Scotland: Things to Do

KetBraKetBra Dressed RidiculouslyRegistered User regular
Hi everyone!

I am going to be in Scotland for a little over a week in July. I will be in Dornie for a couple of days for a wedding, but other than that, am open to going wherever. What are great things to see, hikes to do, museums to see, scotch whiskies to drink?

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  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    gotta see Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness

    just so you can say you did

    also it's beautiful.

    not sure if you've been before, but when I went, the food was great on the coast and got steadily worse as I went inland

    Usagi
  • KhepraKhepra Registered User regular
    Depends whereabouts in Scotland you will be -- when I visited in 2011, there were a couple things that stood out. Hadrian's Wall (technically in england moreso than scotland?) is neat and you can easily lose a couple hours walking along it. Òran Mór in glasgow is an excellent whiskey bar if you just want to sample a little bit of everything, they have 200+ different whiskeys available, served from a bar built in an old church. Really nice place. If you have the opportunity, the old town in Edinburgh is also beautiful, lots of old stonework there, and some solid nightlife if that's your jam. If nature is more your thing, you can't go wrong with loch ness and urquhart castle as mentioned above -- if you're in good physical condition (and mildly fearless), biking the road along loch ness is stunning. The isle of skye is also worth a visit if you have time, lots of good distilleries up there (all the islay malts), although I only had time to visit Talisker while I was in the area. Lewis & Harris (islands) can be visited by ferry from skye, and you can spend a day there easily also touring those islands, in particular they have some pretty neat standing stones over there. This should give you something to work with, although if you only have a week or so, you might be best served picking maybe 2 primary bases of operation and spending three days or so in each. Once you have a stronger idea of what parts of the country you'll be in, people may be able to provide more specific locational information, but honestly you can't go wrong anywhere, scotland is a beautiful country. Hope this helps ya!

  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    Khepra wrote: »
    Hadrian's Wall (technically in england moreso than scotland?)

    Hadrian's Wall is entirely in England, from Carlisle to Newcastle.

    That being said, there's the Antonine Wall. Most of it is just the mound, but I found a few stone foundations in Bearsden north of Glasgow.

    Edinburgh Castle is purdy.

    ShadowhopeXaquin
  • TaerakTaerak Registered User regular
    Skye is close by and an absolutely beautiful place to visit. Drive around the island, walk some of the trials, visit the Storr, and the Talisker Whiskey distillery. Have an late lunch/early dinner in the town (there's a couple of great restaurants and some nice pub/lunch places IRC as well as standard touristy affairs.)

    It's especially nice if the weather is not completely clear. You get some incredibly dramatic lighting.

    I didn't organise the trip when we went, but you could probably day-trip it at that distance, twice if necessary. If you want to stay overnight, you might have to book? I remember we went in October and we had to plan our rooms and meals well in advance if we wanted to eat at the hotel.

    Xaquin
  • KetBraKetBra Dressed Ridiculously Registered User regular
    Current plan is to do three-four days around Skye/Dornie, a couple of days in Edinburgh, a day or two in Glasgow , and then a couple days open for other things

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  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    you could see my ancestral pile of rocks castle!

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    Castle McLachlan (be careful not to get your rental car stuck in the mud. It is frowned upon)

    ElvenshaeQuidRhesus PositiveKetBraCreagan
  • TaerakTaerak Registered User regular
    edited February 2018
    KetBra wrote: »
    Current plan is to do three-four days around Skye/Dornie, a couple of days in Edinburgh, a day or two in Glasgow , and then a couple days open for other things

    Do make sure to check Google maps. Driving in Scotland, much like some of other more rural and mountainous areas of Europe, can take longer than you expect and can be quite a bit more tiring because of single lanes and winding, challenging roads.

    It's probably not an issue (I don't drive myself so I am not experienced), but I know my uncle isn't fond of driving from Inverness to Dornie or Glasglow because the route is just more exhausting than driving on a standard motor/freeway.

    Taerak on
  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    There's a touring route called the North Coast 500 that passes near Dornie (through Strathcarron, just to the North), and there's a ton of information out there about things to do on the route. Might help with your searching.

    One word of caution, though, the route to Applecross takes in the Bealach na Ba, which is an old drove road. If you decide to head out that way assume that you will be delayed by someone who has tried to drive a camper van up it and got stuck and/or burned out their clutch.

    Plockton is lovely. Skye is close to Dornie, obviously, but in July will be rammed with coach tour groups.

    If walking is your thing walkhighlands is a decent guide for relatively accessible routes to nice places and/or scenery.

  • TaerakTaerak Registered User regular
    edited February 2018
    Oh! Talking about Applecross! That road is beautiful (and challenging as Japan said!) and Applecross itself, while absolutely tiny has an excellent pub with a great lunch menu for seafood and other things. If you have the time it's well worth the visit. (But book ahead)

    Taerak on
  • UsagiUsagi Nah Registered User regular
    Xaquin wrote: »
    gotta see Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness

    just so you can say you did

    also it's beautiful.

    not sure if you've been before, but when I went, the food was great on the coast and got steadily worse as I went inland

    Yes yes yes this

    Partner and I stayed a week in Inverness for our honeymoon, it was amazing

    Loch Ness is really fun to hike around, lots of sheep to befriend and wilderness to explore, the town is quaint and touristy but full of lovely people.

    The city of Inverness itself is actually quite fun! Full of culture and spectacular music and surprisingly diverse and delicious food options.

    Xaquin
  • KetBraKetBra Dressed Ridiculously Registered User regular
    Thanks for the recommendations! Will definitely take a look at North Coast 500

    Since we're going to be spending a bit of time in Edinburgh, too, does anyone have any recommendations for restaurants we should book in advance?

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  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    My favourite place at the moment is Hanam's at the top of the Grassmarket. Lebanese/Syrian food. It's unliscenced, so you'll need to bring your own alcoholic drinks. No corkage charges. It's not cheap cheap, but not having to pay the usual resteraunt markup for beer/wine makes up for a lot. If you're booking ahead, ask for the corner table by the window: it has a smashing view over the town.

    PS it's a great place to just settle into for a long lazy afternoon lunch. They're quite happy to bring you a dish of this and then later a dish of that. It'll be fine for vegetarians, but not for gluten intolerance.

    http://www.hanams.com/


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