F&C Trip to Scotland - Gauging Interest & Opinions - Booked!

General area & dates of possible Scotland trip

  • Highlands

    Votes: 12 92.3%
  • Lowlands

    Votes: 4 30.8%
  • Arran or another island

    Votes: 12 92.3%
  • September 2018

    Votes: 9 69.2%
  • October 2018

    Votes: 10 76.9%
  • November 2018

    Votes: 6 46.2%

  • Total voters
    13
  • Poll closed .

Andysnap

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#41
I stayed in Onich years ago on a West Coast trip. Nice place, very quiet. It made the IOW look like Vegas :)
I'll bet we could liven it up a bit. :banana::beer::runaway:
 

RaglanSurf

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#42
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#43
Wherever we end up, better make sure that they know we are film photographers rather than a "film crew" or people coming to "shoot a film". :whistle:
 
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#44
Perhaps it is an Edinburgh thing, but each time I've been to Scotland (admittedly not very regularly as I've never felt all that keen on going back there after each visit) it's been a bar, and I've not liked the beer. :(
Out of interest, what part of Scotland was this. I've never heard of anyone going anywhere other than the "pub".

As an aside, lots of excellent beers in Scottish pubs, but still some that only sell the cold fizzy horrible stuff (to my taste), which used to be the norm in Scotland, but fortunately started to change when I started to legally drink 44 years ago, and now most pubs I go to have good real ales, and often a choice of artisan/micro brewery beers.
 

ChrisR

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#45
Wherever we end up, better make sure that they know we are film photographers rather than a "film crew" or people coming to "shoot a film". :whistle:
I think the sheer number of cameras tends to make us stand out!
 
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#46
I think the sheer number of cameras tends to make us stand out!
Sorry Chris, I should have been clearer in explaining that they get real film crews in the Onich area as they are close to Glencoe and Rob Roy was filmed just over the Corran Ferry on the Ardnamurchan peninsula. Similarly, Newtonmore would have been the base for the crew on Monarch of the Glen some years back, so the very mention of the word "film" may have them rubbing their hands and prices rising!
 
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#47
Out of interest, what part of Scotland was this. I've never heard of anyone going anywhere other than the "pub".

As an aside, lots of excellent beers in Scottish pubs, but still some that only sell the cold fizzy horrible stuff (to my taste), which used to be the norm in Scotland, but fortunately started to change when I started to legally drink 44 years ago, and now most pubs I go to have good real ales, and often a choice of artisan/micro brewery beers.
Firstly it was a town in Perthshire, secondly a town in Dumfries and Galloway. The locals might well have referred to them as pubs, but compared to what I picture mentally as a pub (a building, usually on it's own, with three or four rooms and perhaps more than one bar (tap room, snug, lounge, etc., or maybe an open plan design, but with different alcoves and levels, etc.), these were what I'd call bars. Being part of the rest of the buildings in the main street, one room deep, with a bar running the length of the room, under-window bench seating with a few tables and chairs in front of that.

In both places I found the beer (bitter) was as you described, cold and fizzy, and to me reminiscent of dark and tinny keg beer in the early 80's. I ended up drinking larger in one place as at least that's supposed to taste cold and fizzy! In all fairness, the bar in Perthshire had malt whisky at about half the price it is in pubs in England, so we switched to that all night instead of beer. Trouble was that within 2 night's they'd sold out of Highland Park, so we had to drink Famous Grouse after that!

The thing that we noticed was that all the locals in one of the bars seemed incapable of having a conversation with each other at normal volume levels, with them communicating at shouting levels by about 10pm. After a couple of nights of this curiosity got the better of me and asked an elderly local lady on the next table why all the blokes felt the need to be 'shouting at' rather than 'talking to' each other? She looked at me in total disbelief, then replied "Because they're pished"! That did make me laugh, she must have been pushing 80 too, bless her! :D

On a positive side, everyone seemed very welcoming, friendly and helpful and we found some nice bistros/restaurants in which to eat. However, I do like a good pint of real ale on holiday (I'm not obsessive about the stuff, I just appreciate a good pint). I also find Scotland is a long drive away, and the way the traffic is these days, plus all the roadworks, I seldom enjoy driving for hours at a time.

Perhaps I'm just getting old, but as North Wales in about 40 mins away from me and has some similar scenery (and more bat species ;)), I really can't find it in myself to want to go to Scotland for a holiday. I've deliberately not named the towns I visited as other people might thoroughly enjoy staying there, it's each to their own; but, conversely, I hope people won't mind me saying that it's not really for me based on my experiences so far.
 
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#48
Firstly it was a town in Perthshire, secondly a town in Dumfries and Galloway. The locals might well have referred to them as pubs, but compared to what I picture mentally as a pub (a building, usually on it's own, with three or four rooms and perhaps more than one bar (tap room, snug, lounge, etc., or maybe an open plan design, but with different alcoves and levels, etc.), these were what I'd call bars. Being part of the rest of the buildings in the main street, one room deep, with a bar running the length of the room, under-window bench seating with a few tables and chairs in front of that.
I misunderstood, I thought you meant that in Scotland pubs were called bars by the Scots, not that the ones you had been to you had decided to call bars.

Places you describe I am happy enough to believe still exist, but I haven't been in one for years, but they also exist in other parts of the country, I've been in the same sort of places in both Wales and England, more recently than I've been to such places in Scotland.

I think you were unlucky, I've spent many years hillwalking and holidaying in Perthshire, and never been in a pub as you describe, but have been less lucky with the beer, as there are still too many places that haven't taken on board real ales. So you need to choose your pub carefully. Pubs have changed dramatically over my lifetime, from places for "serious" drinking to places to relax and have something to eat, sounds like you may have managed to tap into a bit of "living history", as I do remember pubs as you describe. Having said that, I was a bit disappointed with my recent visit to Dumfries and Galloway, where I struggled to find pubs serving good food, but it was a short visit and I put it down to not looking hard enough/long enough. Other than that, I really enjoyed my visit.

As an aside, now living in Somerset, I had problems finding pubs serving decent cider, which I thought would have been easy.

I agree It' s a long drive to Scotland, and I like North Wales as well, but I still think the drive to Scotland worth it, and we have been increasing our bat species list over the years!

Graham
 
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#50
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Mrs Snap
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#51
Yes it's a nice area. I did check the other cottages. Tighaline has no full weeks left in Sep or Oct. The others do have availability towards the end of Oct but some of the beds are bunks which might not be ideal. I've bookmarked them just in case.
 
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#52
You just have to be careful of the wild boar in the forest...
 
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Mrs Snap
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#55
Glad to see we’ve got some interest in this holiday, it looks like up to 15 people may be coming! :) The Highlands and Arran & Islands both got the same number of votes and it was very close between September and October too.

My initial searches for a single property big enough for 15 people (which isn’t stupidly expensive) haven’t found anything suitable on Arran, Mull or Skye but I have found a few around the Highlands (and Ken found one too!). These properties all currently have some availability throughout September and October. However, most of them do have some bookings already so they’re not all going to be free on whatever our preferred week is.

https://www.sykescottages.co.uk/cot...ional-Park-Newtonmore/Alvey-House-934608.html
http://www.unique-cottages.co.uk/cottages/west-coast/lochaber-ardnamurchan/cn3-cuilcheanna-house?
http://www.avondruiehouse.co.uk/index.html
https://www.lhhscotland.com/properties/detail/?id=25170
http://www.cairndruie.co.uk/
http://www.tighguish.co.uk/


I think the next step is to try and identify if there is a particular week(s) that suits everyone or, at least, as many people as possible. So, with that in mind, can I please ask you all to let me know what dates in September and October you can / cannot come? Also, if anyone is coming for less than a week please let me know.

@Mrs Snap & @Andysnap
@Carl Hall & Angi
@RaglanSurf & Shireen
@Woodsy & @nikki_s
@ChrisR maybe plus 1
@kendo1
@desf
@steveo_mcg
@Peter B
@raathistle
 
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#56
Best I'll be able to swing is a long weekend. I have no prior engagements so easy to fit into what ever the larger group decide.

Another consideration might be the September weekend. Its a local bank holiday, only observed by a few work places (council/schools mostly) but traditionally the last chance for lowlanders to get out the city before winter and places can get surprisingly busy. Edinburgh is the 18th and I think Glasgow is the week after.

October school half term (Edinburgh) is the 16-Oct to 23-Oct generally not so busy but worth bearing in mind.
 
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#57
Also worth remembering that the Arran ferry tends to get booked up early for cars, especially now that it's so much cheaper than before. There are a few static caravan sites in Whiting Bay which may be suitable.


If going to Arran the usual sights are worth checking out:

  • Isle of Arran Heritage Museum
  • Machrie Moor Stone Circles (there is a fairly boring walk involved to reach them)
  • Brodick Castle
  • Glenashdale Falls
  • King's Caves (a little boring but a nice walk to reach them)
  • Holy Isle (inexpensive to get a boat across)

Not so well known stuff:

  • A841 from Whiting bay to Lamlash there's a section which overlooks the whole bay of Lamlash and at the right time gives a fantastic photo opportunity. You'll have to park up and go on foot off to the side of the road though.
  • There's a seal walk starting from Kildonan and along the south side of the island.
  • There's a lovely outdoor library (operates on trust) which can be reached by starting from this car park (55.449454, -5.133962)
  • Cafe Thyme is nice and you get the sunset on that side (Machrie)
  • Whiting Bay is the site for the Coastguard and Air Ambulance and it's quite frequently used by the helicopters. You can get very close to the landing site.
 
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#58
The only days that I definitely can't do is the 19th to 21st October, as I'm at a Star Trek convention :D I'll check with Angi to see if she's unavailable any dates.

Personally I think dates away from public holidays and half terms etc are better as there are fewer people around. It might be different in Scotland mind, but in Somerset bank holidays are a friggin nightmare as seventeen trillion people drive through towards Cornwall!
 
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#59
You might find more accommodation places after the 15th of October as the Salmon fishing season ends then (or thereabouts as it varies on different rivers), so another tranche of visitors won't be around to compete with you. Mind you, salmon fishing can make a nice subject for photography, so a double edged sword there!

Carl, couldn't Scottie beam you down there after you've been to the convention? Sorry, too good a chance to miss to tease someone there! :D
 
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Mrs Snap
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#60
Thanks Carl & Steve.

So far, availability isn't an issue although the size of the property is limiting the choice a bit. However, it's possible that potential numbers of attendees may drop a little which could mean that slightly smaller houses can be looked at. I've bookmarked a number of places that sleep 10-14 which I've not linked in the thread. Generally, the houses I've found on the large fishing / hunting / shooting estates are ridiculously expensive and have been immediately kicked into touch!

The good news is that all the houses I've saved so far give easy access to interesting places and great views, whichever one gets booked.
 
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#62
I'm available for any dates in September/October ( our holidays have changed to two weeks in August)
Evey will come along for a weekend, but doesn't have to if this stops someone else coming for a week - she'll let me go alone!
 

Woodsy

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#63
@nikki_s and I are free across both months, with no firm commitments. There’s a fairly strong preference not to go away during the school holidays though, and an almost negligible preference towards October rather than September. :)
 

Andysnap

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#65
I heartily agree with every part of this sentence (y) :)
Well that's all well and good young Carl but you have personally removed half of October from the list with your nerdy sci-fi attendance needs. :D.
 
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Mrs Snap
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#66
Having done some research into Scottish half terms, the bad news is that every area has their own dates. Some take one week and others take two and they cover almost the whole of October!! However, the majority of areas seem to take either one week from 15-19 Oct or two weeks from 15-26 Oct, and I think the English half term holidays are mainly 22-26 Oct. Luckily, these are the weeks that are already affected by Carl's convention!! :);)
 

ChrisR

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#67
Having done some research into Scottish half terms, the bad news is that every area has their own dates. Some take one week and others take two and they cover almost the whole of October!! However, the majority of areas seem to take either one week from 15-19 Oct or two weeks from 15-26 Oct, and I think the English half term holidays are mainly 22-26 Oct. Luckily, these are the weeks that are already affected by Carl's convention!! :);)
The variable-by-area public holiday is one of the beauties of the Scottish "system", really cuts down on traffic nightmares. It's the English ones we really should avoid...
 
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#68
Well that's all well and good young Carl but you have personally removed half of October from the list with your nerdy sci-fi attendance needs. :D.
I can be hard work, but I am worth it :D

If that weekend is best for everyone else, then I'll have to arrive a bit later or leave a bit earlier :) I would just not go to the convention, but I've been trying to get my mate to go since I went to the last one five years ago, and he's only just agreed :LOL:
 

StephenM

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#69
From where I'm sitting, you seem to epitomise the second part of "Film and Conventional" - so what could be wrong with that?

:D:exit:
 
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Mrs Snap
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#70
I can be hard work, but I am worth it :D

If that weekend is best for everyone else, then I'll have to arrive a bit later or leave a bit earlier :) I would just not go to the convention, but I've been trying to get my mate to go since I went to the last one five years ago, and he's only just agreed :LOL:
You're definitely worth it, if only to hear your pronunciation of 'fesh & cheps'!! ;):LOL: Luckily, your weekend coincides with the main bulk of both English & Scottish half terms so is best avoided anyway :)

It looks like we would struggle in the first half of September. Details are very vague at the moment but there's something on at Andy's work and they've said they won't be approving leave requested after the dates are finalised. :rolleyes:

The good news is that we've still got about 4 weeks from mid-September to mid-October to choose from! :)
 
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#74
Perhaps we all ought to go to the Star Trek convention, I imagine that hearing Carl say "Live long and prosper" in a west country accent would be an absolute killer! :D ;)

Banter aside, I do like our regional accents and it's a shame so many of them are being lost these days, with everyone increasingly sounding more alike. So carry on talking proper everyone! (y)
 
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#78
It's been confirmed that Mr Snap cannot book any leave between Sat 1st and Sun 9th September :rolleyes:
 
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#79
what is a conventional camera? as mentioned, never heard of that. film and digital yes but conventional ??????? can you change the area to the South coast by any chance Like Bexhill on Sea. Here you can spend all day photographing sea gulls ;)
 
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