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Old 11-20-2012, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ameriscot View Post
Most of the roads are 2 lane, not single track although there are a lot of single track. On the islands most are single track but not the mainland. And there are also 4 lane divided highways and motorways.
I remember driving up the west coast across to Skye, back to Ft Augustus and up to Inverness, then south to Edinburgh and doing almost nothing but single lane roads the entire time (A82, A830, A87, B852). At one point I think we even went thro a ski-resort. Luckily most drivers in the larger vehicles like trucks or farm vehicles will pull over to let the smaller, faster cars get past and if you're feeling very adventurous you can always overtake.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:56 PM
 
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Look into tour bus daytrips from Edinburgh to places like Loch Loman (just outside of Glasgow, but a huge contrast), Oban, Stirling, etc. In fact, you could cover all three of these in one day quite easily.

What time of the year will you be in Scotland? The daylight hours last a very long time in June and July. If you can obtain a good road atlas ahead of time, it will help you immeasurably in planning your travels.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Gorgeous Scotland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chilaili View Post
I remember driving up the west coast across to Skye, back to Ft Augustus and up to Inverness, then south to Edinburgh and doing almost nothing but single lane roads the entire time (A82, A830, A87, B852). At one point I think we even went thro a ski-resort. Luckily most drivers in the larger vehicles like trucks or farm vehicles will pull over to let the smaller, faster cars get past and if you're feeling very adventurous you can always overtake.
The A82 is not single track and I doubt there are any A roads that are. The roads through Fort Augustus are not single track, nor are the roads leading to Skye. And you would certainly not be driving single track roads to Inverness or to Edinburgh. Unless you were here about 80 years ago.

I drive for 3 hours from my house to Inverness and except for the 8 miles from my house to the main road, I drive on 2 lane roads.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Gorgeous Scotland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chilaili View Post
I remember driving up the west coast across to Skye, back to Ft Augustus and up to Inverness, then south to Edinburgh and doing almost nothing but single lane roads the entire time (A82, A830, A87, B852). At one point I think we even went thro a ski-resort. Luckily most drivers in the larger vehicles like trucks or farm vehicles will pull over to let the smaller, faster cars get past and if you're feeling very adventurous you can always overtake.
Umm... how can you overtake on a single track road? Unless someone is pulled over into a passing place there is no way to overtake, and then it wouldn't be overtaking as they'd be stopped.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Gorgeous Scotland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
Look into tour bus daytrips from Edinburgh to places like Loch Loman (just outside of Glasgow, but a huge contrast), Oban, Stirling, etc. In fact, you could cover all three of these in one day quite easily.

What time of the year will you be in Scotland? The daylight hours last a very long time in June and July. If you can obtain a good road atlas ahead of time, it will help you immeasurably in planning your travels.
Are you saying you could cover Oban, Stirling and Loch Lomond all in one day, or on 3 different days?
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Maryland
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Folks - many, many thanks for your responses! This is precisely the input I'm looking for. I confess we're too chicken to drive by ourselves and were looking at the multitude of bus trip services out of Edinburgh. I neglected to mention that consideration.

It sounds like it may be more useful to plan on using some of the overnight(s) bus trips as part of the planning. Thank you all most kindly!
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:07 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
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You could always try something like the tours below if you don't want to drive, but I still think Scotland is a driving destination... You will miss out on the best bits IMO and the spontaneity and flexibility as well... The Western Highlands and Islands are so, so beautiful and do deserve a little bit of time taken over them.

Fall is usually the best season by the way. And Easter/Late Spring.

Tours of Scotland. Trips to the Scottish Highlands, Loch Ness, Loch Lomond, Western Isles, Shetland, Orkney and Isle of Skye
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:03 AM
 
Location: Gorgeous Scotland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooseketeer View Post
You could always try something like the tours below if you don't want to drive, but I still think Scotland is a driving destination... You will miss out on the best bits IMO and the spontaneity and flexibility as well... The Western Highlands and Islands are so, so beautiful and do deserve a little bit of time taken over them.

Fall is usually the best season by the way. And Easter/Late Spring.

Tours of Scotland. Trips to the Scottish Highlands, Loch Ness, Loch Lomond, Western Isles, Shetland, Orkney and Isle of Skye
I agree that you miss out on a lot if you don't drive. Outside the cities or large towns the driving is easy. Just stay on the left! You would need to learn the rules or driving on roundabouts first and which lane you can turn from and when and who had right of way.
How to deal with Roundabouts in the UK

Before I moved to Scotland I took a trip to Ireland and had no idea what to do on a roundabout as I'd never seen one. A couple of near misses, but all came out fine. I loved driving on the rural roads and stopping anywhere I chose. Make sure you ask for automatic if you can't drive a stick or don't want to shift with your left hand.
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ameriscot View Post
Are you saying you could cover Oban, Stirling and Loch Lomond all in one day, or on 3 different days?
Yes, these places are all do-able within a day, starting in Edinburgh, then seeing Stirling (and the castle), Loch Lomond in time for lunch (sorry for the mispelling in my previous post - I knew it looked wrong!), and going on over to Oban via Inverary Castle, several additional lochs, and the very steep and scenic Rest and Be Thankful pass through the mountains. Spectacular scenery. We did not visit Stirling Castle on this trip, however - I toured it on a previous trip and was sorry not to repeat the tour this time. However, the road went just below the castle's bluff and we got good views of the exterior.

Loch Lomond is just north of Glasgow, btw, and offers a complete contrast to that heavily industrial, Victorian city.

I was on a bus day trip back in 1985 that took this route - we left Edinburgh around 8:00 in the morning, had lunch in an old inn alongside Loch Lomond (with time to walk down to the loch), browsing and shopping in Oban, and dinner in a small town whose name I can't recall on the way back, returned to Edinburgh around 8:00.

This was in early May, when the days start to lengthen noticeably. It was a very scenic drive, and well-worth the time and reasonable cost. I think we paid for our meals, but our reservations had been made in advance by the bus company, which was based in downtown Edinburgh just a few blocks from the main shopping area and within walking distance of our hotel. I wish I could remember the company's name - they offered a number of other daytrips which sounded intriguing, but cancelled the one to Balmoral and vicinity which I had hoped to include.

However, you might want to spend more time in each place that this trip provided, as all are highly scenic and offer much to see and do.
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Gorgeous Scotland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
Yes, these places are all do-able within a day, starting in Edinburgh, then seeing Stirling (and the castle), Loch Lomond in time for lunch (sorry for the mispelling in my previous post - I knew it looked wrong!), and going on over to Oban via Inverary Castle, several additional lochs, and the very steep and scenic Rest and Be Thankful pass through the mountains. Spectacular scenery. We did not visit Stirling Castle on this trip, however - I toured it on a previous trip and was sorry not to repeat the tour this time. However, the road went just below the castle's bluff and we got good views of the exterior.

Loch Lomond is just north of Glasgow, btw, and offers a complete contrast to that heavily industrial, Victorian city.

I was on a bus day trip back in 1985 that took this route - we left Edinburgh around 8:00 in the morning, had lunch in an old inn alongside Loch Lomond (with time to walk down to the loch), browsing and shopping in Oban, and dinner in a small town whose name I can't recall on the way back, returned to Edinburgh around 8:00.

This was in early May, when the days start to lengthen noticeably. It was a very scenic drive, and well-worth the time and reasonable cost. I think we paid for our meals, but our reservations had been made in advance by the bus company, which was based in downtown Edinburgh just a few blocks from the main shopping area and within walking distance of our hotel. I wish I could remember the company's name - they offered a number of other daytrips which sounded intriguing, but cancelled the one to Balmoral and vicinity which I had hoped to include.

However, you might want to spend more time in each place that this trip provided, as all are highly scenic and offer much to see and do.
I have to disagree. I live in Argyll and there is absolutely no way you could do Stirling, Loch Lomond and Oban in one day unless you did not stop at all! To do justice to Stirling you'd need nearly an entire day as you'd have to do the Wallace Monument as well. Loch Lomond you could drive past. But Oban is quite a long distance from Edinburgh. Oban is a day trip from my house and we're about 2 hours drive west of Edinburgh.
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