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Old 29th March 2016, 20:09   #1
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Default Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea

Working in IT has its own advantages and disadvantages. Disadvantages are like you dont have any personal life on the weekdays and even on some weekends too. You work so hard that if you were to tell anybody they wont believe. And then if you love to travel there are always some bosses who doesnt approve your leaves and you plans gets cancelled multiple time. The advantages is you get to travel, not only within the country but even to dream places outside the country. Some of the bhpians call this "Paid vacation". I even had an argument for using this term, but then if you think wisely you might agree with it. So my job has let me travelled few places in the UK, Scotland being one of them.

The most amazing thing about Scotland is it has everything, starting from small villages to big cities, from coastal roads to highest mountains. The highlands are always the favourite part. I am sure everyone must have seen movies like Skyfall, Braveheart, Harry Potter which gives the flavour of Scotland highlands. Everything within a days drive. I have always dreamt about driving on the Scottish highways. The Scottish highways are spread through cities, towns, mountains and coasts. They are always a treat to drive on. The highways are called motorways (M) and then there are different grade of roads like A,B,C and D.

Preparation - The year's Easter this year gave me the opportunity to visit Scotland once again. We had 4 days holiday and Scotland was the best place to visit during this time. It usually takes 5-6 days to cover everything (ofcourse not everything), but didnt have more than the Easter holidays. I rented a car from Enterprise car hire. I booked the car a month in February, got it cheaper. My Indian license allows me to drive a car or bike in the UK for 12 months from the day I have entered here. This time I got a Seat Leon FR. I was expecting a crossover, but then after getting this 140 bhp car I didnt want any other crossover. The rooms were booked in youth hostels in different places. Everything was planned and ready a month advance of the trip.

Thursday/Friday- I picked up the car in the morning and worked the rest of the day from home. The plan was to drive in the night to reach Edinburgh next day. Edinburgh was 400 miles away, but then I had to go to London to pick up 2 guys. I met them at 10:30 pm in London. We drove on the M40/M6 through Birmingham, Manchester. The highways are 6 lane and sometimes 8 lanes. At night there are rarely any vehicles, only few trucks, which makes the drive very boring. And a boring drive always tends to sleep. The good thing is usually you get a service every 10 miles. So I drove to one of those services just before sunrise. Parked the car and slept for an hour. When I work up I saw several other vehicles parked alike and the owners/passengers sleeping inside the car. So that was a very common practice on those highways. From a place called Carlisle we took A7, from here the A7 took us to the regions of Scottish borders and several villages. At one place at night we stopped for a break. As 2 of us stepped out of the car there were something howling. It was completely dark outside, only the headlight of our car glowing. In the morning before entering Edinburgh we passed through several villages with beautiful landscapes.

Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea-img_20160325_041433181.jpg

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We entered Edinburgh Youth hostel to check in, but unfortunately came to know that the check in time was 3 pm. I was hoping to take some rest, a nap may be before we go out to roam around. We didnt have any choice but to rest at the reception for an hour. Later on we kept our luggages in the car and went to Edinburgh castle.

Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea-img_20160325_103537425_hdr.jpg

Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea-img_20160325_104059505_hdr.jpg

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The next thing to see was Arthur's seat. It is the main peak in Edinburgh. One has to trek to reach to the top. As we were extremely exhausted we had to think twice to start the trek. Once we reached the top, after multiple breaks and taking almost an hour we got to see entire Edinburgh. The trek did paid off, gave us an amazing view of the city.

Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea-dscf5759.jpg

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Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea-dscf5784.jpg

The rest of the evening was spent lying aroud, search for Indian food. The hostel had given us separate room. They had bunker beds, however the bed didn't matter then, we were dead tired and fell asleep as soon as we hit the bed.

Saturday - There was a long drive planned for this day and I was eagerly waiting for it. I woke up as early as possible. The drive from Edinburgh to Inverness to Isle of Sky is the one I dreamt about. This drive includes everything one can ask for. The Leon was just perfect for this kind of drive. Let the picture speak for themselves -

Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea-dscf5786.jpg

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Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea-img_20160326_162934058.jpg

Last edited by ampere : 31st March 2016 at 06:53.
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Old 30th March 2016, 04:12   #2
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Default re: Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea

Saturday Contd. -

Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea-dscf5849.jpg

Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea-dscf5853.jpg

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Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea-dscf5866.jpg

More or less the entire Saturday rained. I did have fun driving all those highways in the rain, but hoped the weather was clear. I am sure Scotland would look much better in a sunny day. The hostel we stayed was on a cliff and the sea was just right in front. These youth hostels are pretty cheap for anyone who don't mind sharing. The view from the hostel was too good.

Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea-img_20160327_075441888.jpg


Sunday - Even Sunday started with heavy rain. Today was the last day in the highlands and only because I wanted to drive in the highlands I came here for the second time, so I wanted to make the full use of the day. We missed many spots to visit the other day and planned to cover all of them today. Too many places and too little time, spiced up with the rain.

Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea-dscf5868.jpg

Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea-dscf5873.jpg

Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea-dscf5891.jpg

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Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea-dscf5914.jpg

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Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea-dscf5945.jpg

We stopped at Ford William to have our lunch. After lunch we went to see the famous Harry porter bridge.

Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea-img_20160328_213224.jpg

Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea-dscf5962.jpg

The weather clear after 11pm for sometime. We headed straight towards Glasgow after completing most of the places in Highlands. Took couple of breaks in between to click pictures. The pictures doesnt do justice to the place, wish I could have been a better photographer and it would not have rained. Scotland is amazing if you love to drive, driving on those highways are like dream come true. The only problem for us is that we cant stop just where we want, there are parking spaces where one should park the car. Still much better and safer to drive in high speeds. We saw few supercars and superbikes running at high speed on the costal parts, they must have having a fun of their lifetime. I can guess, I was driving a 140 bhp Seat and I know how it felt.

Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea-dscf5958.jpg
I have missed Batman v Superman just because of Scotland, so I planned to watch this movie in Glasgow. But how did I know what lied ahead. Glassgow is a wonderful city at night, full of pubs and gentleman's club. But the problem was our hostel, we booked euro hostel and the room was terrific, sorry not the room, the bathroom. We were placed to another room but somehow we didnt want to stay at Glasgow any more. So after having our dinner in a chinese restaurant we drove stright for London. Quite a drive for a day.

Last edited by Uprasenjit : 30th March 2016 at 23:02.
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Old 30th March 2016, 23:48   #3
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Default re: Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!


Beautifully Done! Perfect concoction of the road, the drive and the ambience!
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Old 31st March 2016, 11:54   #4
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Default Re: Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea

Beautiful Prasenjit. The landsacpes are amazing. I especially liked the country side roads. It is such a beautiful place. Good that you took the opportunity & drove around the place. Leon looks great too. How was it to drive ?

Keep writing & providing us the insights of these hard to reach places.

Regards,

Pawan
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Old 31st March 2016, 12:09   #5
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Default Re: Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea

Good work Prasenjit; I hope you had a great time in Scotland. Pictures do seem to suggest that Scotland is a beautiful place to visit. Look forward to more updates on this thread covering the scenery, flora & fauna.
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Old 31st March 2016, 16:32   #6
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Default Re: Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea

Fantastic TL and awesome pictures UPrasenjit. I hope after going through your travelogue everyone having an IT job will like to go to all these places at least in dreams, if not in person.

Although the places are so beautiful and clean, but still have to say again .
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Old 31st March 2016, 21:38   #7
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Default Re: Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea

Fifty years in England and I never went North of the border!

Never made it further than the Lake DIstrict. The son of my oldest friend is doing forestry/conservation work on one of those islands waaaay up north.
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Old 31st March 2016, 23:50   #8
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Default Re: Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea

Fantastic travelogue and pictures UPrasenjit. Feeling nostalgic seeing these pics. I never got to write the travelogues about my trips in UK. Thanks a lot for sharing and rated a well deserved 5 stars.

Last edited by BlackPearl : 31st March 2016 at 23:51.
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Old 1st April 2016, 05:03   #9
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Wonderfully crafted travelogue mate. Absolutely beautiful and enticing pictures. Scotland is surely high on my list to explore soon and seeing your pics, I'm even more than eager to head there at the next possible opportunity. As it turns out, I too had planned a short trip to Scotland during the same period, i.e. the 4 days Easter holiday here but ended up heading to Lake District. Not that I'm regretting the decision one bit, but it was raining there the entire time which hampered our plans a bit. Though the whole place is absolutely breath taking.

Would like to share a couple of pics from my visit to the lake district here as I'm sure I didn't click enough of them to start a new TL. It was just me and my cousin who went for the trip and we drove in his Audi A5 Sportback. Here are a few of them.


Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea-img_2972.jpg

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Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea-img_2885.jpg


If you don't mind sharing this, I would really like to know how much was your staying expenditure at those youth hostels and if possible if you could share the booking links for the same. Thanks a lot. Cheers!
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Old 1st April 2016, 15:14   #10
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Default Re: Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea

Quote:
Originally Posted by SouraC View Post
Fantastic TL and awesome pictures UPrasenjit. I hope after going through your travelogue everyone having an IT job will like to go to all these places at least in dreams, if not in person.

Although the places are so beautiful and clean, but still have to say again .
Thanks. What about the disadvantages ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
Fifty years in England and I never went North of the border!

Never made it further than the Lake DIstrict. The son of my oldest friend is doing forestry/conservation work on one of those islands waaaay up north.
Why not, its not far from Lake District.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
Fantastic travelogue and pictures UPrasenjit. Feeling nostalgic seeing these pics. I never got to write the travelogues about my trips in UK. Thanks a lot for sharing and rated a well deserved 5 stars.
The problem is you travel so much, you dont have time to write . Jokes apart, would love to see those pictures and read your log.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GameOfCars View Post
Wonderfully crafted travelogue mate. Absolutely beautiful and enticing pictures. Scotland is surely high on my list to explore soon and seeing your pics, I'm even more than eager to head there at the next possible opportunity. As it turns out, I too had planned a short trip to Scotland during the same period, i.e. the 4 days Easter holiday here but ended up heading to Lake District. Not that I'm regretting the decision one bit, but it was raining there the entire time which hampered our plans a bit. Though the whole place is absolutely breath taking.

Would like to share a couple of pics from my visit to the lake district here as I'm sure I didn't click enough of them to start a new TL. It was just me and my cousin who went for the trip and we drove in his Audi A5 Sportback. Here are a few of them.

If you don't mind sharing this, I would really like to know how much was your staying expenditure at those youth hostels and if possible if you could share the booking links for the same. Thanks a lot. Cheers!
Please share as much as possbile, the Audi looks damn good. The thing with Scotland's weather is its unpredictable.

Regarding expenditure - Becuase there were no family in our group we booked youth hostels at all places.

Edinburgh - SYHA Central, 16 gbp per person
Isle of Sky - This is my favourite hostel - Dun Flodigarry youth hostel - 20 gbp each
Glasgow - Euro Hostel - 32 gbp for 4 person. This one was the worst, but Euro Hostel has suite facility and other brilliant rooms. We didnt know before.

The entire round trip was 1648 miles, I had to pay around 200 gbp for diesel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PapaBravo View Post
Beautiful Prasenjit. The landsacpes are amazing. I especially liked the country side roads. It is such a beautiful place. Good that you took the opportunity & drove around the place. Leon looks great too. How was it to drive ?

Keep writing & providing us the insights of these hard to reach places.

Regards,

Pawan
Thanks Pawan da . I wish we had cars like the Seat leon in India. This car is a competetor of VW Golf, but much better looking with good interiors. Everything about the car was perfect, the gear was light, not as light as the new swift, but lighter than my EcoSport. Seats are very comfortable with proper thigh support. Leon FR is 140 gbp monster in a small shell, so you can imagine how the car accelerates. My top speed was roughly around 200 kmph. The good thing about british highways are the lanes. Motorways always have 3-4 lanes, and the car drives based on speed. If you are slow go to the left lanes, if you want to overtake go to the right lane. The right most lanes are mostly empty, so that any high speed vehicle can overtake at any time. So it is very easy for anyone to maintain high speed for long. The hight of the car was not much, but suprisingly the visibility was very good.
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Old 1st April 2016, 17:44   #11
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Default Re: Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uprasenjit View Post
Why not, its not far from Lake District.
Well, it is the next step, obviously... but I have family in the Lake District. And that family owns a beautiful hotel! When I travel in UK, family and friends take priority --- and also accommodate me, without which I couldn't really afford the trips. It is extra double bonus that they live in useful/beautiful places: London/Cornwall/Lake District.

Quote:
I wish we had cars like the Seat leon in India. This car is a competetor of VW Golf
and, like its other cousins, also comes from the VAG group. I don't know about now, but Seat used to be something of a VAG-group youth wing! Less expensive, a bit more trendy. Can't imagine that the cost of your 140hp monster would be exactly low, though, even if lower than a VW or Audi. I think that Seat could have been a much better Maruti slayer than VW, excepting that it is so little heard of.

Quote:
My top speed was roughly around 200 kmph. The good thing about british highways are the lanes. Motorways always have 3-4 lanes, and the car drives based on speed. If you are slow go to the left lanes, if you want to overtake go to the right lane. The right most lanes are mostly empty, so that any high speed vehicle can overtake at any time. So it is very easy for anyone to maintain high speed for long. The hight of the car was not much, but suprisingly the visibility was very good.
Actually, the rule is drive on the left except when overtaking, but when there is enough traffic, at different speeds, then everybody except the slowest is always overtaking somebody else, or even two somebody-elses, and stuff pans out much as you describe. Oh, and the speed limit is 70MPH, 112kph

Thank you for your great travelogue and pictures!
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Old 1st April 2016, 18:20   #12
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Default Re: Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea

Nice travelogue and it stirred up memories of my visit to Glasgow in 1993 when I spend a week at The Babcock Power there. Visited many nearby places.
Then went by train to York for a visit to the Drax Power Station.
The next step was a drive to London from York enjoying the English country side.
This souvenir from Babcock, Glasgow is still with me.
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Old 1st April 2016, 19:51   #13
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Default Re: Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea

The first thing that struck my mind, reading this travelogue is !

The wet surroundings definitely added more essence to your pics. Am sure driving in this kind of terrain will be a dream for many car & nature lovers. Hope to see many more such travelogues from you in the future.

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Old 3rd April 2016, 13:31   #14
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Default Re: Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea

Few more pictures from Day 2 and Day 3 -

Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea-dscf5957.jpg

Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea-dscf5968.jpg

Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea-dscf5977.jpg

Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea-dscf5944.jpg

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Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea-dscf5923.jpg

Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea-dscf5928.jpg

Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea-dscf5935.jpg

Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea-dscf5936.jpg
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Old 4th April 2016, 01:05   #15
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Default Re: Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uprasenjit View Post

Please share as much as possbile, the Audi looks damn good. The thing with Scotland's weather is its unpredictable.

Regarding expenditure - Becuase there were no family in our group we booked youth hostels at all places.

Edinburgh - SYHA Central, 16 gbp per person
Isle of Sky - This is my favourite hostel - Dun Flodigarry youth hostel - 20 gbp each
Glasgow - Euro Hostel - 32 gbp for 4 person. This one was the worst, but Euro Hostel has suite facility and other brilliant rooms. We didnt know before.
Thanks a lot for the info. Will keep them in mind when I head to Scotland. I would have loved to have shared more about my trip to Lake district, but with the ever so high standard everyone has set(including yourself) for travelogues here on Team-bhp, I surely have not clicked enough pictures or for that matter will be able to re-collect much of the route details we took on our trip. However, will keep that in mind when I head out for my next trip here. I'm still new to the ways here but my cousin has been in UK for last 8 years, so slowly getting into the groove. Audi A5 is a great machine for sure and the one he has is with the well known 2L TDI engine churning out 177PS power. Some steep inclines were done with absolute ease between Windermere and Penrith.

Something that might interest some of the petrol-heads here, I got the opportunity to ride in the Bentley Mulsanne from Crewe to Llandudno in Wales and back a couple of weeks ago. Though, I was a mere passenger and my friend drove the car through-out, but the experience was absolutely breath-taking and same was the place.
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