Author Topic: Critique my itinerary please!  (Read 843 times)

Petrolhead

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Critique my itinerary please!
« on: 12:32:14, 20/03/19 »

Hi guys.


We're heading up to Scotland from London for the first time at the end of April / start of May. To say we're looking forward to it is a huge understatement!


I think we're pretty well sorted with the itinerary but it would be great if some of you more experienced folks could give it a once over. Any advice along the lines of "if you're going there you MUST do a quick stop at XXX" or "if you're doing XXX then YYY is nearby and much better" etc. Or of course "that looks like a fantastic trip, you'll have a great time"


:)


Like I said, I think we've got it covered but it's always good to get some local knowledge. The trip will be kind of a half and half between photo locations and something more like proper walking.


Yes, I know it's a lot of driving! And yes I know it's a very packed schedule! But we both love the driving and know what we're capable of and we'll be starting before sunrise each day. This all sits nicely on the map heading north and just about fits in time wise! Of course the weather may spoil things a bit but we have back up plans if going up isn't a good idea.


Anyway, enough ramble, here's the list:


Day One - heading north (NOT from London! We'll stay en route somewhere the night before)
Finnich Glen
Ben A'an
Bracklinn Falls
Kilchurn Castle for sunset


Day Two - Glencoe
Glencoe Lochan for sunrise
Three Sisters Car Park (just a quick stop for the view)
Etive Mor Waterfall
Beinn a' Chr¨laiste for sunset


Day Three - heading to Skye
Glenfinnan Viaduct (timed for the train crossing, NOT a Harry Potter fan, it just looks lovely!)
Eilean Donan Castle
Sligachan Old Bridge (just because we're passing)
Fairy Pools
Neist Point Lighthouse for sunset


Day Four - Skye
The Quiraing for sunrise (this was going to be a day at the Cullins but Quiraing looks just too amazing to miss)
Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls Viewpoint (again, a quick stop for the view)
Fairy Glen for sunset


Day Five - heading south
Old Man of Storr, just for sunrise then we're heading back south to the Lake District for a couple of days. And then further south to do the Glyderau.


Can. NOT. Wait!!!


:)


Cheers,


Mes.

Patrick1

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Re: Critique my itinerary please!
« Reply #1 on: 12:59:00, 20/03/19 »
Looks like a fantastic trip, you'll have a great time  ;D ;D .


Day three catches my eye, though. How are you getting from Glenfinnan to Skye? The fact that you've put Eilean Donan between those two rather implies you're going back to Fort William, up the Great Glen and the the A87 from Invergarry. Which is fine, but its a long way round and misses some of the best bits of the west coast. Having got to Glenfinnan I'd continue on the A830, take in the famous beaches between Arisaig and Morar (take the little B road along the coast), then get the ferry from Mallaig to Armadale, and so to Skye. You can see Eiliean Donan etc on your way back.

Petrolhead

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Re: Critique my itinerary please!
« Reply #2 on: 13:43:10, 20/03/19 »
Looks like a fantastic trip, you'll have a great time  ;D ;D .


Day three catches my eye, though. How are you getting from Glenfinnan to Skye? The fact that you've put Eilean Donan between those two rather implies you're going back to Fort William, up the Great Glen and the the A87 from Invergarry. Which is fine, but its a long way round and misses some of the best bits of the west coast. Having got to Glenfinnan I'd continue on the A830, take in the famous beaches between Arisaig and Morar (take the little B road along the coast), then get the ferry from Mallaig to Armadale, and so to Skye. You can see Eiliean Donan etc on your way back.


Patrick, that's EXACTLY the sort of info I was looking for!


You're absolutely right, Glenfinnan > Fort William > Eilean Donan > on to Skye is what we had planned. And you're also right that we could just make a quick stop at the castle on the way back down.


I've just had a look at it and it saves only 20 minutes to take the ferry route BUT if it comes via a better drive that's music to my ears!


 O0


However, there's a slight issue in getting the car we're going to take onto the ferry, you'd laugh if you saw what we were going in! It's quite low and that fills me with dread and thoughts of taking the front splitter off as we board!


I think I'll give the ferry company a call and see if they have any plans in place for vehicles with low ground clearance. If the response is good, we'll definitely use your suggested route.


Thank you!

Owen

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Re: Critique my itinerary please!
« Reply #3 on: 13:43:40, 20/03/19 »
Just be aware roads in the Highlands and especially on Skye might be marked as a main road on the maps but aren't necessarily wide double tracked roads as you'd find in England. Quite often their single tracked with passing places. Don't expect to be going very fast.

Petrolhead

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Re: Critique my itinerary please!
« Reply #4 on: 13:48:19, 20/03/19 »
Just be aware roads in the Highlands and especially on Skye might be marked as a main road on the maps but aren't necessarily wide double tracked roads as you'd find in England. Quite often their single tracked with passing places. Don't expect to be going very fast.


Owen, thanks for this mate. I've spent longer planning the roads we're going to take than I have planning the walking! Many MANY hours on Google street view to see what we're up against. And there are quite a few things we have planned where we've had to factor in a bit of extra walking as we don't fancy taking the car on some of the roads we'll need to. I keep telling my wife we need a utility vehicle but she's not going for it. Yet!


Single track roads are fine and no problem, the car we're taking is tiny anyway!  O0


As for going fast, it won't be that sort of trip mate. I know I might give a certain impression with my username but it's all safe and careful on the roads, we just love driving.


But yes, that's very sound advice, cheers.

sparnel

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Re: Critique my itinerary please!
« Reply #5 on: 17:01:02, 20/03/19 »
On day 2, catch the sun setting behind Garbh Bheinn in Ardgour from the car park in Glencoe village.
You walk to the edge of Loch Leven, 50 yards from the car park opposite the Glencoe Inn.
Much better than your first choice. That's assuming its not raining!
Stop off in the village of Arisaig. Photo opportunity at the memorial to the Polish members of WW2 SOE
who trained in the area. (The whole area was a SOE training ground). Visit the museum for more info if
you are interested in that kind of history.
Have a great trip, and remember to book your accomm in Skye early, its always busy there!
Sparnel




Petrolhead

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Re: Critique my itinerary please!
« Reply #6 on: 17:08:41, 20/03/19 »
On day 2, catch the sun setting behind Garbh Bheinn in Ardgour from the car park in Glencoe village.
You walk to the edge of Loch Leven, 50 yards from the car park opposite the Glencoe Inn.
Much better than your first choice. That's assuming its not raining!
Stop off in the village of Arisaig. Photo opportunity at the memorial to the Polish members of WW2 SOE
who trained in the area. (The whole area was a SOE training ground). Visit the museum for more info if
you are interested in that kind of history.
Have a great trip, and remember to book your accomm in Skye early, its always busy there!
Sparnel


Sparnel, thanks for this excellent info. I'm going to have a proper look into it. It's going to have to be pretty good though as the view from the top of Beinn a' Chr¨laiste looks to be absolutely spectacular and is where some of my favourite ever photos were taken! It's going to be a tough one to beat, but never say never!


:)


As for your comment about booking early for Skye, I'm hopeful that should all happen tonight, good call!

sparnel

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Re: Critique my itinerary please!
« Reply #7 on: 17:31:40, 20/03/19 »
For a wet day alternative on Skye, you could visit the Talisker distillery in Carbost. Its on the way to the Cuillins.
 :P

humansnail

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Re: Critique my itinerary please!
« Reply #8 on: 20:33:54, 20/03/19 »
Re the fairy pools, last time I was in skye (it was a lovely day in the middle of summer, so you might be absolutely fine) it was vey difficult to get parked - cars all over the place. I had to leave it and return early next morning.

Petrolhead

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Re: Critique my itinerary please!
« Reply #9 on: 22:34:41, 20/03/19 »
For a wet day alternative on Skye, you could visit the Talisker distillery in Carbost. Its on the way to the Cuillins.
 :P


Have you been looking at my notes?


 O0


Honestly, I'll be hard pressed to not drop one of the outings to head off to Talisker instead. I've never been to a proper distillery and I do quite enjoy Talisker.


Right up my street mate!

Petrolhead

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Re: Critique my itinerary please!
« Reply #10 on: 22:43:07, 20/03/19 »
Re the fairy pools, last time I was in skye (it was a lovely day in the middle of summer, so you might be absolutely fine) it was vey difficult to get parked - cars all over the place. I had to leave it and return early next morning.


Thank you mate. I've just looked this up and it does indeed sound like it could be a bit of a nightmare. Plus it doesn't look like there are many options nearby either. I guess there's a slight advantage of 2pm on a Monday not being the most busy time but I'm not going over to Skye under any illusions. I'm expecting some parking difficulty. Again, the choice of car isn't particularly ideal either!


 :D


If it's too busy we'll probably just move on somewhere else. It's good to be prepared, thanks for the heads up.  O0

sparnel

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Re: Critique my itinerary please!
« Reply #11 on: 09:09:48, 21/03/19 »
For the record, a new car park and some other infrastructure is being built at the fairy pools. Might not be finished by the time you are there................

Petrolhead

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Re: Critique my itinerary please!
« Reply #12 on: 10:51:59, 21/03/19 »
For the record, a new car park and some other infrastructure is being built at the fairy pools. Might not be finished by the time you are there................


Thanks mate. I'm sure the locals will love that! Double edged sword huh? I want to be the tourist but I can fully understand why tourism should probably not be increased. I often feel for the residents in situations like this. We should have a bit of time to play with that day so if we need to park further away and make it a proper walk, so be it.

Owen

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Re: Critique my itinerary please!
« Reply #13 on: 13:52:09, 21/03/19 »
First time I went to the pools (1973) there were no signs, not even a footpath. A local told us about them. We had them to ourselves all day. Went back a few years ago, couldn't believe how much they'd change. No chance of a quiet skinny-dip there now.

Petrolhead

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Re: Critique my itinerary please!
« Reply #14 on: 15:01:57, 21/03/19 »
First time I went to the pools (1973) there were no signs, not even a footpath. A local told us about them. We had them to ourselves all day. Went back a few years ago, couldn't believe how much they'd change. No chance of a quiet skinny-dip there now.


Everything I've read about Skye has made it clear I should expect a bit of a tourist nightmare. But as I'll be one of them, it's hard to complain too much!