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A couple days to unwind before leaving Scotland

Hi forum friends - This will be our 2nd trip to Scotland as part of a 3-4 week trip through GB. The amazing advice I received here made our 1st trip the best ever and saved us tons of money. This time we are planning to spend time on Skye, Mull and the village of Plockton. We've been to Edinburgh and Inverness and this time looking for a town/village that is beautiful, interesting, might have some good walking nearby and, of course, a good pub or 2. I know Pamela will have some good recommendations. What are your favorites? Thanks, Jenny

Posted by
931 posts

Hi, Jenny,

If you haven't already booked your accommodation in Plockton, I can highly recommend the Tigh-nan-Saor B&B, which faces out on to Loch Carron. Ask for room one, which is en-suite, and looks out over the loch. There is some good hiking nearby. Plockton is one of the prettiest villages in the Highlands, and was used for the exterior shots from the Hamish MacBeth television program. The best place to eat in Plockton is the fish & chip takeaway, if you're looking to economize.

You may also want to consider staying in the village of Applecross, which has great views over to Raasay and Skye. Depending on how far north you want to go, Gairloch, Lochinver, and Scourie would all make an excellent base. Each has good pubs/restaurants, and lots of good walks nearby.

Best wishes for your holiday!

Mike (Auchterless)

p.s.: Fionnphort on Mull has a great little pub and an excellent restaurant (the Keel Row). Fionnphort is a great place to stay. It's really quiet after the tour buses leave, and the sunset over Iona is quite beautiful.

Posted by
931 posts

Hi again, Jenny,

I just looked again at the title of your post. Are you looking for somewhere to unwind before leaving Scotland, or just looking for somewhere in general? If it's the former, where is your point of departure from Scotland?

If you're leaving from somewhere in the central belt (Strathclyde), the Isle of Arran would be a perfect place to unwind for a couple of days. Once you get outside of the main tourist areas of Brodick and Lamlash, the island is really quiet and relaxing. There are a lot of really charming villages along the coastline, and lots of easy to moderate hikes. Many pubs, as well.

Just a suggestion.

Slainte!

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
107 posts

Thank you, Mike for these suggestions. We fell in love with Plockton on our first visit and can't wait to return. We did some sea kayaking with Alison French of Seakayak Plockton and hope to paddle with her again while we're there. We stayed in a b and b in Duirinish nearby. I'm pretty sure Skye and Plockton are as far north as we'll be going this trip and I'm looking for a nice stop on our way back south, eventually heading home from London where we'll spend 4-5 days. Once we figure out the places we want to visit, I'll figure out how to tie it all together. This trip is a ways off (Sept.2020) but I like to plan way ahead. Thank you for the recommendations on Mull. Do you think Skye and Mull are different enough to warrant seeing them both? We barely had any time to see much of Skye last time. Any thoughts and suggestions are much appreciated! Jenny

Posted by
931 posts

Hi again, Jenny,

I hope that you saw the Highland cows in the road while you were staying in Duirinish! Skye and Mull are very different - if you look at a map, you'll see that almost all of the roads are coastal on Mull, while on Skye, the roads criss-cross the island. The Cuillins of Skye are spectacular, especially if you get in to the glens between the mountains - Glen Sligachan, Glenbrittle, etc., plus the Quiraing, Fairy Glen, Neist Point, etc.

Skye is spectacular, and therefore busy; Mull is more serene, and more relaxing. One of my favorite places on Mull is Fionnphort, which is out at the very end of the Ross of Mull. It's the departure point for Iona and Staffa. At the end of the day, when the last tour bus has left, it's absolutely still. You can hear the call of the seabirds around the shore, and the mooing of the cows on the little road that leads over to Erraid. If you get a good sunset behind Iona, it's quite something!*

I could go on at length about Skye and Mull, but the final decision is yours. If you only have a limited amount of time, you should choose one, and save the other for a future holiday. Find a guidebook that is not objective about the islands (Lonely Planet or Rough Guide); check out some of the photographs on line; and have a look at the WalkHighlands website.

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday!

Mike (Auchterless)

*Looks like I'm repeating myself! Can you tell that I really like Fionnphort?

Posted by
5515 posts

I have to push for Dunkeld. I love this village. It has some lovely pubs, most notably the Tay Bank. It has some history. It has loads of wonderful walks. And I found on my most recent trip that the town has some new shops that have jewelry and some knitwear that is a bit out of the ordinary. I stayed at The Bridge a couple of times. Most recently I stayed at the Royal Dunkeld. It is definitely dated, but the room was lovely. The hosts were wonderful and the food and pub terrific.

Posted by
2711 posts

If you want a quiet town near Inverness, I can recommend Nairn. It's known to have Scotland's warmest and driest weather (you know, it's all relative...) and is convenient to Cawdor Castle, Culloden Battlefield, and Clava Cairns. You can also go whale watching on the Moray Firth. We stayed at Tali Ayer B&B and it was excellent. We wished we had allowed ourselves more nights there. Nairn has lots of B&Bs so I'm sure that many others are very good too.

Posted by
107 posts

Thank you everyone, you've given me lots to think about! Dunkeld looks amazing, and so does Fionnphort and Nairn. I could spend so much more time in Scotland. These are exactly the kinds of places I was looking for. Thanks!

Posted by
490 posts

Hello Jenny
I'll put in a vote for Skye, where it is still possible to escape the crowds, especially later in the season such as September. Have a look at www.walkhighlands.co.uk for some ideas of the many and varied walks you can do on Skye. And if you like getting out on the water, then boat trips from Elgol on the Bella Jane are not to be missed - and the drive to Elgol is spectacular too. There are also boat trips out of Carbost, that go up and around to Neist Point, giving a different perspective on that area (most people walk to the lighthouse from a small parking area).

Hope this helps
Jacqui (Skyegirl)

Posted by
107 posts

What a great link! Thank you Jacqui, we plan to spend 3 days on Skye and this is very helpful! Jenny