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Holiday in Scotland - Which are the best Isles to visit

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cats_123
cats_123 e2 Member 104009 forum postscats_123 vcard Northern Ireland25 Constructive Critique Points
22 May 2013 - 9:03 AM

Was doing a bit of research yesterday for a potential self drive holiday to Scotland......came across Oban and spookily there was a TV prog on last night......looks really interesting around that area but suffering from too much information about the different Isles.

Can anyone give me any suggestions for the most interesting?
Is it better to do day trips or hop from isle to isle?

Do you know if the trips to see the puffins are available in September or have the birsd all flown the nest by then?

We'll be driving up from Cairnryan and probably spending 4-5 nights

Appreciate any advice GrinGrin

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JohnParminter
22 May 2013 - 9:24 AM

Jeff, Island hopping in 5 days will be expensive, you won't see owt and spend most of your time worrying about the next ferry time.

Visit the CalMac website for ferry times to and around the islands then you will see how expensive and complicated timings are for island hopping.

I suggest you are better off dedicating time on one or two islands only, Arran and Mull or Islay for example. Or one trip to Skye and perhaps the Outer Hebs.

Arran for lovely scenery and a quiet way of life.

Islay for whisky

Mull for heritage and wildlife.

JP

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Metalhead
Metalhead  61866 forum posts England2 Constructive Critique Points
22 May 2013 - 9:26 AM

Depends on what you're looking for in an Isle! Smile My personal favourites are Islay, Jura and Colonsay which you can sail to from Oban. Some great beaches, not to mention 7 whisky distilleries! From Islay it's a short hop over to Jura which is more rugged and mountainous, and there's another distillery there too (spotting a theme?)

Colonsay is a bit of a strange one. Not sure if the ferries have changed now but I think I got the Islay-Colonsay ferry on the Tuesday then picked up the Wednesday ferry back to he mainland and there wasn't any, or many, other ferry options at the time. Colonsay is small, you can drive round in an hour, but again it has gorgeous beaches and you can drive across one beach when the tide is out to neighbouring Oransay.

All the Isles have their qualities.

I'm afraid I can't help regarding the puffins though.

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mikehit
mikehit  56298 forum posts United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
22 May 2013 - 9:30 AM

I haven't been to Scotland enough to advise on places to go for short holidays but I think the puffins will be gone by September.

cats_123
cats_123 e2 Member 104009 forum postscats_123 vcard Northern Ireland25 Constructive Critique Points
22 May 2013 - 9:40 AM

Thanks, Metalhead - that gives me some more food (or spirit) for thought GrinGrinGrin

thanks, mikekit, suspect you're right Sad

cats_123
cats_123 e2 Member 104009 forum postscats_123 vcard Northern Ireland25 Constructive Critique Points
22 May 2013 - 9:45 AM


Quote: Jeff, Island hopping in 5 days will be expensive, you won't see owt and spend most of your time worrying about the next ferry time.

Visit the CalMac website for ferry times to and around the islands then you will see how expensive and complicated timings are for island hopping.

I suggest you are better off dedicating time on one or two islands only, Arran and Mull or Islay for example. Or one trip to Skye and perhaps the Outer Hebs.

Arran for lovely scenery and a quiet way of life.

Islay for whisky

Mull for heritage and wildlife.

JP

thanks JP...I had a look at the Calmac website but got so bogged down with the different islands...don't want to `hop' for the sake of it......would prefer to hotel in one or two locations and go out for the day or move on, say two nights in Oban and then 2/3 nights on one of the islands.

The picture is starting to become clearer...thanks for the advice SmileSmile

JohnParminter
22 May 2013 - 10:42 AM


Quote: say two nights in Oban and then 2/3 nights on one of the islands.

That sounds like a good plan.

puertouk
puertouk  21063 forum posts United Kingdom17 Constructive Critique Points
22 May 2013 - 10:43 AM

Go to the Isles that produce the malt whiskies BlushWinkGrin

cats_123
cats_123 e2 Member 104009 forum postscats_123 vcard Northern Ireland25 Constructive Critique Points
22 May 2013 - 10:44 AM


Quote: Go to the Isles that produce the malt whiskies BlushWinkGrin

that's not in doubt, but I need to have parked the car first!!!!!! WinkGrinGrinGrinGrin

ErictheViking
ErictheViking e2 Member 1124 forum postsErictheViking vcard Scotland102 Constructive Critique Points
22 May 2013 - 10:57 AM

Have done most of my Scotland holidays on the mainland, but it you want to combine potentially great scenery, with the "whiskey" experience a few days in Oban and then a few days on Mull should satisfy for your first visit.

Like most people one visit will not be enough and it will help you to make future decisions on the basis of this visit.

Hope this helps.

Erik

Peter_West
22 May 2013 - 11:03 AM

Hi cats. Isle of Mull every time love the place, going again in a few weeks, wildlife and landscape paradise, sadly the Puffins will have flown out to sea by September, but these is a White Tailed Sea Eagle trip on Mull, where the captain throw fish out to the eagle, and it swoops down within 30 mar from boat great experience, this year he's doing a 6 hour trip just for photographers and no more than 6 on boat so loads of room, if you need more information let me know restaurants or walks, know some really nice walks where you don't another person all day, and Tobermory has a whisky distillery too. Pete

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cats_123
cats_123 e2 Member 104009 forum postscats_123 vcard Northern Ireland25 Constructive Critique Points
22 May 2013 - 11:22 AM

Thanks Erik and Pete

It will only be a fleeting visit....somewhere within striking distance of home (Northern Ireland), but Mull sounds the best bet so far. SmileSmile

alansnap
alansnap e2 Member 10528 forum postsalansnap vcard United Kingdom22 Constructive Critique Points
22 May 2013 - 12:28 PM

Hi, I think you're right. Mull is a good starting point for the islands. You can go from Oban, but there's a cheaper and shorter ferry from Lochaline to Fishnish. Using that would give you a drive through Glencoe and over Corran Ferry and along the lovely peninsula to Lochaline. If you're there for a few days then go out to Iona - a five minute ferry ride. If the weather is good you can get out to Staffa & Fingal's cave. I suspect the puffins will have gone by then but Staffa has a big colony that you can get quite close to. As well as the sea eagle you should be able to see otters in the sea lochs.
Enjoy,
Alan

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cats_123
cats_123 e2 Member 104009 forum postscats_123 vcard Northern Ireland25 Constructive Critique Points
22 May 2013 - 12:38 PM


Quote: Hi, I think you're right. Mull is a good starting point for the islands. You can go from Oban, but there's a cheaper and shorter ferry from Lochaline to Fishnish. Using that would give you a drive through Glencoe and over Corran Ferry and along the lovely peninsula to Lochaline. If you're there for a few days then go out to Iona - a five minute ferry ride. If the weather is good you can get out to Staffa & Fingal's cave. I suspect the puffins will have gone by then but Staffa has a big colony that you can get quite close to. As well as the sea eagle you should be able to see otters in the sea lochs.
Enjoy,
Alan

Thanks, Alan...somene on Tripadvisor (a separate question about railways) mentioned the Corran ferry. Staffa might be a bonus also...waiting for my road map to arrive so I can start planning properly GrinGrin

Railcam
Railcam  7466 forum posts Scotland
22 May 2013 - 1:20 PM

The crossing from Lochaline to Fishnish is good. To whet your appetite here is a view from the ferry looking east towards Oban, with the castle at Ardtornish point on the left.

mull-keith-sanders.jpg

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