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Report 1902: A Quick Scamper Round Nova Scotia

By Eleanor from UK, Fall 2010

Trip Description: Trip report of a short holiday visiting Louisbourg, Cape Breton Island and the Eastern Shore.

Destinations: Countries - North America; Regions/Cities - Canada

Categories: Hotels/B&Bs; Vacation Rentals; Day Tours; Sightseeing; Walking/Hiking; Independent Travel; 2 People

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Page 1 of 16: Initial Planning and Thoughts

photo by Michael

Igonish Harbour

We had decided to visit Newfoundland and Labrador in September 2010 (see separate report). We would be flying into Halifax so it seemed sensible to add a few days on to the end of the holiday to let us see something of Nova Scotia. We had heard great things about the Fortress of Louisbourg and also the Cabot Trail. We decided to take the slower route along the Eastern Shore on the way back to Halifax, so we could visit Sherbrooke Village.

The Nova Scotia Tourist Board has an informative website with details of driving routes around the province. They also produce “Doers and Dreamers” but I was very disappointed by the lack of information in it. Compared with similar publications from other parts of Canada, it was very superficial. It did however have a detailed accommodation register. Advice is to use this for all bookings as accommodation in the brochure has been inspected by Tourist Board staff and standards are guaranteed.

The free map from the Tourist Board marked the different scenic routes but was small scale and not very good. It would be useless for map reading on holiday. I can only assume that everyone uses GPS.

I bought a copy of “Nova Scotia Backroad Mapbook” which I used for all planning and for map reading in Nova Scotia. This is on a scale of 1cm to 2km and showed all roads and marked walking trails. There was a lot of general information in the back about attractions, trails, wildlife viewing, fishing etc.

We drew up an itinerary allowing plenty of time to sight see between stops.

  • Holiday Inn Express, Halifax Airport - 1 night
  • Midtown Cottages, Louisbourg - 2 nights
  • Auld Farm Inn, Baddeck - 1 night
  • Oakwood B&B, Cape North - 1 night
  • Tulloch Inn, West Lake Ainslie - 1 night
  • Days Ago B&B, Sherbrook - 1 night
  • Back in Thyme B&B Sheet Harbour - 1 night

We decided to rent a car through Enterprise. We had used them the previous year in the Prairies and knew they allowed travel on gravel roads.

Overall we were disappointed by Nova Scotia. It didn’t live up to expectation. After Newfoundland and Labrador it felt cramped, busy and very touristy. It might have been better to have done it first.

We were unlucky with the weather in Nova Scotia. We had two good days but the rest were dull, damp and misty, which not only played havoc with my osteoarthritis but also meant we couldn’t see the scenery.

The Fortress of Louisbourg was the highlight of the trip and we were very pleased to have allowed a full day for the visit. As there is little information about it on either the Parks Canada website or the internet generally, so I have included a very detailed report here.

We enjoyed the Highland Village at Iona and the Fisherman’s Life Museum at Jeddore Oyster Pond but were disappointed by Sherbrooke Village. It was getting to the end of the season and we felt the costumed interpreters lacked enthusiasm.

We were glad we spent some time in Nova Scotia but apart from Fortress of Louisbourg would not be tempted to visit again.

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