Where to go?
June 18, 2008 8:32 PM   Subscribe

So I am pondering a trip to Scotland. I know nothing at all other than that I think it is beautiful. If I were trying to find some place to go that possibly included the following desires (listed after the general questions) A.) Are there any good websites to explore for booking purposes B.) Have you dealt with any companies that you really enjoyed... Desire list: B&B style accommodations, in the country, the greener the scenery-the better, horses are good & preferred, water for swimming is cool- but not absolutely needed, booze must be easily found, good food huge plus Any words or links of wisdom?
posted by MayNicholas to Travel & Transportation around Scotland (11 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Previously, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and that's just the results for 2008!
posted by arnicae at 9:07 PM on June 18, 2008

I visited some years ago, flew into Glascow and rented a car and drove north. There are great little towns all the way up the loch before you hit Inverness that should suit your needs and wants. About halfway up (this was a long time ago, my details are sketchy, sorry) was a rocking little town called Fort William. Further east in the Grampians there was a wee town called...Pitlochry, I think, that had a great pub and a great little distillery, the smallest I think, where they make the Edradour. I was there in March, too cold for swimming. Since there is no language barrier, Scotland is a great place to just rent a car and grab a map and guide book and go exploring. I used Haunted Places of Scotland by Martin Coventry.

Definately go. It was striking and spooky and wonderful, and I was traveling with a harpy but I still had a blast.

Food is a tricky one. I had a venison haggis in the city, but out in the country I would say keep it simple. Fresh cheese and baked goods should abound. The beer, and the scotch of course, were top notch. As were the scots.
posted by vrakatar at 9:08 PM on June 18, 2008

Have travelled somewhat extensively in Scotland, most recently last year. We rented a car and drove up from Glasgow to Glencoe. Glencoe is one of my favorite places on earth, lush green mountains (you may remember the scenery from a flying broomstick chase in Harry Potter). I myself have stayed at a cute campsite, the Red Squirrel (http://www.redsquirrelcampsite.com/), but a short walk up the road is the beautifully situated Clachaig Inn (http://www.clachaig.com/). Roaring fireplaces in the pub, great local food, and oh my god the scotch list. I would think the Clachaig Inn would fit well with what you're describing.

We then drove to the Isle of Skye, which is jaw dropping and has beautiful vistas and highland cows all of the place. I wouldn't miss it.

Last, we headed up to the Orkney Islands. Quite a distance but a really cool place. Don't know about B and Bs (I'm sure there are tons of them) but Highland Park distillery is there and that was a cool tour. Also cool stonehenge-like ruins at various places.

Definitely rent a car, you dn't want to waste your vacation waiting for buses in remote areas.
posted by xholisa13 at 10:55 PM on June 18, 2008

I travelled to Scotland as a kid and two things i remember heartily enjoying were visiting Drummond Castle, which has a really beautiful garden with peacocks (castles and gardens are big destinations, pretty enjoyable if you don't overdo it, i don't think you can actually walk through this castle but the gardens are awesome). The other was a town called Moffett, i think, there was a great big statue of a sheep on some rocks. a very pretty little town, stayed in a b&b. i can't even remember exactly where it was, but i highly agree with others that you should spend time exploring little towns along your way.

also, keep your ears open for kailies/k-eye-lees, i have no idea how to spell it but the word is related, i think, to gala. there is live music and boisterous folk dancing by both skilled performer types and regular people, probably drinking as well but i was too young to notice.
posted by dahliachewswell at 12:32 AM on June 19, 2008

Definitely check out some of the previous posts and the tags for Scotland, there has been some great advice on here recently.
posted by fire&wings at 2:33 AM on June 19, 2008

The correct spelling is céilidh (for kailies I've always pronounced it kay-lee, but I'm not Scottish). I'd reccommend the Alamo Guest House if you are staying in Glasgow.
posted by tallus at 2:44 AM on June 19, 2008

There are B&Bs everywhere in Scotland and the tourist bureau publishes a rating system for them which is pretty reliable. They don't seem to push the Kintyre peninsula very hard but I found it quite beautiful and very untouristy. I guess that's why Paul McCartney chose to live there after the Beatles. This doesn't really fit with your plans and Ayr itself isnt that appealing but Culzean Castle was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen.
posted by vizsla at 4:36 AM on June 19, 2008

As far as mucking about in the water is concerned, I can recommend Nae Limits in Dunkeld. They have river bugging and canoeing amongst other things, and the town itself is quite pretty. It's also not far from Pitlochry, mentioned above. Or, you could maybe think about heading up from Glasgow through Glencoe to Fort William. Take the Jacobite Steam Train through Glencoe to Mallaig. From there you can take a short ferry trip to Skye. There are plenty of bays along the coast or on the island for swimming, and horse riding is definitely available on Skye. Visit Scotland is the official tourist board site, and should be able to hook you up with accommodation and activities.
posted by Jakey at 5:48 AM on June 19, 2008

If you want a youngish fun group of people to tour around with check out MacBackpackers. A couple of friends and I had a wonderful time with them in 2001. You can stay for as many days as you want at any of their overnight destinations and get on another bus a few days later, or you can stick with one bus for the whole tour. It was a fun group of people without being either too stodgy or too party-oriented, and the guys that drive the busses and conduct the tours are awesome.
posted by MsMolly at 9:20 AM on June 19, 2008

Cook your own food. seriously. The scots have no idea.
posted by up!Rock at 2:13 PM on June 19, 2008

Scotland is great, easily travelable, beautiful, and a lot of fun. You'll have a wonderful time. Swimming is fun, though really cold. Drinking is available everywhere and drinking in pubs is a great way to meet people.

When I was planning a trip through Scotland for myself and my parents, I got a lot from this book. It is not a super budget backpackers book, but it's not a luxury travel book either. It only does a few places instead of the whole of the country, but the places chosen are the ones you'll probably want to go to (some old standards, some places that are slightly off the beaten path). The reason I thought of you was that he seems to focus on nice, pleasant, family run inexpensive to moderately priced B&Bs. There's great advice in it and a lot of great recommendations. Check it out at your local library.

If you're looking for green, I really enjoyed the Borders region, the Speyside region, and Perthshire. But the northwest of the country is amazing and striking and beautiful and by far my favorite place. It's a little more windswept and barren. Every picture I have from my trip up there looks like it was taken in the Dead Marshes.

Also, I strongly disagree with up!Rock. There is amazing food to be had. If you're vegetarian, Edinburgh has some amazing traditional vegetarian options (veggie haggis!). If you're there during lambing season, you have to try the lamb. And I still remember the Highlander chicken I had at the Cramond Inn: chicken breast stuffed with haggis, wrapped in bacon, drowned in a mushroom cream sauce. Oh My God.
posted by mosessis at 12:50 PM on June 20, 2008

« Older Complete list of Trivial Pursuit questions online?   |   Foreign magazines in L.A.? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.