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Questions about a few days in the UK

Questions about a few days in the UK

Old Feb 15, 15, 9:43 am
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Questions about a few days in the UK

I had a few questions to the wonderful FT UK community to see what you thought about a small, 10 day itinerary that I threw together.

I am going to the UK to mainly see friends, some in London, and some in Edinburgh, so, I was thinking of flying in from Norway around the 20th of July to London, then flying out on the 31st back to Poland.

This would give me about 10 days.

I would like to spend about 3 in each of Edinburgh and London, but for the other 4, I was thinking of going up to land on the sand beach at Barra.

I have never been to the Highlands, and would enjoy going for a few days.

So my main question is this: Is this too much in too little time? I will have a tent with me, and would look forward to sleep pretty much anywhere.

I would use Avios to fly from Bergen to London, stopover, then fly to Glasgow before heading to Barra in the same day. From Barra, spend 2 nights probably, then take the ferry to the main land and somehow get to the train, so I can get back to Edinburgh.

Otherwise, I could go to the Island of Man or something...is that a cool spot?

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated!
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Old Feb 15, 15, 11:13 am
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You might be able to save some time by considering taking the sleeper for the London-Scotland leg, if you're going to be stopping over anyway before flying then it might work out cheaper
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Old Feb 15, 15, 12:14 pm
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Having been to Barra... 2 nights is quite a long time to spend there, unless you like walking and wildlife!
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Old Feb 15, 15, 12:18 pm
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You'll hit the start of the main UK school holidays when you're over so that may have some bearing on campsite availability & business of tourist sites.

Also, bear in mind there are lots of flights on low cost carriers from UK regional airports to Poland so if you book now, it may be a cheaper way of getting back at the end of the trip.

Difficult to comment more on exact timings given we don't really know what you're hoping to achieve, but bear in mind that - broadly - it'll chew up the best part of a day getting from London to Barra, and another day from the Highlands to Edinburgh.
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Old Feb 15, 15, 9:04 pm
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Originally Posted by Jenbel View Post
Having been to Barra... 2 nights is quite a long time to spend there, unless you like walking and wildlife!
Walking, wildlife and the minimal dose of people sounds just thrilling! Throw in landing on a beach sounds excellent.

Originally Posted by Swiss Tony View Post
You'll hit the start of the main UK school holidays when you're over so that may have some bearing on campsite availability & business of tourist sites.

Also, bear in mind there are lots of flights on low cost carriers from UK regional airports to Poland so if you book now, it may be a cheaper way of getting back at the end of the trip.

Difficult to comment more on exact timings given we don't really know what you're hoping to achieve, but bear in mind that - broadly - it'll chew up the best part of a day getting from London to Barra, and another day from the Highlands to Edinburgh.
I was looking at the LCCs, but was also considering doing an Avios award from Bergen to London, then onwards to Glasgow for the low price of 4,500 Avios, before they change the awards...not a bad deal when stopping over in London, I think.

I have just always heard that the highlands are really nice, and the train line north of Glasgow sounds pretty darn pretty. Any suggestions are always wonderful. I like camping, the outdoors, flying to weird and spunky places, some wonderful food and am pretty much for anything!
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Old Feb 15, 15, 9:34 pm
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Just be aware that the "wildlife" in the highlands and islands at that time of year may well include swarms of biting midges. Be prepared.
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Old Feb 16, 15, 3:15 am
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Originally Posted by AJCU View Post
I was looking at the LCCs, but was also considering doing an Avios award from Bergen to London, then onwards to Glasgow for the low price of 4,500 Avios, before they change the awards...not a bad deal when stopping over in London, I think.
On the way in and if you want to go via London anyway then the award probably makes sense. It's on the way back out that you might find it cheaper/faster to fly from wherever you are direct to Poland.
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Old Feb 16, 15, 6:39 am
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Originally Posted by Swiss Tony View Post
On the way in and if you want to go via London anyway then the award probably makes sense. It's on the way back out that you might find it cheaper/faster to fly from wherever you are direct to Poland.
Just booked Ryanair EDI-POZ, cheers!
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Old Feb 17, 15, 6:16 pm
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Would the Orkney islands be a bit more feasible?

Looking at some of these tours, it seems they can see quite a bit in 5 days or so....that is with a car, of course, so halve it if you want to enjoy your time and take the bus/train/apparently mail trucks?
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Old Feb 17, 15, 11:04 pm
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That's a difficult one. I love Orkney, been there several times, lots to see and do. They are a much bigger group of island more agricultural and you'd need to hire a car once there to get the best out of them.

I have been to Barra once - read all about it http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trip-...sion-long.html It is a small island, one small village as the centre of habitation (stay in the Castlebay Hotel,not the Isle of Barra!). But it is remote and quiet and peaceful. If you are happy with that for two days, then go for it. The beach landing is very special as to be honest so is the flight.
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Old Feb 18, 15, 6:09 am
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In over 40 years of hiking, cycling and camping in Scotland I admit to never having had the desire to go to Barra. For me the time and cost of getting there and back didn't justify it.
Your plan of flying there and taking the ferry back to Oban sounds okay my only concern would be the weather. If it's poor it won't be much fun but that's the chance you have to take. From Oban I think you can take the Citylink coach back to Edinburgh via a change at Crianlarich.

Just to add. I've never had the desire to go to Orkney either for the same reasons. My mate went once by land and boat and cut short his camping stay there because the island was constantly shrouded in sea mist. A holiday he moaned about for many years after as he was a bit tight fisted and the transport had cost him a 'fortune'.

Last edited by HIDDY; Feb 18, 15 at 6:21 am
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Old Feb 19, 15, 4:41 pm
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Then you've really missed out on Orkney. Really - a mate goes to Orkney, has bad weather and you get put off? That really doesn't leave much of Scotland for you to visit then
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Old Feb 20, 15, 3:14 am
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That's the risk you take with Scotland. If the weather's great it's one of the most beautiful places on Earth (certain central-belt towns firmly excluded...) and it it's terrible, which it often is, it can be a thoroughly miserable experience.
Down to luck, really.
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Old Feb 20, 15, 4:00 am
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Ach, there's no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing. Some of the most dramatic views in Scotland are enhanced by threatening clouds, and the remoteness of the islands underscored by that ever-present wind.
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Old Feb 20, 15, 11:32 am
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Never forget Fair Isle and fog banks rolling through at speed in a force 9 gale - until I saw it, I'd never have believed it

'headland there... headland gone.. half headland there.. headland gone... head land.. oh gone again... '
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