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Small Towns In Between/Tours/Food

Sorry for repeat questions! I’ve settled my itinerary around these areas listed but would like to stay in smaller towns with charm. Any suggestions on small towns and B&B’s in the area? Also any MUST Do foods? Has anyone been on any horseback riding around Castle Stalker? What about some Alpaca Trekking?

Edinburgh
Pitlochry
Inverness
Fort William
Oban/Mull
Isle of Skye

Posted by
5550 posts

I've stayed in Inverness proper a few times. I do like being able to go to Hootananny and or get a really excellent meal at Roc Pool or The Mustard Seed. But I've also stayed in Strathpeffer and in Fortrose in the Black Isle. For the latter two, I stayed in small hotels which were lovely. I was at The Anderson in Fortrose. When I stayed there a year ago Jim was trying to sell the hotel, but it looks like it is still going strong, although without the whisky bar--but I think the whisky is now in the pub. In Strathpeffer I stayed at the Richmond which is now Crystal House (although oddly they still use the Richmond House URL.) The restaurant used to be open almost every day but now is limited to weekends. Although guests may get meals all week. It was lovely. Strapeffer is interesting town.

Others on this forum have stayed in Nairn.

Pam

Posted by
940 posts

Hi, NurseCyn,

Must try foods include haggis, black pudding, Cullen Skink, Scottish tablet ice cream, and apple or rhubarb pies from any bakery or supermarket. Once you've tasted a Scottish apple pie, you will never want the American version. Ever. Again.

Also, fish & chips from the van at the harbour in Tobermory.

For really good B&Bs, try the Strathgorm in Lower Breakish (Skye) or the Kathmore in Oban. Both excellent and highly recommended by me and Mrs. Auchterless.

Slainte!

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
506 posts

Hi NursCyn
Everwhere on Skye is small. Even our capital, Portree, is known as the Village. If you must be within walking distance to restaurants and pubs on Skye then you'll really be restricting yourself to Portree, Broadford, Dunvegan, Carbost and Uig.

In season more and more of the eateries in Portree and Broadford are not taking reservations, which is resulting in lines out of the door while folks wait for tables. You might do better basing yourself in charming Lochbay, or close by on the Waternish Peninsula - where you will find the absolutely first class Lochbay restaurant (1 Michelin star but without the price tag) and the historic Stein Inn, which has just been taken over by a well known chef who has said he wants to do excellent pub food.

In Edinbane you will find the excellent Edinbane Lodge for fine dining and local ingredients - they also have rooms, or the Edinbane Inn - a pub with B&B rooms.

In Carbost you might enjoy trying the very fresh and local seafood at the Oyster Shed. Handy for a lunch stop in between a visit to Talisker distillery and the Fairy Pools or Talisker Bay.

Hope this helps
Jacqui (Skyegirl)

Posted by
216 posts

My trip is planned for May 2020 at this time. A few places I have pulled up for reservations are booked for the next year. I feel like I might need to call.... is this the norm?

Posted by
940 posts

Hi, NurseCyn,

A lot of smaller lodgings show being full months in advance as they haven't opened up their bookings for next year yet. So the blocks of weeks or months show as being fully booked. Plus some lodging sets aside blocks of rooms for tour companies like Rabbies.

You're absolutely right. Best to call. Don't forget the five hour time difference (from the East Coast)!

Good luck!

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
506 posts

Hi again NursCyn

Just to give you an idea on when B&Bs open up their schedule for the next year, we (a very small 2 room B&B on Skye) plan to decide our opening dates for 2020 in late January or early February. Based on previous years we would expect to get a flood of bookings as soon as we open up our dates, and we are usually fully booked by the end of March for the April to September season. I have to say that if someone called me right now and asked about 2020 dates I would not be keen to take a booking, as we just don't know what our plans are for next year yet. However, we are a micro business and doing this more for fun and the enjoyment of sharing our beautiful island with guests, rather than as a money making venture as we have pensions from our previous employment.

Best wishes
Jacqui (Skyegirl)

Posted by
216 posts

Thank you Skyegirl !

I was starting to fret a little. I like to plan ahead but was starting to think WOW this is some serious bookings.

Posted by
2023 posts

We have stayed at Pinetrees Hotel in Pitlochry several times and really liked it. Breakfast is included and they do dinner as well.