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Glencoe House.jpeg

Places we stayed...


Since the University of Glasgow is what brought us here, we rented a two bedroom flat in the Finnieston area of Glasgow.  Our last night was back in Glasgow before catching an early morning flight home.  We picked Boutique 50 as it was close to campus and had good reviews.  (Note: If you are not staying solo, see bathroom door reviews before booking.)


Isle of Skye and Glencoe were both a 'must do' part of our trip.  Isle of Skye is 5 hours from Glasgow and our window was short - we only had a weekend.  Therefore, we made Glencoe our home base (2+ hours from Glasgow and 3 hours from Isle of Skye.)  It was still a lot of driving (12 hours in one day - thank you Alistair!) but we were able to see everything on our list.  This was most certainly the 'splurge' part of our trip.  Glencoe House did not disappoint!   If you stay in the Main House, they serve breakfast and dinner at your very own dining room table! 

Here are some other places we considered staying...but didn't due to timing of our trip, etc.

 Edinburgh - Virgin Hotels recently opened this property in close proximity to the Royal Mile.  They have family suites.  

 Isle of Skye - Raasay overlooks the Isle of Skye and this place looked interesting and had great reviews.  Originally we had considered staying at Marmalade Hotel on Isle of Skye.  It is conveniently located in Portree, the main town on the island.  It is also the sister property to Glencoe House.


Things we did...

Day 1:  Landed in Edinburgh.  Got settled in Glasgow and visited the University.  Many movies are filmed here.  It is a beautiful campus.

Day 2:  Full day in Edinburgh.  We saw the Castle, tried to see the King's residence the Palace of Holyroodhouse, but we were too late in gaining entrance.  Hiked up Calton Hill for great views of the city.

Notes:  Would have like to have spent more time in Edinburgh.  There is lots we did not see...Arthur's Seat, etc. 

Day 3:  We stayed in Glasgow and did some sight seeing at the Botanical Gardens and watched the World Cup across the street at the Oran Mor (see link below.)

Day 4:  Day trip to Stirling Castle.  We did not see the National Wallace Monument or the Kelpies, but would have liked to.  This would have been easier to do as part of an organized tour.  We used ScotRail for transportation to and from Stirling which is fast, on time and reliable.

Day 5:  Lunch, tour and whisky tasting at new Clydeside Distillery in Glasgow.

Day 6:  Departure to Glencoe with stop at Loch Lomond for lunch and Glencoe Valley on the way in - both breathtaking.

Day 7:  FULL day of driving to Isle of Skye.  We stopped at Eilean Donan Castle on way to Isle of Skye (about 2h from Glencoe) and then saw the following on Isle of Skye with Alistair Burns of ASB Transportation (see below.)

  • Sligachan Bridge

  • The Quirang

  • Kilt Rock (my favorite!)

  • Old Man Storr - this is not for the faint of heart.  It started to rain (sideways!) and then the sun started to set.  Only one in our group (nice work JR!) made the hike out to (just barely) see it.  

Notes:  We approached The Quirang coming in clockwise on Isle of Skye per ASB's advice - and it was great advice at that!  Made for a very majestic approach and the fog cleared just as we did so.  

We missed out on many things due to limited daylight and just time in general.  Would have been great to stay in Isle of Skye to see more...fairy poolsTalisker Distillery, etc.

Day 8:  Quick walk around the grounds of Glencoe before checking out and then a quick stop at the Massacre of Glencoe Monument honoring the MacDonald Clan before the drive back to Glasgow.


Places we ate..


Bertie's Fish & Chips - the name says it all.  We wanted to try the traditional fish and chips.  Our first day in Scotland was spent in Edinburgh.  Located near the Castle, we stopped for lunch.  Good Chips!


HBW Coffee - they say it best...'Great Coffee, Great Vibe, Great Food'...and it's all vegan/vegetarian.  Be sure to order the hashbrowns.

Loch Lomond:

Duck Bay - Shout out to Alistair with ASB Executive for kicking off our Glencoe/Isle of Skye with lunch here.  It was beautifully decorated for the holidays and was perfectly situated with views of Loch Lomond.

Isle of Skye:

Uig Hotel - We happened upon this place by accident as we were all hungry for lunch, but it was a great find.


Since this is where we spent most of our vacation, we have an extensive list here:

Tantrum Donuts (photo above)- Creme Brûlée Donuts - yes, please!  We had a few breakfasts at this locally owned donut shop.  

MacTassos - Popular Greek Gyro food truck conveniently located next to our flat and on way to Uni.

Roots, Fruits & Flowers - Although not a restaurant, they do deserve a mention.  We purchased supplies here to cook in a few nights.  They have a fresh, beautiful assortment of fruits, vegetables, pantry items, etc.

Brel Bar - This was one of my favorite dinner spots, both in terms of food and location.  It is located in the Ashton Lane section of Finnieston and is a popular spot.  Get the mussels or the mac and cheese with chorizo topping - you won't be disappointed.

Oran Mor - Great spot to grab a pint in a former church.  We stopped on our way back from the Botanical Gardens.  It is right across the street.

Islay Inn - Pub that was conveniently located next to our flat. Good live music and pub quizzes on Wednesday nights.

Clydeside Cafe - We grabbed lunch here not once but twice.  Limited menu, but great sandwiches.

Meze Meze - Amazing Turkish and Persian food!  Lots of variety and large portions.  You will not leave hungry.

The Butchershop - Nothing says Thanksgiving Dinner like the Tomahawk Special.  That is how two out of four of us celebrated the holiday. Phenomenal meal, great service and creative cocktails.

Hanami Japanese Cuisine - Another gem in Finnieston.  This was our last meal in Glasgow and a nice way to end it.


Tips we have...

  • Plan for weather in the photo above.  Boots are a MUST if you are traveling to Scotland.  I was very grateful for my last minute Sperry boot purchase.

  • Wear layers and pack a rain jacket.

  • We visited in November, not optimal with day light and weather, but it worked best for our schedules.  Plan your time accordingly as the sun sets early that time of year.  

  • The public transportation is fantastic.  Scotrail is on time, convenient and clean...and reasonably priced.  We traveled both to Stirling and Edinburgh via train.

  • 'People make Glagow'.  Aye, Glaswegians are extremely friendly.

  • They drive on the 'other side of the road' in Scotland so you may want to consider hiring a driver - especially helpful on the narrow one lane roads.  We used Alistair Burns with ASB Executive.  He is in the Glencoe area and provided on time, prompt and courteous service.

  • If you stay in Glencoe or other remote areas of Scotland, and do not have a car, transportation is limited.  You will want to hire transports prior to traveling to restaurants, etc. 

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