Edinburgh

Falkland, Glamis and Ethie

Raemoir House near Aberdeen

Aberdeenshire, Craigievar, Dufftown, Glenfidich

Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle, Affric River, Inverness Castle

Inverewe Gardens, Car Ferry, Isle of Lewis

Calanais Stones, Dun Carloway Broah, Black Houses of Lewis

Dunvegan Castle, Neist Point

Ferry Ride, Mull, Staffa

Drive to Stirling

Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Touring Scotland

July, August 2013

In late July 2013, Kathy and I flew to Edinburgh for an extensive tour of Scotland. On our first full day we explored Edinburgh on our own. We toured the castle (picture below), walked the Royal Mile, toured the Palace at Hollyroodhouse and went into the ruins of the Abbey there. This is where Felix Mendelssohn got his inspiration for the Scottish Symphony. Here are some more pictures from that day.

Edinburgh Castle

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The following morning Pauline picked us up from Inchgrove House where we had spent two nights. On our first major sightseeing stop we saw the massive, over-engineered rail bridge over the Firth of Fourth (see the picture below). We went on to tour Falkland Palace and Glamis Castle. That night we stayed in Ethie Castle. Here are some pictures from that day.

Firth of Fourth Bridge

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After a very long day, we had a much shorter day heading up to Aberdeen. Because we had seen two major castles the day before, and because of the persistent rain, we skipped the castles. After lunch we drove to Raemoir House near Banchory.

Raemoir turned out to be a great country house! Our rooms were large and comfortable. Raemoir was named Scotland's Country House Hotel of the Year in 2011 and 2012. Their chef was named Chef of the Year for 2013. Here are some pictures of our rooms and the view from our window.

Raemoir House
Raemoir House

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The next day the rain had stopped; we explored Aberdeenshire and took photographs.

One of the photogenic places was Craigievar Castle - see the picture below. Here are some more pictures of the sights we saw that day. That evening we arrived Inverness and stayed at Moyness House for 2 nights.

Aberdeenshire

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We spent the next day exploring the area near Inverness.

We saw Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness - see the picture below. By late afternoon we came back to Inverness and took pictures of the castle. Here are some pictures of the sights we saw that day including a picture of a rainbow that Kathy took while we were at dinner that night.

Urquhart Castle

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The next day we headed north and west. Our first stop was Inverewe Gardens. The gardens have plants from around the world. This is possible because the weather here is moderated by the Gulf Stream.

We left the gardens and drove to Ullapool to catch the Car Ferry pictured below over to the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. We would spend the night in the Braighe Guest House that looks out to the bay. Here are some pictures of the gardens and other sights we saw that day. Kathy took the last one of the sheep at about 10:00 PM looking out the window of our room.

Car Ferry

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On the morning of August 1st, we headed south to explore the Isle of Lewis on our way toward the Isle of Harris. Our first stop was at the Calanais Standing Stones that date from about 1800 BC. One of Kathy's pictures of them is below.

Next we explored the Dun Carloway Broch. A Broch is a stone double-walled fortified residence from the iron age. After that it was on to the Black Houses of Lewis; and finally we arrived at the Harris Hotel in the town of Tarbert. Here are some pictures that we took on our way to the hotel.

Calanais Standing Stones

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The next morning we got up early to catch the ferry from Tarbert to Uig on the Isle of Skye. We drove past picturesque heather in bloom (picture below) to get to Dunvegan Castle, home of the MacLeods. The pictures here show the castle grounds and Neist Point where we went after lunch to photograph the magnificent scenery.

Heather in Bloom

After leaving Neist Point, we drove across the Isle of Skye to our hotel. There was a lighthouse lit by the setting sun that was very picturesque. The photo below on the left was taken at 10:00 PM; the one on the right at 10:30 PM.

Lighthouse 1 Lighthouse 2

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The next day we took the ferry from Armadale (Isle of Skye) to Mallaig on the mainland. We saw the steam train that was used in the Harry Potter movies. We had lunch near Onich overlooking the river (pictures below).

Train River

After lunch we drove to Glencoe to see the Three Sisters mountains.

3 sisters

Then it was on to Barcaldine Castle near Oban where we would spend two nights,

Barcaldine Castle

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The next day was my day to see Fingal's Cave. We took the ferry over to the island of Mull in the Inner Hebrides. We drove to the far side of Mull where I boarded the boat that would take me out to see the cave (picture below) on the island of Staffa. We took these pictures on our ferry ride out, at the harbor on Mull and on Staffa.

Fingal's Cave

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On our last full day in Scotland we took more photos of the grounds of Barcaldine Castle and then began our our drive back to Edinburgh. We took these pictures along the way. The main stop along the way was at Stirling Castle (picture below), second only to Edinburgh Castle in historical importance.

Stirling Castle

Pauline was able to get us tickets to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo for that night. Here are more pictures of the show.

Tattooe

The next morning we flew home. We were extremely happy with all that we had been able to see and experience. Pauline said that we covered 1,100 miles.


C. Brandon Jones
email: Brandon "at" cbjones.info
updated January 11, 2014