Updated: Mar 5
In the two previous blogs I covered visiting Glasgow and Edinburgh in a bit of detail and offered some suggestions.
In this blog I'm going to offer advice on what not to do!
1. Don't tread the well trodden path. If all you want is a day out in the bus go for it. From Glasgow it will be Loch Lomond, Stirling and Glasgow and a lunch stop somewhere.
In Edinburgh it will be a drive around the city then dropped off close to the City's open topped bus service.
Edinburgh Castle. Everyone wants to visit Edinburgh Castle, dont. In July and August it can attract nearly 10,000 visitors per day. The queues (lines) can be lengthy and the visit time up to three hours if you rush, which you can't. The Castle staff can be unhelpful and rude and they do not like external tour guides. So most guides can only take you to the gate. Unless you are a military nut with a passion for military history its not worth it. Inside and around the castle you will fight for space with young asian girls posing for instagram pics. If you must visit the castle go early 09.30 or come in September or May Do not arrive after 11.00. or in June July and August.
Try a castle tour, Blackness Castle, Craigmillar Castle and Hopetoun House. All used during the filming of Outlander and great days out avoiding the crush of Edinburgh.
In Inverness you will berth at Invergordon a bus will take you to Loch Ness for a short boat ride and a visit to the exhibition.
In all these excursions there will be at least twenty buses lined up to transport you. So you will not be alone. If you are lucky you might hear a Scottish voice. Is it Scotland?
2. Don't try to do too much. I've been asked to pick groups of a ship and take them round Scotland in six hours. Scotland seems a small country, which it is. But the fast motorways only extend into the edge of the highlands. So a journey which on the map seems a couple of hours easily stretches into a day.
Do try this
1. Focus on one place. For Glasgow Try Ayrshire and Burns Country, lovely coastal drive, Robert Burns Cottage and centre is world beating. Or Dumbarton Castle, fantastic views lighlty visited and only £5. The Trossachs via Loch Katrine world beating scenery and a little boat trip.
For Edinburgh try a castle tour, Blackness Castle, Craigmillar Castle and Hopetoun House. All used during the filming of Outlander and great days out avoiding the crush of Edinburgh.
or try a trip into the Kingdom of Fife, St Andrews, Crail, Anstruther and Culross.