Cities/Towns to visit in scotland?

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Yew

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Hey all, Ive decided to post this in the general forum as I should be just about sorted for ticketing.

Over easter me and my friend palanned to use the scotrail advance sleeper offer to go up on the highland sleeper, to inverness or aberdeen or somewhere. Now since this offer is back, and we are good at finding cheap hotels we are looking at spending two nights in hotels in various cities. With an itinery like this

Day 1 Mansfield - London and the sleeper up to Scottish City 1

Day 2 Spend the day in SC1 and spending the night in a hotel
Day 3 Wake up and travel to SC2, spend the day and sleep there
Day 4 Wake up and travel to SC3, spend the day and sleep there
Day 5 Either back to the first city to catch the sleeper back, or drop off
for a few hours in a third city

But here is the problem, What cities, looking at scotlands rail network (http://www.edinphoto.org.uk/1_map/1_map_railways_scotland.htm) the only two combinations I can think of are Fort William, glasgow, edinburgh (stopping off for a few hours in glasgow on the last day) or Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness. So I'm hoping that some of our haggis eating residents will be able to suggest a better route, and also things to do, Ideally involving the Fort william sleeper portion ;)

Thanks, Yew

NB we are looking for the first week in june, so I had better get planning quickly :)
 
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Robinson

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If you end up in Glasgow, the People's Palace on Glasgow Green is worth a visit, as is the new Riverside Museum (which replaced the old Museum of Transport). In Edinburgh I'd recommend the Museum of Scotland followed by a hike up Arthur's Seat via the Royal Mile. All of that you can do for free :D

Inverness Castle is worth seeing even if you don't actually go inside; there's also a statue of Flora MacDonald which marks the finish of the Great Glen Way. There are a couple of really nice pubs around that area as well.

Fort William is mainly a staging post for walkers finishing the West Highland Way/starting the Great Glen; I haven't spent a lot of time in the town itself...
 

W-on-Sea

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Depends what you're looking for, really.

Edinburgh is to my mind easily the most beautiful of any of the large cities in the UK (and Waverley station is a great place for both the Old and the New Town - definitely have a wander down the Royal Mile, and up to one of the hilltops - Arthur's Seat, maybe, or nearer and less high, Calton Hill, where the mock Acropolis is.

Glasgow doesn't have such a stunning natural location (although the West Highlands being so close kind of makes up for it), but has a great atmosphere - and some great museums and galleries. The whole Kelvingrove area is worth exploring, and also around Sauchiehall Street - perhaps to state the obvious.

I've not been to Dundee for nearly 20 years, and it always struck me as being really rather grim then, but I understand it's had major redevelopment and regeneration since then (stunning natural location on the Firth of Tay though, looking over to the green hills of Fife). You could visit St Andrews from here easily enough (frequent buses) - which is a quite amazing, unique, place. (in fact the coastal villages nearby in the East Neuk - especially Crail and Elie -are quite something too)

Perth? Elegant, old-fashioned, relatively mellow. The northernmost city the Romans built.


Inverness? Don't know it so well - but great river running through the middle, and an easy trip by (relatively frequent) coach from Fort William too.

Aberdeen? Couldn't say I love it, but there's some historic parts - and more granite buildings than you can imagine. A bit workaday, perhaps.

Stirling? A bit ruined by town-planners and road-builders. (This is true of Glasgow as well, but Glasgow is big and thriving enough for it to matter less,and a lot of the worst of the destruction of Glasgow has been undone in recent years, which is not really so of Stirling, unfortunately)

Fort William I'd say is really just a staging post (for Ben Nevis, above all) - it has a certain charm, but is pretty tiny and, distinct Highlands character aside, not that remarkable, really. (That maybe sounds harsher than intended)
 

Crossover

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Is echo Edinburgh as well. Very nice city, although the station is a bit covered at the moment.

If you can get to the castle in Stirling then it is quite nice, as is the walk up. Perth is also quite pretty too

Linlithgow has some nice looking buildings but not sure you'd be able to find that much else to do there.

If you like a bit of engineering, the Falkirk Wheel is also worth a visit
 

IanXC

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I've not been to Dundee for nearly 20 years, and it always struck me as being really rather grim then, but I understand it's had major redevelopment and regeneration since then (stunning natural location on the Firth of Tay though, looking over to the green hills of Fife). You could visit St Andrews from here easily enough (frequent buses) - which is a quite amazing, unique, place. (in fact the coastal villages nearby in the East Neuk - especially Crail and Elie -are quite something too)

Aberdeen? Couldn't say I love it, but there's some historic parts - and more granite buildings than you can imagine. A bit workaday, perhaps.
I spent some time in Dundee last year, reminded me of Hull to be honest, a bit run down but trying to regenerate, with some hidden gems to find and visit.

Aberdeen on the other hand was dripping with money. Its got plenty of visitor attractions, I forget what its called but there's an interesting museum near the docks covering town, fishing, transport and oil history, then you step outside and there's half a dozen shiney rig support vessels round the corner...

I'd visit either again!
 

Yew

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Ive been to edinburgh before, but the sleeper died on me and I arrived into Glasgow at 10, and didnt get to edinburgh til labout 11:30, and by the time we went to spoons for breakfast (which is a longer walk than I thought) and had a coffee at starbucks, it was time to leave. Meaning I didnt really get the feel of the city.

On your advice I would say Edinburgh, aberdeen and inverness look the likely candidates. But if not we are thinking fort william, and doing a little hiking (ie walk for an hour, then turn around and go to the pub :) ) Whats the deal with the lounge car on the Fort william sleeper, It doesnt have one till edinburgh, but what time does it arrive at edinburgh? and are there any supplies stored on board (like for the breakfast, and for the departure in the evening ? )
 
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Greenback

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I wouldn't miss out Edinburgh. I would personally add in Oban and Inverness as well.

Inverness has some good accommodation and food options, and you can get a bus through to Oban where you will find a very pleasant little town amidst some stunning coastal scenery.

Moving on to the capital will immerse you in part of the West Highland line, give a quick taste of Glasgow and then finally deliver you to the heart of one of the most atmospheric cities I can think of.

So I would go to Inverness first, then Oban and finsih up in Edinburgh. Each place is different, and you will get to sample different aspects of Scotland.
 

LE Greys

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If you go anywhere near Aberdeen, then a few tips. Firstly, the University may be a charming old place (King's and New King's are at least) but there is nowhere decent to eat there except the chip shop over the other side of King Street. The best food locally is found one station down the line in Stonehaven, in The Ship pub by the harbour. Otherwise, look along Union Street and off the side roads for all sorts of places. Although if you're after something convenient for the station, try upstairs in Union Square, but it's all chain places there.

If you're interested in historical things, there's the Maritime Museum in Shiprow. There's also the Skeane House, which is surrounded by modern Council buildings off Broad Street (opposite Marishcal College). It's 14th Century, and has a very nice tea rooms in the cellar where a friend of mine works. If you're looking for somewhere to stay, try some of the B&Bs along King Street if you want cheap, just don't expect a decent breakfast. Even better, if it's out of term time, King's Hall is a good place - cheaper with a better breakfast. Unfortunately, it's used by students in term time (all the regular halls are full), so not available then. I can PM you the number if you let me know the dates.

If you're coming in from Inverness, stop off at Elgin if you can. I don't know much about it, but people keep on recommending that I go there.
 

scotsman

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Edinburgh, Oban and Inverness.

Inverness isn't that remarkable, but it's a good run up and there's plenty to do round there.

Spoons in Edinburgh isn't really that far from Waverley. There's one five minutes down George Street and one tend minutes down George Street.

Oban, annoyingly, doesn't have a spoons, but the Pancake Place is good.
 

Bevan Price

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I would be tempted to get a Freedom of Scotland (4 days in 8) to give you options to visit more than one town on some days. Also, if you can find a B&B in a smaller town, it will often be cheaper than one in a big city. Your plan will also depend on what things you enjoy - historic buildings, museums / art galleries, scenery, railways, or whatever. If the ticket offer allows you do go to one city, but return south from a different city, I would suggest something like.
Day 2. Inverness. Use rover ticket for return trip to Kyle of Lochalsh. Night in Inverness.
Day 3. Inverness to Dundee, breaking journey at somewhere like Elgin, Aberdeen, Stonehaven or Montrose. Night in Dundee area.
Day 4. Dundee to Glasgow, breaking journey at Perth / Stirling. After some hours in Glasgow, go to somewhere like Ayr or Largs for night.
Day 5. Train to Edinburgh, day in city then catch sleeper.
 
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I spent some time in Dundee last year, reminded me of Hull to be honest, a bit run down but trying to regenerate, with some hidden gems to find and visit.

Aberdeen on the other hand was dripping with money. Its got plenty of visitor attractions, I forget what its called but there's an interesting museum near the docks covering town, fishing, transport and oil history, then you step outside and there's half a dozen shiney rig support vessels round the corner...

I'd visit either again!
They can be quite anti English in Dundee. I didn't have a pleasant experience there. Capt Scott's ship is the main attraction. Aberdeen was enjoyable. A great Maritime Museum.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
If you end up in Glasgow, the People's Palace on Glasgow Green is worth a visit, as is the new Riverside Museum (which replaced the old Museum of Transport). In Edinburgh I'd recommend the Museum of Scotland followed by a hike up Arthur's Seat via the Royal Mile. All of that you can do for free :D

Inverness Castle is worth seeing even if you don't actually go inside; there's also a statue of Flora MacDonald which marks the finish of the Great Glen Way. There are a couple of really nice pubs around that area as well.

Fort William is mainly a staging post for walkers finishing the West Highland Way/starting the Great Glen; I haven't spent a lot of time in the town itself...
I would also recommend the Glasgow City Bus Tour. Well worth it.
 
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Said with an Aberdonian bias, they can be a bit anti-everywhere in Dundee. ;)
That's an interesting remark. I was staying in Glasgow, at the time. The barman in the hotel was a Dundonian. He was none too complimentary, about his home city! He wasn't too surprised, at my experience in Dundee.
 

LE Greys

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That's an interesting remark. I was staying in Glasgow, at the time. The barman in the hotel was a Dundonian. He was none too complimentary, about his home city! He wasn't too surprised, at my experience in Dundee.
Put it like this. When Aberdeen Press & Journal shop decided to release a local version of Monopoly, it wasn't 'Go to Jail', it was 'Go to Dundee'. :D
 

Liam

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When I went up last August, Glasgow was surprisingly my favorite over Edinburgh, it seemed to have much more of a lively atmosphere :)
I've always liked Glasgow much more than Edinburgh, even though I live and have lived all my life about 45 minutes away from Edinburgh. Glasgow's miles better... :lol:
 

Butts

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I've always liked Glasgow much more than Edinburgh, even though I live and have lived all my life about 45 minutes away from Edinburgh. Glasgow's miles better... :lol:
Can't agree with you on that one - I live between the two and would plump for Edinburgh every time.

I prefer a Georgian City to a Victorian one :p

Can confirm Dundee is a sh** tip
 
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