Scotland Journals

The MacDougalls Go to Scotland

A July 2003 trip to Scotland by smacdoug

Gylen Castle (Isle of Kererra) Photo, Scotland, United Kingdom More Photos
Quote: This journal provides information about our two weeks in the Scottish Highlands and Tayside, Central, and Grampian regions. Information about a third week spent in the Scottish Lowlands and Edinburgh is described in a separate journal titled "Edinburgh During the Festival".

The MacDougalls Go to Scotland

Overview

Quote:
Historic castles and monuments, hikes, city tours, distillery tours, Loch Ness tour, battlefields, islands, museums, etc. You could write a book on each of these, but I only have 200 words. One highlight of or trip was a hike in the Birks of Aberfeldy, a nature walk that inspired Robert Burns to immortalize the hike in a poem. It's located in Aberfeldy near the Moness Country Club. Quick Tips: The travel guides we read specifically mentioned that there was no need to bring large amounts of cash or travellers cheques since ABM and credit cards work everywhere. If you're thinking the same thing, you might want to do some research beforehand. Our ABM card never worked once ...Read More
Moness Country Club Photo, Aberfeldy, Scotland
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Best Things Nearby:The Birks of Aberfeldy, Castle Menzies, Dewars Distillery.Best Things About the Resort:The best thing about this timeshare was it's central location. From here, it's no more than two hours to just about every other popular tourist spot in all of Scotland.Resort Experience:The grounds were beautiful and well maintained. The accommodations were clean and adequate for our purposes during our first week in Scotland, but could use a bit of general maintenance (new paint, carpet, flooring etc). The mattress was well broken in and was very uncomfortable to sleep on. The pool area could also use a bit of sprucing up. Laundry facilities were expe...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 10, 2003

Moness Country Club
Crieff Road
Aberfeldy, Scotland PH15 2DY
01887 820446

Melfort Village

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

Melfort Village Photo, Oban, Scotland
Quote:
Best Things Nearby:Historic castles, Kilmartin Museum, Oban Distillery, McCaig's Tower, Island Ferrys, The Atlantic Bridge, Oban Rare Breeds park, horseback riding.Best Things About the Resort:The timeshare is located in the Argyll region, the origin of many highland clans. As such, it the ideal location for many Scottish decendants to trace their roots and learn more about the history of their family. The timeshare itself is one of the most beautiful and unique I've visited. It's located 1 mile down a one-lane road in a restored village that was once a gunpowder factory. As a result, you're staying in cottages that are nearly 200 years old. Don't worry, however, the cot...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 10, 2003

Melfort Village
Kilmelford
Oban, Argyll, Scotland PA34 4XD
+44 (0)1852-200257

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This restaurant is located on the resort grounds but operated privately. Being located within a restored 200-year-old building adds a certain degree of atmosphere that's hard to duplicate.


Most of the patrons appeared to be from Kilmelford or Oban and were not staying at the resort. The prices were somewhat high, but the food was excellent. For a more reasonably priced meal of similar quality, try the Tartan Puffer, located in Kilmelford.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 11, 2003

The Tartan Puffer

Story/Tip

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The Tartan Puffer is located about a mile away from Melfort Village. When we arrived we were first taken to the bar to have a drink and look at the menu. Having a drink at the bar before eating seems to be common practice in Scotland. We placed our food order at the bar and were given an option of eating in the bar or the restaurant. Most of the items on the menu are grilled, and the barbecue is located right in the dining area. All of the food is prepared right before your eyes. Seafood is the specialty of the house due to its coastal location, but there are a variety of other meats to choose from as well. We had salmon fillets. It was one of the best and most rea...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 11, 2003

Machrie Moor Stone Circles Photo, Scotland, United Kingdom
Quote:
Perhaps the fact that it was raining, or the fact that the ferry ride to the island cost 34 pounds, or the 1 hour hike through sheep dung soured my perceptions, but this attraction was definitely not worth it. Yes, it's interesting to view the evidence of ancient cultures that existed 5000 years ago, but these stone formations are nothing spectacular. They are essentially just stones that have been arranged in a circle. Nothing that really makes you marvel about how such a feat was accomplished 5000 years ago (like Stonehenge might). About the only thing we took away from this road trip was the ability to say we had visited Arran. If you're interested in stone forma...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on August 14, 2003

Heilan' Coo Photo, Oban, Scotland
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The park is located near Oban, several miles down a single lane road. The park is primarily designed for children so you can expect lots of cute and cuddly animals for the kids to pet and feed.


Many of the animals are behind fences, but there are a couple of areas that humans can enter and see the animals up close (watch where you step!). The exhibits are mostly different kinds of sheep, although there are some "heilan' coos" (the rare wholly highland version of the cow), deer, donkeys, etc. as well. You can buy bags of food at the gate to feed the animals. It's definitely worthwhile if you have kids.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 11, 2003

Isle of Kererra

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Gylen Castle (Isle of Kererra) Photo, Scotland, United Kingdom
Quote:
The Isle of Kererra can be reached by a ferry you catch from a pier on Gallanach Road. There is a gravel road that roughly follows the coast of this small island. You can take either direction. There is a tearoom located roughly half-way around the island. Taking the clockwise route is perhaps the shortest way to the tearoom (1-1.5 hours, depending on how fast you walk). The road is hilly in sections and passes through several private farms. You're inside the fences with the sheep for much of your walk, so watch where you step. The views around the island are spectacular. The tearoom offers a limited selection of sandwiches, drinks, and desserts at a slightly infla...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 11, 2003

National Wallace Monument

Attraction | "Wallace Monument"

National Wallace Monument Photo, Stirling, Scotland
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Built over 200 years ago, this monument to Scotland's national hero can be seen from just about anywhere in Stirling due to its location atop a mountain. You must first drive to the base of the mountain, where you pay your admission. You then have the choice of walking to the top, or taking the shuttle. I recommend the shuttle as walking can be quite dangerous (pedestrians share the same narrow winding road as the shuttle does). When you reach the top, you enter the monument and present your ticket. Inside there is a giftshop and a tearoom at the base. To reach the top, you must malk up an extremely narrow circular staircase. There's barely enough room for a single person to walk up, y...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 10, 2003

National Wallace Monument
Summit of Abbey Craig
Stirling, Scotland FK9 5LF
+44 (1786) 472140

Dunstaffnage Castle Photo, Oban, Scotland
Quote:
You can't throw a stone in Scotland without hitting a castle or palace. Our trip to Scotland was highlighted by a visit to three castles built by my family (the MacDougall clan) several centuries ago. They are mostly ruins now, demonstrating our violent past.



We also visited several other castles in Aberfeldy, Stirling, Perth, Edinburgh, and Inverness. Rather than trying to create a separate entry for each one (which would take days) I've attached several photos here. See the attached photos here.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 10, 2003

More Castles

Story/Tip

Edinburgh Castle Photo, Edinburgh, Scotland
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See entry "Castles and Palaces" for a general description, as well as pictures of several other castles in Scotland and short descriptions. Please excuse the rambling as I had to pad this description up to 25 words before the system would take it.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 10, 2003

The Birks of Aberfeldy Photo, Scotland, United Kingdom
Quote:
The Birks of Aberfeldy was considered so beautiful by Robert Burns, that he was inspired to imortalize it in a poem of the same name (the walk being named after the poem was written, and Birks refers to the Birch trees that are featured predominantly along the walk). It definitely is a beautiful hike. The path is well-maintained and steep in areas, however staircases have been constructed, as well as fences and other safety measures. The hike, therefore, is not difficult. The path follows a stream, complete with waterfalls, and leads through various foliage. There is ample parking at the entrance, as well as brochures, which outline all of the plants you might enco...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 2, 2003