Whisky Connosr


Scotland Trip

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SquidgyAsh started a discussion

My wife and I will likely be going to Scotland next May/June in time for the Islay Festival! Now we're only going to be there for two weeks and I'm trying to plan the itinerary. I'm hoping to visit Balvenie, Macallan, Aberlour, Glenfiddich, Glenlivet, Glenfarclas, Lagavulin, Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Talisker, Glenmorangie, Caol IIa and Highland Park.

Has anyone that's been to Scotland think we can do it? Any other suggestions of places to visit? Any ideas of good places to stay?

11 years ago

10 replies

olivier replied

We've done 3 trips through Scotland and my recommendation is: pare-down your list of distilleries.

Places that look "nearby" on a map are (many) hours away from each other in reality. Ferries to Islay and Orkney are only a few a day and take a while (over 2 hours for Islay).

You need 3 days to do all of Islay (plus Jura), plus a half-day to get there and a half-day to return to the mainland. You can go to Sky without a ferry, but Talisker is at the far extremity of the island and the roads are not German Autobahns.

We always wanted to go to Orkney (Highland Park) but gave up as getting to the ferry was almost a day (then the ferry time), times 2.

I would recommend trying to focus geographically; Islay, Campbelltown and Arran (a gorgeous island worth visiting for its own sake).

11 years ago 3Who liked this?

BlueNote replied

You need at least 3 days on Orkney because there is plenty to see there besides Highland Park including a couple of amazing standing stone circles.The Kirkwall Hotel is a great old Victorian hotel with a very good dining room and all the breakfast you can eat., The Pentland Ferry is quite a bit cheaper than the other one. Otherwise, I agree with Olivier in that you might need to be a bit more selective in Speyside.

but is a bit pricier than the B & Bs. If you do venture up that way make sure you stop in at Old Pulteney in Wick.

11 years ago 0

BlueNote replied

Oops, that last bit was supposed to come after the bit about breakfast.

11 years ago 0

EvaRees replied

@SquidgyAsh I'll be going in 2013 as well :) I think your itinerary might make you a little too busy. We accomplished visiting around 20 distilleries in 2 weeks last fall, but it was ALL we did. No castles, no hikes, nada. For Feis Ile, we're just going to Islay, and maybe Campbelltown and calling that enough. I highly regret missing Glendronach and Edradour, for instance, but it may have to wait. The Fest itself is basically 7 full days of stuff, plus ~ 1 day to/from Islay. Talisker is super, and one of my favorite whiskies, but it is far far away from anything else. Granted, it is on Skye, which is gorgeous in it's own right, but... Plot some of your favorites in Google Maps and then check out the way the roads work. Some things are not connected by direct routes. Also, I would suggest you stop by a SMWS location. You can buy yourself a day membership and try their bottlings.

11 years ago 0

Abunadhman replied

A nice day trip is a train from Edinburgh out to Pitlochry and a visit to the smallest Distillery in Scotland 'Edradour' picturesque and lovely. It is a short trip by taxi; on the way back you can have your driver drop you off at Blair Athol Distillery which is a short walk from the station.

11 years ago 0

thelin79 replied

Pitlochry and Edradour are well worth the visit, was one of the distilleries I visited when I was in Scotland 3 weeks ago. We also visited Blair Athol since its practicly a stone throw from Edradour :)

Our trip wasnt very distillery focused though, if it had been I would have loved to visit Islay..

11 years ago 0

Jason0142 replied

I'll though in a suggestion because I Love there single cask whiskys, if you've got the time to spare you should give GlenDronach Distillery a visit. Also Springbank if your in the Campbeltown area.

11 years ago 0

SquidgyAsh replied

Thanks everyone for your helpful tips and suggestions! I've decided to take your advice Oliver and EvaRees. My wife and I have cut out the entirety of Speyside and Talisker and decided to focus on Islay and Campbeltown if we get a chance. We're also going to try and hit up Edradour and Blair Athol if we get a chance.

Now it's all about trying to set up accommodation!

11 years ago 0

OldJas replied

Edradour: If you can, take the walk up to the distillery from town. It's just nothing but classically quaint countryside. Nothing super-dramatic, but lovely, peaceful, quiet, and hobbittish.

Islay: It was during the Festival (2010) that I was there, so I don't know what it's like the other 51 weeks. I CAN say that you need to plan plenty of "sitting on the small bluff with a dram" time at Lagavulin. And if you want a B&B recommendation, check out Ayen Cottage (Google it); Barry and Carole are great. For transport, Lamont's taxi is expensive but way fun (and safer than driving when you're all peated up!)

In general: If you haven't already discovered TripAdvisor.com, check it out. Great advice on specific places anywhere in the world, even the drammy ones.

11 years ago 2Who liked this?