The Scots Have My Heart
I would have enjoyed Ireland a lot more if I had the ability to explore more freely. I think that the reason Scotland was my favorite portion of the trip was due to our ability to do as we pleased at any point during the day. That is why I suggest for any of these places, if you can, rent a car. I know sometimes I can be pricier, but if you are going to splurge on something, this is definitely the thing. We did have an extra fee attached for being under twenty-five which always sucks and makes it even more pricey, but the return on value in the trip was so worth it. We saw everything, literally EVERYTHING I had planned on seeing and more. I enjoyed this portion of the trip so much more than the other places due to this one single change. It is so worth all of the saved time and freedom of making your own schedule. One thing I would love to see one day is something like Zipcar like we have in America in these areas, they would make a fortune and it would really take a financial burden off of young travelers.
Scotland is one of my new favorite places, it is just so breathtaking, and you consistently feel like you are part of a fairytale.
The first night we drove all the way from Glasgow to Isle of Skye. Our first stop was my favorite location of the trip, some abandoned castle ruins. It was just the most beautiful ruins in the middle of a random small town. You can just feel all of the history consuming the area. It is so discrete and hidden, we just sat there forever, and no one ever came and disturbed us. After the short little climb up, we watched sheep graze at the top of the overgrown building. It had been overtaken by greenery and life. The bridge to get across to the ruins is actually destroyed, so it is a tricky little shimmy you have to do across, but it is so worth it. It is truly a place of dreams.
The first night was the only night we did not have a place to stay that was already booked. DO NOT DO THIS, especially in May, which is their busiest season. We struggled until about ten at night to find a place and when we did they made jokes that we were “late to the party” but it all worked out and the bed and breakfast was lovely.
We got up the next morning early since we had a full day ahead of us. We started with the Fairy Pools in Glenbrittle. In my honest opinion, I was disappointed. It is nothing like the pictures you see online. It is a short hike along a stream of waterfalls and on the day that we went it was super windy and chilly (although I still cannot complain because no rain). It did not take long but we decided to play around in the falls along the rocks. The water is freezing, and I would not recommend getting in either.
After this we took off to the famous Dunvegan Castle. Unlike other castles we saw on this trip, this was not ruins at all but a still functioning castle with a clansman chief still living in it. We learned a lot of history at Dunvegan, so if that is something you are interested in hearing about I will attach an informative link to this post. We took a tour of the castle then strutted around their enormous gardens. Like anything in Scotland, it was absolutely beautiful, this is also a more popular spot and has more things to do unlike a lot of the smaller towns on Isle of Skye. There is a really cute cake shop we went to in town on our way out of Dunvegan if you are looking for a sweet fix.
Our last stop of the day was Neist Point Lighthouse. This is hands down the windiest place I have ever been in my entire existence. That of course made it bitter cold as well. I felt like I was almost going to blow off the cliffs. All that aside it was gorgeous, I would love to return on a less windy day, if that even exists. We watched the sunset here before heading to our Airbnb.
For the next two days we stayed with a lovely host in Waternish. Her name was Claire and she was incredible! The place had the most stunning view and the cutest little rooms. The house was everything I envision Scotland to be, and Claire makes a killer breakfast for you every morning. She was absolutely charming, I recommend her place to anyone doing a trip to Isle of Skye, her location is really close to Dunvegan for reference.
We woke up the last day in Isle of Skye and Went to Duntulm Castle Ruins. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to go onto the ruins which was sad because apparently it is structurally unstable. It was all blocked off by fences, but regardless the views from the top and below the ruins were striking. The drive there itself should be a national treasure. The most scenic views I have ever seen take you to this area and the area of Uig. I think the drive along the coast line was my favorite part of this whole trip, I have never seen anything like it. If I were to compare the style of the area to that of somewhere in the United States, it looks very coastal New England.
After this we headed to the Fairy Glen. This was a close second for favorite places. It was just picturesque. It is just all green; the world just threw up green on this place. There are ruins on top of a hill next to the stone circle that are just magnificent. There are actually two stone circles, one you can tell is the original because the stones are firmly grown into the ground with weeds and vines growing all around the stone holding them close to the earth. This circle is smaller but none the less exquisite. The bigger one is in the center and you can tell is newer but is the main attraction. For being such a beautiful place, I expected a lot of tourist. I do not know if we just go lucky or what but there was not a lot of people there and at one point for a good thirty minutes we were the only people there. It was just silence. I was engulfed in peaceful silence as sheep grazed inches from me. That experience, it quite literally took my breath away. I felt like a Disney princess with all of her animal friends in an alternate universe. This place is a must experience.
After this we headed out to the notorious Loch Ness. I felt like while in Scotland you can’t not go and take a little search for good old Nessy. Our Airbnb was precious and had a whole second floor view of the loch. We did not actually do much of anything in Loch Ness, but it was kind of delightful to just sit, relax, and enjoy the scenery. We had a chill night, got dinner and just hung out while watching the sunset over the water from our place. Of course, on our way out we had to stop and touch the water. I can proudly say I have touched the Loch Ness! Ha.
-Good Vibes and Adventure