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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, I am going on holiday to Scotland for the first time later this month. I will be driving up from London on the Tuesday evening, arriving in Gretna to sleep over for the first night.

I have until the Sunday so will have:

Wednesday - was thinking of driving to Edinburgh staying over.
Thursday - to Ben Nevis via Loch Lomond
Friday - climb Nevis and on to Skye
Saturday - Skye to St Andrews
Sunday morning - St Andrews and back to London

Is this hopelessly unrealistic? Would it be best to stick to Edinburgh, Lewis and Ben Nevis. I am aware that Scotland is a big place and have a nice car and don't mind driving but I don't want to be driving all the time.

What would you recommend?
 

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lacking in substance
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Sounds good. A lot of driving, and very hectic, but you'll see loads of stunning scenery.

I've never driven around Scotland myself so can't help you much, but if I were you I'd probably stay overnight in Glasgow on the way up - doesn't sound like you'll have much time in Edinburgh anyway and Glasgow is well on the way to Loch Lomond so saves you going back and forth across central Scotland. Then on the way back down you could carry on to Edinburgh and stay over there instead of St Andrews, which is pretty dead during the Summer with no students around
 

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You seem to be darting between West and East coasts which is never a good idea in Scotland unless going between Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Heres the way I would do it.

Gretna to Glasgow - 2 hours
Glasgow to Edinburgh less than 1 hr
(watch out for rush hour traffic, avoid the M8 going into Glasgow and Edinburgh at peak times (especially Glasgow).
Edinburgh to Fort William (via Stirling, Callander, Crianlarich) - 3 hours
Fort William - Portree (Skye) - 2 hours
Portree - Glasgow (via loch lomond) - 4 hours
Glasgow to Gretna


As you can see - a lot of driving and I've missed out St Andrews which I think is just too much to fit in (unless you are a big golf fan!).

The best way to do Scotland is probably to do two trips - one of the West coast including Glasgow, Loch Lomand, Oban, Fort William, some of the islands (Skye is the easiest thanks to the road bridge) and then on to Inverness.

Next trip - East coast and central, if you come up the A1 via Newcastle. You can take in Town like North Berwick, Haddington - then on to Edinburgh, Stirling, Perth, St Andrews, Dundee, Aberdeen, Nairn, Inverness

Scotland is bigger than you think but thanks to the lochs on the West Coast, mountanis in the north and central regions and estuaries up the East Coast its takes a heck of a lot longer to drive round - there is rarely a direct route unless you are driving through the central belt (Glasgow, Falkirk, Stirling, Livingston, Edinburgh).

There are also a few places worth seeing that are off the beaten track a bit and can't really be taken in on a short driving holiday. Ayrshire including Ayr and Troon - or if you are in to Golf (basing on you wanting to go to St Andrews) there is Turnberry. Western Isles, a holiday in itself and a choice of which islands to go to - Islay is a good choice along with Mull and Skye. Lewis and Harris would also prove worthwhile. Loads of hidden gems down the East Coast as well - Nairn a good one. Far north as well, although I haven't been further North than Ullapool myself.
 

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AirGlasgow.com
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You cant come to Scotland and not spend anytime in Glasgow!
 

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Passionately Apathetic
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Wednesday: Excellent
Thursday: Excellent
Friday - Saturday: You're going to be exhausted! But you'll have a great time

If you want to have some real fun driving when you're up next to Skye, take the Bealach Na Ba (Pass of the Cattle) road - it's the highest road in the UK, and you get an amazing view of Skye, Scalpay, the West Coast, Raasay, the sea and if it's a clear day, even Harris and Lewis. Bealach Na Ba leads to Applecross which has some of the best seafood you can get, so that's definitely recommended.
 

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lime-hating shrublet
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Watch out for the midges, dom! :banana: :evil:

There's nothing quite like walking through a cloud of Scottish midges, and having a nice pretty pattern of red dots down your arms and legs. ;) However, apparently they don't like Marmite so you may want to try forcing yourself to eat plenty of it as well as vitamin B too, so I once heard. Citronella candle things too which you put by open doors and windows to stop the midges coming in. Local people may be able to offer you more/better advice, but apart from that there's very few complaints from me after several holidays to the Highlands. :happy:
 

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As most other people have indicated, I would suggest that you give St Andrews a miss unless you're into your golf big style. Sure, there's a nice-ish beach but you'll find that the town itself, though pleasant, actually isn't totally charming. Give yourself an extra day in Glasgow or Edinburgh instead.
 

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Passionately Apathetic
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As most other people have indicated, I would suggest that you give St Andrews a miss unless you're into your golf big style. Sure, there's a nice-ish beach but you'll find that the town itself, though pleasant, actually isn't totally charming. Give yourself an extra day in Glasgow or Edinburgh instead.
2 out of 5 days in Edinburgh or Glasgow during a trip to Scotland is a massive waste in my opinion, they're both brilliant cities for obvious reasons but you can get a real feel for both of them in a day.
 

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2 out of 5 days in Edinburgh or Glasgow during a trip to Scotland is a massive waste in my opinion, they're both brilliant cities for obvious reasons but you can get a real feel for both of them in a day.
Nah, disagree. You simply cannot visit Scotland without a day each in Glasgow and Edinburgh. To be fair, 5 days is not long enough in Scotland to get a real feel for it anyway
 

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lime-hating shrublet
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I've been to Scotland five times and never visited Glasgow or Edinburgh. But I'm more of a country bumpkin so head straight for the mountains in the north. I've seen Glasgow from the M8 though and I'd love to go to Edinburgh for its culture and history. :happy:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you for all your suggestions!

Unfortunately my car's gearbox has gone wrong so the trip is off :( But I will take the advice that you've given me. The scenery looks amazing but the trip will have to be postponed. What is the best time of the year to do this trip?
 

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Probably from May to October is the best for weather. If you go in August you can go to the Edinburgh festival. Always something to do all year round but these are the best months if you're doing a lot of driving and want to see the scenery.
 

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Passionately Apathetic
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Nah, disagree. You simply cannot visit Scotland without a day each in Glasgow and Edinburgh. To be fair, 5 days is not long enough in Scotland to get a real feel for it anyway
Haha nah that's no what I meant! I meant, have a day in Glasgow AND have a day in Edinburgh, but don't spend two days in any one place!
 
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