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Aviemore area in November

Novato, California
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Aviemore area in November

We are leaving the US for England, on October 27th, traveling to Edinburgh, Scotland by bus or train on November 1st or 2nd. We end up in Aviemore for a week, beginning November 5th and staying through the 12th, and returning to either Glasgow or Edinburgh for a plane trip back to London, and home on the 15th.

We understand there are inexpensive buses to Scotland that will allow us to stop at Oxford, Stratford-on-Avon and York...or would the train be better? Or should we drive?

I understand there are two types of train passes: Britrain and Scotrain, (and the Rover with Scotrain). Is it a good deal to get a pass, if we are going to use it for three or four days?

In Aviemore, although we understand it is cold at that time of year, is there snow on the ground and on the roads? We usually don't drive, and take buses or inexpensive tours, but perhaps this is the time to hire a car and drive?

Are there local buses that feed from the train lines that we could take? Will we be hiking or X-country skiing? (The only other ski places I've been to, have been been here in the USA...)

I've read all of the posts on what to see at this time of year - a lot of places close in October! What would you recommend we

explore from our home base of Aviemore during our week? (We will have seen Edinburgh on our arrival to Scotland, before

coming to Aviemore..)

Would the historical pass be worth while, since so few castles and museums are open?

Like many Americans, I'm part Scottish. My father's name, Murray, (of the James branch) was inherited from my great-grandfather, a sea captain, who left his ship to marry my great-grandmother, a plantation Mississippian, and carried her off to homestead in Oregon... I have no idea where he was from...

Does anyone know where did the shipping to American mostly come from in the early 1800's? Was it Glasgow?

We're so excited about this trip to Great Britain - thanks in advance to anyone who can answer any of the above questions.

Gila65

glasgow
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1. Re: Aviemore area in November

well you seem exciting.

ill hopefully answer a few - the train service is called scotrail and is a great way to travel. the journey from oxford to edinburgh is a long bboring drive so, with most services stopping in york anyway, i would recommend the train

i would suggest driving yourself if you can hire a car when heading to aviemore. you will see more of the country this way and have more freedom to explore.

i cant comment on the value of the historical pass unfortunatly.

you picked a great part of the country for hiking but you might be out of luck with skiing.

there is very light snow covering over 4000 ft at the moment but good snow fall is too unpredictable.

the average temp for november will be about 8-10c and should get dark around 4.30 - 5pm.

have a great time!

Glasgow, United...
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for Scotland
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2. Re: Aviemore area in November

Hi

www.visitscotland is worth a look to see what appeals to you in the Aviemore area - if you get good weather there are lots of nice walks. Loch an Eilein is particularly attractive.

if you fancy travelling, Inverness is about an hour north, with some interesting views and shops (including the biggest second hand bookshop I've seen anywhere). The country also changes west of inverness, becoming more rugged - if you have time it could be worth a trip down Loch Ness side, or towards Glen Affric.

Our climate seems to have got a lot milder in recent years - so you may not get snow - it tends to vary from year to year.

Worth trying the products of the Cairngorm brewery, by the way!

Enjoy!

Novato, California
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3. Re: Aviemore area in November

Thanks for the information about the train from Oxford to Edinburgh. We don't really want to deal with the snow in Scotland, so it is a relief that there won't be too much. We thought about going to Loch Lomond and Glen area on our

way to Glasgow, and leaving there by plane to London. Also

the castle outside Inverness and Culloden field. If the weather

permits, the Isle of Skye (spelling?) has been recommended,

but it might be too far from Aviemore? It's difficult to tell about distances, when the roads may be narrow and slushy...

We love to trek, and so would like to take in some short (under

five-six miles) walks near Aviemore, and I've looked those up at a site called walking.visitscotland.com, which also takes one to another site caled www.walkingworld.com.

With such a small amount of time, we hope to just enjoy local

people, pubs and sights, rather than try to cram in a lot of sightseeing. If you have any recommendations on good local places to go to (restaurants, etc.) we'd appreciate it...

Gila65

glasgow
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4. Re: Aviemore area in November

hi,

once in aviemore the journey to skye by car will take a few hours at least.

you have a few options - drive to inverness then down the A82 to invermorrison, along lochness side, where you turn off for kyle of lochalsh then over the bridge.

or head south to spean bridge (about 1hr) go north on the A82 and turn at invergarry for kyle of lochalsh.

or head south at spean bridge to fortwilliam, go west to mallaig then take the ferry to skye. spean bridge to mallaig will take about 1 hr 15.

for walking around aviemore you cant beat glenmore. there is many forrest trails and a great outdoor centre.

its only a few miles from the town centre.

Novato, California
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5. Re: Aviemore area in November

Sounds like it will be worth it to go to Skye- and Fort William Jimmy2times. Some of the walks described are from Glenmore... and sound lovely -if it doesn't snow! We're looking forward to it all. Now, just need to check out Britrain/rail. We're not drinkers, fifporter, of whiskey-just wine! But we'll certainly look for the big bookstore, as we both are readers...

Thanks for the suggestions!

Gila65

Inverness, Scotland
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6. Re: Aviemore area in November

>> But we'll certainly look for the big bookstore, as we both are readers... <<

Gila, the place in question is Leakeys Bookshop on Church Street, Inverness.

It's a great place and it has a nice cafe too.

Glasgow, United...
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7. Re: Aviemore area in November

Hi Gila - I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time here in Scotland in November - just don't forget to wrap up warm!

If you don't plan on hiring a car, there are a number of travel options that you could consider - check out the BritXplorer pass on www.nationalexpress.co.uk (bus travel across the UK). Travelling up from London is easy by train - www.gner.co.uk travels the east cost route, which is a lovely journey, particularly as you go along the coast past Berwick-Upon-Tweed and Alnmouth. This is a good option if you fancy a stop-off in York, which is a lovely place (my employer's Head Office is there so I'm back and forth from here quite often). The Ramada Encore (www.ramadaencore.com) is a fairly cheap (in UK terms!) option for an overnight stay.

Once in Scotland, the Highland Rover ticket is a good value option, allowing rail and bus travel - see www.firstscotrail.com You could use this to get to Skye from Aviemore (the latter is in the East of Scotland while Skye is the West Highlands). Unfortunately there's no direct route by rail, but it is do-able and I hear the scenery is wonderful.

As for Aviemore, my hubby and I have been going there in January every year since we met. January is now our wedding anniversary so it's a good excuse to take a trip! It is very cold, but the mountain air is lovely, we like the fact that it's nice and quiet, and the people are all very friendly (my husband had hurt his ankle one year so was limping and a wee old man stopped in his car to ask if we wanted a lift! You don't get that kind of thing in Glasgow!) In terms of pubs and restaurants, Aviemore doesn't have a huge amount to offer, but the Ski-ing Doo is always good for a steak (v busy on weekend nights!!) and Cafe Mambo is fab during the day for a steaming hot chocolate or at night for a few drinks (I can recommend the red wine!) It attracts a fairly varied crowd. A bit further out I've heard that the Boat hotel (in Boat of Garten) has a popular restaurant, with good local cuisine, but I can't vouch as we've never tried it.

Try www.historic-scotland.gov.uk for details of local historical sites of interest.

Lastly, I note with interest your family history - my maiden surname is Murray! However I don't have any knowledge of the family before my paternal grandfather and his siblings - his name was James too, funnily enough. You never know, we may be distantly related - it's a small world after all!

Have a wonderful trip, Sharon.