This past weekend Kellan and I decided that we were going to go on a last minute trip since it was a long weekend, and we settled on the highlands of Scotland! Neither of us had been to the highlands before, and it seemed like the perfect trip – and was!
We started our journey via National Express bus, as it was such a last minute decision to go, and so the flight and train tickets were much too expensive. Once we arrived in Inverness, which is one of the main cities in the Highlands, we set off to find our hotel. We love to book everything online and, though normally I’m a huge fan of Expedia, I found this particular hotel deal on Bookings.
The Best Western Lochardil House Hotel was a bit tucked away from the city centre, but still within walking distance. Walking over we saw the most beautiful homes (castles really) and flowers upon flowers upon flowers! The roads sloped upwards as we walked, bringing us to the top of a steep hill, and our destination. Sitting just beyond the top of the hill was our lovely hotel, which resembled a small castle. Check in was so easy and quick, and the room was divine. We used the remaining hours of our day to settle into our temporary abode, and found a lovely pub to grab dinner and some drinks – preparing ourselves for the whirlwind that would be the following day.
First thing in the morning we stumbled down to the dining area in the hotel for breakfast. It was a beautiful sunroom attached to the back of the hotel, set with multiple cloth-laden tables and the freshness of the newly risen sun. Kellan and I ate as quickly as we could and grabbed some fruit for later, and then made our way from the hotel to the station where we would be meeting our tour guides.
Kellan and I signed up for the Isle of Skye tour with WOWScotland, and literally WOW is right. It was a 12 hour tour, but it certainly did not feel that long. It was a smaller group tour, trekking through the highlands with two kilt-clad gentlemen who would guide us through our day. We had many picturesque stops along the way, however I think that hiking the Quiraing was the highlight of my day. It was heavily misting with a firm breeze, but the mist was not cold, it was slightly warm. The green hills rolled around us, with jagged edges popping up every which way. There were sheep across the fields in front of the hills, and the sky was grey with gloom. It truly was a perfect hike. (Check out a tiny Kellan in the second picture in a red jacket!)
We trekked through the Isle of Skye, passing Kilt Rock, The Old Man of Stohr, and some adorable highland cows – one of which came so close to us that I was able to give him a little pat and he seemed to approve.
We also stopped at a whiskey brewery/bar where Kellan and I tried a VERY smokey whiskey that I did not like – but he loved. Not quite my cup of tea, but when in Scotland!
We passed by the infamous Loch Ness, and I will not relay the sad truth about Nessie, as I don’t want to deter any believers out there. Suffice it to say I personally don’t believe in her anymore.
Our tour guide Jonathan, was the most informed guide I have ever had on any tour, and both Kellan and I were so enthralled with his stories and descriptions of the scenery we were passing that the time simply flew by.
At one of the last stops of the day, our guides brought us out some more Scottish Whiskey (different to the one that Kellan and I had tried earlier) and gave samples to the entire group. This one was a bit better than the previous whiskey, and after we finished we roamed around a castle! It was absolutely amazing.
When we returned we were absolutely exhausted, and hit the hay early. The following morning it was souvenir shopping for a few secret surprises for my dad, and some pub food for lunch before our journey back home to London.Overall we had such a fantastic time in Inverness, Skye, and the Highlands, and not only are we definitely returning, but we will definitely be doing that tour again!