1. Are you a current member with account or password issues?

    Please visit following page for more information

    Dismiss Notice

Travel Tips for Scotland

Discussion in 'Travel' started by Trickster, Jan 31, 2016.

  1. Trickster

    Trickster Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    Messages:
    527
    Likes Received:
    378
    Hey there,

    I will be traveling through Scotland in May with three friends.
    We will be there for two weeks, one of which will be spent on a guided bus tour starting from Edinburgh going through the Highlands up north to the Orkneys, visiting quite a few whiskey distilleries along the way. (All four of us are whisky affictionados)
    The other part will be a bit of exploring on our own, travelling by train (So far we will visit Edinburgh and Glasgow and take a ride on the west highland line, still in the planning phase about other stuff). We will mostly be staying in Bed and Breakfasts.

    Are there any useful hints and tips? Stuff that I absoloutely need to take with me or leave at home? (I know about the sub-3-inch, non-locking blade laws) Any social blunders I should avoid? Secret tips for the best pub in Edinburgh or Glasgow?


    Thank you very much in advance,
    Trickster
     
    Cobra 6 Actual likes this.
  2. Cobra 6 Actual

    Cobra 6 Actual Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    4,647
    Likes Received:
    14,532
    Plenty to do in Scotland, so I'll skip the tourist advice. Yeah, whisky ... lots of places to try it. (Note that in Scotland 'whisky' is traditionally spelled without the 'e'.) if you want to learn about the distilling process then check out the Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh... a bit touristy, but there are tastings and it will still quickly enlighten you about the making of the "Water of Life."

    On food: try haggis, neeps, and tatties ... Scotch egg, too. You can't understand a country while you've still got American food in your gut! (Or in your case, German food!)

    Visit the Robert Burns Memorial at dusk ... it seems there's always a piper playing there. I like the literary 'stuff' also, but any good tourist guide will have that info.

    One suggestion on your itinerary: try to visit Hadrian's Wall, on the border between Scotland and England. Begun in 122 A.D. This is definitely worth seeing. (See movies like "Centurion" and "The Eagle" for Hollywood interpretations of its importance.)
     
    Last edited by Cobra 6 Actual, Jan 31, 2016
    Trickster likes this.
  3. Scoman

    Scoman Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    288
    If you like whisky head to Speyside loads of distilleries. Islay is worth a visit but their whisky is usually loved or hated. In May you should be ok but the best repellent for 'midgies' is Smidge repellent local stuff. Have warm and waterproof kit to hand you may need a full range of clothes in one day. Try to get to the west coast for a sunset.
     
  4. 4rmless
    • In Omnia Paratus

    4rmless Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    May 19, 2014
    Messages:
    427
    Likes Received:
    3,406
    Take waterproof clothing! Also layers, temperatures likely to vary wildly in May.

    Tips for Edinburgh: Climb Arthur's Seat, check out the Newsroom (bar) and Viva Mexico (amazing mexican food).
     
    Trickster and Cobra 6 Actual like this.
  5. Sriracha

    Sriracha Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2012
    Messages:
    2,841
    Likes Received:
    7,865
    I am just checking in to say I am so jealous! Enjoy!
     
    Trickster and Cobra 6 Actual like this.
  6. Trickster

    Trickster Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    Messages:
    527
    Likes Received:
    378
    Thank you all!

    I'll be sure to try and check out those places in Edinburgh. Not sure if we'll have time to visit Hadrians Wall, though. As I wrote, we want to take the West Highland Line, so we may be able catch that sunset on the west coast.

    Scoman: I actually like an Islay whisky every now and then, but that guided tour we're going on mostly focuses on the HIghlands.
     
  7. Scoman

    Scoman Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    288
    My friend is a whisky drinker, it's all battery acid to me, I'll ask for his thoughts. Oban and Fort William distilleries aren't necessarily well regarded as far as I'm aware. Mallaig is nice for a stop but it's at the end of the line both road and rail wise although there are ferries to Armadale on Skye. Skye has some famous distilleries but even better are the skyline views of the Cuillins. It's expecting more visitors this year as the most recent Macbeth film was shot there. Kyle is good to pass through but no where good to stay, try Plockton nearby. If you're heading further north the roads get narrower but the views spectacular. On the west side the train doesn't go further north than F William/Mallaig, the train to Kyle of Lochalsh goes from Inverness and is a nice run. I work all over the highlands, give me an idea of how far you plan to travel north and time line. Which company is running your tour?
     
    Trickster likes this.
  8. Trickster

    Trickster Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    Messages:
    527
    Likes Received:
    378
    They are called Wind And Cloud, the tour we picked out visits nine destilleries (Edradour, Glenlivet, Aberlour, Dalmore, Old Pulteney, Scapa, Highland Park, Clynelish and Balblair)

    The tour is a week long, we'll arrive a few days early and do some exploring on our own, visit Glasgow and take the West Highland Line to Mallaig, before we make our way to Edinburgh, were our tour begins and ends. Afterwards we'll have a few days as well to see Edinburgh and what ever else catches our interest. There is still some time until May, so we haven't planned out every last bit.

    I am really looking foreward to it, I haven't been on a vacation for more than a few days at a time in years.
     
  9. Scoman

    Scoman Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    288
    The west coast line is meant to be stunning I'm not a train aficionado but I'd like to do it. Mallaig can get mad busy eith the trains, good food in the tea garden. Sounds like your tour will have you in Speyside then up the east coast, watch out for Berridale Brae on the way north. Orkney is lovely although it looks like you'll just be in the Kirkwall locale. On my last ship in the navy none of us in the wardroom were whisky drinkers. We had to empty the spirits store before putting the ship in refit. We were literally giving bottles of Highland park away to get rid of it. Lots of ancient sites/burial grounds on Orkney if you are interested. I don't know if you're an outdoorsy type chap or chapess but John Rae has a statue in St Magnus cathedral in Kirkwall and a statue in Stromness. He did a lot of the mapping and exploring of Canada. The Orcadian men were much in demand by the Hudson Bay company and they kept an office in Stromness. Old poulteney is very well regarded over here I have enjoyed one glass of it but I think it was a 20+ year old I was given. Wick, where the distillery is, also has the smallest street in the world, Ebeneezer place, outside of MacKays hotel. Good food in there too. Enjoy let me know if you need anything else.
     
    Trickster likes this.
  10. baconboyrlz
    • In Omnia Paratus

    baconboyrlz Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
    Messages:
    1,588
    Likes Received:
    5,814
    I'm so jealous! Scottish heritage here. There's a scottish bakery nearby that we frequent quite a bit. If you get the chance, try some meat pies, sausage rolls, and black pudding (blood sausage). I love them so much!
     
    Trickster likes this.
  11. BarneyG

    BarneyG Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2014
    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    1,425
    Just a warning ... they fire a cannon at 13:00 daily in Edinburgh
     
    Trickster likes this.
  12. Scoman

    Scoman Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    288
    Black pudding is great, in Scotland Stornoway is the best. The best I've ever had was in Chile though.
     
    shmook and Trickster like this.
  13. Trickster

    Trickster Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    Messages:
    527
    Likes Received:
    378
    Lots of great tips and information, thank you again!

    Trying new foods is one of the great things you can do when travelling. I'm not visiting another country to eat Schnitzel. :) Not that sure about the Black Pudding, here in Germany we have Blutwurst (Blood Sausage). I think it is similar, and while I don't find it disgusting, it is not my favourite.
     
  14. baconboyrlz
    • In Omnia Paratus

    baconboyrlz Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
    Messages:
    1,588
    Likes Received:
    5,814
    I guess any kind of blood sausage is an acquired taste. People here in America are absolutely disgusted by the idea of a blood sausage. I think it is one of the most delicious things on the planet.
     
    Trickster likes this.
  15. shmook

    shmook Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,408
    Likes Received:
    1,914
    Stornaway black pudding is amazing!

    Cheaper stuff though can be hit-and-miss...

    Definitely take mozzie rep, good stuff, or buy when there. Maybe a headover mesh too. It's shocking how bad they can be, but can't remember the season now, so you may miss it.

    Rain coat and a sense of humour will get you far too :)
     
    Trickster likes this.
  16. ArkansasFan30

    ArkansasFan30 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2012
    Messages:
    1,548
    Likes Received:
    1,320
    I think the folks down in Louisiana love it. I've never had it because it makes me think of biting an engorged vena cava.
     
    Trickster likes this.
  17. earthman

    earthman EDC Junkie!!!

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2014
    Messages:
    1,218
    Likes Received:
    1,321
    Totally agree on the clothing aspect.
     
    Trickster likes this.
  18. Trickster

    Trickster Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    Messages:
    527
    Likes Received:
    378
    I will most likely dress in layers so that I am prepared for different kinds of weather. A also recently picked up a 5.11 rain jacket when it was on sale for at ASMC (a german army/outdoors store)




    My mother has this recipe where she takes the contents of the Blood Sausage and fries them with chopped onions and some extra herbs and spices. It looks a lot more appetizing that way, like dark minced meat.
     
  19. PragmaticMurphyist

    PragmaticMurphyist Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2015
    Messages:
    461
    Likes Received:
    840
    Don't forget the smoked salmon (and smoked salmon pate - Yum!)! If you can visit a smokehouse then do try the other smoked produce too.

    Smidge is good stuff against the microscopic airborne piranhas. Surprisingly, Avon Skin So Soft Dry Oil Spray also works - the local logging camps allegedly buy it by the case.

    My favourite stamping grounds are around the Glencoe area. Amazing place.

    Have a great time!
     
  20. Jelerang

    Jelerang Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2014
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    80
    I visited Scotland two years ago and loved it. I come from New England where we are fortunate to have lots of great seafood, but I found the local seafood in Scotland to be top quality. In particular, smoked salmon, trout, langoustines, oysters, mussels (any shellfish, really). I can't recommend the Isle of Skye enough. It is one of the most beautiful places on earth.