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Oct 25, 2011 01:47 PM

Dining along driving route

CH from Seattle, traveling from Dumfries to Isle of Skye for dinner at Three Chimmneys. We'll have breakfast before we leave -- where is a great place to have lunch along the way? (If season matters, this will be in early May.)

Looks like we'll be taking the M74/ M77 through Glasgow then the A82.

Then we'll need recs for our drive from Isle of Skye to Edinburgh, A87, to A90.

We don't need authentic or fancy; this is a random enough question that if you cna think of any food you'd stop and eat along those routes, it's a good recommendation for us. :-)

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  1. That's quite some drive both in terms of length and beauty. Are you doing the drive to Skye in one day? Some of the roads that you're going on are pretty windy and slow going. Going the route that you mention then you have the option of going to Martin Wishart at Loch Lomond of which there is a recent thread on here ( the only slight issue with this is that you probably want to be further north than this for your lunch if you're driving up in one day.

    There's an excellent fish and chip cafe in Tyndrum called the real food cafe. They do great fish and chips, local pies, chicken curry with chips etc, all made fresh locally. It may be nice to have the variety of a cafe type environment if you have a refined meal in the evening. Just north of there you also have the Bridge of Orchy Hotel which Harters gave a good write up to on the following topic.

    The advantage of this route is that you also drive through Glencoe which is stunning. If you're happy to have Seafood twice in one day then the Loch Leven Sea Food cafe is great just after Glencoe and has a gorgeous location on the banks of the Loch. Steer clear of Fort William as although it's the main town in the area, there's not much to recommend it other than being a useful base.

    Just out of Fort William you've got Inverlochy Castle which is a Michelin starred restaurant/hotel, but I've not been to it myself so I can't vouch for it.

    Depending on your departure time and what time you want to eat, you may get up to Loch Duich for a late lunch. If so we stayed at Kintail Lodge Hotel and they had some really good pub grub including as you'd expect from the area some fantastic scallops. The Glenelg Inn used to have a great reputation and has got a stunning location on the edge of the water looking onto Skye. It's also close to the ferry over to Skye if you decide to take the classic route over to the Island. When we were there last 18 months ago the food was pretty poor but I believe that the pub had only just been taken over by new owners so this may have improved.

    Got to go back to work now but will respond on the route to Edinburgh later. Hope that's of some use!

    10 Replies
    1. re: AWaiting

      Crannog at Fort William is an OK seafood place.

      Inverlochy Castle is perhaps the most archaic restaurant in the UK - requiring men to wear not only jacket but tie as well. Jacket is silly enough but tie is just ludicrous.

      1. re: AWaiting

        This is really helpful. I can't wait to see what you recommend for the SI/Edinburgh portion!

        As for driving . . . do you think 8 hours is more likely? The drive to Skye from Dumfries is planned for a single day, leaving ~8:30am. Is there a 'better' route thatis faster? I'm relying on Google maps.

        1. re: lmcsherr

          We were just in Scotland (and ate at 3 Chimneys_AWESOME!) We used Google directions, too and found they didn't quite account for Scottish roads. Most drives took longer than expected. Hope you are spendind a few days on Skye!

          1. re: lmcsherr

            Keeping this on-topic, route planning is important so that you know where you'll be for lunch.

            When out and about, I use my sat nav but for general planning I use the online AA route planner. It indicates about five and half hours between Dumfries & Skye.

          2. re: AWaiting


            We re-arranged our travel a bit. May 5th we'll be in Carlisle (not Dumfries); May 6th we'll be dining at Martin Wishart in Loch Lomand, and staying on an additional day. So it will be May 8th that we drive to the Isle of Skye, and starting out from Loch Lomand.

            Glencoe will only be 1.5 hours after we start out . . . is there anything up by Invergarry and Fort Augustus? Or even Kyle of Lochalsh?

            1. re: lmcsherr

              I would ward you off staying in Carlisle...unless of course there is a specific task you have in mind. Not (to my mind of course!) a pleasant stop along a journey. I would much prefer to spend a day in the beauty of rural Dumfries and Galloway.

              Or perhaps if you just seek a stop not too far off your route, I would suggest the lovely town of Moffat for a relaxing start to your trip. Located just off the M74 (junction15), it is set adjacent to some lovely hill scenery and some great walks...and I would certainly recommend a trip 10 miles up to the Grey Mares Tail, a lovely 200ft waterfall in the hills. Perhaps follow that up with dinner at The Limetree Restaurant at Hartfells for some great local produce. Another great food curio here is the famous Moffat Toffee....more a boiled sweet with both toffee and twang....very moreish! Stash up on this and other sweet treats at the fab Moffat Toffee Shop.

              1. re: ooglewoogle

                thanks for the rec -- I'll be looking into it!

                1. re: ooglewoogle

                  Moffat is a wee bit farther than we want to be that day. But I'm changing our res from Carlisle . . . looking at a B&B with brekkies and packed lunches -- much more useful for our planning purposes.

                  1. re: lmcsherr

                    If you wanted the throw the boat out with accommodation and food very near Carliisle, you might want to consider Farlam Hall.


                2. re: lmcsherr

                  Sounds like a much better option stopping off at Loch Lomond! Although the route planners are generally useful, they become less useful in their guidance of the remoter areas (ie any where that isn't Edinburgh or Glasgow :-) ) since the roads wind and you're liable to get stuck behind traffic on single carriage ways.

                  I don't know of anything of great interest in Invergarry or Fort Augustus other than the scenery! At Kyle of Lochalsh you have Kintail Lodge that I mentioned early. It's just a pub but located at the head of Loch Duich so a nice place to take a break. We had some excellent scallops here, nothing fancy just good quality food in a pub environment. It may also be worth considering Plockton which is a little further on after Kyle of Lochalsh. It's a pretty little village/harbour and the Plockton Hotel is well known for good beers and fresh seafood. Their beer garden sits right onthe edge of the sea wall and you should watch out for the fact that there's also the Plockton Inn which doesn't have the same reputation.

              2. There is some kind of app available for good pub grub. Someone I know is currently touring round the country and is using it. Anyone know what it is?

                1 Reply
                1. re: cathodetube

                  At a guess, it may be from the Good Pub Guide.

                  If so, I wouldnt rely on it too much - based on local places that are in the guide (and good places I know not in the guide), I'd say the accuracy is very patchy