16 - 28 september 2008


Travelogue & Info

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Scotland with his green expanses and his castles has always attracted us and so for the summer vacations we opt for this romantic destination.

First experience of left hand drive, quite positive even if to the first rotunda I took a big fear, we directed to Stirling 1 hour drive from Edinburgh, accomplice the very bad time, the city has not thrilled us and so afterwards a fast visit we directed toward the Loch Katherine of which the local tourist brochures spoke well, so we decided to do a boat tour that at the end has revealed a little bit boring but alas the ugly time has made us desist from renting the bikes to make a tour around the lake that would have been probably more interesting.

We have foreseen to sleep to Fort William but before arriving we directed to Killin, very nice small village famous for the rapid of the river that crosses it; also the landscapes of the Trossachs National Park are notable.

Arrived to Fort William I discovered that the Bed & Breakfast that I had selected on the guides were all full (same thing in the other place during the whole trip), we have not had problems however to find another lodging even if the B&B Cameron House has revealed the least satisfactory one of the whole trip.
Walk in evening for the pedestrian zone of Fort William and dinner in a sort of Italian restaurant where we tasted some discreet pasta and good lasagnas.

We had foreseen to continue to Skye island but we changed idea and we decided instead of directing us to Inverary to visit our first Scottish castle, we do first a jump to the train station because I wanted to see The Jacobite, the famous steam train, while I was photographing the locomotive the young engineer asked me if I want to climb and naturally I did considering that has been mine big desire from when I was tiny.
The Inverary Castle is nice even if the rooms open are a few and the visit hard 15 minutes. Stroll for the very nice village and visit to the emporium of the wool, in the afternoon we directed there to Oban that has proven not very interesting.
In evening we returned to Fort William and this time the chosen B&B was decidedly better with a beautiful bedroom.

Transfer to Skye crossing the Road to the Isles, also this day the climate doesn't help but the landscapes were pleasant, standstills to admire the dams of the Caledonian Canal and to Glenfinnan to see the stone viaduct on which The Jacobite passes. We arrived to Mallaig just  two minutes before the ferry departed to Skye, the crossing lasts a half-hour.
Immediately went to Portree, the capital  of the island, with his pastel color houses leans out on the very nice and scenographic harbor!!! While hoop a place where to have lunch we hade fortune to assist to a marriage with the men dressed with the traditional dress and the damsels in red fire!!!
We have devoted the afternoon to the visit of the Trotternish peninsula with very beautiful landscapes; the following morning after the good breakfast of the Balloch B&B (not badly the smoked herring in the first morning!!!) we visited the Duirinish peninsula, arrivals to the lighthouse we have owed to abdicate seen the strong and annoying wind.
We returned on the main land and standstill in the proximities of the small village of Plockton in the middle of the country with a pleasant walk.

In the first morning visits the famous Eilean Donan Castle (it seems is the most photographed of Scotland); we went then to north toward the Applecross peninsula but the weather this time it doesn't help there, along the Bealach na Bà pass straight visibility is of a few meters; brief stroll for the minuscule village of Applecross.
We decide to sleep in the village of Gairloch in the B&B Duisary managed by a very pleasant lady that suggested us a walk along the beach and the coast. Dinner with a good dish of shellfishes.

Finally a sunny day, first stop in the Inverewe gardens that thanks to the tide of the gulf also entertain tropical plants. We continue toward Ullapool with frequent stops to admire the beautiful landscapes. Lunch with a "light" but good fish & Chips and we continued to the Falls of Shin, the best set of Scotland to see salmon leaping. We slept in the Amalfi B&B of Dornoch that will be revealed the best accommodation  of the trip.

Morning devoted to the visit of the Dunrobin Castle, even if as soon as arrivals we discovered that the opening was later as expected and therefore 1 hour of wait, repaid wait because the castle will be revealed very interesting, very beautiful the gardens and charming the falconer's show.
Long transfer at first to Loch Ness to admire the landscape from the hill above the Urquat Castle, very tourist and a little interesting zone; we arrived in evening in the village of Pitlorchy, lodging in the very well organized B&B Atholl Villa and stroll for very nice village. Unfortunately we realized to have forgotten one of our guides to Dornoch but I called the kind owners and so we grant there have sent it home.

Visit of the Edradour distillery, the smallest of Scotland, very interesting with attached tasting of good Whiskey; other stop to the Blair Castle, really notable even if the environment they are a little bit dark. We go then toward the Glamis Castle where we have done first the guided visit and then a turn for the gardens. Last stop of the day to Saint Andrews, city rather village (only 18000 inhabitants) where rise one of the most ancient and prestigious universities of the Great Britain famous even for its numerous golf fields. We visited I don't know how much B&B, also being Wednesday they were all fully booked, at the end we have found a place out the city, really in front of the Raf aerial base.

In the morning we have taken a walk for the historical center whose buildings transude to know from each part, very pleasant the path that crosses the park of the Cathedral, not very interesting instead the castle. In the afternoon we visited the fishermen small villages instead along the coast.

Last stop to Edinburgh, at first we reached the B&B The Beverley that I had already booked and left the baggages, then we reached the airport to return to the car and then the city center by bus.
Calm and the calm of the Highlands were a memory even if the city is not certain chaotic; we spend the afternoon in the Castle that will be proven a disappointment.
Last day devoted to visit of the Holyroodhouse building, the Queen residence during the stays in Scotland and then of the Britannia the real yacht.










Milan - Edinburgh
Edinburgo - Stirling


3 hours
1 hour


Stirling - Loch Katerine
Loch Katerine - Killin
Killin - Fort Williams
car 1 hour
1 hour


Fort Williams - Inverary
Inverary - Oban
Oban -
Fort Williams
car 2 hours
½ hour


Fort Williams - Portree car, ferry 3 hours


Skye Island car  


Skye Island - Plockton car 2 hours


Plockton - Applecross
Applecross - Gairloch
2 hours
2 hours


Gairloch - Ullapool
Ullapool - Dornoch


  5 hours


Dornoch - Loch Ness
Loch Ness - Pitlorchy


2 hours
2 hours


Pitlorchy - Glamis
Glamis - Saint Andrews
2 hours
2 hours


Saint Andrews car  


Saint Andrews - Edinburgh car 2 hours


Edinburgh- Milan


3 hours


We had put in account to find an a little favhourble climate but apart the first days of continuous rain and grey skies for the rest varying climate and especially in the Highlands quite cold, with frequent rains but also of days with the sunny and blue skies.


Perhaps the aching note, the meat and the fish are of good quality but are almost always cooked fried or covered by varied sauces that ruin the taste of it; the Scottish breakfast is decidedly heavy but almost always have choiced and a couple of times also tried the smoked herring, very Scottish!!!
Very appreciated the presence in each rooms of a boiler to have enjoyed a warm drink to the return for an intense day.


Other aching note, indicatively a 30% more expensive than in Italy, the ATMs are very diffused.
Average costs (1 € = 0,79 £):
lunch or dinner to the restaurant = 15 £
McDonald's menu= 6 £
double room in B&B = 50 £
city journey by bus = 1 £


Mobile phones work without any problems even in the remote zones, the classical red telephone cabin are also found in the middle of the campaign; the B&B often offers WiFi or an internet connections for the guests.


Dangers & annoyances
The maximum of the maximum of calm, in the B&B rarely closed the principal door by key, almost all the houses are endowed of patio to glass door, unthinkable for us.


Apart to get used to the left hand guide, no problems, you drive quietly without the nervousness of our roads. In the Highlands roads are almost always fit for one car with frequent place to stay for having the inverse traffic passed.
Despite a little favorable climatic conditions we met a lot of cycle-tourists and a lot of bikers.
To Edinburgh we have exploited the good transports system using daily tickets.


Scottish have a real cult for the Bed & Breakfast, you can find in the most unexpected places, being at the end of the tourist season also has me very surprised the fact that they were almost always full (above all those signed on the guides); except little exceptions the B&B accept only cash payments.

Travelodge:  typical motel just out of the highway; double room with bath 52,5 £.

Fort Williams
Cameron House: along the entry street to the city, acceptable but has been the least satisfactory accommodation of the trip; double room with bath and breakfast 46 £.
room with beautiful bed in a very beautiful house even if with a "cold" environment; double room with bath and breakfast 60 £.

Balloch: a little out of the village, pleasant (has been visited by the Queen), internet to disposition of the guests, double room with bath and breakfast 56 £.

Absorbed in the country; double room with bath and breakfast  46 £.

managed by a lively grandmother with beautiful sight on the bay; double room (a little bit cold) with bath and breakfast 44 £.

the accommodation with the best price/quality; enormous double room with bath and breakfast  56 £.

very great and super organized structure, double room with bath and breakfast 50 £.

St. Andrews
a couple of kilometers out the city, double room with bath and breakfast  60 £.

very beautiful Victorian style house, in a semi central district, very comfortable for the public transport and for the bus to airport; double room with bath and breakfast 80 £.


LINKS Tourism office Info on the city of Edinburgh Maps and distance calculator Scotland steam trains Ferry boat that connect varied Islands Edinburgh airport bus Edinburgh door to door airport bus


Copyright © 2009 Giuseppe Ruperto. All rights reserved.