The mods may take this off - I understand because it's not horse related...but don't know whom to ask.
Those who've been to Scotland...what shall we go see? I'd love to stay in a horsey B&B, but also want to sight see (with a 15 year old daughter in tow)
We will be taking the boat over from N.I. so any horsey folks in Ireland or Northern Ireland chime in too!
I'd love to visit some farms in addition to sight seeing.
Watching this thread with interest. I have always wanted to go to Scotland on a riding vacation. I also have an old friend in Oban, who I would love to visit. Maybe in a few years when the kids are big enough to remember such a trip...
Without a doubt the most beautiful place on earth I've ever laid my eyes on is the Isle of Skye. Take an afternoon and drive around the entire island. We stayed in the Portee Hotel in the capital of Skye. The little town there is just lovely.
Take the ferry from Mallaig to Armadale. You will not regret it.
Oban was nice.
The area near Loch Ness was very commercial/industrial and I hated it.
If I were you, I would make it a horse related thread. There are a ton of great horsey things to do in Scotland. I've been there 3 times and I love it!!!! Go pony trekking, Pm Thomas, here on COTH, I believe he lives there. You must go to the Edinburgh Tatoo if you're there in August.
You may never come back. . .
RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"
"To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."
PM me if you want. I'm actually right slap bang on the Border. Strictly speaking on the English side but I wonder into Scotland about 5 times a day... it's just at the end of the fields. We're Just 55 miles from Edinburgh. (It was Scotland till King James got it wrong at the Battle of Flodden.)
I can let you have a listing of Scottish side centres if you want some help though.
I got married in Scotland - it is beautiful, but I got impression that it is very windy and damp there - lazy wet wind - it is not going around you, it is going through you... So whatever you plan to do, take the right clothes with you to protect you in changing weather.
I'm into history so tons and tons of things to see for me...
I went to England and then Wales in 2004. Trip of my life. I have NEVER enjoyed anything more. I would move to Wales in a heartbeat if I could just convince the rest of my family!!
Scotland is on my "next time" list. I have some friends there (that I've bought ponies from) that I really want to visit!
My advice is not to overplan everything. You will undoubtedly see places you want to stop. We had some very lovely unplanned stops at amazing old churches and wandered through the churchyards -- fascinating. We found little towns that were so, so interesting to walk through and shops, etc. We also spotted a castle off in the distance and found our way over to it and got to wander around there. Lots of fun and SUPER memorable!
DO get one of the touristy books and see if there are any places you really want to visit. What fun!!!!
My mother lives in Glasgow... and I go over fairly often for a week or two, although haven't been in over a year now. Will probably make the next trip in August and am trying to talk friends into going. I'd planned on showing them around Glasgow and then DEFINITELY making a trip to Edinburgh. There are plenty of castles to see of course. I remember driving through Glencoe on our way up to Elgin (then we drove over to Aberdeen) and the scenery was gorgeous, it's also the area they filmed Harry Potter for what I've heard. I think it'd be a great place to do some hiking. We also stopped by Loch Ness on this drive, we didn't see Nessie though.
I haven't really done A LOT of tourist stuff as I go and its kind of like being home... cause who does tourist stuff in their own town?! lol. I will say the best times to go are like May through August. TONS of daylight and "warmer" temps.
I lived in Scotland for 6 months. Where, exactly, are you going in Scotland? There are the lowlands, the Highlands, the isles...how long are you going to be there? Some of my favorite spots: Edinburgh, Drumnadrochit, and Caithness (where my family is from).
If you are a Harry Potter fan...there are plenty of places around Scotland that Rowling used as inspiration for her series.
Edit: Don't forget Stirling. You simply must visit the William Wallace memorial. The first time I visited it was when I went to Scotland in December (if you wanna talk about cold!). Also, make use of the public transportation system (especially the buses). They're deals you can't beat!
Last edited by HydroPHILE; Jan. 18, 2009 at 11:38 AM.
If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
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Originally Posted by talkofthetown
As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.
We didn't get to spend near enough time there, but other than Glasgow and Edinburgh (both amazing) I would encourage you to go north towards Fort William. You will get to go through Glencoe, which is one of the most breathtaking places I have ever seen. I'm jealous!
We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting. www.dleestudio.com
We went to Edinburgh and Stirling when there. No horse things, as I had my mother with me (we had come from the Blenheim Horse Trials however, near Oxford in England).
Whatever you do, we travelled in September, and I froze my ass off. And I'm from the NW where it gets cold. It's bloody damp and windy there--bring long johns, cashmere and wool--hats, gloves, scarves and rain boots and wind proof jackets. Just my two cents here.
I'd go again in a heartbeat, this time going farther north into the highlands and over to the islands.
I got married in Scotland - it is beautiful, but I got impression that it is very windy and damp there - lazy wet wind - it is not going around you, it is going through you... .
You make that sound like a bad thing!
We went years ago in November - had the place to ourselves! What fantastic skies - it would rain, then a rainbow, then rain, then a rainbow. Waterfalls cascaded down the mountainsides. It was in the 50s mostly., and most of the rain was just drizzle - I don't find that unpleasant, but some people do. I actually kind of like it! Atmospheric!
Edinburgh is great, but small enough to see in a day or so, unless you really like shopping and cities and such. I tend to like the countryside more than museums, churches and castles.
Our best decision was to rent a car and drive out to the west coast and back. We stayed in random inns - one was ancient and unheated, and the blankets on the bed were a foot thick! There was this crazy formal dinner served to just us and one other old couple. The whole pheasant on a silver platter kind of dinner with too much silverware, not at all what we expected.
One day driving around we passed through a strange valley, and I suddenly realized it was an ancient volcanic crater. The rocks by the sea were clearly "frozen" lava, millenia old and the valley was almost flat, and surrounded by this circle of pointy, jagged hills.
There were loose horses and cattle wandering everywhere, and endless tiny roads winding through spectacular countryside. I love the Highland ponies!
We also visited a botanical garden - it was the first time I ever saw redwood trees!! (I hadn't been to the US west coast at that time). They had been brought to the gardens as seedlings hundreds of years before, and were enormous.
Anyway, that stuff might be boring for a teen - depends on the teen. If I could remember the names of any of the villages or towns we saw, I'd mention them, but it has all slipped away.
I love love LOVE Scotland!! I've been living in Edinburgh for a year now. If you have some flexibility on when you can come, the weather is at it's best in May. It warms up a bit and the days get longer. Last year May was absolutely beautiful (which sucked becuase we had to take exams!) and it p*ssed it down most of July and August.
I've driven past this place http://www.ormistonhighlands.com/nrc.htm a few times and always thought it would be cool to do some trekking there. The countryside in that area is beautiful - you've got the Monadhliath Range and it's on the edge of the Cairngorms National Park. Newtonmore is a small village about 2 1/2 hours drive outside Edinburgh and you can also get the train, which I believe changes in Glasgow.
For riding around Edinburgh, try http://www.towerfarm.org/ for hacks that offer nice views of the city going up Baird's Hill, which is just outside the city in Liberton.
If you're interested in spending some time in the Highlands, I would highly reccomend these chalets www.thelittlehouses.co.uk in Roybridge, which is a village near Fort William. We stayed there over New Years and they were really good. Nicely located for lots of walking (and i'm sure there's pony trekking somewhere about the place) and touristy stuff around Ft William - Ben Nevis, Anoch Mor Ski Centre, etc.The owners were really good to us and didn't kick us out at 11 when we had to hang around until 6:00 to get the train back to Edinburgh.