Lindsay on Location has made its way to the land of bagpipes, quilts and log throwing. Scotland has a beautiful countryside, with amazing people, rolling hills, and mesmerizing castles dotted throughout the country. We had the chance to roam the terrain and visit their two main cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Edinburgh is a great city to have your home base when you are in Scotland. Most places are just a short drive from the city. And, the city itself is very walkable. You can find traditional and international restaurants that have you coming back. We stayed in the centrally located Kimpton on Charlotte Square. Their restaurant, Babba, is a middle eastern inspired restaurant that is just a stunning experience. The hotel was one of our favorites, and the sauna in their fitness center will have you ready for your journey around the country.
Our suggestion is to bounce around the city without a plan. You’ll be walking through graveyards, shopping areas, city parks and alleyways that have hidden shops and eateries.
All the whisky lovers out there. Do yourself a favor and head to Johnnie Walker on Princes Street. They have exclusive cocktails that you can only find in Edinburgh. A state-of-the-art facility where you can have private tastings in their barrel room or sip cocktails on their rooftop, with views of Edinburgh Castle and the cityline.
We can all see the inspiration that fantasy fiction movies and books, like Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts, take from Scotland. When visiting Edinburgh, let’s start with the most iconic spot in the country. Edinburgh castle is one of the oldest fortified castles in Europe and one of the oldest parts of the castle dates back to the 12th century.
The view from the top is the best in the city. Take a look down at the city center to the water, Firth of Forth. As long as you’re fine paying the entrance fee, the views from the top are breathtaking.
The weather can be spotty wherever you are in Scotland, so hope for the best. If blue skies make an appearance, hurry and take some stunning photos. When you make your way to the top, be careful. It gets windy, so don’t stand too close to the 100-foot walls.
Overlooking the Firth of Forth, the Town of Culross is one of the most picturesque towns you will find in Scotland. It has been used for shows and movies, like Captain America and Outlander. The town has you stepping back into the 16th century. You can truly imagine what it was like living there 400 years ago. Walk on the cobblestones, see where witches were tried and held while awaiting execution, and see the well preserved whitewashed, red-tiled buildings that are scattered all around the town.
One of my favorites is to stroll on a cobbled alleyway, with a raised central aisle, which was used by the nobles to separate themselves from the commoners. Feel like a noble for a minute.
If you want to get out in the wild on the coast of Scotland, head to Seaweed Neuk seaweed for some seaweed foraging, wild cooking and coastal conservation. Jayson is a Kiwi who has found his way to the windy coast of Scotland.
First on his seaweed foraging excursion is to trek through farmlands, wind around the coastline, then take a hike down to the shoreline. There he explains about the tides and how they influence the different types of seaweed that is in the area. With a pair of scissors he brings you along to munch on seaweed that is on the rocks. We tried all different kinds that tasted like truffle butter, olive oil, and fish. We were all blown away by how delicious the seaweed was without any preparation.
Just at sunset, Jayson started a fire on the beach, popped a pan on the wood and was ready to fry up some seaweed. The experience of frying up seaweed on the beach with the sun starting to touch the horizon is something that everyone should experience in their life. Trust me.
Fans of Game of Thrones, Outlander and Monty Python will recognize this castle. A quaint, picturesque town surrounds the area. Do yourself and do a daytrip from Edinburgh to get some good pics in.
And, while you’re on the road trips, stop in Glencorse Old kirk church, where Jamie and Claire from Outlander got married. They can get booked up for weddings and other events.
A lot of people are hyperbolic when they travel. But, when I say that this is a can’t miss, trying your hand at bagpipes is a must. Walking the streets of Edinburgh you see bagpipe players are scattered around town playing. They are dressed in full uniform and spread Scottish culture to your ears.
The National Piping Center gave me an opportunity to show off my bagpipe skills. It gives you an appreciation on the difficulty of playing. The center told us that it takes about seven years to become decent at the pipes. I have some years to go.
It is always a good idea to head to Scotland. There is something for everyone. They say Scotland is calling, and I think you should answer the call and head there now!