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Travelling to Scotland in February

jonugentjonugent ✭✭Member ✭✭
Hey all,  I'm new to this site.   I haven't been to Scotland since 1991.  I live in northern British Columbia and I'm seriously considering a trip to Scotland for 3 weeks in February.  I'm trying to figure out the best ways to get around in northern Scotland.  I am thinking I will fly into Edinburgh and going from there. 

Comments

  • YourScotlandTourYourScotlandTour ✭✭✭ Member ✭✭✭
    The 'best' way will depend on what you want to see and do. And of course your budget! What would be your dream itinerary of things to see and do?
    Bespoke tours.
    Whisky, Castles and Food a speciality.
    yourscotlandtour.co.uk
  • jonugentjonugent ✭✭ Member ✭✭
    I'm interested in seeing ocean, cliffs, nature and would like to go to pubs, cafes etc.  I'm not sure if I have a dream itinerary.  I also like whisky.  I play guitar and will be bringing it with me.  I don't intend on looking to play any gigs, but it would be nice to play some music or meet people who do.  
    My budget isn't very big.  If I can't go in February then I'll be likely going in March. I like walking, biking, and travelling on transit.  I doubt I would want to rent a vehicle.
  • YourScotlandTourYourScotlandTour ✭✭✭ Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 2017
    What kind of music do you normally play?
    I play (badly) guitar and have strummed on some sessions but not very well :-)

    most sessions will have have someone who can call chords though so if you can find your way around them quickly it'll be fine! 

    Renting cars is sometimes cheaper than you would think. 
    Bespoke tours.
    Whisky, Castles and Food a speciality.
    yourscotlandtour.co.uk
  • blackelbeeblackelbee Member
    What parts of Northern Scotland are you thinking of going to? You can get a train up to Aberdeen from Edinburgh and see Stonehaven (Dunottar Castle is a must!) and get a Northlink ferry up to Orkney on certain days of the week. Orkney is amazing for wildlife and history (Skara Brae and the Ring of Brodgar).
  • jonugentjonugent ✭✭ Member ✭✭
    I play lots of different music...old Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch, some bluegrass and old timey, I also write music.  I'm pretty good with lots of chords...but I'm not a guitar solo person.  I do a lot of singing.

    In terms of where in Northern Scotland, I was thinking Inverness for sure.  I'm open to pretty much anywhere.  I interested in doing some walking about as well.  With my guitar on my back...
  • YourScotlandTourYourScotlandTour ✭✭✭ Member ✭✭✭
    Solo's aren't really a part of sessions. It's mainly the same 4 chords 3-4 times then a different set of chords 3-4 times then back to the original 3-4 times and repeat. So if you can strum some chords you'll be fine. There's an app song book it's called which has some tunes in it - if you can read music. 

    February and March are potentially a bit cold for walking about!! 

    There are definitely sessions in Aberdeen - that's a Thursday night and goes from 9pm until after midnight! 

    https://m.facebook.com/groups/oldblackfriarssessionaberdeen/?view=group

    Inverness isn't a huge travel from Aberdeen. There's plenty to see on the way. 
    Bespoke tours.
    Whisky, Castles and Food a speciality.
    yourscotlandtour.co.uk
  • jonugentjonugent ✭✭ Member ✭✭
    Yes,  I know it will be cold but I like cold. Maybe just short walks?  
    The sessions in Aberdeen look perfect. 
  • YourScotlandTourYourScotlandTour ✭✭✭ Member ✭✭✭
    With 3 weeks you could take a slow meander up the east coast from Edinburgh (have a night or 2 in Edinburgh), sampling the towns and villages on the way, then meander down the west coast and get a return to Heathrow from Glasgow...

    The later into March you go the better, with regards to distillery visitor centres opening up after the winter season. 
    Bespoke tours.
    Whisky, Castles and Food a speciality.
    yourscotlandtour.co.uk
  • jonugentjonugent ✭✭ Member ✭✭
    I have an opportunity to play in London the first week of April.  It's possible I'll hold out until then.  Then head up to Scotland.  In early April Then there will be more opportunity to go to distilleries?  
    Mi haven't ruled out February or March but this opportunity just presented itself.
  • YourScotlandTourYourScotlandTour ✭✭✭ Member ✭✭✭
    Off the top of my head I can't think of any that wouldn't be open then... there's about 120 or so, so you'll find one that's open easily enough! Do you have a favourite whisky?
    Bespoke tours.
    Whisky, Castles and Food a speciality.
    yourscotlandtour.co.uk
  • jonugentjonugent ✭✭ Member ✭✭
    I'm not sure I have a favourite exactly, but Some of my favourites are The MacAllan, Laphroaig, and Glenmorangie.
  • YourScotlandTourYourScotlandTour ✭✭✭ Member ✭✭✭
    The Macallan has a really good tour, including a taste of 'new make' the liquid which comes out of the still which becomes whisky after a minimum of 3 years in the cask. https://www.themacallan.com/visit
    Glenmorangie is a nice whisky, their opening hours are here; https://www.glenmorangie.com/en/experiences#distillery-tour

    Laphraoig is from the island of Islay, where you will find Bowmore, Lagavulin, Ardbeg and a few more. Islay is a whisky Mecca!! http://www.islayinfo.com/islay_whisky_distilleries.html
    It's a ferry from the mainland. Check the ferry times when you know your arrival dates. There's a page for it on the link above. 
    Bespoke tours.
    Whisky, Castles and Food a speciality.
    yourscotlandtour.co.uk
  • jonugentjonugent ✭✭ Member ✭✭
    I checked out those links.  Thanks for the great info!  I definitely think a visit to a "whisky Mecca" is a must.  I don't know much about Islay but I see there is some good reading mentioned on the site.
    I'm so excited to travel!  It's been a long time since I've been out of North America. 
  • jonugentjonugent ✭✭ Member ✭✭
    I likely will be looking for some budget accommodations.  I'm thinking hostels and I've also been looking at a few airbnb's.  Do you have an advice about accommodations?
  • YourScotlandTourYourScotlandTour ✭✭✭ Member ✭✭✭
    Hostels and airbnb are a good start for budget accommodation. Bring a tent and wild camp is an option when you're out of the cities. 
    Bespoke tours.
    Whisky, Castles and Food a speciality.
    yourscotlandtour.co.uk
  • jonugentjonugent ✭✭ Member ✭✭
    I bike a lot where I live...I'm thinking of renting a bike there for a bit and I'm wondering what it's like to bike on the roads in Scotland.  
  • YourScotlandTourYourScotlandTour ✭✭✭ Member ✭✭✭
    It's OK to cycle here, most roads are OK. Main roads are busy and people are impatient. There are a lot of single track roads, be prepared to give way to cars.

    search national cycle routes Scotland. 


    Bespoke tours.
    Whisky, Castles and Food a speciality.
    yourscotlandtour.co.uk
  • jonugentjonugent ✭✭ Member ✭✭
    Thank you for all the info!  I'm glad I stumbled upon this site.   I feel like I have a bunch more research to do. I do like the idea of being spontaneous and meeting people along the way who give me ideas of fun places to check out.  I live in the mountains here and I looking forward to seeing beaches and wild ocean expanses.
  • YourScotlandTourYourScotlandTour ✭✭✭ Member ✭✭✭
    To be honest, you could probably buy a bike on eBay cheaper than renting for 3 weeks! You can take bikes on most trains taking them on busses is more difficult :-( 
    But if you know in advance where the limitations are you can easily enough plan around it. 
    Bespoke tours.
    Whisky, Castles and Food a speciality.
    yourscotlandtour.co.uk
  • jonugentjonugent ✭✭ Member ✭✭
    Flight is booked.  I am definitely travelling in April...I'll be in London until the 10th and then heading to Scotland.  What kind of weather will there be in April?  I'm planning on rain gear...but I'm wondering how cold?  If I were to camp?
  • Fork_and_FootFork_and_Foot ✭✭ Member ✭✭
    Hi there, we're in the middle of driving the North Coast 500 and are having an absolute ball!

    We picked up a rental from Arnold Clarke in Glasgow (they have offices in Edinburgh as well) and then drove up to Inverness to kick it all off over nearly two weeks. The weather has been crazy, but we're having the time of our life!

    Hope this helps!
    Andrew.
  • YourScotlandTourYourScotlandTour ✭✭✭ Member ✭✭✭
    Hi Jo, the weather in Scotland is not predictable... https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_of_Scotland however this wiki will give some idea perhaps. 
    Bespoke tours.
    Whisky, Castles and Food a speciality.
    yourscotlandtour.co.uk
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