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 Post subject: Scotland info - for travelers?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2015 5:35 pm 
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I didn't see a thread on this but I want to do a trip next year and I think Scotland is on my short list. I want a vegan friendly location and Glasgow popped up on a few lists so I figure maybe? I've been looking at Iceland but it also gives me great pause and I figure Scotland is north enough to enjoy long days.

Anyway, my husband and I like to do some hiking, we aren't into bars/pubs/etc (which seems to be mentioned a lot for Scotland). We like museums and outdoors and I don't know, other random stuff. So I'm thinking, what would you recommend people who visit Scotland to do? Highlights? Also I read May and September seem to be prime months? Is public transportation an option? I know my husband isn't keen to drive on the left and neither of us can drive stick.

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 Post subject: Re: Scotland info - for travelers?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 1:53 am 
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Glasgow and Edinburgh are both vegan friendly and are less than an hour away from each other on the train. Plus they are both easy to get around on public transport and have lots of museums/galleries. You can also get into the highlands easily from Glasgow.

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 Post subject: Re: Scotland info - for travelers?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 6:10 am 
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Well, if you visit Edinburgh, you have a place to stay for free (assuming we're in town)!

Edinburgh public transport is fantastic. Lothian Buses are subsidised by the Council so are probably the cheapest in the UK, and you can get to most parts of the Lothians on the buses with relative ease. We have the Water of Leith walkway a few minutes away from our flat - that's a 13ish-mile walk following the Water of Leith from Leith to Balerno. There are places along the walk where you can step off to visit museums or the Royal Botanic Gardens, and the end is near the Pentland Hills. There's also Arthur's Seat right off the Royal Mile, next to the Scottish Parliament building. We have loads of museums (local, national and natural history), art galleries (e.g. the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art and the Portrait Gallery) and places of interest (e.g. John Knox House, which is attached to the Scottish Storytelling Centre, Dynamic Earth and Camera Obscura). And like Imogen said, lots of places to eat (though fewer strictly veg than Glasgow, but it's easy enough to get there). I will say, though, that if you want to see a castle, Stirling or Linlithgow are probably a better bet - I've never been to either, but I've been told by people who've been to one of those and Edinburgh Castle that Edinburgh is better seen from the outside.

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 Post subject: Re: Scotland info - for travelers?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 9:16 am 
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Thanks, this helps to start planning, although I have plenty of time I think. Still not sure when but will figure that out.

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 Post subject: Re: Scotland info - for travelers?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 11:05 am 
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Well, you've certainly sold Edinburgh to me, rachell37! I've only been twice for short periods of time during the festival, I'd love to come back out of season for a bit longer and explore it properly!

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 Post subject: Re: Scotland info - for travelers?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2015 4:59 am 
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Can I hijack this thread to ask specifically about Glasgow? We're staying there for one night on our way back from Aberdeen (worst half way point ever on our Aberdeen - Brighton trip but I really want to go eat!)
Could I grab a couple of recommendations for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Thanks!

I also recommend Stirling Castle over Edinburgh. Much better!

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Last edited by Rachwins on Sat Dec 12, 2015 5:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Scotland info - for travelers?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2015 5:02 am 
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(PS if anyone has any recommendations for Aberdeen they'd also be much appreciated. Every time we go the eating out is dire.)
(PPS Has anyone found anywhere that does vegan mealy/white or fruit pudding? I'd be over the moon. Skirlie doesn't cut it, I want mealy.)

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 Post subject: Re: Scotland info - for travelers?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2015 5:17 am 
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If you like hiking, either the Highlands near Aviemore or the Galloway forest might be good. Galloway isn't too far from Glasgow. You can hire automatic cars here. Much more preferable to public transport which is slllloooowwww. Bear in mind that as soon as you get out of the cities you'll find it hard to eat somewhere that isn't 'chips and a side salad'. Even in Aberdeen they are only just accepting vegetarianism as a thing. A few years ago we went out for dinner and all they could give me as a veggie was pasta in sweet and sour sauce!
Luckily Scotland loves a Co-op so maybe consider self catering when you're out in the rural areas. You'll be unlikely to find vegan spread in the rural areas, but soy milk is now commonplace and you may even find oat/nut milk.
(NB my experiences are based on the North East. The lowlands might be more forward thinking!)

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 Post subject: Re: Scotland info - for travelers?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2015 2:24 pm 
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I was working and staying overnight in Aberdeen a couple of times this year. It's not great but Handmade Burger Company were probably the only highlight. Tea Lane is a must if you're there on a weekend.

Glasgow: my top tips would be Mono, Stereo, Saramago Cafe (inside CCA) and the Flying Duck (all of which are 100% vegan!). I've heard The 13th Note does a good breakfast although I've not had it myself. The Hug & Pint is a new venue I've not made it across to yet but I've heard good stuff about it.

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 Post subject: Re: Scotland info - for travelers?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2015 2:37 pm 
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Agreed on all points with Imogen re: Glasgow options. I'd put Saramago at the top of the list for lunch or dinner because they've been the most consistent for me. Breakfast at the 13th Note is decent, though the big breakfast doesn't have scramble so you'd have to order it separately if you feel, like I do, that a "big breakfast" requires scramble.

Aberdeen has Las Iguanas, Yo!Sushi, and Wagamama. It kinda sucks having to rely on chains, but at least you know you'll be able to eat something.

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 Post subject: Re: Scotland info - for travelers?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 8:26 am 
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I have a friend who does a lot of walking holidays around Scotland only using public transport so it is possible with a bit of planning- for example she is just back from Plockton which looked amazing. Or the scenery did, food options might be more of a challenge. I think its also quite easy to do sections of long distance walking routes like the John Muir way using the train.

I'd add another vote for the CCA cafe in Glasgow.


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 Post subject: Re: Scotland info - for travelers?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:14 am 
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I'll be in Glasgow for a few days this week. Any recommendations for free things to do during the day while bf is in work?

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 Post subject: Re: Scotland info - for travelers?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 5:33 pm 
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The Gallery of Modern Art- it's pretty much between Glasgow Central and Queen Street train stations. I haven't been for ages but it was always awesome. And it has a public library in the bottom! They probably won't let you take books out, unless there is some sort of temporary membership, but there is a cafe in/next to the libarasy where you can sit and read.

Wander around The old buildings of Glasgow University- some beautiful arched stone ceilings and a courtyard that my mum thinks looks like something from Hogwarts. Very near that is an art gallery whose name escapes me. Also nearby is House For An Art Lover but they charge £4,50 admission for adults.

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 Post subject: Re: Scotland info - for travelers?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 12:56 am 
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Also the Burrell Collection- a big collection of art, including parts of the building. I remember being amazed that a stone doorway had been taken from somewhere else. I had this image of Mr Burrell saying 'Oh, that's a nice doorway; I'll have that. Just move to to to my estate.' And the collection is in Pollock Park, a huge expanse of parkland with plenty of paths to explore. They used to often have Highlands cows in some of the fields!

There are quite a few parks to wander about in. Kelvingrove is pretty and is closer to the city centre than Pollock (though that is reasonably accessible by public transport).

Glasgow Cathedral and the Necropolis are impressive.

Near the Cathedral is Provand's Lordship, the oldest remaining house in Glasgow, which has been made into a historical exhibit. It has a 15th century-style garden at the back.

If you like looking through vintage shops and have the self-control noit to buy things, Mr Ben's, beside the vegan cafe/pub Mono, is quite good.

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 Post subject: Re: Scotland info - for travelers?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 8:52 am 
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Thank you! Unfortunately BF is crepe with places. Turns out we are an hour away from Glasgow in Lanark. I will be definitely dragging him to Glasgow after he is done at work some of the days because I needs me some vegan restaurants!

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 Post subject: Re: Scotland info - for travelers?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 5:08 pm 
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You might be near Summerlee Heritage Park. http://www.visitscotland.com/info/see-d ... um-p255221 It is free, but I'm not sure how enthusiastically I'd reccommend it. I didn't find it thrilling when I visited, but then again I was fourteen and being forced to have a family day out with a relative who I found excruciatingly embarrassing. (And my goodness, my mum always marvels about how lucky she was that I was such a good teenager, but looking back at the photos of that trip I look so terribly sulky, know-it-all teenager-ish.)

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 Post subject: Re: Scotland info - for travelers?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:13 pm 
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A well-regarded vegan blogger in the UK writes often about Glasgow's fabulous vegan eateries. See fatgayvegan.com, where there's a search window. http://fatgayvegan.com/?s=glasgow&submit=Go


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 Post subject: Re: Scotland info - for travelers?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 5:56 am 
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LJCaro wrote:
A well-regarded vegan blogger in the UK writes often about Glasgow's fabulous vegan eateries. See fatgayvegan.com, where there's a search window. http://fatgayvegan.com/?s=glasgow&submit=Go


'Well-regarded' by some.

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 Post subject: Re: Scotland info - for travelers?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 7:01 am 
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Efcliz wrote:
'Well-regarded' by some.


Just curious as to why? I like Fat Gay Vegan and the only people I'm aware of who've had an issue him are a few homophobes (in London Vegan Meetup particularly) and people who think veganism should be a purely health diet.

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 Post subject: Re: Scotland info - for travelers?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 7:19 am 
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Well it's certainly not for either of those reasons! I find him quite hypocritical. He gushes praise over items he buys at supermarkets or meals he eats in non vegetarian restaurants, but is extremely vocal about vegan or vegetarian establishments which move to offer dairy or meat. He slammed a vegetarian restaurant on the outskirts of Nottingham for not being entirely vegan and used Ms Cupcake (a cake shop in Brixton) and Vegan Grindhouse (a food truck) to say that it was easy to make catering outlets all vegan. Nottingham centre hadn't even been able to sustain a vegetarian restaurant at that point - I've seen about 5 come and go - so a small independent place on the outskirts really needed encouragement, I thought. It seems to me that there's an inherent contradiction in writing posts which are very upset because vegan restaurants close down, then criticising those that try to stay open as best as they can. He was recently moaning that a health shop in Manchester closed down which was owned by someone who posed nude to get publicity for the shop and has made many spurious claims about the sort of woo it was peddling.

He's very publicity hungry, and while I didn't mind his constant begging for votes for best UK blogger, or his endless tweets about his own blog, it's not for me.

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 Post subject: Re: Scotland info - for travelers?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:01 am 
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I was too late to edit the post, but I also just don't like the phrase 'well-regarded'. It seems to imply that someone is a reliable source without saying why, or well regarded by whom. If it had just been a link to the post I'd probably have kept my opinions to myself!

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 Post subject: Re: Scotland info - for travelers?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:47 am 
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Gosh, he's just tweeted about my post. He's come across that quickly.

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 Post subject: Re: Scotland info - for travelers?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:22 am 
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Found an Indian place that has no dairy in a few of their vegetarian options so I was happy enough last night. Making dinner here tonight with some things I bought in morrisons. It is a total novelty shopping in places that we don't have at home.

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 Post subject: Re: Scotland info - for travelers?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 1:48 pm 
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Efcliz wrote:
Gosh, he's just tweeted about my post. He's come across that quickly.

well okay then :|

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 Post subject: Re: Scotland info - for travelers?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 1:57 pm 
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Efcliz wrote:
Gosh, he's just tweeted about my post. He's come across that quickly.


Just wanted to say thanks Efcliz for explaining your reasons and to the person who sent me a message explaining that they agreed with you 100% and giving some of their own reasons too. I just saw the tweet he sent at you based on your opinion posted above and found it pretty surprising and a rather unpleasant thing to do. After seeing the way he responded to you online by using his Twitter account, I'm not surprised others would prefer to send their opinion to me by PM. Disappointed because I rather liked the handful of his posts I've come across before now.

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