Scotland Journals

Scotland - Assorted Traveller Tips and Recommendations

A May 2004 trip to Scotland by shaunandtrish

Lindisfarne Castle Photo, Scotland, United Kingdom More Photos
Quote: I don't live that far from the Scottish border and I go there quite often. Sometimes it's recreational and we take the dogs along to do some walking; sometimes it's business. This journal will therefore get updated from time to time.

Scotland - Assorted Traveller Tips and Recommendations

Overview

Loch Clunie near Blairgowrie Photo, Scotland, United Kingdom
Quote:
Scotland is sparsely populated which means walking is a joy. There are fewer people to bump into and there is also a wide variety of wildlife to be seen if you keep your eyes open. The terrain is varied, there are a great many walks that are rugged and undulating, particularly if you venture to the west highlands, while other walks, like those south of the Clyde are less challenging, but still beautiful in a different way. Personally speaking I love that area within a 20-mile radius of Pitlochry. Its accessible highland scenery, being only 30 minutes or so north of Perth, and gives some beautiful forest, highland and loch side walks. The towns and villages in this area (Pitlochry, Braemar, Aberfel...Read More

West Cottage, Blairgowrie, Perthshire

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Story/Tip

West Cottage Photo, Perthshire, Scotland
Quote:
This is a lovely little single-storey cottage miles from anywhere in the middle of rolling agricultural land. It’s at the end of a short track off a very quiet single carriageway road (about one car every half hour passes by). The nearest village is Craigie. It was ideal for our dogs as there was no requirement to leash them (no sheep or traffic nearby). The garden is grassy and great for sitting outside to eat and drink on an evening. You'll see wildlife all around, rabbits (hundreds), deer, and loads of bird life literally in the garden sometimes. Inside, the cottage is roomy, comfy, clean, and warm. There are two bedrooms, one has a double bed, the other two singles. The liv...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 5, 2004

East Lochhead Country House & Cottages

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Hotel | "East Lochhead Country House and Cottages"

Quote:
We stayed here in early May 2003 for four nights, taking the dogs for their first Scottish holiday. Ideally I wanted to stay north of Glasgow, but I left the booking late and everywhere that accepted dogs was booked up (school holiday week). Anyway, I eventually found this place through this website (the bible). It’s a set of converted stone farm buildings, beautifully renovated and very clean. I think it’s best if I review this one as a set of pros and cons, as there are both, writing from the standpoint of someone travelling with two big boisterous dogs: Pros: 1. Scenic location, convenient spot for touring the southern west hi...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 5, 2004

East Lochhead Country House & Cottages
Largs Road
Lochwinnoch PA12 4DX
+44 (0)1505 842610

Queensferry Hotel

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Hotel | "Queensferry Lodge Hotel, nr Dunfermline"

Queensferry Hotel Photo, Fife, Scotland
Quote:
I stayed here on business a couple of nights because it was convenient to Dunfermline, where I was working. At about £55 per night, it’s a decent stop. It’s a Corus Hotel, so the standard is decent regarding comfort and facilities (pretty much what you'd expect, no more no less) and they do a very reasonable fixed price evening menu (three courses for about £10). The only minus point I noticed when I stayed was the noisy corridors. When your fellow guests return to and depart their rooms, it sounds like a charging football team because of the way the floors are. So if you're a light sleeper, you might want to ask about a quiet room when you check in. The main attraction of this place is its u...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 5, 2004

Queensferry Hotel
St. Margaret's Hotel - North Queensferry
Fife, Scotland KY11 1HP
+44 (870) 609-6160

Travel Inn

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Hotel | "Travel Inn, Livingston"

Quote:
Anyone who lives in the UK knows about Travel Inn. They are everywhere, usually on the outskirts of towns and on major routes. This one is on the outskirts of Livingston, just off the M8 Edinburgh/Glasgow motorway. The hotels themselves are so consistently identical that it is virtually pointless reviewing them independently. They are basic, clean, comfortable, secure, and fairly spacious. They are also invariably sited next to a "Brewers Fayre" or "Brewster" pub-type restaurant, which are great for a filling pub-type meal for £6-12 when you can't be bothered to travel. Anyway, even though everybody in the UK knows about them, I think its worthwhile pointing them out to the overseas visitor becaus...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 5, 2004

Travel Inn
Deer Park Avenue
Livingston, Scotland EH54 8AD
44 08701 977 161

Abbey Bridge Inn

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Hotel | "Abbey Bridge Inn, nr Carlisle"

Quote:
This place is not actually in Scotland; it’s on the English side of the border, but it’s got to go in some journal, so I've put it here. It’s about eight years since I was last here and I notice it’s changed hands since then, but it’s maintained its four stars, so I reckon standards must still be high. This is a great family guesthouse with comfy double rooms and mega full English breakfasts. It has an adjoining bar and restaurant (a converted barn) within which you are served excellent meals (not cheap, but great value for money). The bar area is small and cosy, and frequented by guests and locals (and sometimes their sheepdogs) alike. There’s a good selection of ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 5, 2004

Abbey Bridge Inn
Lanercost
Brampton, Cumbria
+44 0169772224

Holiday Inn Express Inverness

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Hotel | "Holiday Inn Express, Inverness"

Holiday Inn Express Inverness Photo, Inverness, Scotland
Quote:
Most people know about Holiday Inn Express, and this one is fairly typical. They tend to be a bit better than Travel Inn and, at £65-75 a night, a bit dearer. The rooms tend to be a bit more spacious and a bit smarter than Travel Inn and you get a few more TV channels. There are a couple of drawbacks, though. First, the rooms are not well soundproofed, so if you've got a screaming baby next door, it WILL keep you awake. Secondly, breakfast choice is limited to continental self-service and the coffee from the machine is rotten. There are also some nice touches, though. For example, there's a snack area in reception where you can buy emergency snacks (crisps, Mars bars, instant noodl...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 5, 2004

Holiday Inn Express Inverness
STONEFIELD
Inverness, Scotland
441463732700

Thistle Aberdeen Altens

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Hotel | "Altens Thistle Hotel, Aberdeen"

Thistle Aberdeen Altens Photo, Aberdeen, Scotland
Quote:
Thistle hotels are a bit more up-market than those aimed at the budget-minded business traveler, so you may stay here if someone else is paying. Saying that, whilst the website suggested that the standard B&B rate is £99, we successfully haggled them down to £75. This concession may well have had something to do with the 2-day conference we were running on site. We were spending quite a bit with them anyway. Okay, as for facilities. The rooms are quite large, clean, warm, and well equipped. The beds are big and comfy. There are several TV channels, including a sports channel. Breakfast involved a good range of standard British hot and cold choices of a decent quality. The lunches we had as par...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 10, 2005

Thistle Aberdeen Altens
Souterhead Road
Aberdeen, Scotland
+44 1224 877 000

Violet Bank House

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Hotel | "Violet Bank House, Edinburgh"

Violet Bank House Photo, Edinburgh, Scotland
Quote:
Another trip up to Scotland, another lodging entry - this time an interesting B&B sought out for me by our admin, looking for somewhere handy for me to stay while working at Edinburgh University Sighthill Campus (not the best area in Edinburgh by any means).Anyway, whilst Sighthill is not an area you'd really want to spend too much time in, the short drive out to the suburb of Currie on the Lanark Road finds you in much less threatening surroundings, and the Violet Bank Guest House is easy to find opposite the Hope Garage on the Lnark Road. So on with the review.Room: At £60 per night it was not cheap by any means for a B&B (company paying, why am I bothered?), but t...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 19, 2005

Violet Bank House
167 Lanark Road West
Edinburgh, Scotland EH14 5NZ
+44 (0)131 451 5103

Castle Campbell Hotel

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Hotel | "Castle Campbell Hotel, Dollar"

Quote:
I stayed here for 4 nights whilst I was working at a whiskey ageing facility up the road in Alloa. I found it via the good old visitscotland web-site. I wanted somewhere nice, a bit rural and away from Alloa itself which is quite gritty and intimidating in places, as are quite a few of these small towns in between Glasgow and Edinburgh.Dollar, on the other hand, just 8 miles up the road takes you into a different world. A small picturesque town at the foot of the spectacular Ochills, with Castle Cambell parked majestically on the hill to the north. The Castle Cambell Hotel is named after this building, but the hotel is not a castle in itself.The hotel is small, about 10 good si...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 8, 2006

Castle Campbell Hotel
11 Bridge Street
Dollar FK14 7DE
+44 1259 742519

The Snow Goose Photo, Inverness, Scotland
Quote:
The Snow Goose is a good choice to eat if you happen to be staying in the Holiday Inn Express - they are next door to each other, just off the A96 Nairn Road on the edge of Inverness. It’s a well-maintained and comfortable pub-type restaurant, with more emphasis on the food than the drinking side of things. Its location on a retail park just outside town will mean that most people using the Snow Goose will be driving to get there, so it's never going to be full of people enjoying a heavy drinking session. That said, the range and quality of beers is especially good. Food-wise there is a good bar menu with starters from about £3 and main courses from about £6.50 (fish & chips...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 6, 2004

Ben Vrackie

Attraction | "Ben Vrackie Hill Climb, near Pitlochry"

Ben Vrackie Photo, Pitlochry, Scotland
Quote:
For beginners who would like the satisfaction of getting a 850m peak under their belts, Ben Vrackie (speckled mountain) is a good place to begin. For a start it is highly accessible, with the trail starting just half a mile outside the creature comforts of Pitlochry, and the well-constructed and maintained track means that standard sports shoes are adequate for the hike, in dry weather at least. It starts with a fairly steep climb through a leafy wood, then quickly opens out onto the heather-covered slopes. The way is well marked and well used meaning there is no real danger of getting lost or stranded. The main things you'll need on this climb would be sunscreen and a litre of water on a clear...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 5, 2004

Ben Vrackie
North of Pitlochry
Perthshire, Scotland

Culloden Battlefield

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Attraction

Culloden Battlefield Photo, Inverness, Scotland
Quote:
On April 16, 1746, the last pitched battle to take place on British soil occurred on the battlefield of Culloden, about 5 miles east of Inverness. There is more about the history and background to the altercation here. Ultimately, it brought an end to the sporadic civil uprisings between the highland clans and the English government and its Scottish supporters. It was a bloody affair that took less than 1 hour to reach a conclusion, to all intents and purposes, a massacre. The site of the battle has been preserved and now supports a nice visitor centre that attempts to give an impression of what Jacobite life was like at the t...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 13, 2005

Culloden Battlefield
Culloden Moor
Inverness, Highland IV2 5EU
44 (0) 844 493 2159

Castle Stuart

Attraction | "Castle Stuart, near Inverness"

Castle Stuart Photo, Inverness, Scotland
Quote:
Strange one this. I'd been working in Inverness and finished while it was still light, so I thought I'd follow a few brown signs and see what I could find. Well, I took the Nairn Road out of Inverness to see the Culloden Battlefield and noticed a brown sign for Castle Stuart (1 mile). As it wasn't that far, I thought I may as well have a look. Anyway, to cut a long story short, it’s actually a 17th-century castle that's been converted into a hotel, so you can't really look around it. I got a photo of it from the road, so you can see what its like, and I found this website where you can make a reservation. It looks brilliant actually. Its just 3 miles outside I...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on March 13, 2005

Castle Stuart
Petty Parish
Inverness, Scotland IV2 7JH
+44 (0)1463 790745

Border Country Photo, Scotland, United Kingdom
Quote:
This website deserves an entry all to itself. It is THE source of information for the independent leisure traveller in Scotland. It’s chock full of information and links about Scotland's places, towns, regions, and history, and has an absolutely fantastic accommodation search facility that puts you directly in touch with hundreds of privately owned cottages, guest houses, etc. throughout the country. It’s impartial and the quality of information it contains is reliable and up-to-date. For me personally it has had two main invaluable uses: 1. Accommodation find. There's a clickable map of Scotland, you put a pi...Read More
Lindisfarne Castle Photo, Scotland, United Kingdom
Quote:
If you are travelling into Scotland from England, there are three choices for routes north, each of them different, each very worthwhile. Route 1. The Eastern Coastal Route Following the A1 to Edinburgh taking in Seahouses, the Farne Islands, Bambrough Castle and Lindisfarne. The A1 is fairly quick and convenient, but like the other roads in this journal is liberally peppered with speed cameras. It is a mixture of single and dual carriageway and follows the coast from north of Newcastle to the border at Berwick, then onto Edinburgh. The coast on this stretch is quite generally beautiful and bleak, but punctuated by nice fishing villages like Amb...Read More