Finally! Our last Scotland post a whopping two months after the trip itself. Blogging during the height of a busy summer is difficult to say the least, but we’re excited to share some of the highlights of our Scottish adventure.
The morning of our first full day in Scotland together, which just so happened to be Michael’s birthday, I shot out of bed when I saw a glimpse of blue sky through the curtains. The day of my arrival before had been rainy, a bit chilly, and kind of gloomy, so I’d prepared myself for the worst when it came to the weather, but contrary to the forecast, Michael’s birthday turned out to be the most beautiful days of our trip. The excitement of seeing the sunshine (and blue sky!) carried us through the adventures that took us all over Argyll that day, and even when the fog began to settle during our drive through Glen Coe that afternoon, we were still elated with the weather, because the very scene in Skyfall that we were trying to recreate in our (non-Aston Martin) rental was identical to what we were experiencing firsthand. The weather was fickle during the days that followed, but to be honest, that only added to the mesmerizing beauty of this remarkably lovely region of Scotland.
Consisting of five contemporary rooms inside a beautiful historic Scottish Baronial house overlooking the pristine Oban Bay and just a short walk to the water, Greystones perfectly blends the old and new. We simply adored our bright, spacious room (with its massively tall ceilings!), and couldn’t get over the views from the breakfast nook, where we enjoyed an exceptional meal each morning of our stay. Read more about our time at Greystones here.
We made the trip up to McCaig’s Tower twice during our time in Oban. On our first night, the fog was so strong that we had no way of seeing any of the neighboring islands of Mull, Lismore, and Kerrera, but the view of Oban and the fog-shrouded water was still a lovely, calming sight. With the sun shining brightly in a crystal clear blue sky the next morning, we walked back up to the tower again and couldn’t believe how much the fog had prevented us from seeing the night before. I hope I never forget the awe-inspiring beauty of the view from McCaig’s, made only more picturesque with the crossing of a ferry to one of the neighboring islands.
This historic castle and home to the Duke of Argyll is known by many as the setting for the fictional Duneagle Castle that the Crawley family of Downtown Abbey visits in the season three. That’s the very reason that inspired us to make the drive down to Inveraray from Oban one morning, but the castle did in fact turn out to be much more than a filming location for one of our favorite shows. While we enjoyed touring the interior of the castle and reading about its history, the highlight for both of us was strolling the magnificent gardens of the castle (both manicured and wild), daydreaming about what it must be like to actually live inside the castle walls.
This restaurant boasts one of the best waterfront views in Oban, but for us, the real standout here was the Sticky Toffee Pudding – the best we had during our travels!
We celebrated Michael’s birthday with dinner at Coast, just down the hill from our B&B and one of the better meals from our time outside of Edinburgh. The seafood was deliciously fresh and well prepared, and the cozy atmosphere was perfect to relive stories about our excellent first day in Scotland.
This cute cafe in Appin, with views of Loch Linnie & Castle Stalker (the castle from Monty Python and the Holy Grail), was a great way to break up our drive to Glencoe after a morning of exploring Argyll.
Although we drove down the A82 humming the James Bond theme song (the glen made an appearance in Skyfall), the unbelievable natural beauty of Glen Coe was so much greater than any movie could have depicted. With sheer mountains rising into the fog on either side of the River Coe it’s hard to put into words the scene as it unfolded along the winding road. Even in the grey fog and light rain, we couldn’t help but stop numerous times to take pictures and just stand and stare, taking it all in.