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Northern Sites

We had planned to add a brief visit to Orkney to our late-September visit -- to follow our early September Rick Steves tour.
We found lodging just fine, but transportation to and from the islands was such a hassle at that time we decided to hit Orkney on our
next trip. Thus we will have our car an extra 5-6 days following stops in the Skye area. Any suggestions for auto touring in the northern areas?? We plan a few days in Glasgow before flying home.

Posted by
1469 posts

Is your RS tour Scotland? If so, look to the areas not included like the Southwest: Galloway, and Dumphries, and the other area south of Glasgow. There was a lot of medieval history here. I think that it gets bypass more because there is a lot more open countryside without the big cities and the "Romantic" Highlands. That is part of it's charm. Check Visit Scotland site for ideas. Check the World Heritage Site. If you are interested in the Industrial Revolution go to New Lanark.

Posted by
276 posts

If you are interested in the northern areas then consider the north east of Scotland and Aberdeenshire

www.visitabdn.com

There are a lot of things to see and do here in Aberdeenshire and here's a podcast to tell you more about this area

http://www.underthetartansky.scot/podcast-episodes-1/2016/6/12/utts-028-aberdeenshire-scotlands-undiscovered-country

You could leave Skye and drive to say Inverness visit Culloden and Clava Cairns and take a boat trip on Loch Ness and visit Urquhart Castle. This would take a couple of days without rushing things, then drive into Aberdeenshire and spend a couple of days there before driving to Glasgow. As a guide it would take about three hours to drive from Aberdeen to Glasgow.

The Cairngorms National Park covers a chunk of Aberdeenshire and that's another option for you

www.visitcairngorms.com

The Royal Deeside area where I live is very pretty and always worth a visit

www.visitroyaldeeside.com

Hope this helps :-)

Posted by
5678 posts

One of the best trips I did was to drive across the North of Scotland. Check to see if you can get out Cape Wrath from Durness. It would worth planning that site in my mind. There is great road north of Lochinver. Check it out. Ullapool is great. Walk in the hills above the town and climb Ullapool Hill for great views of Loch Broom and the Summer Isles. Those northern lochs in Sutherland are the ones where the convoys assembled to cross the Atlantic in WWII. Bettyhill has a museum about the Clearances. You should drive south to Strathnaver and wander around the remains of the cleared village. Just north of Golspie on the North Sea coast is Dunrobin Castle, the seat of the Sutherlands. It is a great castle with good gardens and weird museums and sometimes raptor shows. (Just north of it, there is a Broch on the side of the road!) Dornoch is a nice little town. Oh and back on the west coast there is a great garden--Inverewe Garden. Here's the route. Oh, and I thought Tongue was a lovely little village.

Pam

Posted by
244 posts

I agree with Pamela! The most amazing trip we have taken was driving the North Coast. Absolutely beautiful scenery! The true highlands of Scotland. Here is a website that promotes the North Coast, here We loved visiting the Strathnaver Museum and the Strathnaver trail. Smoo Cave, Kylesku Bridge, and Corrieshalloch Gorge and the Falls of Measach were some of the stops we made on our drive to Ullapool. Most memorable! Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
65 posts

Great suggestions. Thank you. We will get out a map and ponder. One question: In the third week of September, as we drive the post-Skye visit area, will we be able to find lodging as we go? Lots more fun if we have flexibility vs booking and having to honor those bookings?

Posted by
65 posts

Forgot to mention -- we ARE doing the Rick Steve's tour before we head out on our own -- first west to Skye and then we are flexible.

Posted by
5678 posts

I think that you should be okay. You'll have less choice, but you'll still have choice. October is when things can start to slow down, but I think that stalking and other sport activities start up then.

Posted by
65 posts

Do you think we'll need to book lodgings for our late-September drive in northern Scotland and ending in Glasgow on the 27th for flight home on the 29th? I'd like to keep it flexible, if possible, allowing us to change course.