Scotland...but where??

(49 Posts)
maggiebroon Fri 10-Jan-14 14:48:45

I'm looking for suggestions for a week in a nice village/small town with beautiful scenery, good baker, butcher etc, close to a beach or loch, with cycle hire nearby and stuff for dcs to do (ages 3&5). Would like to be able to take a day trip into Glasgow so thinking west coast but open to ideas!

Redtartanshoes Sat 11-Jan-14 19:50:46

Loch Lomond?
Pitlochry (bit further from Glasgow)

Selks Sat 11-Jan-14 19:53:26

Not Ayr!
Everywhere on the west coast is a bit far for a day trip to Glasgow but you can't go wrong with Oban area.

HiggsBosom Sat 11-Jan-14 19:58:50

I wonder if castle Douglas area in dumfries and Galloway would suit you. No real option to get to Glasgow, but good beaches and great biking at 7 stanes. loads for kids too. Other good place for lochs and bikes is aviemore, but again No Glasgow!

WipsGlitter Sat 11-Jan-14 19:59:46

East Neuk. Fab, fab place.

stargirl1701 Sat 11-Jan-14 20:01:14

Elie, East Neuk of Fife. If you ditch Glasgow.

MrsAmaretto Sat 11-Jan-14 22:07:34

Day trip to Glasgow is your problem, how long/ far are you willing to drive for your day trip?

PrimalLass Sat 11-Jan-14 22:18:37

Glasgow is fine from Fife. My OH does it every day.

kansasmum Sat 11-Jan-14 22:20:10

Yep East Neuk - Elie absolutely gorgeous. Would move there in a heartbeat if I could and if my dream house there hadn't just been sold! Sob!

Redtartanshoes Sat 11-Jan-14 22:24:46

Wasn't meaning Ayr itself but there are some lovely places down near Brig O Doon?

MuttonCadet Sat 11-Jan-14 22:38:23

Mull is gorgeous, Tobermory is a lovely town.
Too far from Glasgow, but Glasgow isn't all that.

Dumpylump Sat 11-Jan-14 22:41:33

St Andrews? About an hour from Glasgow, with beautiful beaches and loads to do in the town itself.

PurpleSprout Sat 11-Jan-14 22:55:31

Most pretty places would be a pretty big trip to Glasgow from the sort of place you'd like to visit.

Do you know what you'd want to do in Glasgow? There's loads to do, so could you split your time between a few days somewhere remote and then spend a night in an Glasgow? This might be easier.

Loch Lomond area is lovely. On the other side of the country my family (down south) often visit Loch Tay as there are holiday cottages near Killin of quite a good standard. Not great for Glasgow though (about 1.5hrs).

Largs is quite nice & Clyde Muirshiel regional park is nearby as well as the RSPB bird sanctuary at Lochwinnoch if you have kids.

Not sure you'd find everything you need in the Ayrshire resorts. Ardrossan, Saltcoats & Ayr are a bit limited. Largs may be better, but haven't investigated.

FWIW I am from Ayrshire, but don't live there, although my family still do.

MmeLindor Sat 11-Jan-14 23:05:04

Agree with the others - tricky to find what you want within hour of Glasgow.

Perthshire is lovely - Crieff is a nice wee town, as is Callender. Loch Earn isn't far, or Loch Tay. It's a beautiful area with loads to do.

Or East Neuk, as others have said, which is glorious. Lots of sweet little cottages overlooking the North Sea - the beach at Elie is very popular, and the St Andrew's East Sands beach is pretty too.

Does it have to be Glasgow? Thinking of Edinburgh - and Portobello.

RawCoconutMacaroon Sun 12-Jan-14 08:51:04

Dumpylump- how fast do you drive wink? I'd allow 2 hrs from St. Andrews to Glasgow, Edinburgh is about an hour and fifteen depending on time of day.

St Andrews is lovely even at this time of year and there are extensive sandy beaches, plenty to see and do.

MorrisZapp Sun 12-Jan-14 08:58:39

Day trip to Glasgow? What is this madness?

Base your holiday in Fife, and visit Edinburgh.

St. Andrews is a sizeable town, with awesome shopping and cafes etc, beaches, an aquarium, stunning botanic gardens and it's close to Craigton Country Park which makes a fab family day out. Wall to wall golf too if that's of any interest.


Day trip?

Wanders off, muttering....

InkleWinkle Sun 12-Jan-14 08:58:40

St Andrews or a smaller place like the beautiful Crail.
I love Crail grin

MorrisZapp Sun 12-Jan-14 09:01:49

Forgive my spelling, it's Craigtoun Country Park. Check out the trip advisor reviews.

christmasmum Sun 12-Jan-14 09:08:03

Kirkudbright might fit the bill, lovely foodie, arty place but maybe an hour and a half from Glasgow?

christmasmum Sun 12-Jan-14 09:10:04

Meant to add, for the kids there's the cocoa bean company where they can make their own chocolate, cream of Galloway ice cream farm, wildlife park... All big hits with my kids!

maggiebroon Sun 12-Jan-14 10:07:25

Great suggestions everyone, thanks smile We did Elie last year and loved it so much I thought we could re-create it on the west coast as we've never been. I stumbled upon a nice cottage beside loch fyne near inverary during my frantic googling and booked it as it was ridiculously cheap. Anyone have any experience of this area?

MorrisZapp Sun 12-Jan-14 10:27:43

Argyll is lovely, Inverary is nice with a jail to visit! We had a very nice lunch in the George Hotel there. Loch Fyne ace for seafood lovers.

MorrisZapp Sun 12-Jan-14 10:28:50

We went pre dc so no knowledge of family attractions. The scenery is stunning.

Dumpylump Sun 12-Jan-14 11:46:05

Bit less than two hours, but maybe more than one! I do go to Edinburgh from St Andrews much more frequently, and probably just assumed that the travelling time was about the same, sorry!

rookiemater Sun 12-Jan-14 19:25:05

Forrest holidays at Callander is lovely and commutable to Glasgow, but lots of attractions in the area.

I see you have found something though - inverary is nice.

TheArticFunky Sun 12-Jan-14 19:29:10

Luss on Loch Lomond was very close to Glasgow if I remember rightly. The traffic is much better up there anyway much more civilised.

sleepyhead Sun 12-Jan-14 19:31:01

Inverary is great. Have a look here for some things to do as day trips on the other side of the loch.

SirChenjin Sun 12-Jan-14 19:31:13

Loch Fyne/Inverary is lovely smile

Good spot, lots of places you can get to easily from there. Favourites spots for us are the ruined Kilchurn Castle near Dalmally, also Monument Hill (short walk up from Dalmally village centre, great view for very little effort), Bridge of Orchy, the beach (and coffee shop) at Luss, Inverary Castle, Oban, going a bit further afield the waterfalls at Killin, Dumbarton Castle.

CocktailQueen Sun 12-Jan-14 19:40:19

Loch Fyne - yes, we stayed at a hotel near Inveraray. Lots to do - esp if you like walking and outdoors. Hire boat on loch. Inveraray prison. V pretty area!

Also agree with Fife - gorgeous! But St Andrews is more like 2 hours from Glasgow...

Or Dumfries and Galloway. Great beaches. We stayed in village by Luce Bay, but there are lovely beaches, forests, bike hire etc all along that coast.

MmeLindor Sun 12-Jan-14 20:34:31

Inverary is a nice wee town. Head from there down to tarbert (there are a couple in that area. This is south of inverary and loch gilphhead ) and have a drive around knapdale. The Killberry Inn is amazing - but not sure if suitable for kids.

PrimalLass Sun 12-Jan-14 21:53:23

St A is 1.5 hours from Glasgow. I used to do it every week.

maggiebroon Sun 12-Jan-14 22:31:27

Fantastic, thanks for the tips, I'm going to write all these down and get planning!

Urbanvoltaire Tue 21-Jan-14 21:19:50

Another vote for Elie in Fife. When do you plan to go though? Remember Scottish term dates are a few weeks earlier than English in case that's a factor for you to consider. It's a 1 3/4 hour drive to Glasgow.

salsarocks Tue 21-Jan-14 21:55:10

Arran. Fab beaches and beautiful.

Basketofchocolate Tue 21-Jan-14 21:59:02

East Neuk.

montysma1 Sun 26-Jan-14 10:15:27

Isle of Arran. Feels remote but isn't. Mountains, beaches, spas, swimming pools, fine places to eat, good range of shops. 50min sail from adrossan. To visit Glasgow, as the islanders do regularly, the train meets the boat and in 40mins you are in city centre with no need to worry about traffic or parking. For shopping, parks and all manner of activities, Glasgow is the place to be. And the folk are nice too, for instance they don't spend their day sneering at Edinburgh.

On Arran there are loads of hotels and self catering places. Or the fabous Auchrannie hotel has just been voted best hotel for families in the uk on trip adviser.

PlumBear Sun 26-Jan-14 10:17:14


PlumBear Sun 26-Jan-14 10:19:23

Sorry, bloody iPhone. It's nowhere near Glasgow, but. stonehaven is lovely. Beach, baker, butcher, and dunnotar castle, which is spectacular

maggiebroon Tue 28-Jan-14 17:58:31

Thanks for those. Arran sounds interesting, not at all what I imagined. Will keep in mind for another time

ReticulatingSplines Tue 28-Jan-14 18:00:34

Aviemore! Everything except the Glasgow bit. It is wonderful.

ReticulatingSplines Tue 28-Jan-14 18:00:58

It has a loch with a beach!!

Ubik1 Tue 28-Jan-14 18:03:33

we camp here every year and it is only about 1 hr drive from Inverary, there are beautiful beaches to wander along the The Kilberry Inn is worth checking out too

Don't listen to the Glasgow naysayers - boo to you lot. Glasgow is definitely worth a visit but a fair old drive from Inverary. The drive is very lovely though.

AllMimsyWereTheBorogroves Tue 28-Jan-14 18:20:42

Arran is wonderful. If you really felt you had to visit Glasgow, you should do it on a Friday as there is a late ferry giving you a longer day on the mainland. Things to do on Arran which would be great with children of all ages:

1. Climb Goatfell (if you are all reasonably fit and have the right kit). 874m (2,866ft). Tough, but well worth it on a day with good visibility.
2. Brodick Castle (National Trust for Scotland) - nice castle, lovely grounds, has a smallish adventure playground. Cafe isn't bad.
3. Glenashdale Falls in Whiting Bay. Just lovely and there are several excellent cafes in Whiting Bay for before and after your walk.
4. Lochranza has a ruined castle and a distillery. The scenery is more like the Highlands than the south end of the island.
5. Beaches - lots of contrasting types, all worth spending time on. I'd recomment Brodick, Lamlash, Whiting Bay, Corrie, Sannox, Kildonan, Blackwaterfoot.
6. Kildonan: another ruined castle, fabulous beach, very good hotel/bar/restaurant. Basalt pavements running into the sea.
(If you have any interest in geology at all, Arran is endlessly fascinating.)
7. Brodick: brilliant restaurant (Brodick Bar), lots of others which are also pretty good, sweet little crazy golf course, bookshop, fabulous ice creams from Arran Dairies shop beside Bilsland's (good for outdoor clothes and other emergency clothing purchases, including walking shoes/boots).
8. Isle of Arran heritage museum: particularly good to have up your sleeve for a wet day. Has a lovely cafe.
9. Cycling - there are lots of trails in the Forestry Commission lands and round Brodick Castle grounds.
10. Auchrannie has a leisure centre, including pool, and a playbarn. All the bars/restaurants there are excellent too.

I may have managed to get across the fact that I love Arran!

montysma1 Thu 30-Jan-14 14:18:34

Can't beat Arran as I have already said!

Our house is in Whiting Bay so it's myget to co.pared to vourite vilHebridegreat pub with good food and 2 other bistros. The other villages generally have great places to eat too. As well as all the things mimsy mentioned, there are low level coastal or glen walks too countless to mention.
Horse riding,

kayaking and other adventure stuff courtesy of Arran Adventures

Auchrannie spa/pool/gym/playbarn for wet weather

Short boat trip to Holy island which sits a mile from lamlash, climb to the 1000ft summit and look out for the wild ponies and goats.

Hi speed RIB boat trip to land on the mind boggling volcanic stop, ailsa craig

Well equipped and cheap fitness gym in Arran high school

Seal watching, otter watching, red squirrels everywhere, deer day entering about the greens on the golf courses.

Trip round the dairy where Arrans own icecream is made from Arran milk.

7 golf courses if that's your thing.

Loads of plays/live music/ quizzes all over the place

Tennis courts

Arran rocks! Honestly you cant help falling in love with the place and so easy to get to compared to any of the Hebrides.

montysma1 Thu 30-Jan-14 14:20:19

Sorry, on phone, mad typos.

macskater Thu 30-Jan-14 14:33:11

Inverary - lovely little place in itself.

Also, within easy driving distance to Oban which has ferries to the islands and nice places en route like Tyndrum, Loch Awe etc.

You can easily drive to Glasgow if you want to spend a day there(or you could take the bus to Glasgow).

Loch Lomondside (en route to Glasgow) is only a stone's throw away with places like Luss, a lovely village, and Cameron House Hotel for a lovely lunch or afternoon tea.

Enjoy your holiday

JoJo90 Thu 30-Jan-14 14:59:25

Inveraray is a fair drive from Glasgow - at least an hour and a half - but well worth it - if you want to ditch the car the rail network to Glasgow is good

macskater Thu 30-Jan-14 17:02:43

In rural Scotland an hour and a half of driving is nothing and, as said above, there are Scottish Citylink and train links if you want to opt for the train or bus. Don't think there is a train from Inverary but I could be wrong.
Driving gives you the option to meander into villages or pop into cafes, restaurants or wherever takes your fancy

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