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World Sheepdog Trials Sept 2014 near Tain--Travel advice?

My connection to Scotland is that my paternal Grandma was born in Glasgow, and I'm pretty sure that I have some relatives there. I'm still in Paris mode and I'm a little obsessed with wanting to go back to Paris. But, we also have a Border Collie who works our dairy goats -- and my husband takes her to clinics . . . with Jack Knox, a Scot. So last weekend H found out that the World Sheepdog Trials (held every 3 years) are this September: http://www.worldsheepdogtrials.org/ And he's kind of thinking he could talk me into going. Any thoughts on this? Would it be reasonable to rent a car in Glasgow and drive the 200 miles up there? Stops to make on the way? Would appreciate any feedback, general or specific . . . .

Posted by
9110 posts

Do it.

It'll take less than five hours including wiggling around Glasgow.

How much spare time will you have?

Posted by
38 posts

That's a good question. The Trials are September 3-6 (which is "Labor Day" week here) -- and I don't know that we'd hang around there for the entire time, but also know that it might be tough to leave before the finals. At least as a general proposition, the longest time I could carve out would be leaving maybe as early as Friday, 8/29, would probably need to be arriving home by Sunday 9/7 or Monday, 9/8.

Posted by
9110 posts

You'd get there the 30th. After the finals, it's all about getting home on time. Three days for goofing off. Maybe a day in Glasgow tracking down kin. Down to two.

One night in Pitlochry for a small town, pausing for Stirling enroute.

One night in Inverness with a Loch Ness deviation enroute.

If no time in Glasgow, then two nights in Edinburgh then one in Pitlochry. You could still hit Stirling by not using the Forth bridge since the scenery on the north side isn't that great anyway. You'd skip Inverness and associated.

If you bear down, you can get to Tain from Edinburgh in just over four hours in case you decide on something else.

Posted by
5668 posts

Here's another thought. As Ed suggests, take a day in Glasgow checking out the relatives. Try and do it without a car. Take the train to Inverness and gets car there. From Inverness with a car you can see and do a lot. Tain is an easy drive from Inverness--about and hour and no small roads. :) From Inverness you can drive either south to the Cairngorms, or East to the Spey and the Distilleries, or west to Loch Ness, or Glen Affric (You can walk in and out on a nice dirt/gravel road with beautiful views of the loch and glen. You can even get as far west as Ullapool.

Or you could push further north and stay in Dornoch. If you want to do this, I wouldn't sit on your decision too long as I expect the rooms fill up. Dornoch is lovely town and there is some beautiful scenery and drives. Dunrobin Castle is just up the road north of Golspie. Also, you could visit Wick, or take a long trip up to Bettyhill and Strathnaver where the clearances are remembered.

I also like staying on the Black Isle just north of Inverness. I've stayed at The Anderson, which is great little hotel that at times feels a wee bit Fawlty Towersesque. :) Great whisky bar and great food. It's in Fortrose. There are great views of the Moray Firth.

Posted by
12 posts

The thought of going to the Sheepdog trials makes me inordinately happy. I will be there on those days, too. I also just saw that the "Who do you think you are" conference is happening a few days before in Glasgow. I may have to change our flights for that. Thanks for posting this!