Travels are just necessary sometimes. They help you to learn new things and grow, freshen up your thoughts and views on your life, plus, isn’t it just nice to change surroundings even for a little bit? And while proper long trips are not always available to everyone at any time given time, one can always find time over the weekend for a short and easy trip to some neighbouring areas, that don’t ask you to lash out, be it a still in a little town or village, hiking in nature or picnic in a countryside park.
I live in Edinburgh, a Scottish capital, a city with deep cultural and historical heritage. Yet a lot of interesting things are happening around Edinburgh as well, which allows us to always have a wide choice of destinations to visit during our weekends. We try to make it our rule to see at least one new place around Scotland each month, and today I want to share those that became most memorable to us over the past year.
You might have not heard the name, but you have definitely seen this gorgeous area in an array of movies: James Bond was passing Glencoe mountains on his way to Skyfall, Hogwarts Express made its way through this beautiful scenery taking Harry Potter to magic school, a rebellious Princess Merida in Disney’s modern classic called these lands her kingdom and home…
Scottish Highlands is a mountainous region in northwest Scotland, large enough for a longer trip, although perfectly suitable for a small weekend ventures as well, if you don’t plan to cover it all in one go. It’s overwhelming there; to see this vast landscape, where you can barely meet another person, yet can easily come across a wild deer, to listen to its harmonic silence. I definitely think that autumn is the best time to come, since that’s when all the beautiful colours are there, and when you’re tired after a long day, you can sit by the fireplace at your cosy cottage enjoying a cup of tea or a glass of wine…
Do not miss on trying amazing lake seafood (is seafood from lake still called SEAfood? :D)!
A cradle of Scottish monarchs and a simply charming little town by a beautiful lake, just 30 minutes away from Edinburgh — a perfect way toe space busy city weekends. Once an impressive residence of Scottish crown and a birthplace of Mary Queen of Scotts, the castle is now in ruins, yet still remaining its old-time charm and attracting attention from all over the world. For instance, back in 2012, Chanel set its fashion catwalk right in the middle of the courtyard to demonstrate its tartan-inspired collection. The castle can be visited for a small fee, which also allows you to enjoy the surrounding views from one of its remaining towers. Have a stroll around the lake and feed the swans later in the afternoon, or set a little picnic for yourself if weather allows.
A seaside town only 30 min away from Edinburgh by train, with beautiful scenery. Nature enthusiasts will be glad to discover Scottish Seabird centre offering excursions to nearby islands: gannets, puffins, gulls are locals here, plus you have a chance to spot seals, dolphins and whales along the way as well! If you, like me, enjoy quiet strolls on dry land, pick one of the paths running along the coast and enjoy beautiful views of the sea and nearby hills, later turning into own itself in search of the best seafood meal, fish-and-chips place or coffee shop (Steampunk coffee is my all-time favourite!).