- Stress and some more stress before zen
- Blitz visit to Edinburgh
- I can live here… Inveraray Castle
- What is it going to be: rain or sun?
- Hanging out with the puffins
- Smell, noise and then the view… thousands of them
- Hot hot hot at Fingal’s Cave
- Climbing Ben Nevis… sort of
- Harry Potter train on Harry Potter bridge
- Old Man of Storr… I think
- Further exploring Trotternish
- Like little children searching for dinosaur tracks
- Fairy wonderland
- Rained out Highland games
- “Kwallen kwellen” on Coral Beach
- Finally found them… The Highland Cow
- I really don’t understand… Eilean Donan Castle
- Playing with the sheep at Neist Point
- Lovely Inverness
- Cuddling the reindeer
- “Ik ben een lekker ding”
- The Album
By deduction. Last year I was starting to reflect on the summer holiday to plan. The kids didn’t want to go for 3 weeks anymore. The eldest didn’t want to go somewhere with beaches and sun. They didn’t want to fly too long. So, that limits options big time. Going to the East, Austria and Germany were good candidates – I would even be able to drive my own car there. North towards Sweden, Norway, Finland… Or West towards Ireland, England, Wales or Scotland. Going South would mean higher temperatures. I had Fingal’s Cave on my bucket list. And friends that went to the Isle of Skye really loved it.
Scotland it is.
Mini bucket list for the trip
There were definitely some things that were on my list:
- Fingal’s cave, as mentioned
- See Highland cows and the typical sheep with black heads
- Go to a highland game
- Explore the isle of skye
- Visit one or more nice castles
- Eat Haggis and Black Pudding
- See some men in a kilt
Where to go?
Easiest airport for me was Edinburgh. SN Brussels flies on it. Flights are reasonably priced. Good. Getting to the Isle of Skye takes some driving. I don’t want to drive a lot on one day. I was ill in 2015 and was not sure if I would be fully recovered. So, would need at least 1 intermediate sleepover. If possible, as much regions as possible. Eventually Orkney, Shetland, the outer West islands and the North West were dropped due to time constraints.
Day 1: Arriving in Edinburgh
Day 2: Passing through Argyll with stopover in Inveraray. Constraint on this day as we needed to pick up tickets before 5 pm in Oban. Sleeping in Oban.
Day 3: All day boat tour to Lunga and Staffa isles. Sleeping in Oban.
Day 4: Drive through Glencoe. Gondola to top of Ben Nevis. Spot the Jaocbite train passing the Glenfinnan bridge. Get the ferry to Isle of Skye. Sleeping in Portree.
Day 5: Hiking Old Man Storr, Kilt Rock, loop towards Uig to have a whale watch boat tour (which got canceled due to weather), Fairy Glen hike and back. Sleeping in Portree.
Day 6: Highland games in Lochcarron, Coral beach and Neist point hikes
Day 7: Fairy pools hike, Eilean Donan Castle, Loch Ness boat tour in Drumnadorchit and Inverness. Sleeping in Inverness.
Day 8: feeding the reindeer, zip-lining and sleeping in Dalmunzie Castle.
Day 9: back to Edinburgh to catch flight home.
If I would have had more time, I would add another day in Edinburgh and Oban, 2 extra days in Isle of Skye (even if it is only as a buffer when weather is not good), and another day in Aviemore area.
- Edinburgh – I found it expensive for what you get. Booked the Holiday Inn Express Royal Mile. Which was fine and in the center. Because we arrived late afternoon, I was able to park almost in front for 1,5 GBP up to the next morning.
- Oban – Elderslie Guest House. Real nice owners. The rooms are a bit smaller. We felt really welcome here.
- Portree – Marmalade House. We loved it. It is not a luxury establishment and doesn’t pretend to be either. We had the family room – huge! with a big bathroom and double size bath. There were some problems with the water in the shower – too hot – which were apparently difficult to fix. Extremely helpful including putting our wet clothes in the tumble dryer. Good food. Nice people. Great view and garden.
- Inverness – Torridon Guest House. Not sure… everything was nice and clean with nice breakfast. The host was a bit nervous. Not sure he liked having kids around as they might mess up something. Very helpfull though and a nice breakfast in a all Scottish breakfast room.
- Dalmunzie Castle – again loved it. We got an upgrade to the original main suite of the lord. Brilliant. Felt like a royal. A lot of original features kept. Nice breakfast. Very friendly staff.
Overall very happy about the trip. I want to go back… now. Very friendly people all over Scotland.