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Visiting Scotland for a week in 2016

Hello everyone! I plan on visiting Scotland for a week as part of my monthish-long Eurotrip next year. I have ancestors there (Clan Lindsay), so I was going to spend 3ish days around their lands, but I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for other things to do. I'm really interested in castles, and was thinking of spending a couple days in Edinburgh or Glasgow.

*Edit - I will also be a on a budget.

Posted by
1829 posts

A good start would be to buy a copy of Rough Guide Scotland. Then plough through and see what interests you.

Good luck with the budget although right now the dollar-pound exchange is pretty good.

Posted by
5561 posts

It looks like a lot of the Lindsay heritage is in Fife and the and the Central Belt. Have you found this link? The Kingdom of Fife is an interesting part of Scotland. There are lovely little fishing villages on the coast of the Firth of Forth. There is a good palace--Falklands. It has a very early tennis court! Of course there is St. Andrew's which in addition to the golf course has a great castle ruin. There is a mine that you go down into that relates to the reformation wars.

One of my very favorite castles is Glamis. This is the home the Queen Mum who died a few years ago. There are wonderful stories and it starts with a very old Keep.

To see Fife it would be best if you had a car. So, think about that in terms of your budget. You probably get to some places through buses, but it will restrict your schedule. You don't need it for the whole trip so try to figure out the schedule an only get a car for the time you need it.

You should explore Stirling Castle. The Castle is wonderful. If you are really wild about castles think about Doune. It is the castle that was featured in Monty Python's Search for the Holy Grail and more recently in the Starz Outlander series. I enjoyed my visit.

As Monte suggests you should pick up a guide book. I would recommend something other than Rick Steves as his is a bit focused for my taste and experience in Scotland. I really like the Footprint Guides.

Once you've looked at the guide books a bit, come back with more questions. :)

Pam

Posted by
13 posts

Thanks! Yes, I had found that link, I was also going to ask some family about it too.
I'm not sure on driving... More about the budget than comfort.
I'll be sure to check out some guides.

Posted by
1291 posts

It is probably worth looking at car hire to see what you may afford. Public transport is not good outside of the cities, and by cities you are really only talking about Edinburgh, Greater Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen.

Glamis is a good one to visit, probably one of the most haunted in Scotland, but as it is privately owned is not cheap, it is worth looking at some of the multi site tickets from Historic Scotland.

Posted by
4976 posts

On our visit this past August, we rented a car for touring the country outside of Edinburgh (didn't make ot to Glasgow that trip). Petrol was about 9 dollars a gallon, but the car got great gas mileage. Scotland has rental companies besides the international corporations - we used Arnold Clark. If you drive in Japan, at least you're used to driving on The Left - it was a new experience for us.

In Edinburgh, although a daily bus pass is available, we walked most of the time, and just bought one-way fare on board when we did use the bus.

You've probably seen that Scotland's castles are a mix of ruins, restored, and still-in-use.

Posted by
13 posts

@MC - Will think about the car. I will be on a budget, so if it means sticking to the bigger areas where public transport is available, so be it. (It's not like I won't be going back!) Haunted castles sound interesting!

@Cyn - I have seen that about the castles. Thanks for the advice!

Posted by
5561 posts

Here's the link to Historic Scotland. It's worth looking at the site and see if getting a pass is a cost effective option. Castles like Edinburgh and Stirling are terrific, but can start to add up in cost. They don't just have castles. Use the map view to explore what's available near where you are traveling. It also lets you short cut some lines.

Pam

Posted by
1 posts

Hi there

I live in Ayrshire, Southern West Coast of Scotland , if I can be of any re your trio, let me know.

Jan

Posted by
552 posts

Do look into a car hire. When I was researching my trip I thought I would be able to do the bus/train trip like I did in Ireland, but it turned out to be either impossible, or far too time-consuming in Scotland. If you stay in B&Bs instead of hotels you will save money, and should be able to hire a car for a few days or a week. That's not a lot of time in Scotland, by the way, I spent three weeks, starting with about six days in Edinburgh, then the car for ten days, then ending in Glasgow for a few days. If you want to spend time where your ancestors are then you might want to just spend a few days in Edinburgh, then rent the car for a few days instead of the whole week. You can easily take the train to Glasgow for the day, but you won't get to Stirling Castle doing this. Actually, with such a short amount of time I would suggest skipping Glasgow on this trip as there's enough to see in Edinburgh to keep you busy for a few days and the core area is easily walkable. Glamis Castle is a great place to visit. Just the grounds alone are worth the stop. Do look into a heritage pass, it will save you money and allow you to skip lines.