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Short visit from Canada

I will be attending the Open at St Andrews mid July 2022. 
The Monday following I will return to Edinburgh airport where my wife will fly in and join me for a holiday.
The first sketch is for 2 days in Edinburgh, rent a car, head back to St Andrews in the afternoon and stay overnight.
We then have allowed 3 days to do a driving trip that we hope will include some of the Highlands returning to Edinburgh where we will return the car, and take a Train to York and London for a few days before returning to Canada.
Most grateful for advice on a route and perhaps special accommodation / dining / whisky experiences 
Thanks in advance for your advice 


  • 21 Views, no advice or comment ........
  • fishyprofishypro Member ✭✭✭
    Congratulations on getting hold of The Open tickets in the ballot.
    Enjoy your time there, it will be quite special.

    It is difficult to give recommendations without knowing what you like seeing or doing.
    That is probably the reason why nobody has answered.

    You might want to drive north on the A9 to Pitlochry. A lovely little highland town that sits on the edge of the Cairngorm National Park. Lots of great walks and scenery to soak up.
    There are some great places to stay there too. (Check out the Pink B&B)
    Pitlochry has 2 distilleries "Blair Athol" & "Edradour", both of which are great to visit but I would lean more towards Edradour.

    From Pitlochry, it is only a short drive to the village of Blair Atholl & Blair Castle. Don't forget the Blair Atholl Watermill for refreshments. Another 5 minutes away is the House of Bruar which is nicknamed Harrods of Scotland. This is a great place for souvenirs.

    Aberfeldy is also a nice town which is the home of "Dewars World of Whisky". There is also a nice walk at the Birks of Aberfeldy. 5 minutes away is Kenmore on the shore of Loch Tay. Another great place for walks or a Loch Tay Safari boat ride.

    If you are feeling brave, you could drive up towards Balmoral Castle from Pitlochry. Driving through vast landscapes of nothingness and through the town of Braemar. Again stunning scenery to be seen.


    Continue north on the A9 and turn left at Dalwhinnie Distillery. Follow the signs to Fort Augustus which is on the south edge of Loch Ness. Beautiful scenery, again, and plenty of chances to spot Nessie.

    That should give you a taste of what is possible.

    If you have any questions, then please ask.

    Best regards

    Best regards
  • Thanks Graeme
    A first night at St Andrews is a must, beyond that we are very open to suggestions and the experience and advice of the collective.
    Sightseeing, grand landscapes, small towns that will give us the essence of Scotland - this probably best describes our interests.
    The ideal route would be a circle of sorts ending back in Edinburgh after a 3 day drive.
    Thanks again 
  • fishyprofishypro Member ✭✭✭
    Then definitely head up the A9 to Dunkeld & Pitlochry (Stay over). There is the dam & Salmon ladder! Edradour distillery. If you can, then book well in advance to dine at Knockendarrach Hotel and have a drink at The Moulin Pub, they brew their own ales and have done for decades.

    The next day head to Aviemore in the Cairngorms National Park. Loch an Eilein Path is a lovely 1.5 hr walk around the beautiful loch. Visit the Reindeer centre for a hill walk and feed and stroke the Reindeer. Sheepdog trials are also there. There is a traditional pub here called the Winking Owl. Great atmosphere!

    Continue to Inverness and follow the B862 and onto the B852 back onto the B862 towards Fort Augustus.
    From Fort Augustus head south on the A82 towards Spean Bridge. From here follow the signs to Dalwhinnie Distillery and then head south back towards Edinburgh.

    That will give you a taste of Scotland. Be aware that since Covid-19 there are not many places that you can stay for 1-night accommodation. You will find places that offer 1 night stays but you can't afford to be picky!
    Most accommodation providers offer rooms from 2 night stays.

    Hope that helps

    Best regards
  • Graeme 
    thanks so much 
  • Andrzej1990Andrzej1990 Member ✭✭
    edited December 2021
    Hi @Jimfastcar1954

    I would agree with Graeme. Driving up the A9, and stopping in places like Dunkeld, Pitlochry and Aviemore would be a good idea for a daytrip. There are some great walks there and fantastic viewpoints like Queen's View, Pinecone Point or Craigallachie. 
    You could also (like Graeme suggested) carry on driving to Inverness and stay there overnight, and from there return either via west Loch Ness/Drumnadrochit, Fort Augustus and then Laggan and back on to the A9 )  or east  via ''the snow road'' (Grantown on Spey, Ballater, Balmoral, Breamar and Spittal of Glenshee). 

    Personally I would also recommend getting in touch with local iCentres in St. Andrews, Edinburgh, Pitlochry, Aviemore, Ballater or Inverness for details and any further suggestions, especially on places to stay and food and drink. 

    In addition, for some inspiration on what to see, there's some great videos on VisitScotland's YouTube channel about various regions and hidden gems.
  • Jimfastcar1954Jimfastcar1954 Member ✭✭
    Hello again, we are in the process of firming up our plans and making reservations.
    I do have some questions and I hope for some advice.

    We will be in Edinburgh July 18 - 19.  The 20th mid morning we drive to St Andrews for the afternoon and evening. We have a booking in St Andrews for 1 night.
    The 21st we drive to Pitlochry and stay the night.  It is only 1.5 hrs away per Google maps, but based on your comments above much to see and do in the area.
    The B&B that was suggested Torrdarach requires 2-3 nights sadly. We will hope for alternatives.
    The 22nd we drive to Inverness, fastest route suggests 1.5 hrs, but we will take our time.  Balmoral and area sounds very scenic but it does not look like there is a road that we could use to Balmoral and then continue without backtracking to Pitlochry, perhaps a suggestion for an option enroute to Inverness would be appreciated.
    Our interests are sightseeing, landscape photography, small town pubs and the like.
    After our night in Inverness July 22, we will have until late July 24 when we need to be back in Edinburgh to return the car, spend the night and take a Train the following morning to York.
    While a straight drive from Inverness to Edinburgh is only 3 hrs fastest route, we would prefer the scenic route over 2 days.
    We would be most grateful for a suggestion of where to stop for the night of July 23 between Inverness and Edinburgh.  In some of the responses above Dalwhinnie was mentioned (I have a bottle of their fine malt in my cabinet as we speak !); but there are a number of potential stops - Port Augustus, Fort William, Spean Bridge, etc.  I am sure there is much to recommend any of these towns and my head is spinning with the options.
    While we can always get lots of local advice when we are there at the iCentres, we need to at least be able to sketch our hotel nights.
    Thanks very much for your help, much appreciated 

  • fishyprofishypro Member ✭✭✭

    It is well worth hanging around Pitlochry area for a few nights as there is so much to see and do.
    I can recommend "The Willows" B&B or Craigatin House B&B! They are both situated on the high street.
    Torrdarach house is a 2-minute walk to the high street and is situated in a very quiet area in town.
    They do have a 2-3 night minimum stay policy but there is a good reason for that.

    Fort Augustus would be my choice to stay on the 23rd.

    I hope you find what you are looking for.

    Best regards
  • Jimfastcar1954Jimfastcar1954 Member ✭✭
    Thanks Grame
    If we were to stay longer at Pitlochry, could we use it as a "home base" for exploration and forget an overnight stay at Inverness ?  I am thinking we could do that and then spend the night in Fort Augustus before returning to Edinburgh on the 24th.

  • fishyprofishypro Member ✭✭✭
    Pitlochry is the perfect base and is exactly 1.5 hours to Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Inverness & Rannoch Moor. St Andrews is only 1 hour & 10 minutes away. Gleneagles is also only 45 minutes away.

    It is the furthest point inland from any sea or ocean.
    There are so many places that are reachable from Pitlochry.
    Aberfeldy, Kenmore, Glen Lyon, Aviemore, Dunkeld, Blairgowrie, Blair Atholl & Braemar.

    Over the years we have had lots of film crews in the area, filming such things as Harry Potter, Star Wars, Outlander & various TV shows.

    Pitlochry has 2 Whisky Distilleries, The Hydro Dam & Salmon Ladder, Festival Theatre, Loch Faskally, Loch Dunmore, Faskally Woods, Black Spout Woods & Waterfall, Pitlochry Golf Club, Health Spas, River Tummel, Ben Vrackie Mountain & Craigower Hill and lots of different walks & hiking routes. 

    The town is full of history and it holds lots of events throughout the year.

    To top it off, I am the owner and a PGA Professional, so we can chat about The 150th Open.

    Hope that helps

    Best regards
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