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    Driving holiday to Scotland

    Afternoon folks,

    Time to start thinking about my summer hols (you can tell my mat leave is nearly up), factoring in the small person that will be coming with us. We're thinking of a driving holiday around Scotland.

    We're thinking June, when the Poop Princess will be 10 months. For a week we'd considered a trip to the States but reality kicked in (yes I know tis possible to travel overseas with a smallie, I've seen it done) and we both felt we'd like as little hassle as poss and figured a ferry to the UK/Scotland would be a good option.

    Has anyone ever done that and if so any suggestions?

    Danka muchie.
    "Strike me flamin' handsome!!!" - Alf Stewart

    His body is only a fuel tank for his micky - a work colleague talking about a fella he knows.

    #2
    Drove around Scotland for a holiday after my brother's wedding there in St Andrew's, but that was 15 odd years ago.. also didn't have any kids then too.. so can't give too much help, but do remember had a grand time, went up to Inverness then over to Skye and back around, roads were grand, scenery stunning. Stopped off in B&B's. June is before Scot/UK school hols so should be not expensive/busy. Do check if it doesn't clash with their June mid-term though. Sterling should be even weaker this summer as well.
    Nulla semper amicus, servivit mihi, in iniuriam mihi neminem quem non persolvi

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      #3
      I've travelled over most of the western isles and the Orkneys, along with a fair bit of the highlands (but not the borders). Lovely country. The place I would most recommend is Skye, especially coming in from the Eilean Donan side. There is huge variety throughout the island in a place smaller than Dublin County.

      Apart from that all along the west coast and the islands are gorgeous.

      If you have a spare week, and you are into old stuff, then the Orkneys are cool, everytime someone seems to go out in a storm they find a 5000 year old village.
      Seven social sins: politics without principles, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, and worship without sacrifice



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        #4
        If you've never been, you're in for a real treat in terms of scenery. I've not been for a few years now but I've taken a number of road trips there, mainly to Perthshire, the western and central highlands and over to Mull, Iona & Skye. Instead of spending the first & last days of your trip driving up & down between Belfast/Larne, might it be worth flying to Glasgow & hiring a car? Apart from the central belt (Glasgow-Edinburgh etc), the only real traffic blackspots I've encountered are the main road north from Cairnryan and in particular the route heading from Glasgow past Loch Lomond. Other than that, it's grand, probably less congested than Ireland in the summertime. Same pot luck as regards weather too - could be glorious, could be miserable. More than likely you'll get some of both over the course of a week.

        One route I would highly recommend is to get yourselves over to the Mull of Kintyre (try for Lochgilphead if it's not too far for your first night) and make your way north over the Crinan canal, past Islay/Jura, through Oban etc to Skye/Applecross. You don't necessarily have to go through Glasgow, if you don't mind hopping on & off ferries - check out Caledonian MacBrayne (aka Calmac) for routes and multi-trip tickets. These can be pretty good value. We were escorted by leaping dolphins alongside the ferry from Mallaig to Skye for a good 15-20 minutes. Magic!

        It always seemed to me that B&B accommodation across Scotland was generally somewhat pricier than here, but bargains can be found. We stayed very cheaply & comfortably one time in a timber cabin that is part of Glencoe Independent Hostel, which I would thoroughly recommend. Has all the things you need in terms of a real bed, soft seating, bathroom, tiny kitchen area with a hotplate etc. Only a short amble (five min?) to an excellent pub-restaurant as well. The place we stayed in Lochgilphead another time used to be a cinema, and you still see how it used to look from the layout of the entrance. I can recommend a place in Portree on Skye as well, run by a retired fisherman and overlooking one of the most beautiful sea views you will ever lay eyes on.

        A word of warning though - in summer, be prepared for dealing with midges, especially on mild/still days in the highlands. They are utter, utter b@stards when the conditions suit them, especially if like me they find you tasty. Don't make the mistake of leaving a door or window wide open unless it's wet or breezy enough to keep them in the ground, and especially not with a light on inside when it's dark. To protect against them, don't bother with Deet, it doesn't work. I even borrowed some one time from a polis who had access to the double-strength stuff that doesn't generally get sold to the public - still wasn't any good! Instead, get some Avon "Skin So Soft" and cover every inch of exposed skin with it before you open any doors/windows or step outside, including up your sleeves/trouser legs etc. It won't stop them buzzing around you, but it will stop them biting you and leaving you looking & feeling like you've got chicken pox/bubonic plague. I've had six or seven trips over there including a couple of week-long stays, and have never been bitten once I started using it. Apparently you can get an unperfumed version now too, which would be great - the standard one is pretty overpowering.

        Enjoy, you'll probably fall in love with it & want to go back. Can't wait for my own next trip, whenever I can make it happen.
        Last edited by mr chips; 4th-January-2017, 17:04.
        Tis but a scratch.

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          #5
          Originally posted by mr chips View Post
          .......especially if like me they find you tasty....
          True confessions!!!!!!!!
          "There are a lot of points that we’ve left behind and this is with a young group. That probably tells you what they’re capable of and that they’re a very good side.

          Probably next year or the year after next they will take some stopping"

          Anthony Foley, May 2016. Axel RIP

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            #6
            We flew into Inverness last year and drove down to Fort William via the Cairngorms and back again the next day. Fort William is nice but a bit small. We were a bit tight for time but had a great night in Inverness, probably the size of Clonmel but really nice feel bout it.

            Sent from my E5823 using Tapatalk
            "Everything good about Ireland can be found in County Cork"....Lonely Planet Guide 2012

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              #7
              Thanks all. some good tips so far. Amazing what you think others may not have done then MF proves you wrong!!!

              Know all about them bloody midges Chippy. They find me tasty too! I think for piece of mind we'll take our own car. Know folk in Dub so could break the trip from Clonmel up and back again (that's the Tipp version of the Hobbit!) if they'll have us for company!!

              We've no clue yet how long we'll make the trip or anything. Just a notion that came into our heads. Shur Poop Princess won't remember any of it but shur wha'harm.
              "Strike me flamin' handsome!!!" - Alf Stewart

              His body is only a fuel tank for his micky - a work colleague talking about a fella he knows.

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                #8
                If you're not doing the highlands and islands then I can recommend an alternative - Cumbria, crossing the border at Gretna and traversing the central belt with lots of great stops, inc Embra and Glasgow, and then away to Northumberland via Berwick-on-Tweed.
                We chose stops with good local attractions, like scenery, culture, breweries etc!! and kept the options to stay a day or two in some places.

                Scottish tourism offices were very helpful in arranging accommodation - if you haven't planned ahead,
                Last edited by rathbaner; 4th-January-2017, 20:11.
                Munster – Champions of Europe 2006, 2008, 2019.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Waterfordlad View Post
                  True confessions!!!!!!!!

                  Don't look or anything, did she hear me say that? I said don't look FFS!!
                  Tis but a scratch.

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                    #10
                    We flew into Glasgow and hired a car. We drove up through the national park to Kentallen which isn't far from fort William. Stunning scenery. We hired a cottage in Kentallen. 150 for 3 nights. Superb place with underfloor heating and had Clydesdale horse in the barn opposite. Lovely animals. We skied then at Ben Nevis. But you'll be heading in the summer. We went another day to kinlochleven and did the hill walks and went to the ice climbing centre where the train the arctic explorers and climbers. We stuck to ordinary climbing with be laying. They have huge walls although there is something a little unnerving about be laying your kid up a wall that high. Glasgow has so many museums too, it's great. Eating is quite pricey but we catered for ourselves because of the celiac in the family. It's just easier.
                    Tic-Toc. POC and DOC. Stop the clock.

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                      #11
                      Would 2 weeks be enough?
                      "Strike me flamin' handsome!!!" - Alf Stewart

                      His body is only a fuel tank for his micky - a work colleague talking about a fella he knows.

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                        #12
                        It'd give you a good chance of exploring a lot of the west coast, at least - assuming driving is part of the holiday, as opposed to something to be endured on your way to a venue/activity. Allow at least a couple of days just for Skye. I once spent most of a day just trundling around Applecross (on the mainland directly over from Skye/Raasay).
                        Tis but a scratch.

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                          #13
                          Did a fair bit of mountain biking, kayaking and ice climbing around Nevis Range, Loch Eil, Glencoe and Fort William. Stunning countryside.

                          Read up about the Highland Clearances before going would be my main tip - it gives a completely different understanding of the Highlands and what they're about.
                          "We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men" Edward R Murrow

                          "Little by little, we have been brought into the present condition in which we are able neither to tolerate the evils from which we suffer, nor the remedies we need to cure them." - Livy


                          "I think that progress has been made by two flames that have always been burning in the human heart. The flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope that you can build a better world" - Tony Benn

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