Outlander, Whisky & Shortbread…
It’s hard to know where to begin describing Scotland as it is a place that means so much to me having lived there for 6 months. This led me to experience a period of intense personal growth. Beyond this, Scotland is breathtakingly beautiful, especially in the Highlands, Isle of Skye and in the capital of Edinburgh. There is so much historical character in the country’s architecture, art galleries, museums, and landmarks. From the palace of Holyroods, the Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle, the stunning mountain of Ben Nevis and the beauty of Loch Lomond, there truly is something for everyone.
Scotland is also very different from the rest of the UK, having its own unique culture, accent and history. Every Scot that you meet will tell you that they are Scottish before British. They will also tell you that they have some of the best whisky (Talisker) and gin (Isle of Harris) in the world. They also have the best comfort food such as lamb shank pie and fish and chips. As well, the most outdoorsy and natural part of the UK is in Scotland (Cairngorms National Park).
Let me introduce to you my most favourite places in Scotland, which is where you should go too!
You can’t go to Scotland without visiting the jewel of all Scottish cities - the capital of Edinburgh. From the moment you land in the city centre your soul is taken with rows of Georgian style houses, cutesy gardens and parks behind cast iron fences and shrubs. There are amazing shore views in Leith, rolling hills in Blackford and Carlton Hills. Not to mention, Edinburgh is the birth place of the infamous Harry Potter series. Take a free walking tour and you will be amazed at the number of places that have been infused into the story. There is also some serious good shopping on Princes street, Rose Street lane and the touristy Grassmarket. I’m sure you will feel immediately at home here.
The Highlands & Isle of Skye
There is something captivating about the Scottish Highlands - the raw beauty of being in the middle of no where surrounded by small towns, harsh weather, and unique wildlife. The Highlands are the north West section of Scotland, and very different from the rest of the country. The population decreases and the bulk of Scotland’s tragic and bloody history happened right here.
I took a 4 day coach tour of the highlands in April 2018 with Rabbies. On this trip I went through Glencoe, Fort William, the Isle of Skye, and back down alongside Cairngorm National Park. The tour company knew the best local spots and picked really cute B&Bs to stay for the night. I highly recommend visiting the Isle of Skye in the off-season or before the tourist season goes in full-swing as it just gets too crowded and no longer feels like a remote destination.
The Highlands is where you will see the bulk of Scotland’s wildlife such as deer, coos (highland cows, see below), stags, and much more. I also found more cutesy and typically Scottish pubs to visit with more fried faire and Whisky.