Trip Planning: Scotland


Michael & I are excited to share that we’re headed to Scotland for the first time next month! We’re taking advantage of a work trip that Michael has in Edinburgh, and will make our way through the Scottish Highlands & Islands once he’s finished up working. Seven or so years later, I still remember the very conversation we had in college when Michael told me how much he’d always wanted to visit Scotland someday, so the fact that we’re making this trip together is extraordinarily special.

The reason for this post is two-fold. First, we love hearing travel recommendations from our readers – your suggestions have led us to more than a few memorable meals and experiences – so if you’ve been to Scotland, we’d love to hear any tips you’d be willing to share. We also thought it might be worthwhile to share some of the resources we’ve been using to plan our Scotland trip, in case you find yourself faced with a similar task.

Isle of Skye was at the very top of our list when we began planning this trip. After reaching out to a lot of self-catering cottages (rental homes) we noticed that almost all of them required a one week stay. While I’m certain that we would have had no shortage of things to experience on Skye for a week, in the end we decided that splitting up our stay in multiple Scottish locations might be a wiser use of our time abroad. If a weeklong stay on Isle of Skye sounds appealing to you, I would look no further than An Airigh or 15 Fiscavaig. I’ve exchanged emails with the owners and they’re delightful people with the most beautiful of properties. The cottages at Lyndale is another spot I would also go ahead and bookmark, and this website was also very insightful.

For Scotland, our Where Chefs Eat book has come in handy once again. Thanks to it, we’re looking forward to a meal at Three Chimneys on Isle of Skye, and Michael will have no shortage of great recommendations to browse for his time in Edinburgh.

Another book that has proven to be quite useful is our copy of The New York Times 36 Hours in Europe. We were both excited to read that we’ll be driving past the Glenfinnan Viaduct (seen in the Harry Potter films) on our way to Skye, and we certainly cannot wait to experience a meal at Kinloch and sample whisky at Talisker (which was also the distillery our podcasting friend, Bo, told us to visit).

A while ago, I bookmarked these photos from Vanessa Jackman’s fall trip to Scotland, for the sole purpose of getting more excited for our own trip. It doesn’t hurt that her food + activity recommendations seem to be almost as lovely as her photos.

Here are some more lovely Skye photos from Olivia Rae James!

As touristy or cliché as it might sound, experiencing firsthand some of the beautiful scenery featured in Skyfall was another must on this trip for us. Our first B&B is located just 30 miles from Glencoe, where Bond’s family’s property was set in the movie.

The final website I ended up using during this process was Further Afield – a site that features handpicked accommodation options that are open to hosting same-sex couples. While I obviously didn’t quite use the site as it was originally intended, I thought Further Afield was too good not to share – the interface is intuitive, they share useful tips about each place, and the properties they feature all appear to be lovely. Plus, some of the properties on Skye I’d originally contacted when we were considering a weeklong stay were listed, which seemed to be a great sign. Seriously, how gorgeous are these Boathouses in Perthshire that I found on Further Afield? (As an aside, we noticed that our adorable inn from our trip to Atlanta was featured on the site as well!)

As I mentioned above, we’d love to hear any thoughts you might have for our visit to the Scottish Highlands and Michael’s trip to Edinburgh in the comments below. As always, thanks for reading along!

4 thoughts on “Trip Planning: Scotland

  1. I am so excited for you guys! I’ve only spent a few quick nights in Scotland but it’s easily one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been…. and I didn’t even get to the Highlands! Can’t wait to hear more about your trip planning and eventually your trip!!

  2. Oh Meredith… how fun! One of our best friends here in Philly is moving to Edinburgh next year for his PhD… hope we can make it to visit. Looking forward to you paving the way :)

  3. If you are staying in Perthshire near Pitlochry I’d highly recommend visiting the Edradour Distillery.its the smallest (legal!!!!) distillery in Britain and I think produces stunning whisky.
    It is roughly 2 miles outside Pitlochry and is set in a beautiful small hamlet.there is a lovely wee trail that takes you up the hill from Pitlochry to it.
    I would recommend basing yourself in Pitlochry.really is a stunning part of our country.
    My girlfriend stays in Perth so I’m only too happy to answer any questions you may have!

  4. Edinburgh recommendations
    Visit national museum of Scotland but make sure you take in the views from the roof terrace.often overlooked by visitors!

    Take a tour of Mary Kings Close.though it is a little spooky!!!

    Visit the Elephant House Tearoom.small tearoom that J.K. Rowling used when writing the Harry potter books

    I’ve heard good things about people who go on the EatWalkEdinburgh tours.personal tours and a different way to sample edinburghs food

    Go a walk on the Water of Leith walkway

    Mercat tours offer various walking tours on various aspects of the towns rich history

    Take a bus 7 miles outside the town to Rosslyn Chapel.this was featured in both the davinci code book and film.well worth a visit!!!!

    Escape the hustle and bustle and take a coffee into Dunbar’s Close garden.A small piece of tranquility well worth taking a short period of time to relax in

    You will find info on all the above on the net.edinburgh is a fantastic city!!!!

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