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Tour of Scotland

danny la rouge

Raddled old poet
Start at the University Cafe in Byres Road.
Next stop Corrieri’s, Stirling.
Then the Anstruther Fish Bar.
Then Cromars Classic Fish & Chips, St Andrews.
Then the Bay Fish and Chips, Stonehaven.
Then across to Fochabers Fish Bar, Fochabers
Thence to Beauly for the Friary
Then Deli-Ca-Sea in Ullapool
Then the Harbour Fish Bar, Plockton
Then the Real Food Cafe, Tyndrum
Mhor Fish, Callander
End at the Merchant Chippie on Glasgow’s High Street.
 

pogofish

Testicle Hairstyle
October could still be an issue on Skye - for much of the year, Skye’s current level of popularity means that accommodation books-out months in advance, although there is a f-book page called Skyerooms where b&b owners list cancellations etc

Similarly the main sights can get utterly mobbed and indeed clogged with visitors who have no experience of single track roads - which causes traffic issues. Choosing places that aren’t on Rick Steve’s List of must-sees for clueless Americans will help as there are still places they haven’t discovered.

Otherwise, Danny’s suggestions are good. Places North of Skye do settle down earlier - and areas like Argyll/Highland Perthshire too. Although many smaller places/b&bs/attractions do shut for the winter at the end of September but the landscape remains.

Oban, Ullapool, and Perthshire are all places I’ve visited in October and got accommodation easily - sometimes at very substantial discounts.

I’ll add the chipper and ice cream shop in Portsoy to Danny’s list - both superb, and the northern coast of Aberdeenshire, into the Moray Firth is a seriously neglected part of the land magnificent coastline, beaches, history and easy access to Strathspey (distilleries/castles/mountains) and the Cairngorms/Rothiemurchus (mountains/forests/wildlife) The Aviemore/Grantown on Spey area is also a year-round kind of place. Grantown would be my preferred place but Aviemore is a good, if not that attractive hub for a superb area.

Mountain Cafe in Aviemore is great for breakfast and the Red Squirrel at Glenmore is great for red squirrels.
 

pogofish

Testicle Hairstyle
And lately, I’d say that The Carron in Stonehaven has taken its crown back from The Bay as the best chipper - although you can still get excellent suppers from The Bay, it can vary - could be that their popularity has made it more difficult to secure a consistent supply of good fish?

About the only places I’d suggest you avoid are the Inverness/Loch Ness area and Fort William, which are IMO the most grossly over-promoted destinations in Scotland. Inverness is a dull modern city with attractions you can see fully in a couple of hours, whilst Drumnadrochit/Urquhart Castle is an unscenic/embarrassing/rip-off tourist trap. The eastern Side of Loch Ness is better in every respect and Foyers/Fort Augustus are nice villages with the best views and far better access to the loch itself. There are other far better places you could visit around Inverness.

Fort William is similarly dull and mostly uninteresting - although it is very well placed for superb mountain country and Arisaig, plus the canal locks at Caol and the views of Ben Nevis are superb. However, it has a lot of accommodation and in the off-season, the tour bus hotels do get into cut-throat price competition, so you can get basic rooms very cheap. Food-wise, the Nevis Bakery produces some of the best steak pies I’ve ever tasted and now their shop in Oban is gone, this is a major reason to stop in Ft William. It will also be getting a really good and eccentric cafe soon, as a couple from Aberdeenshire are just about to move their entire operation there as a new start after losing their daughter but they won’t be open till November. Apart from that, Oban beats it hands-down in almost every respect - and the big hotels there do also discount in the off season, plus it has a good youth hostel and other choices.

Another very good thing is that by October, the midgies will be non-existent,
 
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geminisnake

a complex mass of conflicting ideas
Start at the University Cafe in Byres Road.
Next stop Corrieri’s, Stirling.
Then the Anstruther Fish Bar.
Then Cromars Classic Fish & Chips, St Andrews.

Stop in to visit ME!!

Then the Bay Fish and Chips, Stonehaven.
Then across to Fochabers Fish Bar, Fochabers
Thence to Beauly for the Friary
Then Deli-Ca-Sea in Ullapool
Then the Harbour Fish Bar, Plockton
Then the Real Food Cafe, Tyndrum
Mhor Fish, Callander
End at the Merchant Chippie on Glasgow’s High Street.
I fixed it for you :D And I second avoid Fort William, I like the Burghead/Lossiemouth area, and north of Inverness. Hate driving on the west coast because of the twats that can't drive, and I think the north east is vastly overlooked when it is indeed quite lovely(that's why we still live here fgs!) Depends on what you want to see? Scenery? Horrid big mountains? Castles/brochs/standing stones/stone circles?
 

Spymaster

Cockney Wanker
Cheers for all the replies. Some proper thought in there. Very kind.

My main priority is scenic driving. I'd like to see some mountains but I've no intention of climbing up the fucking things. Having looked at all your recommendations and a map I'm thinking of the following as a starting point.

The first journey on Pilch's link, Edinburgh to Glencoe looks unmissable. Oban and Inverary likewise. So:

Edinburgh (one night) - Glencoe (two nights): Glencoe looks beautiful so a day walking locally and second day a trip up to Fort William for a meat pie.
Glencoe - Oban (one night): Day spent tooling around Oban and surrounds.
Oban - Inverary (one night): Day in and around Inverary.
Inverary - Callander (one night): Piss about around there (suggestions?)
Callander - Edinburgh (last night).

Does that work? Should I be a bit more ambitious and go further? I was thinking driving 3-4 hours a day.
 
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19sixtysix

Life as viewed from a Gay Gorbals Garret
For scenic drives. Glasgow to Campbeltown and on to the Mull of Kintyre lighthouse will give you some grand scenery.
 

pogofish

Testicle Hairstyle
Cheers for all the replies. Some proper thought in there. Very kind.

My main priority is scenic driving. I'd like to see some mountains but I've no intention of climbing up the fucking things. Having looked at all your recommendations and a map I'm thinking of the following as a starting point.

The first journey on Pilch's link, Edinburgh to Glencoe looks unmissable. Oban and Inverary likewise. So:

Edinburgh (one night) - Glencoe (two nights): Glencoe looks beautiful so a day walking locally and second day a trip up to Fort William for a meat pie.
Glencoe - Oban (one night): Day spent tooling around Oban and surrounds.
Oban - Inverary (one night): Day in and around Inverary.
Inverary - Callander (one night): Piss about around there (suggestions?)
Callander - Edinburgh (last night).

Does that work? Should I be a bit more ambitious and go further? I was thinking driving 3-4 hours a day.
That looks very viable, yes and plenty of scenic driving without crazy mileage. South of Oban, you also have much of Argyll and the odd little slate villages like Easdale to explore.

Glen Coe - the approach across Rannoch Moor on the A82 is magnificent and the best way to be going. Also consider taking a detour down Glen Etive from the head of Glen Coe - this glen is also quite magnificent. See if you can spot where the Aston Martin scene from Skyfall was shot!

Lots around Callendar - various routes through the Trossachs, Inchmahome Priory on the Lake of Menteith - visit the grave of Cunninghame-Graham, the first socialist MP in the UK, amongst other things:

Cunninghame Graham - Wikipedia

Or Doune Castle - historic and well used in the media. Monty Python, Outlander and the original Winterfell for three.
 
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neonwilderness

What would Badgers do?
Edinburgh (one night) - Glencoe (two nights): Glencoe looks beautiful so a day walking locally and second day a trip up to Fort William for a meat pie.
Glencoe - Oban (one night): Day spent tooling around Oban and surrounds.
Glencoe is a great drive. If you're staying there, maybe take a trip down Glen Etive too, it's a lot quieter and very scenic.

I'd struggle to spend a day in Fort William, but you could maybe combine it with a trip out towards Arisaig/Mallaig, but don't bother stopping at Glenfinnan it'll be full of Harry Potter tourists :D

A couple of years ago I did Oban - Fort William via Mull and Ardnamurchan, so the reverse might workable with your plan. The Ardnamurchan peninsula was pretty scenic and very quiet IIRC, you'd need to plan in the ferries though.
 

pogofish

Testicle Hairstyle
Ardnamurchan is indeed superb. Lots of slow single track road though but worth taking the time. Also a good place to spot Golden Eagles - they often circle over the Corran Narrows and I have got within a few feet of one, sitting proudly by the road to Strontian.

The Hungry Highlander cafe bus from Salen has relocated to Aberdeen Beach though.
 

Ted Striker

Foot's on the other hand
Is Cairngorms do-able? We were there earlier this year, and it feels like you are in a driving commercial (such is it's natural beauty, great roads, and no-one else around).

I don't doubt there must be other areas like it too though :cool:
 

Spymaster

Cockney Wanker
Is Cairngorms do-able? We were there earlier this year, and it feels like you are in a driving commercial (such is it's natural beauty, great roads, and no-one else around).

I don't doubt there must be other areas like it too though :cool:
Someone else said that. I’m just wary of trying to see too much in a week. It’ll be dark by 7ish too which is also limiting.
 

planetgeli

There's no future in England's dreaming
And it will be pissing down anywhere near mountains. You really should have done this in August.
 

neonwilderness

What would Badgers do?
Someone else said that. I’m just wary of trying to see too much in a week. It’ll be dark by 7ish too which is also limiting.
You could do Oban on the way up to Glencoe, then from there go up Loch Ness to Inverness then south through Aviemore etc?
 
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