A Touch of Scottish Heritage

Continuing on my dream United Kingdom trip, after England and Wales we finally made it to Scotland – home of the bagpipes and Haggis.

Our three days are split up into three very different Scottish vacations and our story goes like this…

Day 1: Edinburgh Castle + Fringe Festival

We technically only had a half day as our “day 1” but man did we make the most out of it! We first started by touring the Edinburgh Castle (which they recommend spending 2 hours on). This was one of the most in-tact castles I have ever seen. Probably our favorite part was the prisoner quarters – we practically ran to that section.

After exploring the castle, we made our way further downtown to see what this Fringe Festival was all about (we heard about it from our cab driver and the hotel workers). Basically, the festival is a giant out-door street performing celebration. We walked by comedy shows, magic shows, singers and even the most pierced woman! We finished our night by eating at a restaurant we found while souvenir shopping. 

Day 2: Blair Castle

This day started off with another long train ride. We were on our way to see The Blair Castle, which is my mom’s heritage (her grandmother’s maiden name was Blair). And I guess in my heritage too, but not by blood. But still, it’s cool to say my family used to own a castle! The train stopped at a quaint little town where we easily found the entrance to the castle, lined with huge overarching trees along the walkway.

This castle is not as old as others we had seen but it was certainly the most upkept! We strolled through the hallways, bedrooms and the gardens, making sure to take pictures of everything. Another cool thing about this castle is that it’s still owned by the current duke, but he actually lives in South Africa so we are petitioning to see if he will let us stay in it from time to time. 

Day 3: Scottish Highlands + Loch Ness

Our third and final night in Scotland, started (as most days did) with a train ride through the rolling Scottish Highland to get to Drumnadrochit. Here, we made our way through the Loch Ness Museum that detailed every “monster” sighting, starting way back with the Vikings, and explained the bizarre current the lake has – which usually accounts as the reason for these sightings. We had a delicious afternoon lunch and then hoped on a 5-minute bus ride to see Urquhart Castle.

I am constantly blown away by the history Europe provides us. This was the most run-down castle, because it was the oldest and had been through many sieges, but also had break-taking views of the Loch Ness lake.

Our next destination would be Ireland, which is a part of my dad’s heritage so stay tuned!

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  1. Great to see your pictures from Scotland! I hope your petition to stay at the Blair Castle is successful.

    If you want to know more about to which clan you belong, check out our tartan-finder-tool that allows you to discover which Scottish or Irish clans are associated with your last name! https://thetartankilt.com/whats-my-tartan/

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