Scottish highlands

I'm taking a trip to the Scottish highlands in a few weeks. What are some good things to do in the area while solo traveling? I'm staying in Inverness and taking public transport

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  1. 10 months ago
    Anonymous

    Drink buckfast on a park bench until one of the local trollettes looks good enough for you to have a dirty pump in some tesco toilets.

    • 10 months ago
      Anonymous

      you are going to find it a bit challenging just using public transport. a lot of places in the highlands are pretty remote and buses are rare. you will have to plan well ahead and be careful with timings so you don't get stuck somewhere with no way to get back to where you are staying.
      i would suggest starting somewhere like the national trust for scotland website nts.org.uk and browsing through the places to see what interests you. they have "getting here" pages which really just links to google maps but is helpful in planning transport.
      you can also get a train and go across the glenfinnan viaduct and pretend you are going to hogwarts
      ignore c**ts like this

      • 10 months ago
        Anonymous

        > ignore scots on your trip to scotland

      • 10 months ago
        Anonymous

        >pretend you are going to hogwarts

      • 10 months ago
        Anonymous

        Can you drive? It'll make things a lot better.

        There is public transport, but a lot of stuff you'd only want to stop for 30 minutes or an hour, but the next bus would likely be hours.

        Rent a car. I personally picked mine up in Carlisle as it was 2x cheaper than in Glasgow. Try visiting Campsie Fells. Saw a handful of college girls skinny dipping. It was a nice sight. Fall of Falloch is great too. Urquhart castle, Loch ness, Fort Augustus, Glencoe, Oban. Don't forget about Isle of Sky too, you have to hike up the old man of storr

        I was thinking about renting a car but as an American I am a bit hesitant to driving on the other side of the road. Also I am under 25 and have to pay a young drivers fee on basically any car I rent which hikes up the price.

        • 10 months ago
          Anonymous

          You can try renting on Gumtree for private hires.

        • 10 months ago
          Anonymous

          You need to rent a car and just accept the young drivers fee. £25-30 a day or whatever is worth it when public transport will either be non-existent or incredibly sparse for where you want to go. I know some routes around the NC500 only run a bus once a week. Driving over here shouldn't be a problem at all, just take it easy. You won't be the worst driver others have seen around the Highlands, and there will be plenty of American tourists driving way worse than you at this time.

          • 10 months ago
            Anonymous

            >I am a bit hesitant to driving on the other side of the road
            you'll be fine with this bit anon. everything is basically a mirror image. i'm from the uk and i used to work in the usa quite frequently and rent cars every time. i would just drive around the car park a few times to get acclimatised then it felt normal. i don't really like driving anyway so if i can do it anyone can.
            not sure what you can do about the young driver thing. maybe dye your hair grey or something
            [...]
            yes this is a good idea. a lot of them are completely insufferable

            [...]
            Kilts aren't tourist shit but you'd only wear them for formal occasions. No one will hate you, they'll just think you're a mong.

            [...]
            I don't want to be rude but you probably shouldn't even be driving in the USA if you don't know which side of the road to drive on. Most roads like that over here will be a 60mph limit but no one is looking to get killed by ploughing down single track lanes like that. You see an oncoming car, you slow down, they slow down and you both get further over your respective sides of the road to get past each other. There's almost always enough room to do so on narrow roads here, and if not, then there's passing points on the rest of them. Generally, the narrowest roads I've come across have been in SW England and not rural Scotland.

            If you're this worried about driving then I definitely wouldn't suggest you do so, but you are going to really struggle relying on public transport. Hitchhiking could work and from what I've heard is quite common up north of Inverness but you'll struggle if you're aiming for somewhere specific.

            Its called instinct. You see a car where you don't think it should be and your brain immediately thinks its on the wrong side and is going to hit you. You have to remind yourself "no that's normal here, now am I on the correct side?" I don't have to think about what side of the road to drive on in the US because one side feels right and the other doesn't.

            Also we don't have roads that allow you do to 60 mph while only being one lane wide where you have to slow down if a car comes. That's just not a thing here. The closest thing to that would be like a dirt road in a rural area which usually aren't in good enough condition to go very fast. Our residential streets are wider than your main commercial streets in your cities.

            I've driven in plenty of countries that drive on the opposite side of the road, including pretty much all over the US. You don't see a car driving on the opposite side of the road to you and suddenly think you need to be on the same side as the car. If you're on about narrow lanes then what's the issue? Just slow down or stop, no one is going to continue driving and smash into you. Probably should have had a think about this before booking the flight.

            op here
            I don't mind driving on the other side of the road I'm just a poorgay who got a good deal on a flight and hotel and thought public transit was a good idea. Im probably going to rent a car for a few days and go on some day tours that drive me places

        • 10 months ago
          Anonymous

          >I am a bit hesitant to driving on the other side of the road
          you'll be fine with this bit anon. everything is basically a mirror image. i'm from the uk and i used to work in the usa quite frequently and rent cars every time. i would just drive around the car park a few times to get acclimatised then it felt normal. i don't really like driving anyway so if i can do it anyone can.
          not sure what you can do about the young driver thing. maybe dye your hair grey or something

          > ignore scots on your trip to scotland

          yes this is a good idea. a lot of them are completely insufferable

          • 10 months ago
            Anonymous

            The hardest thing for me (as an American) is the number of narrow roads with no dividing line in rural UK. I would panic seeing an oncoming car and would have to think myself through which side I'm supposed to be on, which side they're supposed to be on, and how do we pass.

        • 10 months ago
          Anonymous

          despite what these people are saying as a young man you get to interact more with other people if you take public transit, and it's also more of an adventure I think than being shut in driving a little rental cuckbox

  2. 10 months ago
    Anonymous

    You can rent canoes and paddle Loch Ness, high chance of being rained on the whole time thoughever

  3. 10 months ago
    Anonymous

    Can you drive? It'll make things a lot better.

    There is public transport, but a lot of stuff you'd only want to stop for 30 minutes or an hour, but the next bus would likely be hours.

  4. 10 months ago
    Anonymous

    Rent a car. I personally picked mine up in Carlisle as it was 2x cheaper than in Glasgow. Try visiting Campsie Fells. Saw a handful of college girls skinny dipping. It was a nice sight. Fall of Falloch is great too. Urquhart castle, Loch ness, Fort Augustus, Glencoe, Oban. Don't forget about Isle of Sky too, you have to hike up the old man of storr

    • 10 months ago
      Anonymous

      Thanks man, adding these places to my list

      • 10 months ago
        Anonymous

        Better start planning and booking your accommodation early. They sold out fast, especially in August. It's almost impossible to find an affordable place to sleep. Many camps out instead with their RV

  5. 10 months ago
    Anonymous

    Jumping in on this instead of starting a new thread, if that's cool. I'm going to be hiking the West Highland Way and Great Glen Way in October. Maybe you could look into a day or so of that if you like hiking.

    Any souvenirs actually worth getting over there? Any brands that are recommended and not just tourist shit?

    If I buy a nice kilt to hike in will Scottish people hate me?

    • 10 months ago
      Anonymous

      scottish people will hate you whatever you do
      also kilts are "tourist shit"

    • 10 months ago
      Anonymous

      scottish people will hate you whatever you do
      also kilts are "tourist shit"

      Kilts aren't tourist shit but you'd only wear them for formal occasions. No one will hate you, they'll just think you're a mong.

      The hardest thing for me (as an American) is the number of narrow roads with no dividing line in rural UK. I would panic seeing an oncoming car and would have to think myself through which side I'm supposed to be on, which side they're supposed to be on, and how do we pass.

      I don't want to be rude but you probably shouldn't even be driving in the USA if you don't know which side of the road to drive on. Most roads like that over here will be a 60mph limit but no one is looking to get killed by ploughing down single track lanes like that. You see an oncoming car, you slow down, they slow down and you both get further over your respective sides of the road to get past each other. There's almost always enough room to do so on narrow roads here, and if not, then there's passing points on the rest of them. Generally, the narrowest roads I've come across have been in SW England and not rural Scotland.

      If you're this worried about driving then I definitely wouldn't suggest you do so, but you are going to really struggle relying on public transport. Hitchhiking could work and from what I've heard is quite common up north of Inverness but you'll struggle if you're aiming for somewhere specific.

      • 10 months ago
        Anonymous

        Its called instinct. You see a car where you don't think it should be and your brain immediately thinks its on the wrong side and is going to hit you. You have to remind yourself "no that's normal here, now am I on the correct side?" I don't have to think about what side of the road to drive on in the US because one side feels right and the other doesn't.

        Also we don't have roads that allow you do to 60 mph while only being one lane wide where you have to slow down if a car comes. That's just not a thing here. The closest thing to that would be like a dirt road in a rural area which usually aren't in good enough condition to go very fast. Our residential streets are wider than your main commercial streets in your cities.

        • 10 months ago
          Anonymous

          I've driven in plenty of countries that drive on the opposite side of the road, including pretty much all over the US. You don't see a car driving on the opposite side of the road to you and suddenly think you need to be on the same side as the car. If you're on about narrow lanes then what's the issue? Just slow down or stop, no one is going to continue driving and smash into you. Probably should have had a think about this before booking the flight.

    • 10 months ago
      Anonymous

      >If I buy a nice kilt to hike in will Scottish people hate me?

      You'll look a bit silly but not particularly weird, loads of people do it including Scots.

      • 10 months ago
        Anonymous

        >You'll look a bit silly

        not because kilts are seen as silly in Scotland, but because like the other anon said they're meant for formal occasions usually, so wearing a kilt looks like you're dressed up hiking and showing off, but no one would question it or look down on it.

        • 10 months ago
          Anonymous

          https://i.imgur.com/CxPaZx9.png

          >If I buy a nice kilt to hike in will Scottish people hate me?

          You'll look a bit silly but not particularly weird, loads of people do it including Scots.

          Fair enough. I think Braveheart seared it into my mind that the kilt is aesthetically fitting for trekking through the highlands.

          On another note, are the islands of Skye or Arran worth the visit?

          • 10 months ago
            Anonymous

            Wearing a kilt outside of formal events is a bit cringe but no one really cares. I’ve seen people in shit Glasgow nightclubs in kilts. I am not a weeb so don’t know about the kimono comparison but sounds plausible.

            Skye and Arran are both excellent visits. You can spend a fortnight alone on Skye. Both offer great hikes with Skye having some of the best munros (very big mountains). Problem is access. Public transport exists but is shit. You want your own car. Skye has a bridge but the ferry services are kino. Arran is only via ferry. Calmac is the ferry company and they cuck everyone. If you want the island experience you can go to Cumbrae and cycle around it. Arran needs a couple of days although day trips can be done if you want to race it.

  6. 10 months ago
    Anonymous

    >What are some good things to do in the area while solo traveling?
    Get pissed up and go to a ceilidh bar
    I missed my train leaving Inverness the other year and did just that, had a great night dancing with strangers and ended up sleeping out on the train station floor and missing the morning train too. Good times

  7. 10 months ago
    Anonymous

    A bheil Gàidhlig agad?

    • 10 months ago
      Anonymous

      chan eil e riatanach

  8. 10 months ago
    Anonymous

    is wearing a kilt while hiking the equivalent of wearing a kimono on the train in japan

  9. 10 months ago
    Anonymous

    Did it last year, I'd almost say don't bother going if you're using public transport.

    You need

    A. A car and to drive around at your own will

    or

    B. Multiple tourist bus tours that'll take you everywhere, outside that it just wouldn't be worth it man.

  10. 10 months ago
    Anonymous

    What's the best way to get to Kisimul Castle on Barra in the Hebrides. It's on the southern end of the islands. I know there's a small airport that has landing on the beach. Where and how much to hire a plane ride?

    • 10 months ago
      Anonymous

      The castle is closed for renovations. They used to do boat trips to its little island but I don't know when they're opening again.

      If you want to see the castle anyway you can either get the ferry there or fly there. Both are doable but you need to book in advance and plan how to get around once you are there.

      Flights are only from Glasgow on a shitty wee prop plane. The beach landing is unique. Richgays travel the world just to land there in their little private planes. Once there you'll need to arrange to get from the airport to Castlebay to see the castle.

      Boats are either from Oban on the mainland or Eriskay which is a small island off South Uist. The Oban service docks in Castlebay and you can get hotels, food etc right next to the port. The Eriskay service docks even further away than the airport. South Uist is itself a complete pain to get to.

      I have in the past done a tour of the Western Isles driving, starting from Barra and finishing on Lewis. North Uist has the world's most beautiful beaches and it is a complete pain in the arse to actually visit.

      • 10 months ago
        Anonymous

        Closed for renovations? Oh.....that sucks. I'm in the beginning stage of research for a trip next April and I wanted to go see the castle and stay at the Castlebay Hotel or maybe the Heathbank near the airport. I only wanted to stay for 1 day and 1 night to see the castle then it would be back to the mainland. I havve a limited amount of time in the UK so a 5 hour ferry from Oban seems like it would take up more time than I'm willing to give. I'll do more research and contact those in charge of the castle. Thanks for the info!

  11. 10 months ago
    Anonymous

    >I'm staying in Inverness and taking public transport
    You fell for a real meme. Inverness is...
    >ugly, new, with no attractions
    >not close to any good hiking areas
    >not convenient to any attractions except for Loch Ness which itself is a meme
    Why do literally 100% of tourists plan their Highlands trips from Inverness?

    • 10 months ago
      Anonymous

      i-its supposed to be the capital of the highlands anon...
      where would you plan a highlands trip from?

  12. 10 months ago
    Anonymous

    Is it worth going to Galloway Forest down south? And is Glasgow more fun that Edinburgh?

    • 10 months ago
      Anonymous

      Galloway Forest is nice enough, sparsely populated with some nice hikes. However I wouldn’t make a special trip here at the expense of more time in the highlands or islands for your first few trips to Scotland.

      Glasgow is more fun than Edinburgh but it has no shortbread tin sights you’d want to see as a tourist. If you want to go on the piss it is definitely better in Glasgow.

      i-its supposed to be the capital of the highlands anon...
      where would you plan a highlands trip from?

      Fort William. Inverness is the last big town but it’s a bit lame. You’re much better off moving around a little which is why motorhomes or wild camping (legal in Scotland!) are better than having a base for your whole trip.

      Closed for renovations? Oh.....that sucks. I'm in the beginning stage of research for a trip next April and I wanted to go see the castle and stay at the Castlebay Hotel or maybe the Heathbank near the airport. I only wanted to stay for 1 day and 1 night to see the castle then it would be back to the mainland. I havve a limited amount of time in the UK so a 5 hour ferry from Oban seems like it would take up more time than I'm willing to give. I'll do more research and contact those in charge of the castle. Thanks for the info!

      I’d like to imagine it’d be open by then. A day trip to barra is a lot of time spent travelling; it’s a real israeliteel despite being small and you can spend a few days here easy. Castlebay Hotel is nice, I’ve stayed there before, it’s up a small hill if you don’t pack light. The ferry from Oban goes past Mull and Ardnamurchan which are very pretty to see. Usually some wildlife around like basking sharks, dolphins and whales.

      Why this castle in particular?

      • 10 months ago
        Anonymous

        Why Kisimul Castle? My last name is McNeil.

        • 10 months ago
          Anonymous

          OK that makes sense. There are bits of Argyll and some other islands you might be interested in (e.g. Colonsay) but again these are a long way away (even by Scottish standards) for a couple of points of interest to look at.

          Barra and its conjoined twin Vatersay are lovely and you'd enjoy a visit there even without the family connections. Plenty of Iron Age stuff kicking around as well if you like that kind of thing, standing stones, brochs and the like.

          • 10 months ago
            Anonymous

            Thank you for the info. I've sent an email to Historic Scotland, which now owns or rents the Castle. Hopefully they get back to me soon. I've looked into booking a room, as I'll be traveling alone, but the Castelbay Hotel and the Heathbank Hotel, but their websites say they're full, or can't be booked. I'm going to contact them next to see if I can work out something. You seem to have a knowledge of Barra and Vatersay. Any places you'd recommend staying for maybe 2 nights? Also, any decent food recommendations while I'm there? I've looked on Tripadvisor and a lot of reviews are mixed for the Castlebay Hotel Restaurant. The Heathbank Hotel Restaurant gets great reviews. And then there is the Cafe Kisimul which appears to be Indian cuisine. Also, Craigard, which has some fairly bad reviews on Tripadvisor. Being on an island, I'm sure the choices are extremely limited. Just wanted to hear your thoughts.

            • 10 months ago
              Anonymous

              Barra is small and outside of Castlebay all the settlements are miniscule crofting villages (smallholders / subsistence farmers). It is entirely possible the hotels are booked out but there should be some airbnbs or even 1990s B&Bs you have to book over the phone available. Failing that you are camping. Sorry anon, but Barra is pretty, and the so-called planning laws that govern the building of tourist accommodation are utterly pozzed, so the limited supply of expensive hotel rooms goes quickly.

              Castlebay Hotel had nice enough food when I was there but I'm not a gourmand. There was also a pizza shack we found that was actually really good. The co-op supermarket in Castlebay had a surprisingly wide range of stuff for such a tiny island as well. I was saving some £ for the £££ boat trip to St Kilda so ate a lot of cheapish stuff from Coop. I didn't try the Indian so can't comment (isn't it also the chip shop?).

              You have to allow for the island being five hours by boat from anywhere so supply chains are sketchy. Stuff just won't be available nor as good for the money as you'd get on the mainland.

              • 10 months ago
                Anonymous

                Gotcha. And, yes. The Indian place is a chip shop as well. Once again, thanks for all of the knowledge!

  13. 10 months ago
    Anonymous

    Wally. There's this place called Findhorn in Scotland Wally. You gotta check it out. They grow giant cauliflowers and talk to plants there Wally. I met this Englishman there who wrote a book about trees Wally. Real intellectual free thinking folk there. When I was in Findhorn Wally....

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