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Edinburgh - St. Andrews - Speyside (Aberlour)

Planning a stag trip to Scotland. Group will be about 10 guys in their 40's and 50's. If you would all take a gander at my itinerary and give me some feedback, I would appreciate it. I'm keeping the trip length short because none of the guys are interested in churches, museums, etc...

Day 1 - Arrive in Edinburgh, check-in to the hotel, find a pub
Day 2 - St. Andrews for golf
Day 3 - Travel to Speyside to do distillery tours. I've arbitrarily picked Aberlour as a home base since it is my favorite distillery.
Day 4 - More distilleries
Day 5 - Up to Inverness or down to Edinburgh for the flight home (which is better?)

As you can see, this is more of a hydration tour. I'd be interested to see if anyone else has done something similar and has some tips on the particulars. Thank you!

Posted by
1188 posts

While in Edinburgh there are several Pub Walks. Spend an extra day and go to Edinburgh Castle...it is very much a guy kind of place with tons of Military Stuff. Great views, too! Pre-book tee times in St. Andrews...they are already booking 2019 times. Have a designated driver or go on tour for the distilleries as the Drink Driving Laws are stiff in Scotland. If you can't be good, be careful.

Posted by
40 posts

@Kathleen

Thank you for the feedback. I'll check out the castle on youtube. What guy doesn't want to play in a castle, right?

Posted by
2746 posts

Yes, if you're only going to be in St Andrews for one day, then by all means you need to nail down your tee times. You know that you have to have a certain golf handicap to be eligible to play, yes?

For any members of your group who won't be playing, there's the Himalayas. The walking tour of the Old Course is wonderful if you're a golf enthusiast, familiar with names of famous golfers. (It's more standing around on the 1st -18th holes than actually walking -- you definitely do not walk the entire course!)

The British Golf Museum (overlooking the Old Course 1st - 18th holes) is great even for non-golfers, if you have any interest in history.

Have you already booked your St. Andrews lodging? The Old Course Hotel is really not all that expensive, and it has an indoor swimming pool.

Posted by
940 posts

Hi, Mark,

If you're unable to get tee times at St. Andrews, there are a couple of other excellent courses nearby, including Kingsbarns (no handicap requirement - you just need lots of money!) and Carnoustie (28 or better handicap).

If you're going to be doing pub crawls in Edinburgh, you and your mates should avoid wearing anything that could be misconstrued as sectarian colors, i.e.: green (especially a green and white combination) for Celtic or Hibs; or Royal blue (Rangers).

Best wishes for your holidays, and congrats to the lucky lad!

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
40 posts

I didn't know about the handicaps. Oh man, what a bummer. Thanks for the great info on the other courses and alternatives to playing golf.

Also, thank you for the colors thing at the pubs. I guess it is sort of like wearing blue or red in South Central Los Angeles.

Posted by
940 posts

Hi again, Mark,

There are lots of wonderful golf courses in Scotland that don't have a minimum handicap requirement, so you could go to St. Andrews for the experience, and then play golf somewhere else. Just make sure that it's somewhere where you can hire clubs, so that you don't have to carry them over on the plane.

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
40 posts

Cheers Mike! I'm pretty determined to play St. Andrews. You wouldn't happen to know what the refund policy is if the course gets rained out, would you?

Posted by
940 posts

Hi, Mark,

It's Scotland! You expect rain. Their refund policy is really complicated. There's very little that will prevent you from playing a round. Lightning is the main thing. Lightning is a rarity in Scotland. However, if you start a round, then abandon it, your chances of getting a refund are slim to none. As a visiting golfer, your chances of getting a refund are better if you're unable to start due to weather conditions, and they are unable to reschedule you.

Check out the St. Andrews website for more information.

Hope that helps. Good luck!

Mike (Auchterless)

p.s.: I mentioned Kingsbarns in a previous reply, and mentioned that your handicap didn't matter, as long as you had plenty of money. Turns out it's one of the 10 most expensive golf courses in the world! :( Fortunately, there are plenty of other excellent courses all over Scotland. About 550 of them. For a population of 5.5 million.

Posted by
2746 posts

To your last question: Up to Inverness or down to Edinburgh for the flight home (which is better?)

Your trip is so short, stick with Edinburgh. If you had 10 days and you could get a good connection via Inverness, that would give you the opportunity to explore the highlands. But with just 5 days, Edinburgh is your best bet.