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Thread: Travel tips and suggestions for Scotland this August?

  1. #1
    TfjTolson TfjTolson's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
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    Crozet
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    Travel tips and suggestions for Scotland this August?

    My wife and I are going to Scotland as part of a church pilgrimage to Iona in August 2013.
    We're going to go over about a week-10 days before the week in Iona to tour around Scotland.

    I'm trying to convince her we ought to tour on a rental BMW rather than in a car (cage).
    I welcome your feedback, pros and cons, experiences and suggestions about my current idea:

    Ship our helmets, riding boots, and Darien Aerostitch suits via UPS to where we rent the bike.
    Include a return shipping label in the box and ask the rental place to hang onto the box for us.
    (http://rentamotorcycle.co.uk/ and http://scotlandbybike.com/motorcycle-hire/
    appear to be two good places - feedback appreciated.)
    Rent a F650GS or F800GT for two-up riding
    (Side note: I have '74 R75/6 and '05 R1200RT - we've travelled/camped on both.
    I'm thinking smaller roads, lower speed limits in Scotland that smaller bike will be fine.)

    We're planning to concentrate on seeing the Highlands, Trossachs, Skye, and Islay while on our own.

    Ride the train between Glasgow and Edinburgh before or after the motorcycle rental.
    We meet our church group in Edinburgh, go to the Tatoo with them and then travel with them by train (and ferry) to Iona via Mull.

    Any must ride roads or must see places?

    Tips for travel in Scotland?

    Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

    Thanks in advance.
    Tim F.J. Tolson TfjTolson@gmail.COM (AMA# 511449 * BMWMOA# 32660 * DOD# 756)
    2005 BMW R1200 RT "Jasmine" * 1974 BMW R75/6 "Jessica"

  2. #2
    Chuck Berry cberry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Indian Harbour Beach, FL
    Posts
    81

    Scotland

    You'll love the land and the people. I haven't been there for over 30 years, but did spend a lot of time there in the 70's. Getting from island to island can be difficult. There aren't many ferrys, and they usually don't go where you want them to go. Best to maybe start from Oban and stay on the mainland and work your way back East with a one-way rental if you can. From pictures you have seen, Scotland is beautiful...Just remember that few of us like to take our camera out of its sack in the rain. It does.

    I always found it very helpful to have another vehicle ahead of me so that I would stay on the correct side of the road. It's easy to get confused when making an intersection turn.

    I've traveled the Sound of Jura to Scarba and then to/from the outer islands. It is beautiful.
    Chuck Berry
    2005 R1200RT, 2009 G650GS,
    MOA #94523, IBA #27506 National Parks GOLD (still OLDEST at 69 in 2007)
    Indian Harbour Beach, FL

  3. #3
    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Harrisburg, PA
    Posts
    854
    I was in Scotland in 2011. Flew into Glasgow, and took the train to Inverness, then drove a rented car up to the north coast- Kyle of Tongue, to be exact. All in all, it was lovely.

    Here are a [very] few observations:
    Glasgow- BIG city with lots of cultural attractions- shopping, museums, theater district, etc. I spent one final night there, at the Holiday Inn Express near town center/Theater District. Nice restaurant inside hotel- super comfy @ +/- 100 pounds at the time.

    Inverness- AWESOME smallish city. Many nice restaurants and bars there- Loch Ness nearby, as well as the Highlands. Weekend destination city, lots of folks coming and going. A bit out of the way (forget flying in) but worth the time if you get up that way. I stayed at The Royal Highland Hotel, right in town center, at the train station. Really comfy but OLD and a place with character. Reasonable pricing tho. Inverness is one city I hope to return to someday. I took the train from Glasgow and back. Train runs right thru Highlands National Park.

    North Coast area- remote with a likely large tourist season for outdoor activity like bicycling and camping, hiking, etc. Abundant wildlife and The Sea!
    Sea Stacks, Northern most point of land on UK proper. Tiny beaches, some surfing going on. Euro holiday destination. Hotels and B&Bs everywhere. Great local seafood.
    Be The Change You Want To See In The World

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