If you already follow me on my social media handles then you know how much fun our recent trip to Scotland was. If not don’t worry I am going to try and make sure this blog post is just as much fun as the trip was.
But first for some background on how we landed up in Bonny Scotland! I have to start by stating how unenthusiastic I was about traveling to Scotland. I never not get excited about any trip but there’s something about the UK that made me cringe and feel dull about our holiday. It may have to do with the weather, who knows? This holiday was only planned to the UK as by husband who is currently taking a long distance course at London University had a module to attend and Scotland seemed like the best and closest option considering we were holidaying with a 6 month old baby.
Now here’s where you may think, why did they just not stay in London? My husband and I have both been to the city several times and have pretty much checked most thing off our list. Apart from having high tea with the Queen of course! The other reason being that it is just not a city that is equipped for new parents or parents with little babies that need to be pushed around in strollers. The tube system is terrible, the roads are bad and the city just isn’t as fun than when you are young, wild and free to dine out & party. We needed to get out of the city as soon as his course was done and thats how the Z family headed further up north to check yet another country off our list.
HOW WE GOT THERE?
There are plenty of ways to get there however we opted for the quickest and easiest way which of course is by train. There’s nothing like seeing a bit of countryside, following a map and chit chatting with fellow travelers. The journey was 4 1/2 hours in total which in my MUMMY head is a feed, nap and snack away.
My husband and I never have an agenda on holiday. Our daily lives run on routine and rosters. Living with a pilot and a baby means wake up time, sleep time, pick up time. ETA, ETD, feed time, play time BLAH BLAH BLAH… you get the picture right? and hence we always book a place for just a night with the option of extending. We then look for a place we want to see on the map, rent a car and drive away. It was the very first time we did a road trip like we usually do but this time with Amélie and so we weren’t really sure what to expect. Our little angel though totally inherited our nomad gene so she is pretty much ok anywhere around the world as long as we keep to her routine.
The very first night we stayed in Edinburgh walked around the city a bit but mostly got some rest and down time after the long train ride.
The next morning we had breakfast at a cute little place called Forsyth’s tea room run by this granny in the picture below that shuttles between Scotland and Spain. Breakfast was great however do not expect to be served quick as it’s solely run by her. We helped around by taking things to our table ourselves and personally loved it in spite the slow service cause she did make us feel quite at home. She even gave Amélie a bedside lucky charm with fresh lavender in it.
We then rented out a car to drive to Destination 2. Oban.
On our drive there we stopped by this home run farm store for lunch. Fresh produce and homemade bread made for a perfectt quick sandwich stop.
Another stop on our way was this powder blue oyster bar & restaurant.
Destination 2 – Oban is a tiny little fishing town on the west coast of the country and is approximately a 2 1/2 hr drive. We drove through Glasgow to get a feel of the city but didn’t stop to see much. Oban on the other hand was just stunning. We arrived sometime passed lunch and most hotels seemed to have space but no parking. We finally found a hotel to stay for the night and got a room way up on the last floor that gave us unobstructed view of the city.
The day we arrived we settled down as usual and walked out by the pier. Most places were busy given it was a weekend and so we choose to head to local bar for some fish and chips.
As summer had just creeped in the sunset was just beautiful and a nice walk back to hotel tired us out just in enough to retire for the day.
We were due to leave for Destination 3 passed breakfast but instead decided to walk around town some more and have lunch before we got on the road again. There was this one place I was told by someone that served amazing seafood and I wasn’t convinced about leaving town without trying it. The true foodie in me said stay and you will not be disappointed and so we did despite a heavy down pour. To save our selves from downing in the rain we popped into the local Oban distillery for a tour. Kids under 9 are not allowed and so we only managed to walk through the museum but got a good educational brief on Whiskey making.
Now back to the seafood pace and boy was glad we stayed around to try the food cause this for sure was the highlight of our trip. Situated just next to Ferry Terminal the place is called – Local Shellfish. The shacky bar served out by far the best seafood i’ve ever ever eaten in my life. Even my carnivore husband that hates shellfish fought for my share of mussels that were cooked in white wine and garlic. Seafood just cannot get any better than this. Too bad I had a very fidgetty Amélie strapped around me or else I would have stayed longer and continued eating every single dish off their menu.
Destination 3 – Lochness passing through the picturesque town of Glen Coe.
Glen Coe is a place that is truly humbling. It is like being in a movie or somewhere lost between the pages of a novel. The one thought that crossed my mind all the time we drove through this town is how little and insignificant we are admits all the beauty on this planet earth. You sure do not what to miss a tiny trip or even sleeping the night in this town. Pictures don’t do justice to the raw beauty of this town.
Lochness on the other hand of course needs no introduction. This town was made famous decades ago when apparently a green monster named Nessy was spotted in the waters. Shame though that until date no ones camera has ever captured a picture of this monster. Quite clearly he’s camera shy of course. The town is ok according to me. A bit touristy but not bad for a night.
Coffee in bed with a surprise video for my first mothers day
We stayed a bit away from the main town in a beautiful wooden cabin called Loch Ness Lodge Hotel. The hotel is just next to the Nessy World – a museum and park which makes it a perfect place if you’re traveling with kids.
Destination 4 – Inverness
We first stopped at the castle of Urquhart thats on the way to inverness. In the land of castles, kings, queens and knights this stop is an absolute must.
As for Inverness, from the research we did we knew that it was one of the bigger cities in Scotland and that for us was a turn off in terms of opting to spend the night in this city. We had not yet booked a place and during a bubbly lunch at a fabulous restaurant by the river my darling husband decided to surprise me one more time on my first ever mothers day by telling me he had booked us a stay at a castle for the night. We stayed at this gorgeous place called Kincraig Castle where, decor, service and food were all just superbly on point.
Date night – candle lit dinner while Amelie slept peacefully in the room. We watched her on the monitor all though dinner but it was great to have a nice quite romantic time.
The next morning after a lovely Scottish breakfast we drove off to Destination 5 – Pitlochry.
Pitcochry has a special story too 🙂 40 years ago my in-laws honeymooned around Scotland and spent a fare amount of time in this town. It was absolutely special to be here with our baby girl in the very same little village where once her newly wed grandparents romanced.
We stayed at a b&b at the end of town. The town is quite small and everything is a stone throw away. We had a stunning walk around the dam and the area where salmon is harvested in its natural habitat.
Dinner at The Old Mill
The next day we drove back to Edinbrugh. We were really lucky again to get some beautiful weather for the first half of the day to walk around and explore the Royal Mile.
Must stop for Vintage Clothing shoppers
A lovely boutique hotel in old town
Kids are not really allowed into bars in Scotland or the UK in general. Bars must have a special license to allow entry. Very few places have this license as its expensive. A good option of bars that can be found all around the country is one run by – Wetherspoons. Check this link for details & locations- www.jdwetherspoon.com/pubs
Our time in Scotland was noting short of spectacular. Its definitely once of the biggest surprises of this year for me personally. I had never imagined to love this country and its people so much. Every single person was helpful and chirpy and super nice to us. We were of course extremely lucky with weather and got some beautiful sunny days. But in all honesty we didn’t mind the occasional rain and gloominess too. I guess when you’re a desert expat its the small pleasures in life that you start to appreciate more.
Here’s our route map. If you have any questions about your trip feel free to leave me a message.
Bon Voyage & Bon Appetit