

    Ardfern,
    Oban,
    Western Highlands.
    Islay if you can make it.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Pete George (23,680 comments) says:

    Meet Scottish people, especially away from the cities. Just had a Scottish contingent visiting, social and very interesting, and proud of where they are from.

    A Scot met a Kiwi and asked where they were from.
    “I come from the best country in the world” said the Kiwi.
    The Scot replied “you’ve got the strangest Scottish accent I’ve heard”.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. berend (1,715 comments) says:

    You definitely want to explore the high lands. Nice walk: Ben Wyvis. But it doesn’t really matter much where you are, it’s all nice.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Andrew (31 comments) says:

    isle of sky is a great drive, fort william and Glencoe, loch ness to inverness and then see the Culloden battle field.

    there are loads of great places, and the roads are easy to navigate. Get a tom tom and you will never get lost.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. anonymouse (721 comments) says:

    Pitlochry (Just north or Perth) is worth visiting http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitlochry, it is a popular base for walking and a great jumping off point for the lower highlands + has the “smallest distillery in Scotland” edradour, which is a great visit,

    Also if you are interested in doing stuff on waterways, try to plan going through Falkirk, ( its on the main drag between Edinburgh and Glasgow,) The canal boat Wheel is a great engineering alternative to regular locks
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falkirk_Wheel

    If you are going to do Ben Lomond, I would recommend that you stay at the Rowardennan Youth Hostel, it is a lovely former Victoria Hunting Lodge on the shore of Loch Lomond, and even if you don’t go hiking, it is really lovely place to just relax and soak up the scenery, http://www.hihostels.com/dba/hostels-Rowardennan-Lodge-SYHA-050022.en.htm

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. davidp (3,587 comments) says:

    You’ll need a car… but the islands are cool. Visit Skye (spectacular mountainous scenery), take the ferry to Tarbert on Lewis and Harris (moors and stone circles), then the ferry from Stornoway back to Ullapool on the mainland. From Ullapool I’d go for a drive around the very north of the country with a detour to the Orkneys to see more really ancient history than anywhere else I’ve ever been. There are ancient burial mounds on the Orkneys that have Viking graffiti inside… if Vikings were willing to stop raping and pillaging and indulge themselves in a bit of tourism then it must be worthwhile.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. Greg Sands (7 comments) says:

    Can only recommend what I’ve actually done, but given all this was fantastic, I’d say probably anywhere would be worthwhile.
    – Drove Edinburgh to Oban – not much on the way, but Oban was well worth getting to.
    – The drive up the coast to Fort William is stunning, especially if you get the mix of rain and sun we had. Plenty of walks/climbs in this area, but be very well prepared for the worst weather – you’ll probably get it!
    – Must agree with going to Skye. We drove to Mallaig (you can see the Harry Potter viaduct and maybe the train itself at Glenfinnan on the way) and then took the ferry across. We stayed in Portree which is a great base – the hostel was cheap but plenty functional.
    – Didn’t make it to Inverness, but Fort Augustus at the southern end of Loch Ness has a set of locks that kept us entertained for a bit, watching the boats make their way up and down.
    – Agree also with Stirling if you’re into the history.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    It’s SHITE being Scottish! We’re the lowest of the low. The scum of the fucking Earth! The most wretched, miserable, servile, pathetic trash that was ever shat into civilization. Some hate the English. I don’t. They’re just wankers. We, on the other hand, are COLONIZED by wankers. Can’t even find a decent culture to be colonized BY. We’re ruled by effete assholes. It’s a SHITE state of affairs to be in, Tommy, and ALL the fresh air in the world won’t make any fucking difference!

    The Falkirk Wheel is interesting.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    Skye. No question, go to Skye.

    My favourite place in Scotland was a tiny town called Carbost, home of the Talisker distillery.

    Rent a car if you can, and go to the Faerie Glen (http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/skye/fairyglen.shtml).

    It’s pretty awesome to visit a place where most people’s first language is Scottish Gaelic, rather than English :-)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. Mr Nobody NZ (391 comments) says:

    Rosslyn Chapel. Its popularity has increased since the Da Vinci Code and can be crowded but still worth going to see its weird blend of Christian, Celtic and pagan imagery.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. bearhunter (853 comments) says:

    Agree with anonymouse, Pitlochry is a must. a beautiful town, near to the home of the only private army in Britain (the Duke of Atholl’s) and near the lovely Edradour distillery.

    Malcolm, it’s not that shite being Scottish. After all, they were invented by the Irish…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Tookinator (221 comments) says:

    We did Edinburgh Castle last year, assume you’ve done that though as you can hardly miss it towering above you!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. backster (2,184 comments) says:

    Learn the language and dress as the Scots do wear a kilt if you don’t have one a lavalava or a Maori grass skirt may be acceptable, order porridge for breakfast, and you should do just fine.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. arkhad (68 comments) says:

    Dufftown for sure. Also do try and get to a Highland Games while you are there. They are way more interesting and enjoyable than I ever imagined.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. fruitshop (45 comments) says:

    http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/vli/holyrood/index.htm

    Scottish Parliamentary buildings– Architectural masterpiece despite all the cost controversy.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. Fisiani (1,047 comments) says:

    I know Scotland very well and one recommendation that is usually missed is to visit Glasgow. I notice not one person above has mentioned it. In a two week stay you can see lots of the scenery mentioned above but dinna negleçt tae spend a couple a’ days in this wee gem.

    http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/en/AboutGlasgow/Touristattractions/

    Glasgow is one of the UK’s most visited cities.

    The city that hosted the highly popular Glasgow Garden Festival in 1988, was European City of Culture in 1990, and was designated the UK City of Architecture and Design in 1999, welcomes over 3 million tourists from all over the world each year who are drawn by its wealth of cultural attractions and activities.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. magic bullet (776 comments) says:

    Be sure to visit the Grand Lodge of Scotland as well DPF. The Grand Master has information he wants you to hand deliver to Master Key. Do not fail this time! Remember your blood-oath David!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. big bruv (14,132 comments) says:

    Depending on the cost DPF you could do worse than follow the north east motorway, there are tons of beautiful little towns that are all teeming with historic sites, a must would be Culloden moor, the Wallace monument in Stirling and any of the little seaside towns.

    IMHO you want to avoid Glasgow and Dundee, both have little to offer in the way of scenery or points of interest.

    BTW…never ever get dragged into a debate about football, you have a 50% chance of giving the wrong answer…:)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. youami (44 comments) says:

    Glen Coe is a must do, just a stunning place. Isle of Sky is nice also. The rest of my Scottish trip was a bit of an alcoholic blur, but those are the places that stood out.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. Fisiani (1,047 comments) says:

    The right Answer is always CELTIC. For those based in Wellington the chance to grab a slice of Scottish culture and see the world’s greatest team slay the Forces of Mordor come this weekend.
    http://www.wellingtonceltic.co.nz/nextmatch.htm

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. plum (38 comments) says:

    I wouldn’t bother with Inverness. Glasgow is far more interesting than Edinburgh if you’re interested in real people, and not just tourist tat. The pubs are way better too.

    For scenery/walking etc, Galloway Forest Park in the southwest of Scotland is, in my opinion, much better than the Highlands, and far less over-run with tourists – you can go for ages without seeing anyone. I was there in August last year. http://www.gallowayforestpark.com/ Just make sure you take insect repellent as early summer is a bad time in the Scottish forest for ‘midgies’ – giant, vicious sandflies!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. big bruv (14,132 comments) says:

    Fisiani

    Do you start the show with a rousing rendition of God Save the Queen?

    Are Rangers fans welcome?

    Do you immediately kick out anybody who talks about dirty Hun’s?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. reversespin (70 comments) says:

    Hire a car. It gives you freedom, flexibility and mobility.

    Go to Fort William, you might even be able to walk up Ben Nevis (Highest peak in UK). Just a day walk, in good weather.
    From there, you can do Loch Ness and Urquart (sp?) Castle. Culloden (sp?) battlefield is also close and very, very well set-up.
    And then you are in the Highlands/Glencoe area – awesome.

    Edinburgh castle is huge and very interesting (you need a WHOLE day), but for authenticity and a feel for what castles were like, back in the day, consider Stirling Castle.

    Keep in mind, that with a car, nothing is very far in Scotland. You can get to anywhere, from anywhere, pretty quick.

    B&Bs are the best value accomodation.

    Have a blast!!!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. big bruv (14,132 comments) says:

    You are certainly going to the UK at the right time if you want to see Scotland at it’s best DPF, July is a magnificent time of the year, the field will be in full bloom and the long evenings (it does not get completely dark until well after 10.00pm) make for a fantastic time.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. Fisiani (1,047 comments) says:

    BB. I just knew that with your brand of subtlety and intellect that you were seduced by the dark side of the Force . Dont worry there is help at hand

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Help-stop-children-becoming-Rangers-fans/150682718288445

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. 103PapPap (131 comments) says:

    Oban is very nice.

    If you want to walk a golf course (with club in hand) the courses south of Glasgow are fantastic.

    Some ‘must try’ Scottish food: Deep fried Mars bars, Neeps and Tatties, black pudding, Haggis, kippers for breakfast.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. big bruv (14,132 comments) says:

    103

    And do not forget Arbroath Smokies and Forfar Bridies

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. davidp (3,587 comments) says:

    big bruv>IMHO you want to avoid Glasgow and Dundee

    Glasgow is no Edinburgh, but the Charles Rennie Mackintosh architecture spread around the city is brilliant. He’s easily one of my favourite 19th/20th century architects.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  36. big bruv (14,132 comments) says:

    Fisiani

    Not seduced at all, the whole Celtic/Rangers thing is the one thing I HATE about Scotland, it is but religious bigotry at it’s worst and not something that should be welcomed into NZ.

    One song in praise of the IRA is one song too many Fisiani.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  37. big bruv (14,132 comments) says:

    davidp

    If you want architecture then visit Barcelona :)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  38. Jimbob (641 comments) says:

    I have a cousin who visited Scotland, and the locals called Glasgow ” stab city”. There are obviouly places in Glasgow you don’t go.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  39. Michael (910 comments) says:

    I know it’s south of the border, but I want to go to Lindisfarne when I next go to the UK – looks like a stunning place and so much history. I also enjoyed York which is on the way to the north.

    If you want some excitement in Glasgow, go to a Celtic match in a Rangers shirt.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  40. Pharmachick (241 comments) says:

    Skye – just amazing.
    The Highlands.
    If you’re driving past (and you can easily be if you’re anywhere near Glasgow and/or Edinburgh) stop off at the Wallace Monument in Stirling.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  41. Frederick (39 comments) says:

    I entirely agree with the comment about Glasgow. It has a city of great character and also houses some very fine art collections. The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is a particularly fine art gallery exhibiting many of the great European masters and the Burrell collection is a treasure trove of great art.

    While driving allows some independence I suggest you may want to park the car to engage on two of the most scenic train journeys in the world.

    Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh traverses some spectacular highland scenery

    From Kyle of Lochalsh you can get a ferry to Mallaig and travel to Fort William (stop and climb Ben Nevis) and then onto Glasgow. The Mallaig to Glasgow train journey has been voted two years running as the top train journey in the world. You just would not be able to see that range of scenery from a car as the rail line gets closer to lochs and more remote parts of Glencoe.

    I thoroughly recommend these train journeys

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  42. k.jones (210 comments) says:

    Wick is wicked – say hi to mum for me

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  43. Viking2 (11,553 comments) says:

    davidp says
    if Vikings were willing to stop raping and pillaging and indulge themselves in a bit of tourism then it must be worthwhile.

    That is tourisn David. But we do it gentler now.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  44. Steve (4,587 comments) says:

    Take a camera? yep sure. Might get a pic of the lock nut connecter

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  45. Tauhei Notts (1,746 comments) says:

    Visit the monument at Lockerbie.
    It is rather touching.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  46. Dirty Rat (504 comments) says:

    Fisiani, fuck off you fienian prick.

    A couple of rules about Scotland

    1. Learn the words and Music of ‘The Sash”, you will go far.
    2. St Andrews is by far the most beautiful village in the world
    3. Avoid randomly performing a Haka, your throat will be cut and fed to the friendly haggis beasts of Ben Glenorchie ( unless it is done during the Fringe season).

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote