Honeymoon Discussions


Anyone have any advice/recommendations? What about EuropeanDestinations.com? I've never used them but I've seen it mentioned on this board before. FI and I are both a bit leery about renting a car (neither of us is sure we'd be comfortable driving on the other side of the road/car). We're thinking early August, FI's interested in whiskey tours, and I've just like to see as much of the country as we can in about a week and for under $5000. I know Scotland may not be your typical honeymoon dream destination - as evidenced by FMIL's reaction when I told her... - but any advice would be appreciated!

ETA: spelling...

Re: Scotland??

  • I would LOVE to go to Scotland one day!  My H's grandma went last year and it looks absolutely beautiful!!  She went on seniors tour though, so obviously probably wouldn't recommend whatever tour she used.

    One of my friends went to Ireland a few years ago and I know they did a guided bus tour type thing for a week, and then went out on their own for 5 days after that, so that might be an option to consider.  I think he said the driving takes a bit to get used to, but it's not too bad (I think you do need an international license though).
  • I've been, but we stayed in hostels so I don't have any hotel recommendations! We loved Edinburgh, and I would recommend going to the William Wallace castle - quite a hike but beautiful views! Unfortunately we didn't make it to the highlands either. We also took a nighttime haunted tour of the Vaults - it was terrifying! (I am a total believer in that kind of stuff) But I am really glad we did it, kind of a cool overview of some of the more gruesome history of the city.
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  • sdg2502sdg2502 member
    100 Comments Second Anniversary 25 Love Its First Answer
    I live in Scotland! Its a pretty small country so I don't know that a tour would be necessary. A car would be really handy if you thought one of you could manage the driving, apart from being on the other side of the road it shouldn't be too tricky.
    If you want to do whisky distillery tours, I would recommend looking into it first and deciding what one. Is there a particular whisky that your fiancée likes in particular? Places to research that would be worth visiting are Oban on the west coast, Edinburgh is the capital and is on the east and if you go north you can visit the highlands.
    There are also the islands such as Skye and Islay. Islay is home to my favourite whiskies but I've never been.
    If you like outdoor sports, Fort William on the west coast or Glentress in the borders (the border with England) are world class mountain biking centres although wherever you go will have truly beautiful walks and scenery.
    Loch Lomond is gorgeous and is not far from Glasgow, another big city (for us, tiny for Americans!) with some beautiful lodges on the loch and activities like a pub crawl by speedboat!

    If I think of anything else I'll let you know and if you have any questions just ask :)
  • sdg2502sdg2502 member
    100 Comments Second Anniversary 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited May 2013
    To get an idea of scale, go to google maps and search for directions. It will then show the route and give you ideas about how far apart certain places are. For example, Glasgow to Edinburgh is only an hour by car. I live on the west coast in Ayrshire, right by the sea in a harbour town. My fiancées family live on the very east coast in another harbour town in fife, if you look at a map it's an area called the dogs nose because that's what shape it is and their home is on the very eastern tip. That journey takes less than 2 and a half hours, to cross the country and go a bit north. Scotland is tiny, relatively speaking.
  • @sdg2502 I love all of what you wrote. :-) We really enjoyed our time in Scotland - kind of reminded us of home in attitude and everything - similar cultures. I definitely want to make it back there sometime in my life!
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  • daria24daria24 member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    I have been to Scotland twice, I just love it. The first time we just went to Edinburgh. The second time we went to Edinburgh, Sterling, and Inverness. We took the train between cities.

    In Sterling we visited the castle and also rented a car for the day because we wanted to tour some of the lochs and we went pony trekking. I live in NYC, I drive maybe twice a year, and the driving was not that bad. Driving on the one lane roads around the lochs can take some getting used to, but we found the locals to be very cautious and courteous and didn't have any scares.

    In Inverness we took a minibus tour of Skye which was fabulous. We took the city bus to/from Urquhart Castle.

    In Edinburgh take the city bus to Roslyn Chapel-it's a Masonic chapel that is truly jaw dropping in details.

    All in all it's a very easy country to get around via public transportation and the people are extremely friendly and helpful. You can definitely get around without a car with some planning. And I think it's a great HM location, it is so relaxing and low key, I hope to take H some time.
  • This is so incredibly helpful (and, @sdg2502, I loved hearing from someone who lives there!) I visited Edinburgh when I studied abroad in college years ago and although I've traveled quite a bit, it still remains my absolute favorite place I've ever been. I've always wanted to see more of the country and FI was excited about it too when I suggested it for our honeymoon, given the whiskey connection. Not a whiskey drinker myself...so I'll have to find out what he likes, but I think we might try to tour some distilleries in the Speyside(?) Region and I'd love to make it to Islay. You've all given me some great ideas for places to visit. I'm also going to show this thread to FI regarding us renting a car. Although we recently moved to New Jersey, we were both living in NYC when we met and I even drove a car in the city once or twice. If I can survive Midtown traffic, I can probably tackle Scotland, other side of the road or not. Anyway, thanks everyone!
  • sdg2502sdg2502 member
    100 Comments Second Anniversary 25 Love Its First Answer
    Speyside has loads of distilleries so you'd have no trouble finding one to tour. If possible (and I'm not sure if they do tours), I would highly highly recommend trying to find out if you could visit Roseisle distillery. It was only opened in the last couple of years at great cost and every picture I've seen of it looks stunning. The architecture is amazing and the huge copper stills are gorgeous. I work for the company who own it and was lucky enough to get a tour of our coppersmiths workshop in central Scotland. Seeing them turn sheets of copper into such beautiful crafted things was a great experience, and they do it all through hard graft and pretty traditional techniques!
    My favourite whiskies are Caol Ila 18 yr old, Lagavulin (both Islay malts) and talisker (from Skye). I prefer really smoky peaty flavoured whisky which Islay malts in particular have in abundance.
    What time of year would you be thinking about traveling? In August, Edinburgh hosts the fringe festival. It's a comedy festival that attracts the biggest comedians from around the world, including America. Venues all over the city, from pop up tents with stages, to church halls, to pubs to on the pavements become involved and host acts. It's excellent, and we had a great time a couple of years ago going through and just picking shows out the brochure with wee pub stops in between :)

    I can't remember who said they'd visited Stirling, I'm posting via my phone from my bed so I can't scroll back up very easily! Anyway, I'm ashamed to say this but I've never been to Stirling! I really should visit...I've never toured Edinburgh Castle either! What a disgrace :D oh in fact, I might be lying...I went to GoApe last October, a treetop adventure/assault course type thing and I think it was in or around Stirling. It was amazing, a bit of an adrenaline rush but great fun and it has a zip wire which I think was billed as the longest in Europe, which took you right over the tops of trees in the forest!

    One final wee tip for now...I'd love to visit an American bourbon distillery, I think it would be interesting to see the difference in process. I would call bourbon whiskey, with an 'e'. Scotch is whisky without an 'e' :) I think it's the only one spelt that way, Canadian and Irish whiskey are both with an 'e' I think.

    Sorry for such an information dump! I read threads here and can't believe some of these people live in such wonderful places like New York or California, then I'm reminded that I live in a pretty amazing place as well :)

    Oh! And you HAVE to try haggis. It's genuinely one of my favourite foods and then last year I was diagnosed with celiacs disease so can't eat the supermarket stuff anymore! I'm going to have to order some special gluten free type online, I've missed it! Haggis, neeps and tatties is a beautiful dinner :)
  • Scotland would make a fabulous honeymoon destination!  Personally I would be intimidated to rent a car and drive there (and I used to live in Japan and have experience driving on the left side of the road.)  The cities of course have traffic, and if you get off the beaten path, the roads can be quite narrow and twisting.  Combine that with slightly different traffic laws, round abouts, and the fact that you will be reading off a map trying to figure out where you are going, all while driving on the left hand side of the road... for me, this does not spell relaxing honeymoon!

    The good news is, Scotland is well connected by train and bus, and there are plenty of tour companies that can take you on tours (such as whiskey tours) if you want to get off the beaten path.  Have a fabulous time!

  • sdg2502sdg2502 member
    100 Comments Second Anniversary 25 Love Its First Answer
    Kentucky needs to be on my list of places to visit, I think that would be awesome!
    If anyone goes to Wales there is actually a really cool distillery there you can tour.  My parents live down there in Cardiff and about 30 minutes from them is the Penderyn distillery, right at the edge of the Brecon Beacons which is a national park.  It's the only distillery in Wales and only opened recently (last 5-10 years).  They make Welsh whiskey, although it isn't aged anywhere near as long as a good Scotch, but instead gets it's flavours from the casks it is aged in such as old sherry casks, or even old casks from smokey peaty scotch whiskies.  They also have vodka, gin, and a liquer creme which is their take on Baileys.  Their whiskies are suprisingly smooth and very nice.  My biggest regret about that tour was that I was the one who drove so I missed out on the free samples at the end.  The guide loved our Scottish accents and the whisky connection so she was really generous with the drinks, I'm pretty sure my gf and my mum were half drunk when we left and you were only meant to get one serving :D
  • I am currently planning a wedding in Scotland.  We are eloping and will be married at 15th century castle.  We have a fantastic photographer, a live video link for our family back home and will spend two weeks in England, Ireland and Scotland.  Believe it or not, the wedding will be under $5,000.  If you are still considering Scotland as a wedding venue and need any advice, just drop me a line.   

  • For amazing whiskey tours, look into the Isle of Skye.
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  • We're doing our honeymoon to England, Wales & Scotland! We're flying into London and out of Edinburgh. We're going to book one of the tours on this page for when we are in Scotland: 

    If you're looking for moderately/low priced hotels that are not quite hostels, try 
    ibis.com and/or http://www.travelodge.co.uk/ before booking, I extensively looked at reviews and google maps street views. 

    When are you planning for?
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