I actually still can’t believe how beautiful Scotland is. We spent less time here in cities and wandering castles, and more time hiking and enjoying “summer”. If you’re in the UK and looking for a nature escape, I couldn’t recommend heading up North any more.
This time, Glasgow was unfortunately just a stop (and you best believe I plan on expanding this section of this guide one day.
Glasgow Mural Trail – walk through the town and enjoy the incredible architecture.
The Riverside Museum of Transport – designed by Zaha Hadid, this building is incredible. The museum itself has a really fun section where you can explore old buses and trains and trams.
The Willow Tea Rooms – designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Mackintosh had a huge impact on Glasgow architecture and this was one the only spot we had time for this time.
LOCH LOMOND NATIONAL PARK
Driving through hereis like entering the magical World of Harry Potter. The real life steam train that is the Hogwarts Express goes through the Glenfinnan Viaduct. Also home to a famous scene in James Bond’s Skyfall, I can totally understand why so many films have been shot here. It’s pretty incredible.
ISLE OF SKYE
Portree, the main town is picturesque. It’s colourful houses are so pretty.
We absolutely loved driving around the island, seeing the Old Man of Storr, Quairing, and Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls.
Best of all, I absolutely loved seeing the Highland Cows. We had to be those people that stopped on the side of the road to say hello.
My personal highlight in the Isle of Skye was the Fairy Glen. We walked up the hill and were greeted by the most incredible views, a magical mossy forest, and even a little bunny rabbit. I totally can see fairies roaming through here, and I got to be that real-life fairy for the afternoon.
EILEAN DONAN CASTLE
If you’ve watched Made of Honor, you’ve seen this castle. While certainly not the grandest of them all, this picturesque castle is surrounded by lochs on three sides and is made for the movies.
After reading Lonely Planet’s Greatest Roadtrips Book, we decided to take a drive to Applecross for lunch. The road was extremely steep and scary (thanking god I wasn’t the one responsible for driving), but the views were truly spectacular. Lunch at the Applecross Walled Garden was just as good.
My mum is the master at finding a good Airbnb and this trip was no different. We decided to stay at the “Hobbit House”. Easily one of the most unique ones we’ve ever stayed in, and this is you recommendation to sometimes plan around your accommodation!
SOME PRACTICAL NOTES
- Getting around the parts of Scotland that we ventured to this time would not be possible without a car. The roads can get very windy and lots of single lane roads were common. So rent a car where all your passengers can be comfortable, with a window seat.
- Unsurprisingly, Scotland is pretty damn cold. We were there in September, and I had all the layers on already. Be prepared for it, especially during the months shouldering summer.
- We had lots of short, but heavy, rain showers in Skye. Learn to go with the timing of it, and drive to your spots while it does, and enjoy the brief moments of sun while you can.
- Bring your good walking shoes, with some decent grip. It gets muddy.