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We've finally decided. We aren't waffling any longer. Our minds are made up, and it is all because of a chance discovery of the most interesting new travel services web site.

One of our top five considerations was always the British Isles. But we just couldn't wrap our heads around exactly how to narrow it down. Initially we were thinking a week in Belfast, two weeks in rural Scotland and a final week in Cardiff. But, the problem with that was the distances we would be covering to get from one place to the next.

It would be like starting in Genoa and going through Venice on our way to Bari with a final destination of Palermo. Our Italy travel friends would all agree just how crazy that would be! So, I eliminated Wales and thought maybe just Belfast and three places in Scotland.

By far my favorite general and comprehensive website on Scotland has been Undiscovered Scotland. But the information there is so extensive as to be almost overwhelming. I was drowning in possibilities without any focus.

Then, I ran across http://www.secret-scotland.com

WOW! The delightful young couple who have developed this site are really onto something. They help you plan your driving tours with customized downloadable plans developed just for you. Their prices are very reasonable (I would suggest that they are too reasonable).

I loved the idea, and I loved their forward thinking.

Unfortunately, I didn't love the focus on driving from one B&B to another every day. SlowTravellers just don't do that packing and unpacking thing very well, do we?

So, on a lark, I emailed the owner of the site to see if they would be interested in helping us research a plan that took into account our desire to plant ourselves in self catered accomodations for a week at a time.

Aurelia, the owner of the site, not only emailed me back promptly, but she jumped right into the project. She even researched this blog to learn more about our travel styles, picking up on clues about the things we like to do and the accomodations we enjoy.

Once she had a handle on what makes us tick. She guided us toward her recommendations of the parts of Scotland we may most like to explore. It was through those suggestions that we realized we didn't even have time for Belfast. We needed to focus on Scotland alone, and only from Edinburgh north at that.

Our dates are set and our general locations for each week are set.

Week One: Around Oban for convenient daytrips to the Western Isles.
Week Two: Around Iverness for exploring the North Central Highlands.
Week Three: Near the town of Balfour on the Orkney Islands.
Week Four: Old Town Edinburgh.

So far we've booked our final week and narrowed down our choices for the other three weeks to just a few properties for each.

Here is Week Four: The Candlemakers Row Flat

As we finalize our bookings for the other three weeks, I'll post updates.

Comments (6)


Love the flat in Edinburgh, Deborah! And how lucky to have found the website, and a site owner willng to go the extra mile. Is she getting some infamous Deborah hooch?


Deborah responds: LOL, Judy. I doubt that she would want any. And even if she did, I'd have to have Scotty 'beam it up' in order to get it past customs. :grin:


Deborah, this sounds amazing. You know, it's funny, I would never have thought to spend four weeks in Scotland but it sounds wonderful and I can't wait to read all about it with you.

Deborah responds: Me either, Kim. Maybe that's why it took us so long to get to this point. But that first website I listed brought it home to me that Scotland is one HUGE little country.

This sounds like a great trip. Anyone I know who has been to Scotland LOVES it.

Deborah responds: Thanks for the reinforcement, Jerry. My Mom visited Scotland aobut 20 years ago and still talks about it.


Well done! When you don't see exactly what you're looking for it never hurts to just ask. Your trip looks incredible. I'm looking forward to your blogging from there.

Deborah responds: Thanks, Jan. Yes. Always ask. It is amazing what can happen once you have a real interaction.

Have you see the movie "Local Hero"? It's one of my all-time favorites and is set in Scotland. What a beautiful place! I want to go there someday too.

Deborah responds: No, Annie. I haven't even heard of it. But, I'm sitting in my office right now and the music department is only about 50 paces away. Think I'll wonder over there and check it out. It sometimes amazes me, but I've yet to ask our music manager for a movie we don't have in the store.

My sister went to Scotland with her daughter and LOVED it! I never saw any photos or anything from her trip though, so am looking forward to learning more about Scotland and seeing photos from your trip. Have fun planning!!

Deborah responds: And photos you shall have. Probably more than you want to see. :grin:

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