Scotland Journals

Scotland, Back to the Home of Golf, and More

Best of IgoUgo

An August 2005 trip to Scotland by txgolferguy

Urquhart Castle Photo, Drumnadrochit, Scotland More Photos
Quote: Every true golfer at some point in their life must play in the country where it all started. However, you surely don't want to leave out any of the other great reasons to visit Scotland.

Glenderran Guest House

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

Glenderran Guest House Photo, St. Andrews, Scotland
Quote:
Glenderran House was a joy to stay at. Ray and Maggie made us feel at home immediately upon our arrival. There was limited parking, due the carnival that was in town. Ray immediately jumped in the car with me and directed me to a place where he knew I could park the car. He was amazed that, as an American, I had been driving around Scotland all week and still had my wing mirrors intact.Located just two blocks away from the St. Andrews Golf Courses, Glenderran House is convenient to both golf and shopping. Our stay was very enjoyable. We stayed in a recently renovated double room, which we thought was very charming (pictures of the room are attached). The bed was very comfortable, and there...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 7, 2006

Glenderran Guest House
9 Murray Park
St. Andrews, Scotland
+44 (1334) 477 951

Trafford Bank Guest House

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

Trafford Bank Guest House Photo, Inverness, Scotland
Quote:
Inverness is a loaded with picturesque bed and breakfast inns. Trafford Bank House is about seven blocks from the town, on Fairfield Road. Trafford bank has five rooms, each one of them rather large. We stayed in the Floral room (see attached pictures). It was beautiful and faced the front lawn. The bathroom overlooked the garden.The owners were very helpful during our stay, including obtaining our restaurant reservations. There was adequate parking for all of the guests on the property. The garden area made a great place to relax. The living room was nicely appointed, and the greenhouse where breakfast is served allowed views of the garden as well.The breakfast was tasty and included ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 7, 2006

Trafford Bank Guest House
96 Fairfield Road
Inverness, Scotland IV35LL
+44 (0)1463 241414

Fairmont St Andrews

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Hotel | "St. Andrews Bay Resort & Spa"

Fairmont St Andrews Photo, St. Andrews, Scotland
Quote:
St. Andrews Bay Resort & Spa is located just a few miles south of the town of St. Andrews on St. Andrews Bay. The resort is set far from the main road on a large piece of property. The resort also includes two great championship golf courses.The resort is well equipped to handle all of your needs—from fine dining, a nice bar area, large lobby for relaxing or catching a snack, or the spa facilities. The guest rooms are huge, with views of either the bay or the surrounding grounds. The guest rooms are luxurious and the bathrooms are large. The heated floor in the bathroom was a nice touch, in addition to the heated towel rack.If you are looking for the best and want to be pampered, S...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 7, 2006

Fairmont St Andrews

St. Andrews, Scotland KY16 8PN
+441334 837000

Dunvegan's Hotel/Restaurant/Pub

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Restaurant

Dunvegan's Hotel/Restaurant/Pub Photo, Scotland, United Kingdom
Quote:
If you don't stop in at Dunvegan's and have a pint, or try another new single malt scotch, you missed a real treat. This is by far St. Andrews' best watering hole. Every major golfer is friends with the owners. The pub is lined with the photos of the owners and golf's greats. This time I tried Lagavulin, a single malt scotch from the island of Islay. With its peaty aroma it has a very distinctive taste. Laphroaig is another single malt scotch from the same island, all with the peaty aroma. It doesn't get any better sipping on one of these tasty treats and smoking a stogie outside on the patio watching folks go by (absolutely no smoking inside though). While Dunvegan's may be better known a...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 7, 2006

Dunvegan's Hotel/Restaurant/Pub
7 Pilmour Place
St. Andrews, Scotland
+44 (1334) 473-105

The Oak Room

Restaurant

The Oak Room Photo, Scotland, United Kingdom
Quote:
The Oak Room is one of the better restaurants in St. Andrews that is moderately priced. Both the food and service is good. There is a separate bar area with sitting for about 20 folks. In the dining room there are about a dozen tables. The decor is simple buy cozy.

Conveniently located on North Street it is easily accessible from anywhere in town. An interesting point is that while the food is good, we did not need a reservation to get in, which was requirement to get into any of the other good restaurants in St. Andrews.

While at the Oak Room we were introduced to a Spanish wine. It was modestly priced, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 8, 2006

The Oak Room
127 North Street
St. Andrews, Scotland

Riva Ristorante Italiano

Restaurant | "Riva Restaurant"

Riva Ristorante Italiano Photo, Scotland, United Kingdom
Quote:
Located across the River Ness from the Inverness Castle, Riva was conveniently located near our bed and breakfast and all of the other major sites in Inverness. We really enjoyed this restaurant. The food was great, but the service was a little slow. The wait staff was working hard, so I am not sure if the issue was that they were shorthanded or experiencing more customers than normal. The restaurant was packed, and we made reservations earlier in the day.

The restaurant is relatively small, and is definitely one of the better restaurants in town. They have some excellent dishes and a good wine selection.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 9, 2006

Riva Ristorante Italiano
4-6 Ness Walk
Inverness, Scotland IV3 5NE
+44 (1463) 237377

Carnoustie Golf Links

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Carnoustie Golf Links - Championship Course"

Carnoustie Golf Links Photo, Scotland, United Kingdom
Quote:
Golf has been played over the links at Carnoustie since the 1500s but the present course came into being in 1850 when it was designed by Alan Robertson of St. Andrews. Some 20 years later the legendary Old Tom Morris improved and extended the course to 18 holes and in 1926 the famous architect James Braid redesigned the Championship course extensively. Golfing at Carnoustie is a true test of your golf skills. Carnoustie is a relatively short drive from St. Andrews, where we were staying. The golf course is easy to find in the town of Carnoustie. There are well marked signs providing directions on how to get to the golf course.To arrange tee times, it is best to contact the pro sho...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 1, 2006

Carnoustie Golf Links

Carnoustie DD7 7JF
+44 (0)1241 802270

Glenfiddich Distillery

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Attraction

Glenfiddich Distillery Photo, Scotland, United Kingdom
Quote:
As soon as you step out of your car in the parking lot of the distillery, you can smell the wonderful odor of single malt whisky. Also, you can tell right away that Located in Dufftown on Scotland's famed Whisky Trail, Glenfiddich is serious about the way they conduct their tours. There are special facilities set up for this very reason. The tour starts with a short movie about the history of Glenfiddich. Glenfiddich, Gaelic for "Valley of the Deer," is one of the oldest distilleries still in existence.The folks at Glenfiddich do an awesome job of spending time with you during the tour to ensure they answer every question you may have. And, you get to see every step of the process. Glenfiddich...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 1, 2006

Glenfiddich Distillery
Dufftown
Dufftown, Scotland AB55 4DH

St. Andrews Links - The Old Course

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Attraction

St. Andrews Links - The Old Course Photo, Scotland, United Kingdom
Quote:
Where else can you play on one of the best courses in the world? Also, where else can you simply cross a public street, within a town, and be standing in front of the 1st hole tee box or the 18th hole green?I would highly recommend obtaining a caddie. The caddie will provide all of the pointers you need, to have an enjoyable round. Remember you did not come all this way to play badly. The caddie master will arrange a caddie for you. You will pay the caddie directly the standard fee plus any tip, usually an amount equal to the standard fee at the end of the round. The course is a fair test of your skills. As you may be aware it is critical to stay out of the bunkers. Also, the green...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 7, 2006

St. Andrews Links - The Old Course
Pilmour House
St. Andrews, Scotland
+44 (1334) 466666

Glenalbyn Bar

Attraction | "Glenalbyn Tavern"

Glenalbyn Bar Photo, Inverness, Scotland
Quote:
Glenalbyn Tavern is a good example of a true Scottish pub. The pub was loaded with locals just after the end of the work day. Most of the clientele were business professionals, but there appeared to be a few tourists as well. It is also a great place to catch a nightcap after dining at the Riva restaurant just across the street on Ness Walk.

I chose to try another single malt scotch. This time I chose one of Scotland's more popular ones, Glenmorangie, which is made just north of Inverness in the town of Tain. You should definitely stop in and try one as well.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 7, 2006

Glenalbyn Bar
2 Young Street
Inverness
01463 231 637

Stirling Castle

Attraction

Stirling Castle Photo, Stirling, Scotland
Quote:
While we were too late to join a tour to go through the castle, it was probably the one we should not have missed. If anything, though, the view from on top of the hill, where the castle is located, is awesome (see attached photos). Stirling Castle would definitely meet those childhood visions you conjured up of what a castle was really like, immense and sitting on top of a hill. I will make sure I don't miss it on my return trip.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 7, 2006

Stirling Castle
Castle Hill
Stirling FK8 1EH
+44 (1786) 475165

National Wallace Monument

Attraction | "William Wallace Monument"

National Wallace Monument Photo, Stirling, Scotland
Quote:
The William Wallace monument is located atop a hill outside of Stirling. At the base of the hill lies the William Wallace museum and another monument in the likeness of Mel Gibson, who made William Wallace famous the world over through his role in the 1995 movie "Braveheart." William Wallace and Robert the Bruce are Scotland's most notable military heroes.To go to the monument you will walk up a pretty steep small road. A small bus is available for those of you who may be physically handicapped, or too tired to make the hike up.Once atop the hill, you will encounter some great views of the surrounding countryside, including Stirling Castle sitting atop another hill in the distance....Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 7, 2006

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

Nairn Golf Club—Championship Course

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Story/Tip

Nairn Golf Course club house Photo, Inverness, Scotland
Quote:
The Championship Course at Nairn Golf Club has been the site of many qualifying golf tournaments. The course is set along the Moray Firth, and includes mostly gently rolling terrain, but does have a couple of holes leading uphill and downhill. I found the course challenging and well worth the reasonable green fee.As usual with Scottish golf links, the fairways are hard and so are the greens. It seems your drive goes forever. However, be careful to ensure you roll your ball up to the green, because a ball hit to the green does not stick. There is the occasional pot-hole bunker in the fairway that requires going out sideways or backwards. A caddie is not essential here since the course i...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 7, 2006

Loch Lomond Park Centre

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Attraction

Loch Lomond Park Centre Photo, Glasgow, Scotland
Quote:
On the A82 heading north outside of Glasgow, one of the first towns you come to is the town of Luss. Luss is a quaint town, and very scenic. It is located on Scotland's favorite loch, Loch Lomond. Loch Lomond was the subject of Sir Walter Scott's novel "Lady of the Lake."

Luss was our first stop after departing Glasgow airport on our way north to spend the night in Inverness. Luss is a small, quaint and very picturesque town. The dock, located nearby, extends into the lake where you get a great sense of tranquility. You also get a sense of a slower pace of life as you walk through the town. It is a great stop off point to relax or enjoy lunch at the Coach House Coffee Shop.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 7, 2006

Loch Lomond Park Centre
Luss
Glasgow, Scotland G83 8PA
+44 1436 860601

St. Andrews Bay Golf Resort & Spa

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Attraction | "St. Andrews Bay Resort & Spa - Devlin Course"

St. Andrews Bay Golf Resort & Spa Photo, St. Andrews, Scotland
Quote:
The St. Andrews Bay Resort-Devlin course has the best views of St. Andrews bay of any other course in the vicinity. Additionally, you can see the entire town of St. Andrews as well. St. Andrews Bay Resort has another course, the Torrence course, but the views are not as cool. However, either course is a challenge and a joy to play for the golfer. St. Andrews Bay Resort is located just a few miles south of the town of St. Andrews. The resort is located on a large expanse of property on the St. Andrews Bay. The Pro Shop is adequately supplied and a great restaurant occupies the same facility. The staff is very friendly and helpful. Since this course is fairly open, it is definitely a "what you s...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 7, 2006

St. Andrews Bay Golf Resort & Spa
St. Andrews Bay
St. Andrews, Scotland KY16 8PN
+44 (1334) 837000

Urquhart Castle

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness"

Urquhart Castle Photo, Drumnadrochit, Scotland
Quote:
Located next to Scotland's most famous lochs, Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle is the quintessential medieval castle. There is adequate parking to visit the castle along the A82. The castle's visitor center is quite modern and contains many amenities that makes the visit enjoyable, including a well-stocked souvenir shop and restaurant. Before you head off to view the castle though, make sure you become well acquainted with the model of the castle and view the short background film in the theatre, both of which are located in the visitor center.There is a rather lengthily walk from the visitor center to the castle, so please be prepared if you need assistance. The walk back is actually more d...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 8, 2006

Urquhart Castle

Drumnadrochit

Culloden Battlefield

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Attraction

Culloden Battlefield Photo, Inverness, Scotland
Quote:
As you approach the Culloden Battlefield you quickly get a sense of why the Scots chose to stand their ground at this location. Far outnumbered by the English forces in 1746, the Scottish clans fought valiantly, but lost the battle. There are numerous monuments marking the various fallen clans, which adds a rather haunting element to the visit. Additionally, there is a larger monument dedicated to all who fought in the battle. The Culloden Battlefield was the sight of the last major battle on British soil, and ended Scotland's fight for independence.As you approach the battlefield a short distance from the visitor center, you immediately come upon where the English were stationed. It is a rela...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 8, 2006

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

Bannockburn National Heritage Centre

Attraction | "Bannockburn Battlefield"

Bannockburn National Heritage Centre Photo, Scotland, United Kingdom
Quote:
Bannockburn battlefield is the sight of one of Scotland's most famous battles. In 1314 King Robert The Bruce turned back the English forces and won the war, which resulted in peace between the two nations for over 30 years.

Other than the statute of Robert The Bruce there is not a lot to see on the battlefield. Additionally, the surrounding area unfortunately has been built upon, so it is not as scenic as say the Culloden Battlefield, which appears more remote and somewhat in its native environment.

The visitor center provides a good background about the battle.

For more information go to:
www.geo.ed.ac.uk/scotgaz/features/featurefirst1039.html

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 8, 2006

Bannockburn National Heritage Centre
Route A9
Stirling, Scotland

Cawdor Castle

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Cawdor Castle Photo, Nairn, Scotland
Quote:
Unfortunately, they do not allow photograph inside the castle. However, don't let that stop you from taking some wonderful photos of the the castle gardens. There is a long road to the parking lot, and a rather long walk to the ticket booth. From there, you walk through tall trees lining the road to the castle. The castle is accessed by a drawbridge. Once inside the castle you enter through a side door to begin the tour.The castle has been increased in size over time, including the addition of a modern kitchen. Until recently, the castle was actually someone's home. There are plenty of great artifacts to see, and there are all appropriately described by either a audio tour or by simply reading...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 8, 2006

Cawdor Castle

Nairn IV12 5RD
+44 (1667) 404401

Inverness Castle

Attraction

Inverness Castle Photo, Inverness, Scotland
Quote:
Located in the city of Inverness, the Inverness Castle is located on a summit overlooking the town of Inverness. From the top of the hill you can get some great views to the west of the town and of the River Ness. The castle was built in 1835.

Inverness Castle is near the site of an older castle where it is rumoured that the murder of Duncan in Shakespear's Mabeth took place. It is now the houses the Sheriff's court. Near the rear of the castle is a statue of Flora MacDonald. Flora was made a heroine in Scotland for helping Bonnie Prince Charlie flee from the English after the Battle of Culloden in 1746.

For more information see:
www.castles.org/Chatelaine/INVERNES.HTM

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 9, 2006

Inverness Castle

Inverness, Scotland

St. Andrews Cathedral

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "St. Andrew Cathedral"

St. Andrews Cathedral Photo, St. Andrews, Scotland
Quote:
Located next to St. Andrews Bay, St. Andrews cathedral is a definite must see. While there is nothing but ruins left now, you get a definite sense of what a mighty structure it once was.Conviently located at the end of North Street, the St. Andrews Cathedral has a storied past. Entry is free, and there are plenty of markers throughout the cathedral grounds providing background and interesting details. The cathedral was built over several centuries, beginning in the 12th century. The differences in the architecture are visible from one end of the cathedral to the other. the massive stone bases for the once-present stone columns, and the 3-feet thick walls of the cathedral are most impre...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 9, 2006

St. Andrews Cathedral

St. Andrews, Scotland

Scotland Driving Tour - Part 1

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

The western highlands Photo, Scotland, United Kingdom
Quote:
A journal of Scotland would not be complete without discussing and showing the beautiful countryside as we made our way around from town to town.During our week long vacation in Scotland our journey took us from Glasgow, north to Inverness, to the east to visit the Whisky Trail, and then south to St. Andrews. I generally don't drive when I visit the British Isles, but it is the only way to go if you want to take charge of your own itinerary. We did a great amount of planning for trip, using IgoUgo of course, and had created an itinerary that provided lots of flexibility should our plans change. The trip consisted of lots of sightseeing (as noted by the many reviews in this journal) and golfing...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 9, 2006

Scotland Driving Tour - Part 2

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

The western highlands Photo, Scotland, United Kingdom
Quote:
The biggest source of frustration was my miscalculation of the amount of time it took to get from one point to another. To the road conditions, you would be lucky to average 50 mph. Thus, you should multiply the drive time factor by 50%. In a couple of cases it was worse. On our journey from St. Andrews to Stirling to see the Stirling Castle we unfortunately got behind a large tractor. We followed that tractor for over an hour. There are no passing lanes or opportunities to pass due to the winding roads. Needless to say, my mouth needed washing out badly by the time the tractor finally pulled off the road.While I noted that I quickly adopted all of the driving changes, it is necessary to remin...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 9, 2006

St. Andrews Walking Tour

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

St. Andrews Walking Tour Photo, St. Andrews, Scotland
Quote:
The town of St. Andrews has a lot to offer, from great shops to great golf. There are also a number of good restaurants. Unfortunately though, there are not enough good ones to go around. It is imperative that you make a reservation if you want to eat at one of the better restaurants.Additionally, there are plenty of medieval ruins and centuries old buildings to admire, St. Andrews Cathedral, St. Andrews Castle, and others. One of favorite signs that we found humorous was the "Watch for Elderly People" sign (check out the picture of me by the sign). I am not sure if it means that ederly people ignore other signs or are prone to stepping in the middle of traffic.Also of note is the St. ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 31, 2006

St. Andrews Walking Tour
St. Andrews
St. Andrews, Scotland