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Aussies touring Scotland In Sept for 7-10 days

Hi folks, yep, we are leaving Oz on September 1st. this year, planning on going straight to Edinburgh and then a self-drive tour up the East Coast and back down the central/west coast to then jump a flight across the Ditch to Dublin for a similar period.

We will be hiring a car for the whole period.

Our interests are more just pottering around looking at the out of the way but interesting sights, villages etc, not all that mad about the big cities though if something is worth seeing we would be in it!

We are both old codgers so forget the climbing, and trekking bits, please!

We are more than happy just driving about the coast or countryside, stickybeaking at local "stuff" and the scenery - easily pleased. Prefer B & B's along the way.

But from there, we're pretty well lost just where to start from, which way to go and how much time to devote to satisfying our interests!

Any suggestions for the above would be much appreciated! Also, if possible, what we could expect to pay for a medium, not small, rental car and the B & B cost maybe?

Posted by
721 posts

Hi, idf,

What are your interests? Will this be your first time in Scotland? One thing for sure - except for the place names. Scotland is considerably different than Oz!

Your hired car should cost in the area of 200 pounds per week, including tax. That's for a mid size car. A car with automatic transmission would cost a little bit more. Insurance would be extra. Your B&Bs should cost anywhere from 70 to 100 pounds per night. The average should be about 80 pounds. You may want to consider a one way rental, picking up in Edinburgh, and dropping off in Glasgow, as you're travelling counterclockwise. There would be no extra cost.

If you're interested in visiting small towns and villages, there are lots to see along the East Coast. There are some charming fishing villages (Crail, Anstruther, Pittenweem, St. Monans, etc.) along the East Neuk of Fife. St. Andrews is a charming small town, even if you have no interest in golf.

Dundee, although a large city, has some excellent museums, especially around Discovery Point. You can visit them without having to go in to the city proper, as the coast road (A92) skirts most of the city.

Farther north, Arbroath and Montrose are worth visiting. Arbroath for the harbour and the abbey; and Montrose for Bamse the Seadog. North of Montrose are some charming fishing villages (Johnshaven, St. Cyrus, Gourdon, etc.) perched along the North Sea coast. Near Stonehaven are two must sees - Dunnottar Castle and the Fowlsheugh Nature Reserve. For Fowlsheugh, turn off the A92 at the sign for Crawton, and follow the road out to the end. There is a short hike, suitable for old codgers like us (!), out to the end of the path. You'll see (and hear) thousands of seabirds of all kinds perched on the sea cliffs, and if you walk all the way out to the end, past the observation hut, you may see puffins at the entrance to the cave below.

Stonehaven would be a good place for an overnight. There's a small harbour, and several good restaurants.

North of Aberdeen there are several good places for a visit. Slains Castle and the Bullars of Buchan, for starters, and the beach at Newburgh, where you'll see hundreds of seals basking on the banks of the Ythan estuary. If castles interest you, there are many in the Aberdeen area. If you've seen "Local Hero," the village of Pennan, where much of it was filmed, is just up the road on the Moray coast.

I'd recommend getting a copy of the Lonely Planet guide to Scotland. This year's edition is very comprehensive. The Steves' guide gives very little to non-existent coverage of the Northeast.

I hope that gives you something to start with. With only seven to 10 days, you won't be able to see everything, but you can certainly get a good idea of what Scotland is all about.

Best wishes!

Slainte!

Mike (Auchterless)

p.s.: Crikey, how many times did I just describe a place as "charming"? I need to find my thesaurus! It's around here somewhere...

p.p.s.: If you take the A90 north of Aberdeen, and pass the golf course owned by a certain politician of a dubious nature, please give it the one finger salute from me. Thanks!

Posted by
422 posts

Hi idf -

If you get half decent weather, don’t miss the west coast on your way down. So much more interesting than Loch Ness and dare I say it, more scenic. I’m thinking Sutherland, Torridon, Applecross, and yes, Skye etc., etc. Mike is always on the money with his Scotland advice, so yes, swot up beforehand to see what might interest/challenge you most!

Have a great time and blow the froth off one for me!

Ian

Posted by
115 posts

Also an Aussie (Central Victoria).
We lived out of converted Tarago van for 7 weeks in UK/Ireland so no help with the accom.
We didn't do the East Coast but went a fair way up the west, just beyond Poolewe.
Stunning!
The drive over from Applecross and onto Torridon, Kinlochewe to Poolewe and up around Gruinard was sensational.
Skye is other worldly beautiful. We also ferried across to it's little sibling Raasay and loved it.
Basically the whole length of the drive between Glencoe and Gruinard was brilliant. Some of the roads are extremely narrow and the Applecross road is not for the fainthearted (but well worth it).
Favourites were Glen Etive, Glen Nevis, all of Skye (especially the north) all of Raasay, the Applecross road, Torridon and Kinlochewe/Loch Maree.
In Ireland we had friends in a lovely area of Tipp. We enjoyed Kilkenny, Cashel and particularly the Dingle Peninsula.

Posted by
2257 posts

In case previous posts didn't mention this, you will want to rent cars separately in Scotland and in Ireland, especially assuming you mean the Republic of Ireland. (I know, you did say you'll fly between the two islands, but just in case you started to think of taking a rental car on a ferry across the Irish Sea, don't bother exploring that option.)

Posted by
115 posts

I took my rental vehicle to Ireland and back with nil issues. The company were aware of this.

Posted by
6 posts

Many thanks for the replies folks, that has at least given us a starting point!

Off to see our travel agent tomorrow!

Cheers

Posted by
6 posts

OK folks, we have slowly gone firm on some of our travel arrangements but would appreciate some advice on where to go once we hit Glasgow ex Ireland.

We have around 10 +/- days to travel by hirer car up the west coast and then back down the east coast to Edinburgh from where we'll be heading off home to Australia.

We'd like to see the Lock Lomond maybe, the Lakes District but Skye remains a mystery as some folks say give it a miss whilst others say it is a must see? Wondering how B & B would be up there in mid-September? My wife has also got her eye on some battlefield/distillery whose name I have forgotten at the moment.

Basically, we'll be travelling in a clockwise direction from Glasgow to Edinburgh and appreciate with only 10 days all up, we won't see everything there is to see ...... not all that interested in the commercialised Loch Ness or Nessie really.

2 days in Edinburgh would be nice to see the Catacombs and mooch about the city on a drop-off bus tour if available, do we have to book ahead on this one thanks?

We've got the main skeleton of our trip fleshed out but just have to fill in the bits in between. Distances don't worry us much as down here in Oz, it's pretty common to travel 600 k's without seeing a thing ....

It's going to be a bit rushed but more than happy to do some serious driving to see as much as possible!

Also wondering how we would go just dropping into some village, small town, district etc and getting a B & B without booking ahead as that kind of inhibits our wandering type travel somewhat!

Thanks again for your help and advices.