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Calling people who know about Scotland...

(44 Posts)
frogs Mon 02-May-05 20:42:24

A little advice, please.

Firstly recommendations for not too expensive places to stay in Edinburgh with three children in tow. We want to stop off for a couple of days on our way back from the Highlands at the end of May.

Secondly, how long does it really take to drive from Edinburgh to Skye? And is there a reason why the AA website recommends going via the Kyle of Lochalsh rather than the ferry from Mallaig to Armadale? The latter looks to be quicker, and is closer to the part of Skye we're staying in. Just wondered whether it was going to be single track road all the way from Fort William.

Many thanks!

Toothache Mon 02-May-05 20:48:40

Frogs - I'll find out for you. I live about 25 miles from Edinburgh.
And it will just be tiny winding roads from Fort William! In fact... it's tiny winding roads to Fort William too! it is gorgeous though.

A word of advice though. The AA routefinder seems to knock about 30% of the distance!! I noticed that loads of times. Try the RAC routefinder. It is much more realistic.

expatinscotland Mon 02-May-05 20:50:52

Sonas Guesthouse is pretty good. Right in Newington, it's very centrally located. I put all our visiting lecturers and speakers there.

Don't know about the drive to Skye as have only been to Inverness and it's all motorway btwn there and Edinburgh.

Gomez Mon 02-May-05 20:51:32

Have a look on the Visit Scotland site for accomodation in Edinburgh - lots of B & Bs etc. There are also Travel Inns/Travel Lodges right in the centre.

Kyle of Lochalsh route will take around 4.5/5 hours from Edinburgh plus stops. Can't help on the other route haven't done it for years. Won't be single track road thou'! Ferry is fairly expensive is it not? And of course the bridge is free now - might be why?

Enjoy!

Toothache Mon 02-May-05 20:53:41

RAC Route Planner: Edinburgh to Fort William

Total distance: 131.6 miles (211.8 km )
Total estimated time: 3 hours and 8 min

Gomez Mon 02-May-05 21:01:20

Oops should have said would take 4.5/5 hours to Portree, which is about 45mins from the Bridge. I am sure you can do the sum. Sorry.

Miaou Mon 02-May-05 21:03:37

frogs, we regularly use the Fort William - Mallaig road, generally speaking it is a two way road, there is only one or two stretches now that are single track with passing places. The scenery is stunning, and you go past the viaduct that is in the Harry Potter films! The single track bits are about 6 miles long altogether. The journey takes about an hour from Fort William but allow at least an hour and a half in case of hold ups.

If you decide to go via the ferry, you need to book in advance, and there is also a "last check-in time" which is at least half an hour before the ferry goes. Also bear in mind the cost. More details on the Calmac website.

The reasons why the AA will recommend the other route via the Skye bridge:

It doesn't close
It's free
You won't "miss" it
It's not affected by bad weather (although to be fair the ferry is unlikely to be cancelled due to bad weather this time of year - but it does happen)

Hmm - take your pick!

Will find the CalMac website for you in a mo

Drive from Edinburgh to Kyle of Localsh - about 5 hours, maybe a bit less.

Miaou Mon 02-May-05 21:07:11

Can't do a link but it's www.calmac.co.uk

tamum Mon 02-May-05 21:07:27

Is theer any kind of accommodation you are after in particular, frogs? As Gomez said, there are some pretty central Travel Inn type places that look quite good. A friend of mine owns this guest house .

Expatinscotland, where do you work? <nosy emoticon> Are you based at KB?

Miaou Mon 02-May-05 21:08:35

PS if you come up the FW road to the ferry you will pass within about 1/4 mile of our house (across a loch)!!!!!

tamum Mon 02-May-05 21:10:01

Ooh, Miaou, we could do a mini-version of the yellow flag stuff that went on for bensmum

expatinscotland Mon 02-May-05 21:13:21

At the Uni, tamum. But nowhere near KB. On the George Square side! A perfect location for lunchtime shopping .

If you're looking for really posh but with fantastic service, Southside Guesthouse fits the bill. Expect to pay, however. It's where we book in the big guns . BUT, that road is literally a road of guesthouses.

Of course, I'm really partial to the Hotel Malmaison - sooo romantic. But prolly not with 3 kids in tow. My folks treated me and DH to a night there (child free!) last time they were across and it was fab! Wonderful breakfast as well.

What's nice about the Newington area is that you can walk to the tourist attractions and don't have to stump up bus fare for everyone.

tamum Mon 02-May-05 21:19:51

I wonder if I know you??? I have CATed you, but feel free to ignore me

expatinscotland Mon 02-May-05 21:21:32

just checked my emails, but nothing there yet. will keep checking.

tamum Mon 02-May-05 21:22:32

It may not get to you until tomorrow, I guess, as MN Towers have to vet it

expatinscotland Mon 02-May-05 21:24:14

Oh, they vet CATs?? Hmm. Wonder why? I'd suspect most exchanges are pretty banal.

frogs Mon 02-May-05 21:25:47

Oh, you are all amazing. dh has now stopped sneering about 'mums dot net' as he calls it!

We're really just looking for a base where we can stay for a couple of days on our way back from Skye, so dh and I can revisit old haunts (we met in Edinburgh, back when we were both 22 and love's young dream [soppy emoticon]). But we will have 3 kids with us, so we're not in a position to do the full romantic thing, just want somewhere practical, central and reasonably child-friendly.

wrt to travel I think we might do the Mallaig route on the way up and the Kyle of Lochalsh route on the way back, then we can visit Eilean Donan castle while ds is still awake! I'm ok with small roads, as my parents live in the wilds of North Devon (not as wild as Scotland, granted) so I can do the single track road etiquette thing. Just wanted reassurance that I wasn't letting myself in for 50 miles of dirt track. It looks beautiful but v. remote. <Note to self -- check RAC membership is up to date.> Is there mobile phone coverage up there?

Miaou, do you no longer live on your lovely island?

tamum Mon 02-May-05 21:25:50

Well, they go to them and they forward them- there's no direct link to people's emails. I think it's sometimes quite a useful precaution, although I can imagine they do get a bit bored with the banality

tamum Mon 02-May-05 21:30:18

Here's a link to a central Travel Inn . I think they have family rooms, but not sure if that would be big enough for 3 children.

expatinscotland Mon 02-May-05 21:30:25

Frogs
The Sonas might be for you. Another one we use is the Patterson Guesthouse, but for some reason they're harder to get hold of.

Miaou Mon 02-May-05 21:33:42

No, we moved to Ardgour, just south of Fort William but across the other side of the Loch, unfortunately not very handy for just popping in as you have to get a ferry across to us! Bensmum3 is still on the island though

frogs Mon 02-May-05 21:46:30

Will try the Sonas, thanks for the recommendation.

Is your new place nice, Miaou? Must have been strange to leave for the mainland. But I guess it's hardly central Birmingham where you are now.

Shazzler Mon 02-May-05 21:56:45

Just thought I would let you know that it is NOT all motorway from Edinburgh to Inverness as expatinscotland said.

After Perth you are on the A9 which is mostly single carriageway with some dual carriage way.

I hope you have a nice visit. I live north of Inverness.

Miaou Mon 02-May-05 22:51:06

still very quiet, lovely community, small school for the kids etc, but now we can get in the car and do lots of things we couldn't before. It's really funny though, people in Fort William think we live in the sticks, till I point out where I used to live before!!! House is lovely too, about the same size, but a much smaller garden, which is a blessing in some ways because I just couldn't manage the old one.

If you want any more info on the ferry etc feel free to CAT me if you want PS dd1 still wears her tops from your dd1 and loves them too!

bensmum3 Mon 02-May-05 23:52:21

Frogs, we will come and wave to you in Mallaig, if we're on the mainland at the same time as you are there,(when is it?) or you could come out and see us on the island !
I've left a message on for sale as I still owe you for the dress, Thankyou very much, the clothes are lovely and will probably get passed onto Miaou for her dd's.
I would definately go via Mallaig one way , as its very scenic and the ferry is fun for children as well.

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