Scotland Adventure Part 4: Western Highlands

Oh, the Highlands of Scotland.

Just a taste of what we were about to enter.

To really see Scotland we would have to have spent at least a month.  To see just a small part of the Highlands in the time that we did has a tease really.

It just makes us want to go back for more!

We did a day tour with Rabbie’s to explore the Western Highlands.  Our tour guide was Fran. She was AWESOME.

We began our trip from Princes Street in Edinburgh and did the round of introductions on the bus.  Fran talked about the lowlands and highlands and spoke of the three bridges, the Kelpies, and what our trip would entail for the day.  The weather wasn’t super, but TeenThing and I were pretty pumped, so weather be damned!!

Our entrance into the Highlands started once we entered Callander, the Gateway to the Highlands.

Our first stop was at Loch Lubnaig (pronounced Loch Awe).

What a beautiful start to the Highlands.

You could camp along here. There was a nice little spot to grab a snack.

It was raining right before we got off the bus.  But once we got out to explore it started to clear up!

We gathered our snacks and hopped back on the bus.  If this was just the beginning we couldn’t wait to see what was in store for us 🙂

That also meant: Castles!!

Our first Castle was Doune Castle.  We did the audio tour here.  You could listen to audio specifically for Monty Python (Terry Jones) and Outlander (Sam Heughan).  It was super fun.  We had a blast here.

I still wonder how they maneuvered those turrets.  TIGHT FIT!

Doune Castle: Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Castle Leoch (Outlander) and Winterfell (Game of Thrones)

All of the delicate furniture had thistles on them to deter people from sitting.

Our next stop was further up in the Highlands at Kilchurn Castle, built in the mid-1400s (Clan Campbell).  I’ll show you the pictures and THEN tell the story, lol.

Kilchurn from afar.
Aaaaaaand a little closer.
And there it is 🙂
Now for the story.

So, as you can tell from the first pic, this is quite a distance from the road.  We all hopped off the bus and started making our way through the “field”.

It was a bog.

Once another passenger and I sunk a little bit (mid calf), everyone else pulled back.

NOT ME.  This was the first castle built by the Campbell Clan.  My Nanny was a Campbell.  I WAS GETTING THIS PICTURE DAMMIT.

So, off through the bog I ran.  Got down to the Loch and ran into a lovely man fishing on the shore.  I took my pictures, cleaned myself up a bit in the loch, turned around and went back into the bog, this time keeping to the other side which was more water than mud.

I got to the road and Fran was like “Yes!!! I knew you were going to keep going!”

Rock. Star.

Our next stop was Inveraray.  What a beautiful little spot.  There was also another castle.

Inveraray Castle (Clan Campbell since the 18th century).

If you watch Downton Abbey, this was the Castle they visited in Christmas 2012 episode.  We didn’t go into this Castle, instead choosing to go into Inveraray and have a bite to eat at Brambles 🙂

A gorgeous little spot.
Loch Fyne

Some Scottish beer 🙂
This burger was AMAZING!

With our bellies full and treats bought at the little candy store, we were ready to get moving!

We drove through some amazing scenery.  My GoPro died early (wah) so I was unable to get some good video of the area.

One of the most amazing spots of the day was the Rest and Be Thankful Pass.

I can’t even explain how beautiful this place was.
So many teeny tiny cars.

We were able to take some time here and really soak up the atmosphere.

Our next stop:   Loch Lomond.

O ye’ll tak’ the high road, and I’ll tak’ the low road,
And I’ll be in Scotland a’fore ye,
But me and my true love will never meet again,
On the bonnie, bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomond.

So beautiful.  I could have sat here forever.

But Fran wouldn’t leave without us, lol.

It was time to load up and head back.  All the sads 😦

We were very lucky to stop and see Stirling Castle, some hairy coos and the Kelpies on our way back to Edinburgh.

Stirling Castle
Highland Cows (Hairy Coos)

The Kelpies

This was our FAVOURITE road trip.

The beauty of the Highlands is something to see.

I want to go back and just experience the Highlands next time!

It was fairly late when we arrive back into Edinburgh.  There was a concert at the National Gallery, so we checked that out before grabbing a bite and getting back to our rental.

Evening Concert

Come back next week for Walking Tours of Edinburgh and our trip to the Edinburgh Zoo!