The Driving Experience

Take the High Road - What to Expect

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Self drive not only saves money, it also affords you much greater freedom and flexibility. When we started Faraway Fairways we were open minded about which transport solution was best. Over the years however, we've come to believe that self-drive is the more desirable

The road to Loch Maree.

Image by MonicaVolpin (pixabay.com)

What to Expect

There are some things however that you’ll need to ‘take-on’. We might as well run through these, but by the same token you shouldn’t be too alarmed. Hundreds of thousands of visitors face the same thing every year and just about every single one of them manages

  • You will have a right-hand drive vehicle
  • You will need to drive on the left-hand side of the road
  • You will encounter strange road-signs and highway laws that you’ll need to adapt to quickly
  • You will encounter unfamiliar things like ‘traffic roundabouts’ and ‘giving way to the right’

Driving in some countries might resemble the ‘wild west’. The UK isn’t one of them. The UK’s roads are comparatively well regulated

Capacities

Seating capacities are rarely an issue on a golf trip. Luggage however is. Golfers invariably require a bigger vehicle than their bare number suggests they should. Each golfer will normally generate a single luggage item, plus a golf bag. We’re afraid golf bags are notoriously awkward. Once your party reaches three people, you’ll need an MPV. Don’t be tempted by someone telling you an ‘estate car’ will work

Image by Makizox CC by SA 4.0

Small Group Travel (1-2)

A two ball party should be looking to use a ‘large estate car’. A single person can use a 'saloon' Three is the number whereby we have to use a nine-person MPV

Image by Vauxford CC by SA 4.0

Medium Group travel (3-12)

An MPV has luggage capacity for nine items (four players with a golf bag and suitcase each). Tee times are of course sold in fourballs. It works out well.

Image by M 93 CC by SA 3.0

Large Groups – (12+)

It's possible to operate a multiples of four strategy in convoy, but eventually we might need a larger capacity midi-bus/ coach.

Approaching Glencoe.

Image samfabersf (pixabay.com) License

Paul McIlroy / M90 Motorway / CC by SA 2.0

Motorways & 'A'-Roads

Motorways (blue signage) are probably the easiest roads to drive on. They’re essentially international in their design. Any capable driver shouldn’t have any difficulty adjusting to them quite quickly. So long as you can observe ahead and behind, and maintain a good lane discipline they’re the nearest thing you’ll encounter to ‘point-and-go’. Anyone landing at Edinburgh airport is quite lucky in that you’ll potentially be onto a motorway within a few minutes if heading north or west.

‘A’ roads are also fast moving (dark green signs) but entry onto the carriageway from vehicles joining isn’t quite as well structured as motorway, and you can encounter a few more quirks

Urban Driving

Driving in built-up areas is likely to be where you’ll encounter the most difficulty. Ironically however, very congested traffic isn’t too much of a problem given that it usually involves gridlock. Traffic jams give you a lot more time to observe and watch others performing manoeuvres. They also involve slow-speed ‘crawling’. Glasgow, Edinburgh, Belfast and possibly Aberdeen are the only cities where you’re likely to encounter issues. We can avoid central Dublin in most cases by staying at Portmarnock.

The most frequent problems you’ll encounter are right-turns, which now feel counter-intuitive, and roundabouts where you need to observe and ‘give way to the right’. The most disconcerting conditions are probably heavy, but free-flowing traffic where thing scan begin to happen a little bit more quickly. The time of day can influence this

Glasgow. Image public domain

The Forth Bridge.

Image by Mike McBey CC by SA 2.0

Image. Pixabay license

Rural Driving

Driving in Scotland’s rural areas is often considered to be something of a legitimate leisure activity within its own right. The roads are uncongested and frequently scenic, particularly those of Perthshire and the Highlands. The A82 and the A9 are two trunk-roads that travel through both areas linking them to the central belt

One of the biggest challenges you might face is losing concentration as a result of not necessarily having enough other vehicles around to keep you focused. There is an issue with drivers who are used to driving on the right to start doing so. Modern vehicles do have smart alert ‘bleepers’ to warn you if you’ve crossed a white line without indicating, and an attentive passenger is always a help too

What We Provide

All of our self-drive vehicles will come with an audio ‘sat-nav’. Faraway Fairways produces a travel plan for you which includes postcodes for programming into the ‘sat-nav’ and estimated ‘last-time’ to leave in order to arrive at place X by time Y

We will nearly always be able to provide you with an automatic transmission so as to give you one less unfamiliar thing to concern yourselves with

With the exception of the ‘super-peak’ season when it’s withdrawn due to workload, we will be able to offer you the option of a meet and greet service. The actual transfer of the vehicle at both Edinburgh and Glasgow can be a bit clunky (its smooth at Inverness)

Image by Robert Basic  CC by SA 2.0

How to Include Dornoch

On its high northerly latitude Dornoch isn't an easy course to include and will always involve some effort.

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Group Size

Your transport burden can always be impacted by the size of your group. A few things to consider

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Time of Year

Your driving experience can always be impacted by the time of year you choose

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