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Driving itinerary

Is the following itinerary reasonable? Any suggestions about where to stay and/or driving route?
In July my husband I plan to stay in Edinburgh 2 nights, then pick up a rental car to spend a day in Stirling and perhaps see the Falkirk Wheel, which I think he would like. I'd like to drive to St. Andrews early that evening and spend the night there or near there so we can spend a couple of hours the next morning seeing St. Andrews and before noon, then head to Glencoe (stopping at Calender on the way, perhaps). Not big hikers, so our plan is to see the visitor's center, then drive down Loch Lomond to turn in the rental car at Glasgow airport before connecting with night train to London. Long day, I know. Does this make sense? Since St. Andrews is pricey, is there a nearby B&B? We need a place to park the car that night too, and I'm guessing the little B&Bs in St. Andrews wouldn't have that. I appreciate any advice.

Posted by
15 posts

Between Stirling and St. Andrews we stopped by Culross and walked around a bit, which was fun. We stayed at a nice place outside of St. Andrews in Crail called the Crail Post House. The proprietor David is a nice guy. Anstruther would be another attractive place to stay outside of St. Andrews. Trip seems a little bit rushed. I loved Glencoe but if you are just visiting for an afternoon, not hiking, and not on your way to elsewhere in the highlands I would suggest you skip it, save the drive time, and spend more time in Edinburgh or Fife. Inchcolm Abbey on a sunny day is fun. I've used Ricks book on many different trips to Europe. Usually they are spot on, but his guide to Scotland is easily the weakest one he puts out IMO.

Posted by
5461 posts

You're backtracking a bit. Had you thought of going to Saint Andrews? Via Michelin says you can do it in 1 hour 40 minutes which means 2 hours should be doable. With an early start you can be their by 10 or 10:30. Take the bus to the airport and pick up the car there. You're already on your way to Fife as you're close to the bridge. I'd then go back toward Stirling.

There're a couple of routes. I would go straight to Stirling, with maybe a stop at Falkland Palace on your way west.

The Castle in Stirling is open until 6 PM (Opening at 9 AM), but leave yourself enough time. You'll want minimum an hour. I would plan on 2 hours. I always enjoy visiting Argyll's Lodging as well. It's very close.

It's two hours minimum from Stirling to Glencoe. And it's two hours minimum back to Glasgow.

Sure, you can do this, but as I look at it. But you aren't leaving yourself much time to stop and catch your breadth, to take pictures. It feels a bit Chevy Chase / European Vacation. :) If it were me, I'd skip St. Andrews.

It's three hours to Glencoe and that is without dipping down to Callander. I find this a frustrating itinerary. It feels like you skirt the edge of some beautiful places on your way to four points--St. Andrews, Stirling, Glencoe and Loch Lomond.

Use via Michelin to plot some routes. Remember that these are minimum times. They don't include any photo stops, traffic, pit stops or other delays.

Pam

Posted by
36 posts

Thanks, Pam. This is very helpful. Since I picked the route from Google maps, I don't know what scenic areas we are skirting. I was in Glencoe a few years ago on a tour, but my husband has not been. Glencoe's story and the site itself captured me, as did St. Andrews on that same trip, so I'd like to repeat the 2 places. The route of my former tour included Dundee and Perth, but those do not particularly stand out in my mind as do Glencoe and St. Andrews. I have no attachment to Calender, but just read of it. This will likely be my husband's only trip to Scotland, so I'm hoping to give him the flavor of it. We are used to long days driving in the US, but I do realize these will be smaller roads.

I would love to know what scenic areas you think would be good to include on this general route.
Kathy

Posted by
5461 posts

As anyone who has been on the Scotland forum knows, I love Stirling Castle, but in this instance, since you're going to Edinburgh and have limited time, and want very much to see St. Andrew's and Glencoe, I'm going to suggest that you skip it this trip. I hope you can persuade your husband to come back again. :) Make sure you take in Edinburgh Castle.

I would suggest heading straight to St. Andrews. Then, head back west, but go the scenic route. Head north and cross the Tay river at Dundee. I would then head northwest on the A923. I'm headed for Dunkeld and Birnam and on to Aberfeldy as from that location there is a beautiful drive west and up to Glencoe. You can do this by either driving through Blairgowrie which edges on the southern bit of the mountains. Via Michelin routes you a bit further south on the A894. This takes you past what looks like an amazing hedge, I've done the drive from Blairgowrie to Dunkeld and its lovely. You could either spend the night in Dunkeld--B&B and small hotels. I've stayed at the The Bridge a couple of times. If you stay in Dunkeld, there is a great pub, The Taybank, which has traditional music.

Alternatively you could keep driving west on the A22 and then north on the A826 to Aberfeldy. I love the small hotel Ailean Chraggan. Once in Aberfeldy head west on the north side of the river through Weem and on to Fortingall. Just past Fortingall is the Glen Lyon road. This is a gorgeous Glen. About half way down there's a gallery, but it's really just the lovely views. I've driven all the way out to the dam, but if you're running short on time having been seduced by breakfast or other views, you can just head south on the wee road at bridge of Balglie. This will take you out to the A827 and down to Killin and then the A85 and then to A82 on to Glencoe....

Pam