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Scotland in the 'off' season - October - November
I am traveling to Scotland from Australia for the first time ever - 27 October to 14 November. We are going to Edinburgh, Perthshire, Glencoe, Isle of Skye, and Isle of Islay. My queries are below:
I have done some research and determined that a lot of castles and other sites will not be open - but the main ones I am keen to see are open (Edinburgh, Eilean Donan and Dunnottar) can anyone recommend any others that might be open?
Also - we want to a rent a car for some time, on the rare chance we go somewhere and its icy or snowing are the tyres sufficient to deal with these conditions? (In Australia in snowy conditions we put chains on our tyres but I've been told in European countries this isn't necessary as the tyres are meant to deal with these conditions)
Is it possible to travel around some of the above areas without a car? We are happy to pay for return taxis to some destinations and use public transport where available (I'm guessing Edinburgh won't be a problem - but I'm not sure about the other regions)
What kind of clothes do we need? (I know it will be cold but its winter here now and it was 23 Celsius today - so I don't think I will be prepared) I have been told I should invest in a parka, or a jacket with down? Does anyone know if its cheaper to buy these clothes over in Scotland or in Australia? I looked in camping shops here, and the snow jackets / parkas start from around $300 AU (or around 480 pounds). Any tips on this would be much appreciated.
Thanks for any suggestions