SCOTLAND - trip report
Scotland has vast stretches of untouched rugged natural beauty, combined with charming towns and cities, lovely people, interesting history, strong culture, and a wonderful capital city - Edinburgh. Come along on with us as we explore this lovely country.
Edinburgh is the renowned capital of Scotland. The city’s physical beauty derives from the fact that it is dominated by “Old Town” the original site of the town up on a hill where there is a huge castle as well as the oldest streets (mostly cobblestone) and stone buildings. This Old Town hill is a dramatic backdrop seen as you walk the streets of the city.
Old Town and the Castle. The first thing we did was to climb the picturesque curving cobblestone street (left ) leading up to Old Town on the hill and walk the “Royal Mile” running the length of Old Town from the castle (right) at the west end.
Royal Mile. The Royal Mile runs past St. Giles Cathedral, monuments, charming old buildings, statues, shops, restaurants, and much more. The Royal Mile then runs past he Scottish Parliament to the Royal Holyrood Palace (bottom right).
New Town. Back down from Old Town in central Edinburgh, we stayed in “New Town” which is the part of town adjacent to Old Town and a very happening place to be – with great shopping, excellent restaurants and lively pubs.
Kimpton Charlotte Square. We stayed at the lovely Kimpton hotel which is very well situated in the heart of Edinburgh right across from Charlotte Square. Hard to find a better location in this city.
Arthur’s Seat. We hiked up to “Arthur’s Seat” – a looming cliff overlooking the city providing great views.
Harry Potter. We also visited the coffee shop where the penniless J.K Rollings wrote the original Harry Potter book. Not a bad place to invent an enterprise worth hundreds of millions of pounds.
WESTERN AND NORTHERN SCOTLAND
Cameron Lodge, Loch Lomond. We did a driving tour starting in western Scotland staying first at the Cameron Lodge on Loch Lomond. This is a wonderful property. Our room was in a turret of this hotel which is in a castle. Enjoy the bagpipe music at the door, and explore the lush grounds along the “bonnie bonnie banks of Lock Lomond”.
Kinlock Lodge, Isle of Skye. We then continued our journey going all the way up to Kinlock Lodge on the Isle of Skye, another unique and wonderful property that partakes of the vast natural beauty of it location. This is ruggedly beautiful country.
Sleat Head. We did have the chance to take a hike down to a remote point – called Sleat Head. We drove for miles down a winding 6-foot-wide road to the village of Aird, where we started our hike on a farm track.
This track led to a foot path over some rocks and then down a valley to a small beach. Very secluded and close to the elements.
Torridon. We then drove a bit further north to Torridon to stay at the Torridon Lodge, the grounds of which provide a pasture for cute shaggy highland cows.
Inverness. We traveled across Scotland to the east side, staying in Inverness. The River Ness runs through the town, linking the North Sea to the famous Loch Ness. Inverness Castle looms over the town.