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Scotland self-drive holiday planning(8 Posts)
Planning an 11 day tour of Scotland for mid October. The idea is to start somewhere south of Glasgow, e.g. Ayr/Kilmarnock, and travel in a clockwise direction up, around and down, perhaps visiting Orkney/Shetland enroute, finishing in the far north east of England e.g. Berwick On Tweed or Alnwick areas.
Can this all be done in 11 days or are we bonkers to even consider it?
What will the weather be like in Scotland that time of year? Especially around the highlands and far north?
Any recommendations on where to stay?
So much to think of!!
I can't say as to the weather. My suspicion is that you'd be packing an awful lot in to an 11 day tour to cover that sort of distance and do Orkney - only been on the West Coast but roads were slow and distances between places far.
I think you'd be missing out if you didn't go to at least one West Coast island. Mull is beautiful, only accessible by car ferry though (a proper island). On the West Coast Arisaig is lovely as is a place beginning with P whose name escapes me, but it was where the TV series Hamish Macbeth was filmed. Glencoe is a must for scenery. If you go to the East Coast, St Andrews is lovely.
Also, for that time of year things may be shut. Check out the recent thread on Scottish West Coast in October in this section of Mumsnet.
Sounds like you're going to spend all your time driving. You can really only expect to average about 30mph when you get to single track roads, so save Orkney/Shetland for another trip, or just go there.
Second Mull and Arisaig. Or you could go to Mallaig via Glen Coe, get a ferry to Skye, then come back over the bridge, bat up the Great Glen and come down the east coast. Still a ton of driving!
You cannot guarantee the weather, so pack for the worst ! I believe you can get a car ferry from Aberdeen to Shetland/Orkney. Also ferry from John O Groats. Although, I've not done this yet. However, I have traveled from Glasgow to Falkirk to see the Falkirk wheel and Kellie sculptures. Then drove to Oban, ferry to Barra, upwards to other beautiful outer Hebridean island, ferry from Stornoway. I have also been to Isle of Skye, Mull and Arran are also beautiful if the weather is good. On another holiday, I went to Isle of Bute, then Northumberland, Alnwick, Seahouses, Holy Isle, Bamburgh. The North of Scotland is beautiful, but roads can be single track and some petrol stations close at 4 or 5 pm. You could investigate fly and hire a car instead or use public transport. I pre-booked accommodation. I have breakdown car cover too. Suggest don't try to do too much in one go !
jean genie - Plockton is where you are thinking of.