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April Accomadations

Hello to all, I hope someone can help me. We are going to visit Scotland the last two weeks of April. Do I need to make reservations at hotels or can my husband and I just stop for the night and find a place without reservations since it is the off season. Thank you.

Comments

  • fishyprofishypro Member ✭✭✭
    Hi @Starflight , first of all you have made a great choice to visit Scotland. Depending on which area of Scotland you are going to depends on wether you need to book or not. It also depends on what day of the week it is. Weekends are obviously busier times. Areas like Skye, Inverness, Fort William, Callander, Pitlochry, Braemar etc are all very busy tourist areas so booking ahead is probably a good idea.
    Hope that helps with your plans!
    Best regards
    fishypro
  • VisitScotlandLiamVisitScotlandLiam Member, Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Hey @Starflight !  I agree with @fishypro that booking accommodation will be very area dependent but I would recommend planning your trip and then contacting accommodation to see if there is a need to book for that time, better safe than sorry!

    Where about are you thinking of going?
  • StarflightStarflight Member ✭✭
    We want to go to the Border area for genealogical reasons, then wander north along the coast to Mull and Skye. If possible time wise I would like to do the NC 500.
  • VisitScotlandLiamVisitScotlandLiam Member, Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Sounds like a great trip you have planned @Starflight!
  • fishyprofishypro Member ✭✭✭
    Hi @Starflight , if you wish to stay on Skye then book as soon as possible as Skye is "over the top" busy.
    Best regards
    fishypro
  • StarflightStarflight Member ✭✭
    Thanks everybody for the input. Looks like I need to get some reservations.
  • KristineAPKristineAP Member
    Would the same apply for the Orkneys? My 15 year old daughter and I wil be spending about a week in Scotland and she is intrigued by the northern islands. We will be there the last week of March/First week of April.
  • fishyprofishypro Member ✭✭✭
    Hi @KristineAP , Yes, the same applies for the Orkneys. Book accommodation, ferries etc asap.
    Best regards
    fishypro
  • StarflightStarflight Member ✭✭
    Well we are booked to go to Scotland in April. Does anyone know if it possible to go from Melrose in the borders to Oban in one day, or would that be to much driving and missing the point of traveling by car. Would reservations for hotels be necessary for Oban? Also should we take the car onto the Isle of Mull? Can we get to Iona by public transportation. Thanks so much. 
  • VisitScotlandLiamVisitScotlandLiam Member, Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Hey @Starflight , the drive from Melrose to Oban is around 3h 40m drive, so it's up to you whether you'd want to drive all that way!  I would recommend making reservations in Oban as you're better to be safe than sorry.

    You can take the car on the ferry to Mull, i would recommend it if you want to see the whole island, where are you trying to reach Iona from, Mull or Oban?

    Hope this helps!
  • VisitScotlandAngelaVisitScotlandAngela Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    edited November 23
    Hi @Starflight :)

    The drive from Melrose to Oban will take around 4 hours, and that is without any stops so you would be spending a while in the car although there are plenty of things to explore along the way!   Here are some route options with suggestions on breaking your journey:

    Option 1:  From Melrose travel to Stirling and spend some time exploring Stirling Castle or the Wallace Monument.  Stirling is a wonderful city and there are plenty of places to enjoy a nice lunch.  Continue north through Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, where you could take a break (around 30 minutes) to explore the spectacular Bracklinn Falls in Callander.  As you travel northwards the scenery is stunning through more mountainous region of the National Park passing along the banks Loch Lubnaig and through the heart of Glen Ogle and Glen Dochart.  At Tyndrum the road continues to Oban through some beautiful regions, passing by the ruins of Kilchurn Castle at the top of Loch Awe.

    Option 2: From Melrose, travel west to Loch Lomond where you can take a break in the town of Balloch.  Enjoy a stroll around the beautiful grounds of Balloch Castle Country Park, take a boat trip on the Loch or a visit to Loch Lomond Shores with lots of shores cafes and attractions.  Continue north along the western shore of Loch Lomond and stop at the beautiful conservation of Luss where the view over Loch Lomond is amazing.  At the village of Tarbet there are two options for travelling to Oban; either continue on the A82 along the northern shore of Loch Lomond (if you have time it's worthwhile stopping at the wooden pyramid - An Ceann Mor - at Inveruglas, The Drovers Inn at Inverarnan and Falls of Falloch before reaching Tyndrum).  The second route leaves the A82 at Tarbet and continues onto the A83 in the direction of Inveraray.  This route takes you by the Rest and be Thankful - a scenic pass through the glen.  If you have time, stop at Ardkinglas Woodland Gardens which has some of the most amazing and tallest trees in Scotland, and if you like seafood the original Loch Fyne Oyster Bar lies at the top of Loch Fyne. Yummy! :)  Inveraray is a beautiful conservation town and another great place to stop and explore.  The road then continues north to Dalmally and then west to Oban, as before, with some spectacular countryside and scenery. Allow another 45 minutes if you travel via Inveraray.

    You will be visiting some of the most beautiful, and popular, regions of Scotland so my advice would be to book your accommodation in advance so you can enjoy your time in Scotland without worrying about having to find accommodation that evening.  You might find this section of our website of use to you in finding accommodation in the areas that you will be visiting.

    The Isle of Mull is amazing and you can reach the Isle of Iona by public transport although you do need to plan your day in accordance with the ferry and bus times.  Taking a car across does give you more flexibility about where you can visit, and there are also various tours of Mull and Iona that you can join from Oban.  Also, check out this thread about A day in the Inner Hebrides  by @eilidh__cameron

    I hope you have a great holiday! :)



  • StarflightStarflight Member ✭✭
    Thank you both, I am very grateful for the good and helpful advice. 
  • StarflightStarflight Member ✭✭
    We are going to Iona from Mull.
  • StarflightStarflight Member ✭✭
    How far in advance do you need to book a ferry?
  • VisitScotlandAngelaVisitScotlandAngela Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Hi @Starflight!  I'm glad you found the information useful! :)  Generally, if you are travelling as a foot passenger - without a car -  you do not need to book a ferry in advance.  The ferry from Fionnphort (on Mull) to Iona is not a car ferry so does not need to be reserved.  You can find a link to the ferry timetable here and the timetable will change to the Summer schedule on 30 March. 

    If you are travelling with your car, some ferries do need to be booked in advance, for example the crossing from Oban to Craignure (on Mull) does need to be booked.  You can book your ferry on the Caledonian MacBrayne website, which also shows availability on the date you would like to travel.  You can also book your ferry at any of our VisitScotland iCentres and you can find our locations here

    In 2018, Easter falls at the end of March/beginning of April and is typically a popular time for a Spring holiday with lots going on all across Scotland.  If your holiday falls within the first couple of weeks of April I would definitely recommend making advance reservations where possible. I'm sure you will have a fantastic holiday! :) 
  • StarflightStarflight Member ✭✭
    Thank you for the information on the ferries. We will be there later in April so will miss the Easter celebrations. A mixed blessing?
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