We originally planned to visit Scotland for 4 days in May as a little Mothers Day getaway but of course, like most of the world had to cancel to remain Safe at Home. We got full refunds for everything and flight vouchers to take our flights at a later time. Well, we were lucky and the time came! It was pretty stressful in the week leading up to our trip because of Scotlands restrictions and making sure we didn’t need to quarantine on either side while also making sure we could travel safely to protect ourselves, our families and everyone we came into contact with.
We flew in super late on a Wednesday night and had a hotel close to the airport so after a quick uber there we passed out so we’d be ready to party the following day. We used Uber again to go grab our rental car & then found parking downtown so we could explore Victorias Street and visit all the Harry Potter Shops on Edinburghs Diagon Alley, enjoy a drink at the Elephant House (where JK Rowling used to write) & wander around Greyfriars Kirkyard where Rowling got inspiration for a bunch of the Harry Potter character names.
Then we drove to Carlowrie Castle. I am pretty sure I would buy this place and could be happy for the rest of my life owning my own little magical castle. This originally wasn’t on our agenda but then we saw it on Instagram and saw it was en route so we decided to make a quick stop by. Unfotunately it was closed so we could just peek in the windows but the exterior was amazing enough!
Afterwards we drove a quick 1 hour to Falkland to experience Outlanders Inverness in person. See that Blog post HERE.
We left Falkland after a delicious breakfast at the Covenantor & headed to Inverness. We stopped at a castle we saw on the side of the road ‘Balvaird Castle’ and explored for a bit before driving onto Kinnloch Rannoch “Craig na dun’. (View my Outlander post here).
Then we headed to Culloden (booked prior on GYG because of Covid requirements), saw the standing stones at Clava Cairns. Lastly, we went to a dinner reservation at the Mustard Seed in Inverness. It was delicious and the service was great. Everyone in Scotland is incredibly kind & easy to talk to.
Hotel for the next few nights was the cutest little Best Western Castle.
It was a super early morning because it’s Isle of Skye day tour time! This was a super long day but our tour guide was awesome and we saw so many amazing things. We booked on Get Your Guide with the company Timberbush Tours prior and it was an amazing full day tour that was not expensive at all. We were able to see Urquhart Castle, Loch Ness, Staglinch, Eeilean Donan Castle, Lealt Falls,Kilt Rock all while being cozy in our front seat of the tour bus with a cheeky tour guide.
We enjoyed a sunrise breakfast at the hotel & then packed up to go explore! Today is a BIG day! We got to see the Glenfinnan Viaduct and we are just lucking out in EVERY SINGLE ASPECT of this trip. Our timing was perfect & we got to see the Jacobite Train pass by. Then we drove through Glencoe (could definitely have spent DAYS here, not just a few hours), drove to see the Kelpies and then we returned the rental car. At this point, we were both pros at driving on the other side of the car and the other side of the road! Our home base would be Edinburgh until we leave so we checked into the most incredible hotel The Scotsman for the remainder of our time in Scotland.
After a busy few days we decided to have a relaxing morning and slept in, grabbed Starbucks and then had a lazy day of exploring around Edinburgh and the Royal Mile where we went a little crazy and got matching tattoos. We had a meal at the Worlds End Pub and then toured Holyrood House (where the Queen lives parts of the year). We were able to buy tickets upon entry that included a audio guide, but recommend grabbing tickets beforehand. Enjoyed a pricey but delicious dinner at The Witchery before going home to get ready for our big Outlander tour day tomorrow!
Our OUTLANDER day! We had an all day tour with a company called Rabbies and had another amazing tour guide. He had tons of Outlander knowledge, clips we could watch if we needed a reminder on what we were seeing & of course, he wore a kilt. We went back and forth between companies and what we wanted to see and decided to go with the tour company Rabbies. We had zero issues, a small tour group and plenty of time at the sights. We were able to visit all the major sights (See that Day Tour post HERE).
We have to head home today! But first we made sure we had time to do some shopping, and of course, visit Starbucks again. We made sure to see the last few Outlander stops on the Royal Mile before getting silly at a Whisky Tour. We grabbed lunch and visited a secondhand bookstore called Armchair books, took pictures on the Vennel Steps & then begrudgingly headed to the Airport.
Hands down the most amazing trip I have ever taken in my entire life. I immediately started researching how to become a resident of Scotland (not joking) because it felt like home.
HUGE thanks to my friend Samantha for being such an amazing travel partner. For organizing a color coded itinerary, doing so much research, finding all our hotels…..For putting up with my crazy desire to take a million photos, to walk in Outlander steps & for never complaining about my fake hair, photo retakes, anxiety, or over enthusiastic Outlander days. You the real MVP.
Now, to cross fingers I can show Presley + Chad Scotland in 2021.