My Top Five of Scotland
It has been a little while since my last top picks entry (Finland), so here is an overdue entry of my top five picks of Scotland! Honestly, we spent so much time in Scotland and saw so many amazing things that it was really difficult to narrow it down. So these here are just scraping the surface of all the cool things you can do/see/visit in Scotland!
We had an amazing adventure on the shores of Loch Ness. I mean, who hasn’t heard of the legendary monster of the deep? The cute little village of Drumnadrochit was a short bus ride from Inverness and is home to both Nessieland and the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition. We didn’t go into either of them, but we got some great pictures with the Nessie statues outside Nessieland. A short, scenic walk later, you can glimpse the ruins of Urquhart castle sitting on the edge of the lake. The lake is always a bit misty, no matter the weather or time of day, giving Loch Ness a mysterious air.
Ahhh Edinburgh! The National Museum of Scotland has an unbelievable collection, and the gallery is breathtaking. Edinburgh Castle is expensive, but has wonderful views of the entire city. Just on the edge of the city, you can get some exercise and hike up to Arthurs Seat. Besides the amazing museums, castles, and parks, the atmosphere of Edinburgh is what truly makes it a must-visit. We loved the laid-back feeling of this otherwise bustling city.
Hermaness Nature Reserve, Unst
The cliffs in Hermaness National Nature Reserve are unbelievably beautiful. We went in late March so only the gannets had begun to arrive, but the nesting colony (a gannetry) was massive. We would have loved to see the reserve in the summertime when the puffins, guillemots, and razorbills were around as well. You also have a great view of the lighthouse on Muckle Flugga from the coast. The hike alternates between easygoing on nice walkways to difficult through swampy areas but it’s worth a visit if you find yourself in the Shetlands!
Rosslyn Chapel and Glen
Rosslyn Chapel is expensive to visit, but we did really enjoy it. The chapel is mysterious and incredibly ornate. You could spend hours walking around trying to puzzle out what all the sculptures are, let alone the meaning behind them. Just down the road you can also find the ruin of Roslin Castle and a trail leading into Roslin Glen. The hike through the glen is really neat, the river is overhanging with ivy and you can find the ruins of the Powder Mills which used to produce gunpowder for export around the world.
Tantallon Castle is my favourite castle that we have seen to date. The beautiful ruin sits on top of a cliff overlooking the sea, and on a sunny day it takes your breate away. Enough of the castle remains that you can get up a few floors and get a fantastic aerial view of the courtyard and surrounding countrside. We couldn’t help ourselves, and made a wish in the well in the courtyard that one day we would be back.