Wednesday, February 20, 2013

UK 2013 part 9 - tentative routes in Scotland

Today we looked into Scotland.

Dean wants to go back to Edinburgh and go visit the Castle, which costs £16 each and is open from 9:30 to 6 (last admission at 5)

He wants to walk the Royal Mile again. Fine. I like walking.

We could even eat at the same restaurant as last time.

From There we will drive up to our final destination of the day. But wait! And just sit around and rest? But we are not going to to rest!

No way!

What about all the other days we have there?

We started looking for key words such as "Scotland off the beaten path" and "Back Roads Scotland" "Things to see in Scotland" and I came across this website:

The link is already taking you to the part I care about which was relatively hard to find.

(Since I like to be able to re-do my steps, let me register that here:

If I ever need to get there from, here is the way: hover the mouse over travel, click on around Scotland, scroll down to the bottom of the page, click on Scotland's National Routes)

This page gives suggestions of drives you can take in Scotland.

My criticism of this site is that the drives don't come with maps. Not detailed maps - I don't need those, but maps which would high light the area in wich the walks are being suggested. Kind of that first page of each drive suggested by those Eyewitness Travel Books. I'd like to have an idea of which area you are suggesting me to drive through before I waste my time reading the whole paragraph.

Anyway, we have opted for three of those drives (after a lot of reading and plugging names of places on google maps). 

One ride will be done on the same day as Edinburgh - it's the Fife Coastal Route - which is right above Edinburgh.

Fife Coastal Route

The Fife Coastal Route runs 85 miles (136 km) around the beautiful north east coast of theKingdom of Fife. Follow the route north from Edinburgh or south from Dundee. Starting from Edinburgh, cross the iconic Forth Road Bridge and stop just before reaching Fife at Deep Sea World where an underwater tunnel will take you exploring far beneath the waves.

Following the signs west will take you further into the Forth Estuary, where, around half an hour from Scotland's modern capital, is the country's ancient capital Dunfermline and the Royal Burgh of Culross, which is an outstanding example of a 16th century town.

The coastal route can also be followed east from the Forth bridges, where you will find lovely sandy beaches such as Aberdour, Silversands and Kinghorn and the picturesque villages of the East Neuk with their distinctive red pantiled roofs, arts scenes and unspoilt beaches. Keep following the route and you will reach St Andrews, the Home of Golf , seat of Scotland's oldest university and a fascinating historic town.

Next day, on more drive from the website - Moray Coastal Drive will take us rhough the area where Dean's family clan - the McBeans - is from. In one of the stops there is a place to find info on your clan, so we might stop there.

Moray Coastal Route

The Moray Firth Route takes you round in an 80 mile (128 km) semi-circle from Inverness around three of the most beautiful inlets on the east coast of Britain - the Beauly, Cromarty and Dornoch firths - as it heads north into the heart of the northern Highlands.

The Struie viewpoint over the Dornoch Firth will take your breath away, as well as salmon leaping at the Falls of Shin. Stop at the Storehouse of Foulis to discover your clan history, or see whisky being made at Glen Ord .

Other things that you may wish to do on the route include a walk to the dramatic 18th century arches of the Fyrish monument, a visit to Beauly Priory or learn about the archaeology of the north at Ferrycroft, Lairg. You can also enjoy creative attractions and events along the way.

The next day we will do the Castles I so desperately want to . Glamis Castle and Castle Fraser. Glamis costs  £10 a person and parking is free (10:00-6:00; last admission at 4:30). Fraser costs £9.50 a person and £2 for parking. (11:00-5:00 - last admission at 4:00) Oh, yes, I learned that the hard way.

We don't know if the next day will be avaiable, or if we will be following clan clues. If it is available, we will do the Argylle Coastal route, then sleep over near the Airport in Glasgow, where our vacation will end at 8 in the morning the next day.

Argyll Coastal Route 

On this 149 mile (238 km) journey from Tarbet on the bonny banks of Loch Lomond, you will travel up through Argyll and on to Fort William in the Highlands. As you climb steadily be sure to enjoy the famous viewpoint, the Rest and be Thankful, before descending to Inveraray and continuing on along the shores of Loch Fyne to Lochgilphead.
Turning north, you’ll pass the lovely Crinan Canal and reach the bustling port town of Oban, which is a gateway to many of the west coast islands. Enjoy the fine view across the Firth of Lorn and the Sound of Mull to the Inner Hebrides. From Oban, cross the impressive Connel Bridge and journey on up through Ballachulish to Fort William, which nestles at the foot of Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest mountain.

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