Where to begin? It’s hard to write a first post after such an impressive roadtrip. Scotland was overwhelming. Scotland was rugged. Scotland was challenging. But above all: Scotland is a wonderful country. After returning from our fantastic roadtrip through Northern Norway, I wrote an article based on the photos I shared on Instagram during the trip. I thought it was a very nice way to look back, so I decided to post one picture a day during my Scotland trip. Using these photos I’d like to take you on a journey through the most rugged, most beautiful and most picturesque places of this country.
Day 1: Edinburgh – Isle of Skye
In the preparation article of this roadtrip, I shared our itinerary. Stop number one was Isle of Mull, but two days before departure we changed our plans. Hurricane Ophelia would also hit Scotland. To a lesser extent than Ireland, but we didn’t want to take the risk of being stuck on the island because of possible cancelled ferries. Better safe than sorry, so we decide to book two extra nights on Isle of Skye. After arriving in Edinburgh, we drive straight to Dunvegan. A long drive, leaving little space to enjoy the surroundings. Except for this gem, the fairytale-like Eileen Donan Castle, with its gloomy and mysterious Scottish atmosphere.
Today was such a long and tiring day. We flew to Edinburg, then drove all the way to Isle of Skye. We planned to go to Isle of Mull first but decided to change plans and to spend two extra nights on Skye, due to upcoming storm. Let’s just hope it won’t be that bad. We drove almost non stop but I really had to get out of the car to take a picture of this beautiful castle. What do you think about it?
Day 2: Isle of Skye – Neist Point Lighthouse
Dunvegan is located on the north side of Isle of Skye, the ideal location to visit Neist Point Lighthouse, a real must see on the island. Efforts are rewarded, because it takes us two drives to take this picture. Attempt one in the morning, when we can’t see anything around us, are pushed in all directions by the strong wind and get soaking wet. Attempt two at the end of the day, when it cleared up. We climb on the small mountain just before the lighthouse, from which we have a panoramic view. On the lighthouse, but also on the surrounding rock cliffs, as shown in this picture. Pure rugged beauty. Neist Point Lighthouse is a magnificent place.
Day 3: Isle of Skye – Old Man of Storr
On day 3 we drive from Dunvegan to Portree via Trotternish Peninsula, the northernmost peninsula of Isle of Skye. The day starts with rain, but it does clear up a bit eventually. In the afternoon, we tick an important item off our bucketlist, we visit the Old Man of Storr. A climb to a bizarre world where rock formations and the greenest meadows steal the show. A world where all your fantasies come to life. We would not be in Scotland if rain did not suddenly start to pour from the sky just before the end of the trail. And so we end up wet and cold anyway when we get into the car, but with seat heating.
Dag 4: Isle of Skye – Quiraing
The third day starts with rain and strong wind again. In the morning, we drive on small roads so at least we do get to see something new, in the afternoon we decide to do the famous Quiraing hike. The weather is changeable, but in Scotland you should not let yourself be discouraged. Armed with our raincoat and waterproof hiking shoes we start the hike. The first part of the trip goes without complications and we enjoy the scenery around us. The second part puts us to the test. Precisely when we have to climb a high mountain, an immense fog deprives us of our sight within a few seconds. The trail is muddy and flooded and finding the right direction is a challenge when can’t see more than 10 meters in front of you, but the description on my phone helps us following the right direction. I think we have spend an hour in muddy and wet fields before some visibility came back. On this picture the end was almost in sight, a well-deserved view of unique plateaus covered with the most beautiful autumn colors.
Day 5: Portree – Kinlochewe via Applecross
If you think you’ve seen everything after Isle of Skye, you’re wrong. Scotland is overwhelmingly beautiful. To reach our next destination, we drive through Applecross, perhaps one of the biggest surprises of this trip. Applecross is an incredibly rugged peninsula, characterized by mountains, hills and an impressive mountain pass. The area is also known for its beautiful rugged beaches. We take a short walk to one of these beaches and enjoy a spectacular view of Isle of Raasay and beyond the Isle of Skye, covered with threatening clouds.
Day 6: Loch Torridon and surroundings + roadtrip
Today it’s dry. The first day it does not rain when we get up (hallelujah!), so we have a hard time trusting the weather completely. We trade the planned mountain hike for a coastal hike near Loch Torridon, along a peninsula and through a more inland area. In the afternoon we decide to make a spontaneous roadtrip. We drive part of the coastal route to the north, almost to Ullapool, and continue our way back inland. Along the way, we are seeing the most beautiful places, such as this bay, where the sun just peeks through the clouds when I take my pictures. Magical Scotland, where you’ll start to appreciate every precious sunshine minute more and more.
Day 7: Kinlochewe – Glen Coe
The second to last day has arrived. We continue our route to Glen Coe, which is one of Scotland’s most beautiful valleys. And that’s no lie. On our way we take a look at the Glenfinnan Viaduct, famous from the Harry Potter movie. The magic does her work because even the sun shines here. We don’t stay long because we want to explore Glen Coe in the afternoon. On foot. We climb to a hidden valley, a hike that I won’t forget soon. Glen Coe is really breathtaking. Beautiful colors and floating fog above and between the mountain peaks welcome us for the ultimate autumn experience.
Day 8: Glen Coe – Edinburgh
The last day starts dry but after a short forest walk, rain is pouring from the sky again. After a week we almost become friends with the rain. Time to enter the car and travel further. Via Loch Lomond, where it’s still raining, we drive on the edge of the Trossachs, through a picturesque piece of Scottish countryside. We make a detour through the village of Gartmore, located on a hill. Here you will find the Gartmore House, a guesthouse, but also a very cute pink house. The photo below is the gateway to the castle that serves as a guesthouse. To finish this trip, we have lunch with a view on Lake of Menteith and then it’s time to drive to the airport. Time to say goodbye to wonderful Scotland.
Bonus: Throwback to the Fairy Pools
One day after this roadtrip, a little throwback to the Fairy Pools on Instagram, which I visited exactly a week earlier. It was almost dry that afternoon. Well, for the Scottish it means dry. This area is truly enchanting and I understand why these waterfalls have this magical name. You can almost see the fairies dancing around. This is a mysterious and fascinating place.