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Holiday in Scotland in August, suggestions?

(31 Posts)
missyB1 Wed 01-Feb-17 10:29:45

So we fancy exploring Scotland for a week with our 8 year old ds in the summer holidays, no specific idea of where we want to be. We are happy to travel a bit and stay in a couple of places, but don't want to be driving all the time.
We like beaches, outdoor activities, steam trains, castles, good food and beautiful scenery. We don't know Scotland at all really hence need advice!

user1484918655 Wed 01-Feb-17 15:29:14

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Ilovecaindingle Wed 01-Feb-17 15:32:12

Stirling :
Wallace monument,
Blair Drummond safari park - and if you are camping at the Blair Drummond campsite you pay entry once and can visit the safari park every day you are booked on the site!!
Strawberry Farm - next to safari Park!!
Loads to do in Stirling!!

hudyerwheesht Wed 01-Feb-17 15:39:42

I'd second Stirling and the surrounding areas are lovely. Also, you must try to work in a visit to Edinburgh if you go in August - the festival is on. You don't need to even book a ticket for anything, just wander around, soak up the atmosphere and take in some free shows, there are acts from all over the world just performing on the streets - amazing.
From there Stirling is not far and as I said, the surrounding areas are gorgeous.

LittleBoat Wed 01-Feb-17 15:42:18

We had a holiday in Nairn one August. It has beautiful beaches and it's own little micro-climate. The rest of Scotland was battling epic rain and we were sunbathing on the beach.

Anywhere in Scotland is beautiful.

TheWayYouLookTonight Wed 01-Feb-17 15:42:28

Go to the Isle of Skye - a couple of good castles and nice beaches (Dunvegan castle and the coral beaches in the north are lovely). Also boat trips to see seals and eagles. Some nice restaurants also. You can drive across the Skye bridge (no tolls any more), past the beautiful Eilean Donan castle, or get the ferry to the south of the island. No steam trains I'm afraid, but plenty of boats, and jaw dropping scenery. They have had some dry, sunny summers of late, and the weather changes a lot so even if it rained it is unlikely to do it the whole time.

Another big advantage in August is it tends to be breezier on the islands than the Scottish mainland, and the breeze really helps keep the midges at bay!

Haggisfish Wed 01-Feb-17 15:46:58

Not Stirling if you want beaches. West coast -gairloch and area are lovely. Fab place called dry island to stay if you fancy an adventure!

dorothymichaels Wed 01-Feb-17 15:49:10

We had a lovely time here last summer. Gairloch area.
The shellfish safari with a local fisherman was one of my best days out ever.

haggisaggis Wed 01-Feb-17 15:53:43

I think you need to decide how far you want to drive before you decide where you want to go. My favourite part of Scotland is Assynt (far north west) but that is a long drive even from where we live in North East Scotland. There are castles all over Scotland - likewise beautiful beaches on both East & West coasts. We live in Angus on the border with Aberdeenshire - some beautiful castles as well as gorgeous long beaches. Steam trains I'm not so sure about! The East Neuk of Fife is beautiful - lovely beaches at Elie & St Andrews. Within easy driving distance to Edinburgh. Pretty scenery.

lisaneedsarest Wed 01-Feb-17 15:56:57

We stayed on the solway coast last year in a lodge. Stunning part of the country and is not plagued by midgies. Loads of beautiful, virtually deserted beaches and some fun indoor/outdoor things for the kids - cream of Galloway was a highlight.

namechangedtoday15 Wed 01-Feb-17 16:03:19

We did a tour a couple of years ago - up the west coast via Glasgow, Loch Lomond (hired a speed boat which my DC loved) via Fort William up to Aviemore (stayed here Aviemore Woodland Lodge it was beautiful - hired mountain bikes / canoed) then came back down the east coast to Edinburgh and had a couple of nights there. Absolutely loved it. Quite a bit of driving but the scenery was awesome.

missyB1 Wed 01-Feb-17 16:12:09

Some lovely suggestions thank you, I need to start researching! I did fancy the Aviemore area and our ds wants to go to Fort William. I'm guessing most accommodation is self catering? I do fancy a hotel or B&Bs purely from a not wanting to shop or cook point of view!

VictoriaMcdade Wed 01-Feb-17 16:15:46

Take an umbrella grin

smaiwa Thu 02-Feb-17 14:09:21

Suggest Aviemore is a better base than FW as there's more variety nearby.We've stayed a couple of times with our dss at the Hilton Colymbridge which was genuinely child friendly albeit a tad expensive. Landmark is really good, you have the Mountain railway at Cairn Gorm or else the path to the peak from the railway terminus is very good. Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness aren't too far.You can hire a 3 person canoe on Loch Morlich or hire bikes(including from the hotel)to get around the Rothiemurchus Estate and around Loch an Eilein.Yes , we did all that and got good weather!
In FW there's a Travelodge or some cheaper places than the Hilton and the train (especially the Harry Potter steam train)from FW to Mallaig is good.The SeaXplorer fast boat trip looked great fun but our youngest was only 5 and it was a bit too daunting for time maybe.

MazDazzle Thu 02-Feb-17 14:14:38

There's a good MacDonald resort in Aviemore is you want to avoid self catering. Alternatively you can stay in one of their lodges, but urge the hotel facilities.

Crieff Hydro is also a very good resort.

missyB1 Thu 02-Feb-17 14:26:12

Yes Aviemore sounds like the best base, ooohh getting excited now! smile

namechangedtoday15 Thu 02-Feb-17 14:42:11

That's where we stayed, in one of the Woodland Lodges at MacDonald Aviemore. It was lovely, probably some of the nicest family accommodation that we've stayed in.

FWIW, I am sure that we got a deal on either Groupon or Living Social as we wanted the week after the Scottish schools had gone back (can't remember off the top of my head but we were there perhaps the 3rd week of August or the week after - although that did mean when we came back through Edinburgh the festival had finished). Worth keeping an eye out.

IrnBrufan Thu 02-Feb-17 19:38:36

The isle of Arran - its referred to a Scotland in miniature

FancyPantsDelacroixTheFirst Thu 02-Feb-17 19:49:16

Dumfries and Galloway is heaven.

There is The Raider's Road forest drive. We go scrambling over the rocks at the otter pool.

There is the Red Kite Feeding Station at Bellymack Hill Farm.

The Big Water of Fleet Viaduct that goes over a lovely burn for paddling.

The Galloway Smokehouse

My favourite place in the world Orchardton Tower.

Which is just round the corner from Abbey.

And there is the lovely fishing and artist town Kirkcudbright, or the isle of Whithorn, or Threave Castle, or Cardoness Castle.

Love the place.

girlelephant Thu 02-Feb-17 20:01:16

Troon/Ayr is worth a visit. It has a beach and lots of lovely restaurants.

missyB1 Thu 02-Feb-17 20:39:08

I'm beginning to think we need a month to do this holiday! grin

Iamastonished Thu 02-Feb-17 21:37:39

Take plenty of midge repellent, especially if you go to the West coast.

TheWayYouLookTonight Fri 03-Feb-17 10:02:00

Fort Augustus is seriously pretty, and not far from Fort William (I have to say after several visits I'm not a fan of Fort William). Fort Augustus has lots of B&B accommodation, nice pubs and is well located to break a journey across the highlands.

DirtyBlonde Fri 03-Feb-17 10:05:55

We've been to Fife a few times and really liked it - good beaches, castles, deer centres, lots of child-friendly places activities (go to St Andrews or hop over to Dundee). Don't remember if there are any heritage railways though.

It's also not plagued by midges

I like Dumfries and Galloway too, but have only been pre-DC.

NinjaPosse Fri 03-Feb-17 10:07:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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