searpqx
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3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Sun Feb 10, 2008 8:04 pm

In mid June I'll be in Dublin for about a week, then on the 17th (+/- 1 day) our plan is to fly across to Glasgow and spend about a week exploring Scotland (I'm sure that's not enough time to really explore, but thats what I've got). Knowing zip about the country, but looking at a map, its seems like a reasonable 3-4 day drive would be a leisurely trip up from Glasgow, along Loch Ness towards Inverness, down to Aberdeen and finally into Edinburgh. I'd be interested in the local's opinions of trying to see the country that way, and/or other recommendations. Bottom line, while I want to spend time in both Glasgow and especially Edinburgh, I want to get out and see more of the country than just the city. Any suggestions are appreciated.

Thanks
Duane
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Banco
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Sun Feb 10, 2008 8:08 pm



Quoting Searpqx (Thread starter):
Any suggestions are appreciated.

A question, when you say a driving tour, what is more important to you, a great driving holiday or visiting points of interest? I ask because a real fan of driving simply adores the Scottish backroads, but that might not be what you're after.
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gkirk
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Sun Feb 10, 2008 8:09 pm

Lets see...

Arrive Glasgow
Head North to Loch Lomond
After Loch Lomond head North again to Oban and onwards to Fort William.
Then head towards Inverness
Stay well away from Aberdeen (nothing there whatsover)
Head south down the A9 towards Perth (perhaps a stop at Pitlochry)
Head into Edinburgh via the Forth Road Bridge
Spend time in Edinburgh before departing

Sounds reasonable  Wink

Plenty of sights to see and things to do  Wink
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f4phantom
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Sun Feb 10, 2008 8:24 pm

Hi, i love touring around Scotland. Gkirks schedule looks fine, you will enjoy spectacular scenery and be able to see some very nice towns and sights. From Oban you can relax on the ferry to the isles, or take an interesting tour around a distillery, plenty of them. The Forth Bridge is a sight well worth seeing. Pitlochry is a beautiful town, plenty to see and nice things to buy, Scottish knitwear, miniatures of hundreds of whiskys. You should enjoy a trip to Scotland, once you are clear of the urban areas , there are miles of lovely scenery. Enjoy
 
mhodgson
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Sun Feb 10, 2008 8:31 pm

The Western Isles are pretty nice; though may be a little out of your way.
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searpqx
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Sun Feb 10, 2008 8:43 pm



Quoting Banco (Reply 1):
a great driving holiday or visiting points of interest? I

A little of both - I love long distance driving, especially off the main highways, but of course seeing some of country, especially the history, is important to me.

Quoting Mhodgson (Reply 4):
The Western Isles are pretty nice; though may be a little out of your way.

We thought about that, but I think that'll have to be a separate trip.

Thanks for the feedback so far.
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Toast
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Sun Feb 10, 2008 9:12 pm

All I can say is, stay away from Glasgow as much as possible. A nice old train station, one nice street (Buchanan Street), one nice square (George Square), that's pretty much all there is to Glasgow. Edinburg, on the other hand - can't recommend it enough. Amazing city.
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comorin
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:20 pm



Quoting Gkirk (Reply 2):
Head into Edinburgh via the Forth Road Bridge

What's the difference between a 'Firth' and a 'Forth' ?

Signed,

Confused Foreigner  Smile
 
gordonsmall
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:28 pm



Quoting Comorin (Reply 7):
What's the difference between a 'Firth' and a 'Forth' ?

A 'firth' is a Scottish word for a large river estuary. Forth is the river, hence the 'firth of Forth'.
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Pe@rson
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:56 pm

Yeah, Edinburgh's brilliant. We got married there.

Been to a few places in Scotland, but I can't wait to explore further.
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GSM763
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Sun Feb 10, 2008 11:08 pm



Quoting Toast (Reply 6):
All I can say is, stay away from Glasgow as much as possible

Totally disagree, there are bits of Glasgow you should avoid but you should do the centre (Buchanan Street etc.) but the West end (Byres and Great Western Road) is also really worth a look.
 
GLAGAZ
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Sun Feb 10, 2008 11:22 pm



Quoting Toast (Reply 6):
All I can say is, stay away from Glasgow as much as possible. A nice old train station, one nice street (Buchanan Street), one nice square (George Square), that's pretty much all there is to Glasgow. Edinburg, on the other hand - can't recommend it enough. Amazing city.

Yet Edinburgh has a castle and the royal mile in comparison? Both cities don't offer much as they are relativly small when compared to other cities worldwide.

Glasgow is a modern city with an excellent variety of shops and attractions but it also looks after its cultural side with many museums including the most popular attraction in Scotland by a country mile the Kelvingrove Museum.

Edinburgh on the other hand is much more tourist orientated and is probably as lot more pleasing on the eye due to the cobbled roads still being in use and ofcourse the famous castle.

Both cities are excellent assets for Scotland and you should take time out to explore both.

Loch Lomond is a must, a long drive along the loch on a sunny day is hard to beat. Scenery wise I don't think you'll beat Loch Lomond, so I personally wouldn't waste my time going to the islands. Loch Ness is quite pleasant and the tourist centre is pretty cool.

I agree that Aberdeen isn't much, but some of the granite building are spectacular.

Stirling is perhaps another place to consider. The city and surroundings areas can be pretty run down, but it does have excellent assets in Stirling castle and the Wallace Monument.

But I guess the best thing for you to do is research the country well before arriving and deciding what really takes your fancy. Hopefully it will be enough to encourage you back for a longer visit.

Gaz
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Banco
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Sun Feb 10, 2008 11:30 pm



Quoting GLAGAZ (Reply 11):
Yet Edinburgh has a castle and the royal mile in comparison? Both cities don't offer much as they are relativly small when compared to other cities worldwide.

Glasgow is a modern city with an excellent variety of shops and attractions but it also looks after its cultural side with many museums including the most popular attraction in Scotland by a country mile the Kelvingrove Museum.

Well, you're right, but as a tourist coming over I suspect that Edinburgh is still going to be the one to make an impression where Glasgow doesn't. I like Glasgow a lot because it isn't a "chocolate box" city, but the truth is that tourists of all descriptions go for places like Edinburgh. You have to be aware that that's reality.
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GSM763
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Sun Feb 10, 2008 11:35 pm



Quoting GLAGAZ (Reply 11):
Stirling is perhaps another place to consider. The city and surroundings areas can be pretty run down, but it does have excellent assets in Stirling castle and the Wallace Monument.

I live there and I forgot about it! The castle here really is spectacular and really worth a look. The Wallace Monument is also a great attraction and provides great views over the surrounding area. If you want to know more about Stirling PM me.
 
GLAGAZ
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Sun Feb 10, 2008 11:39 pm



Quoting Banco (Reply 12):
Well, you're right, but as a tourist coming over I suspect that Edinburgh is still going to be the one to make an impression where Glasgow doesn't. I like Glasgow a lot because it isn't a "chocolate box" city, but the truth is that tourists of all descriptions go for places like Edinburgh. You have to be aware that that's reality.

Indeed, I don't deny that Edinburgh is the tourist hot spot of Scotland. But far too many poo poo Glasgow without giving it a shot. There have infact been some recent surveys carried out for tourists in the UK in which Glasgow outranked Edinburgh and came 2nd only to London. But its each to their own really.

I personally feel Glasgow is more of a younger person's city, where as Edinburgh is suited better to older couples etc. But thats just my own feeling on the matter.

Example being that I often go through the Edinburgh city centre on work late at night and only on Friday and Saturday nights is it busy. Glasgow on the other hand is pretty busy every night of the week.

But as I say, they are contrasting cities, which is just aswell as they are too close to be similar, and that would really be detromental to the country. Variety is the spice of life after all  Smile So visit both.

Gaz
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Banco
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Sun Feb 10, 2008 11:41 pm



Quoting GSM763 (Reply 13):
If you want to know more about Stirling PM me.

I challenge you to tell him all about Stirling without suggesting he visits a muddy field on the edge of a housing estate just outside the town...  Wink
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GSM763
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Sun Feb 10, 2008 11:44 pm



Quoting Banco (Reply 15):
I challenge you to tell him all about Stirling without suggesting he visits a muddy field on the edge of a housing estate just outside the town...

Hmm I would advise he stays at least half a mile away from that particular housing estate notwithstanding the muddy field.
 
GLAGAZ
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Sun Feb 10, 2008 11:48 pm



Quoting GSM763 (Reply 16):
Hmm I would advise he stays at least half a mile away from that particular housing estate notwithstanding the muddy field.

Oh dear god, I've been working in Bannockburn recently, certainly not a nice bit where I was. There was a fridge freezer in a house with maggots and spiders all living within the fridge. Puuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuke.

Gaz
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GSM763
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Sun Feb 10, 2008 11:51 pm



Quoting GLAGAZ (Reply 17):
Oh dear god, I've been working in Bannockburn recently, certainly not a nice bit where I was. There was a fridge freezer in a house with maggots and spiders all living within the fridge. Puuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuke.

I'll get Kim & Aggie in right now! but I must point out that Bannockburn is at the top end of Stirling housing estates, work in Cultenhove or The Raploch and you'll be keen to go back
 
GLAGAZ
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Sun Feb 10, 2008 11:54 pm



Quoting GSM763 (Reply 18):
I'll get Kim & Aggie in right now! but I must point out that Bannockburn is at the top end of Stirling housing estates, work in Cultenhove or The Raploch and you'll be keen to go back

Cultenhove Place was one of the roads!!

Gaz
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Banco
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:04 am



Quoting Banco (Reply 15):



Quoting GSM763 (Reply 18):
but I must point out that Bannockburn is at the top end of Stirling housing estates

An ex-girfriend of mine lived in Bannockburn when she was at Stirling University. Apart from wondering why the hell an English girl would return to the scene of the crime like that  Wink I just thought it was really horrible.
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Toast
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:30 am



Quoting GLAGAZ (Reply 14):
But far too many poo poo Glasgow without giving it a shot.

I gave it a shot, but I was honestly disappointed. Glasgow struck me as architecturally chaotic and quite dirty (check out the river banks - I saw everything from supermarket trolleys to syringes and all imaginable detritus in between); George Square has more chavs than Trafalgar Square has pigeons; lots of vacant lots and 60s architecture in the city centre; little remains that could remind the visitor of the city's past glory. There's the odd medieval tower, a cathedral (closed when I was there), and some nice 19-century merchant houses. In other words, less than you might expect from a city of this size and renown.

I know there's the world-famous Burrell Collection, but it's far from the centre and getting there is a pain in the arse. I didn't have the time to go there but I certainly will next time. Hopefully, if the weather is good and the chavs are at school or in jail, I will be able to get over my unfavourable first impression...

Quoting GLAGAZ (Reply 11):
Edinburgh on the other hand is much more tourist orientated and is probably as lot more pleasing on the eye due to the cobbled roads still being in use and of course the famous castle.

Edinburgh has honestly more attractions than several countries I know. Many world-class museums (all free of charge!); an exceptional castle; beautiful parks and cemeteries; beautiful natural surroundings; unique architecture (albeit somewhat spoilt on Princes Street - please shoot the guy who built that mall!!!); and more. It's my favourite city in the UK.  cloudnine 
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NoUFO
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:36 am



Quoting Gkirk (Reply 2):
Arrive Glasgow
Head North to Loch Lomond
After Loch Lomond head North again to Oban and onwards to Fort William.

Second that, and add Kinlochleven to the list. Have been there twice, and would go there another time, if I could make sure not to stumble over Kirkie.  Wink
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comorin
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Mon Feb 11, 2008 4:25 am



Quoting Gordonsmall (Reply 8):
Quoting Comorin (Reply 7):
What's the difference between a 'Firth' and a 'Forth' ?

A 'firth' is a Scottish word for a large river estuary. Forth is the river, hence the 'firth of Forth'.

Thank yae! Hope I get to visit Bonnie Scotland this summer...I'm a big 'Rebus' (version 1) fan.
 
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nighthawk
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Mon Feb 11, 2008 4:41 am



Quoting Toast (Reply 21):
please shoot the guy who built that mall!!!

the mall is due to be demolished and re-built soon

Quoting GLAGAZ (Reply 11):
including the most popular attraction in Scotland by a country mile the Kelvingrove Museum.

i think you'll find edinburgh castle is number one 'by a country mile'
 
gkirk
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Mon Feb 11, 2008 6:38 am

Glasgow is better for shopping, everything else and Edinburgh is a mile ahead.
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IFEMaster
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:09 am



Quoting Gkirk (Reply 2):
Stay well away from Aberdeen (nothing there whatsover)

 checkmark  Absolutely nothing to see in Aberdeen. Except a whole lot of granite. Granite everywhere. And don't even think about going north of Aberdeen to Peterhead. Peterhead is even worse.
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David L
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Mon Feb 11, 2008 1:06 pm

I agree with most of what's been said. I'd definitely recommend seeing as much of the west coast scenery as possible - it's so much more interesting than the east coast north of Edinburgh. On sunny days it's beautiful and on overcast days it's powerfully imposing. The Highlands begin much further south in the west than in the east.

Quoting GSM763 (Reply 10):
the West end (Byres and Great Western Road) is also really worth a look.

Ah, my old haunt. I miss it. Great Western Road is an excellent gateway to the north from Glasgow.  Smile

Quoting GLAGAZ (Reply 11):
Edinburgh on the other hand is much more tourist orientated and is probably as lot more pleasing on the eye due to the cobbled roads still being in use and ofcourse the famous castle.

Both cities are excellent assets for Scotland and you should take time out to explore both.

As a Weegie, I'd have to agree but I think you need a few days to appreciate Glasgow, to wander around. I'd have to recommend Edinburgh over Glasgow for a whistle-stop tour.

Quoting Nighthawk (Reply 24):
Quoting Toast (Reply 21):
please shoot the guy who built that mall!!!

the mall is due to be demolished and re-built soon

 wideeyed  The St. James Centre? Mind you, it is one ugly building.
 
searpqx
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:26 pm

Many thanks for the input - sounds like time on the Western coast is well worth it. And y'all make Stirling sound like a real gem - but on the other hand, from the sounds of it, I can find similar locales right here in Seattle.  Wink
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Pe@rson
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:34 pm

I've only spent a night in Glasgow, but I certainly really liked what I saw.

Stirling Castle is nice.

I take it you've purchased/will get a guidebook to Scotland?
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Banco
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:36 pm



Quoting Searpqx (Reply 28):
And y'all make Stirling sound like a real gem - but on the other hand, from the sounds of it, I can find similar locales right here in Seattle.

No, Stirling IS really nice. We were talking about the outskirts towards Bannockburn (where Scotland won a battle against England in 1314). Don't be put off by us having a little local argument. Stirling is well worth a visit.
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searpqx
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:38 pm



Quoting Pe@rson (Reply 29):
I take it you've purchased/will get a guidebook to Scotland?

Heading to Barnes & Noble tonight. We just started planning the ground portion this weekend, and it dawned on me that I've got access to a fair number of Scottish locals right here, and one thing I've never noticed them to be is hesitant to voice their opinions!  Wink
"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
 
Pe@rson
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:43 pm



Quoting Searpqx (Reply 31):
Heading to Barnes & Noble tonight. We just started planning the ground portion this weekend, and it dawned on me that I've got access to a fair number of Scottish locals right here, and one thing I've never noticed them to be is hesitant to voice their opinions!

Cool. It's great to plan trips. Big grin I'd ordinarily recommend Lonely Planet, but their next Scotland guide will be out in April, so it's probably not worth buying their existing edition (Mar 06).
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Bongodog1964
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:15 pm

How much driving do you want to do, and what do you want to see ?

If you are looking to drive you could easily do Glasgow - Fort William - Skye on day 1, Skye - Inverness on day 2, Inverness - Edinburgh day 3, then have 3 or 4 nights in Edinburgh.
Personally I would say that Loch Lomond is nice, but its hardly representative of the highlands, you need to head further North to see the mountains

A few pointers, fuel stations can be few and far between and when I last went many were not 24hour.

The West coast in particular is home to one of the most vicious beasts on earth - the midge. The midge is about 1/32 of an inch long of which 98% appears to be teeth. When the wind drops the midges come out to bite, the only product that seems to repel them are sprays containing deet, which will eat away at any plastic watchstraps or spectacles

Remember to visit a distillery, you have to pay £3 or so to get in, but you do get a good glass of malt whisky as part of the deal.

Scots food ranges from the freshest local shellfish and succulent beef and lamb served by local restaurants to that greast favourite of Glasgow the deep fried mars bar. i'd recommend sticking with the shellfish and beef .
 
GSM763
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:34 pm

Seriously that was local stuff. Stirling is fine so long as you take normal precautions. I seriously would recommend that you come here for a look around.
 
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nighthawk
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Tue Feb 12, 2008 8:42 am



Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 33):
Scots food ranges from the freshest local shellfish and succulent beef and lamb served by local restaurants to that greast favourite of Glasgow the deep fried mars bar. i'd recommend sticking with the shellfish and beef .

dont forget the haggis!
 
gkirk
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Tue Feb 12, 2008 8:46 am



Quoting Nighthawk (Reply 35):
dont forget the haggis!

Aye, but you've got to catch it first  Wink
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Bongodog1964
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Tue Feb 12, 2008 4:53 pm



Quoting Nighthawk (Reply 35):
dont forget the haggis!

If tempted to eat the haggis, just do it; do not delve too deep into what goes in to it.
 
Pe@rson
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Tue Feb 12, 2008 4:57 pm

I ate haggis for the first time in November.

I ate haggis for the last time in November.
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GLAGAZ
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:33 pm



Quoting Nighthawk (Reply 24):
i think you'll find edinburgh castle is number one 'by a country mile'

Wrong  Smile

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/6615775.stm

Quote:
The refurbished Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum has knocked Edinburgh Castle off the top spot as Scotland's busiest tourist attraction.
The Glasgow gallery welcomed 1.9 million visitors last year after its £27m facelift, VisitScotland said.

The free attraction only reopened in July following the three-year refurbishment programme.

About 1.2 million people visited Edinburgh Castle, which had previously held the honour.

Castle pumped  Wink

Gaz
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searpqx
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:57 pm



Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 37):
If tempted to eat the haggis, just do it; do not delve too deep into what goes in to it.

Worry not - my desire to even try haggis ranks right up there with my desire to relive having my wisdom teeth extracted, this time without drugs. . .  Wink As for the fried Mars Bar - our local State Fair adopted the custom several years ago, and to date I've had deep fried Mars Bar, deep fried Twinkie, deep fried pickle (my favorite actually) and deep fried 3 Musketeers (WTF?).

Quoting GLAGAZ (Reply 39):

Don't worry, I'll be hitting both. Big grin
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David L
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:56 am



Quoting Searpqx (Reply 40):
As for the fried Mars Bar - our local State Fair adopted the custom several years ago, and to date I've had deep fried Mars Bar, deep fried Twinkie

 checkmark  And you can add such delicacies as deep-fried ice cream, banana and pineapple fritters, etc. It's not that weird.  Smile

Definitely avoid the deep-fried "pizza", though.  duck 

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 37):
If tempted to eat the haggis, just do it; do not delve too deep into what goes in to it.

I really wouldn't worry. It's no worse than what you find in sausages. Just be aware that a good haggis is much better than the ones you get in chip shops... except when you've been in the pub all night.
 
GLAGAZ
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Wed Feb 13, 2008 5:05 pm



Quoting David L (Reply 41):
Definitely avoid the deep-fried "pizza", though.

:O Thats the best thing sold in chip shops!!

Gaz
Neutrality means that u don't really care cos the struggle goes on even when ur not there, blind and unaware
 
searpqx
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Wed Feb 13, 2008 5:20 pm

(Note to self - pack one large Costco sized TUMS for Scotland gastronomic 'adventures')
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Granite
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RE: 3-4 Day Driving Tour Of Scotland?

Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:54 pm

Hi

Quoting Gkirk (Reply 2):
Stay well away from Aberdeen (nothing there whatsover)

Cheeky fat buckfast drinking numpty  Smile

Regards

Gary

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