Please help me plan a week in Scotland ... from this Saturday!!!(96 Posts)
Last minute dot com as usual - we only decided yesterday that we're going to go camping in Scotland this Saturday for a week. Neither of us know Scotland v well, I have relatives in Ayr so Sat/ Sun we'll stay in a hotel in/ on way to Ayr and see relatives then move onto camping, but don't know where to camp or where we should visit (other than Tobermory!!).
Please can someone help me to plan our trip, what are must-see places to go? We have two DC, 5 and 7, so where we go will be largely dictated by places which appeal to them.
Thanks in advance!
That looks cool Mum2fergus but the thought of moving the tent every night fills me with a cold sweat...! I could just about cope with staying in 2 different places over the week .... Is it possible to do this and still tour Scotland? My relatives in Ayr have said Dumfries and Galloway would be a nice area to stop over on the Saturday night before we see them for Sunday lunch and then head off to wherever we'd be based, till perhaps Weds and then move again??? Want to have a day in Edinburgh in there somewhere too
Ok - have now spoken to my dad who knows Scotland pretty well from years ago and have a potential plan...
Sat night - stay over in Dumfries, maybe stop at Gretna on the way
Sunday morning/ lunch with relatives in Ayr, then travel North to Oban/ Fort William [thoughts - which best for kids and any good campsites?].
Stay in Oban/ Fort William/ somewhere else for 3 nights, then travel over to around Crieff/ Callander/ Sterling (sound like a good location??) for 3 nights, including day trip to Edinburgh, then home.
For creiff I would look up Comrie Croft.
Whilst FW and Oban are good. I'd maybe consider the Aviemore area for a few days are there is lots for that age group to do and less chances of midges, try the Glenmore campsite nr Loch Morlich. You have the Funicular railway, Landmark, the Highland Wildlife Park and Highland Folk Museum as well as access to a swimming pool and soft play or trip up to Inverness. The beach at loch morlich has watersports and there are loads of outdoor stuff to do.
Then you could come down and camp near Stirling or surrounding area as you have access to the train for Edinburgh if you don't fancy driving. Comrie as mentioned is good and there are also campsites on outskirts of Stirling or along in Callendar and for activities you have castles and Auchingarrich or Blairdrummond safari or Briarlands farm. Leisure facilities available in Callendar and Stirling (swimming pool etc)
I'd do Aviemore. Loads for kids, especially outdoorsy stuff. Highland wildlife park & Landmark are near by & excellent. We visited Oban recently, nice but nothing more than any other seaside town as far as I could see. St Andrews is great, nice town with good restaurants/pubs, historic touristy things, beaches & walks. Not much in Stirling really.
ahem, I live in Stirling, there is millions to do!
That's really useful guys, off to research Aviemore!
I'd skip Fort William.
In Stirling you could go to the castle (far better than Edinburgh Castle), climb up to the Wallace Monument and/or visit Blair Drummond Safari Park).
And not much to Gretna really, unless you plan to get married while there!
There's a nice campsite outside Oban - in North Connel - amazing views out to sea, think it's called Ledaig. If you are staying about Oban then the Poky Hat is worth a visit for an ice-cream and Coast does lovely food. Seafood is excellent here. If it's pishing down (which it may well be ) then the Phoenix Cinema is good for a visit - it is community owned and run.
Definitely aviemore. Brilliant off road cycle tracks, landmark adventure playpark is great, there's a swimming pool in the macdonald hotel, you can pay to get in, steam train to boat of garten and back, loch morlich if the weather is nice for a beach day.the town has a nice feel too.
Do report back on campsites once you've been, let us know what you'd recommend
In Stirling and surrounding area, in addition to those things mentioned there are loads of walks, country parks and the Wallace Monument and castle as well as the back walk. There are some nice places to eat , multi screen cinema, leisure pool/climbing wall/ice skating if the weather is poor. Large play park at kings park (near the Castle) and also one at Causewayhead below the Monument - nice cafe/ice cream shop. You could also nip down to see the Kelpies or the Falkirk Wheel.
It's funny the impressions we get heehaw - I actually feel the same about St Andrews lol - once you'e seen the beach and the botanic gardens then there seems bog all else. Although I'd say as a resident there is millions to do as a resident in terms of sports and activities to do, my kids have done classes in everything from Martial Arts to Pottery, from Kayaking to Bowling, from Curling to Archery as well as all the usual Football/Rugby type stuff. There is always stuff going on in the Uni/Tolbooth/Libraries etc. It's a fantastic place to live, but admittedly if you come of the train and wander into the town and round the shops there doesn't seem much. It's better if you have a car and can get about.
I mean as a resident in Stirling, not St Andrews.
Go to Arran! "Scotland in Miniature". We go every year and it's fab.
Where are you travelling from? I'd be inclined to say just plod on and keep going til you reach Ayrshire (sorry Dumfries) there's not really much in Gretna.
There are a few nice campsites around culzean caste. The castle and grounds are worth a visit. You could spend two days there. The castle is impressive, great beach, loads of walks, animals and the adventure play ground is amazing. Close by there is Heads of Ayr farm park which is always a hit. The Robert Burns museum was a suprise hit for my two also. The poems went over their head but they liked the walk (museum is set throughout the village which is really pretty) and the gardens and sculptures.
Arran is worth a thought. It's a popular holiday destination for Scots. Getting on a ferry is always fun and the island is beautiful. Auchrannie resort has a nice pool , restaurant with softplay room and a separate softplay facility. Lots to do. You get the ferry from Ardrossan which is just up the coast from Ayr. There is another ferry at the top of the island that connects the island with Argyll which would take you to Oban. You can also get a ferry from Ardrossan to Cambletown and the Kintyre peninsula. Lots of nice campsite there and cracking beaches at carradale and macrihanish.
Aviemore does have a lot going on and you would not be short if things to do but it is a bit of a jaunt. I don't think you could do Aviemore and Mull. Rothiemurchus estate at aviemore has forest camping. There is the Landmark adventure park (use tesco vouchers to buy tickets), steam railway, great pool at mcdonald hotel for public, softplay at the HIlton, nice lochside beaches.
If you go to mull you must visit Iona. I think by the time you get to mull you'll be fed up with travelling and might just want to stay there for a few days.
Comrie Croft in Perthshires is another very popular place so book in advance. There's loads to do in Perthshires and Stirling area. Blair Drummond safari park, Stirling Castle and jail, Stanley farm park, kelpies/falkirk wheel. Glasgow and Edinburgh are an hour's drive from Stirling. You also have easy access to the trossachs which are beautiful. There's a nice visitor's centre at the lodge in Aberfoyle. It has a nature trail with lots to do for the kids. Nearby there is also Doon Hill which it's rumoured where fairies live. There are fairy houses carved into the trees along the walk and at the top of the hill here is a fairy tree where people tie ribbons and make wishes.
Good luck and I hope the weather is good for you x
St Andrews - Sea life centre, golf museum, awesome putting competition (the Himalayas) ladle Braes walk, four beaches, castle, St Rules tower (that'll tire the kids out ) Cathedral ruins, Botanic Gardens.
Close by - Carnie Fruit farm which is absolutely awesome! Scottish Deer Centre which is also brilliant. A day trip to Elie to do the chain walk along the coast (one if my favourite things to do as a kid) A day trip to Anstruther for fish and chips and a boat ride out over the sea to the May Island. Dundee is close so you could do the Discovery ship used by Scott to travel to Antartica (I think) there's a science museum too, great shopping and a huge pool with waves and 4 flumes. (All activities good for rainier days) Day trip to Broughty Ferry to visit the castle. Tentsmuir beach and woods for walking and bikes.......
The list goes on....
Honestly, I highly recommend this area!
I think if you stay in Oban, you can do a day trip to mull to see tobermory as the ferries go from there. We did iona and staffa trip from there too which was great but we were child free then. Staffa might be fun for children as it's so strange but I would be constantly worrying about them falling so depends on your views.
However I would probably say aviemore too as there is much more to do for kids.
The Staffa trip doesn't allow children under a certain age, I forget what it is but I think the 5 year old might not be able to get on.
I second the Poky Hat for ice cream in Oban and there is a nice cafe just North of Oban, between Dunbeg and Connel, with a garden centre, called Poppies, it makes prize-winning meringues. I don't like meringues but people keep raving about them, everything I have eaten there was great.
There is another camp site not far for from the one in North Connel mentioned before, in Benderloch at Tralee beach which has a Fish&Chips caravan which is very good, and you can then just sit at Tralee beach and look across Ardmucknish Bay while eating.
A good day trip from Oban is to go South to Kilmartin Glen. There is nice castle just before Kilmartin and anice garden, Arduaine (sp?) and a bit further on you get to Crinan canal and the site of the Scottish beaver trials in Knapdale.
Oh god, completely overwhelmed now!!! So... what about we skip the hotel in Dumfries and just get a campsite or hotel in Ayr for 2 nights, then onto Aviemore for 3 nights then Sterling area for 3 nights?? Not sure I could cope with doing the tent 3 times so think hotel for Ayr!!
Re camping - I don't fancy Comrie Croft as it seems to say you can't park the car next to the tent - is that right?
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