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Scotland - 9 nights

We will be in Scotland for, regrettably, only 9 nights. Flying into and out of Glasgow, arriving early morning. So we plan to hire a car at the airport and head for the Highlands, leaving the last 4 days and nights for Edinburgh and Glasgow. Do I drop the car off when arriving in Edinburgh and depend on public transport for the rest of the trip? Also, for distellery tours of The Macallan, Albermour, and Glenfiddich is it better to make day trips from Inverness or Aberdeen, or to stay in the immediate vicinity of those distilleries? They are all close together. I would also like to play golf in Carnoustie, if possible. Thanks so much for any guidance you can lend with respect to my questions and also about how much time to devote to various cities/regions to make the most of our time there.

Posted by
5669 posts

Yes, plan on dropping off the car when you get to Edinburgh. You won't drive anywhere within the city.

I would definitely stay near the distilleries. Look at Dufftown or maybe Aberlour.

As for the golf, I always recommend trying the TA forum as well as this one. You may hear from someone who has golfed there, but in case you don't try TA. They also have a golf forum....

As for Edinburgh, I love it, but you could shave a day off and do it in 3 days.

Pam

Posted by
102 posts

I'd suggest visiting Glasgow at the start of your trip when you arrive. Getting off a long overnight transatlantic flight from the W coast tired and jetlagged and immediately jumping into a car and driving on narrow, twisty highland roads may not be a great idea. If you're sure you can sleep on planes and have previous experience driving in Scotland/on the left then I guess it may be OK, but otherwise I'd consider tweaking your itinerary.

After you've visited Glasgow and got over the jetlag, pick the car up at Glasgow airport and start your Highlands tour.

I'd agree about the distilleries, stay close by. Aberdeen doesn't offer a great deal for the tourist and accommodation can be expensive during the week due to the oil industry.

Posted by
458 posts

I agree with Pam and Outshined. If you have not driven in the highlands or scotland before it will test you WITHOUT the jet lag issue. get as small a car as you can stand due to narrow windy roads in the highlands. So, I like the idea of spending the intial day in Glasgow using public transport til you get your feet on the ground. We dropped our car at the Edinburgh airport and took the tram into Eburgh and it worked fine. We took a cab back to the airport due to a very eary flight out. Driving and finding parking in Edinburgh would have been very difficult for us. I enjoy the outdoors so I couldnt agree more with Pam in that I would give more time to the highlands and less to Edburgh/Glasgow, i guess it just depends on what you like but after spending 10 days over there I wish we had spend more time in the highlands. we went west to ft william, glen coe, the isle of skye. We left from Edburgh so cant help you with your trip bck to Glasgow but I have seen other postings about how to get from Eburgh to Glasgow via public transport.

Posted by
9363 posts

While in Glasgow, don't miss Kelvingrove Museum. It is a unique combination of art museum and natural history museum, with a focus on Scotland (naturally). And it's free! Also the Riverside Museum of Transportation is well worth your time (also free).

Posted by
3 posts

OK, you guys have convinced me. We arrive into Glasgow at 7 am, with no way to check in to a hotel at that time of day. Upon arriving into Glasgow, we can take the train to Edinburgh, and start our holiday there. Pick up the car after E'burgh, then tour Scotland in the reverse direction from previously planned, finishing up in Glasgow. Thanks for all of the helpful advice. But, BTW, I have driven on the back roads of Ireland, so I can't imagine Scottish roads being any more difficult to navigate. ;-)

Posted by
5669 posts

Check with your hotel. You may be surprised and be able to get in earlier than you think. You're getting in a little earlier than I used to, but I found that it was not problem to drop off my bags at my B&B or hotel. A few times, the room was ready.

I would recommend that you do some outdoor things if you can that first day. The Castle is perfect for this. You either take a bus or walk up the Royal Mile to the Castle. The castle can take a couple of hours to explore and wander around. You can get lunch in the Castle, or wander back down to one of the pubs either on the Royal Mile for further down in the Grassmarket. In the Grassmarket there are restaurants with outdoor seating!

Pam