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Visit in late March 2016 - Itinerary Help!

We will be visiting our daughter for a week at the end of March (she will be studying at the University of Edinburgh). We would appreciate some suggestions for several days sightseeing outside of Edinburgh. We enjoy the outdoors and would like to see some beautiful Scottish scenery, charming villages, historical sites, etc. We are open to renting a car or taking public transportation. Given the time of year - late March - what would be advisable? Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions and advice.

Posted by
5563 posts

Hi Sally. There are several places nearby that you can explore. I love Pertshire. Check out Dunkeld, Aberfeldy, Pictlochry, and more. You can get to some by train, but a car takes you to the more remote spots. I also like the Trossachs. Look these places up on Undiscovered Scotland.

I can make more suggestions when I am back from my own trip. ;)

Pam

Posted by
774 posts

My son is a junior at Edinburgh, so we have been there several times in the last several years. As you probably already know, it's never very warm or sunny in Edinburgh!

We really like castles, usually the older ones. So one trip, we rented a car and spent several nights in Banchory, visiting Dunnottar Castle on the way. On the way back to Edinburgh, we spent one night in Dunkeld. That doesn't seem to be the usual tourist route, but we enjoyed it very much.

St. Andrews made a great day trip from Edinburgh (actually, we spent about a 1/2 there, including lunch), as did Rosslyn Chapel, which was far more interesting and intriguing than I imagined (and no, I am not a Dan Brown fan). Also Sterling Castle, another several-hour trip.

How many days will you have?

Posted by
1190 posts

March may still cold in Scotland. Just dress for the weather and go on the Whiskey Trail. I would drive because the train is limited once you get north of Edinburgh. We drove extensively in April. We did have brief snow flurries once. Check with Historic Scotland for listings of Castles, etc. Most of the Castles that are still lived in were remodeled in Victorian times and have that Romantic Age flair. There are some fascinating medieval ruins of real castles and cathedrals. Look south of Edinburgh for a big variety. I feel that the reputation of the "Highlands" has excluded the greater part of Scotland for no good reason...especially if you like Mary Queen of Scots, etc. Have a wonderful time!

Posted by
1293 posts

In March it can be warm and sunny, or blowing blizzards. You won't really have an idea until February. If you can, a car is best for visiting places outwith Edinburgh, especially down into the Borders, over to Fife or further afield. Useless though in Edinburgh itself. My first suggestions would be the Borders and Glasgow. The latter, use the train from Edinburgh.

Posted by
5078 posts

Another possibility a bit beyond Sterling to the northwest is Doune. The castle there was used to film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and was a very enjoyable visit.

Are you used to/prepared for driving on the left, from the right side of the car? Except for the Motorways, roads tend to be narrower than in the USA. Your rental vehicle should come with good tyres (tires) and windscreen (windshield) wipers, however.

Posted by
662 posts

I will echo a couple of previous postings. Pitlochry is a cute tourist town and there are a couple of whisky distilleries there that you can tour. Perthshire is quite beautiful and we loved Scone Palace. We stayed in a 200-year old home with 2-foot thick stone walls in Muthil,l where our kind hostess, Sue, fixed the best breakfast we had on our trip (http://gowanlea-bandb.co.uk/). We particularly enjoyed the Borders area. There are abbey ruins to visit, plus places like Floors Palace and Abbotsford House. We stayed in Melrose at Fiorlin B&B (http://www.melrosebedandbreakfast.co.uk/). It was quite lovely (we stayed in the blue bedroom). One caveat is to be sure and check the hours of operation for any sights you want to see as their hours might be more limited in March. If you visit Stirling, take one of the free guided tours as they are very entertaining and help bring the place to life.

Posted by
5563 posts

I'm glad that the Borders have been recommended. You should also consider the Kingdom of Fife. Undiscovered Scotland is a great website that you might want to explore.

Pam