I have a passion for travel and every year I like to take at least one big trip abroad, last year was a 12 day trek to Everest Base Camp and the year before that was a cruise to Antarctica. I have managed to make my way around all the continents and now it is time to explore my home country of Scotland more which means I am going to spend my first year at home in 10 years. I have done some planning and created an itinerary for exploring some of the best places in Scotland with the intention to do a total of 12 trips around the country.
The exploration begins in January next year and I have listed my rough itinerary below with the places and events which I will visit, photograph and blog about throughout 2019. These trips will involve 6 day trips from Edinburgh and 6 overnight trips all of which will depart from Edinburgh and all done by public transport with a mix of buses, trains, ferries and planes!
- January – Edinburgh: The first stop on my Scotland tour starts close to home for me in my current home of Edinburgh with some sightseeing around the old town and the new town regions of the city. This will include the most visited paid and free attractions in Scotland which are Edinburgh Castle and the Museum of Scotland and also exploring the Georgian house and atchetecture of the New Town and a Gin Distillery.
2. February – Glasgow: I will be heading to explore the most populous city in Scotland and the cultural capital of the country, this will involve paying a visit to Kelvingrove art gallery which is free and awesome then taking in some mackintosh inspired architecture at the lighthouse and paying a visit to a couple of Scottish icons in the Scottish football museum to explore Scotland’s national sport and the tennents lager factory where one of the most famous lagers in the country is made.
3. March – Stirling: In Scotland one of the many great attractions is the rich history that the country has with so many great legends from the past such as Bonnie Prince Charlie and William Wallace. In honour of thus I am going to explore Stirling a city that is steeped in history and also where one of the most famous victories in Scottish history occurred at Bannockburn in 1314 which subsequently lead to Scotland winning its independence from England. I will be visiting there along with Stirling Castle and Wallace Monument.
4. April – Inverness: I will be using Inverness as an overnight base to explore a bit of the Highlands which will involve doing one of the Europe’s most scenic rail journeys up the east coast to Brora. I will stop by the fairytale castle of Dunrobin along the way before paying a visit to a whisky distillery in Brora and then the next day I will be heading out to Dolphin spotting in the moray Firth before going to find Nessie with a cruise on Loch Ness.
5. May – Shetland Islands: In May I will go so far north that i will almost be in Scandinavia in order to take in the extremely popular Shetland Folk Festival for a couple of days. The festival has lots of traditional Scottish music in what will be its 39th year and rumour has it they know how to party in the Islands! I will also do a bit of sightseeing between the music shows enjoying some of the fantastic scenery of Shetland.
6. June – West Highland Way: There are many great walks throughout Scotland which offer the chance to take in some of the breathtaking scenery which is on offer, one of the most popular is the West Highland Way which runs for 96 miles miles from Balloch near Glasgow to Fort William along the west coast. I am going to spend 5 days trekking through the Loch Lomond and Glencoe before finishing by climbing Britain’s tallest mountain Ben Nevis, I am really hoping that it doesn’t rain much during those days but I am bring a bottle of single malt just in case!
7. June – Kingdom of Fife: I grew up in Fife and so I couldn’t leave it off my grand tour, my trip there will include going to the seaside village of Anstruther for a rib boat ride and possibly some award winning fish and chips, then playing some golf in St Andrews and finally doing a tour of Falkland Palace which happens to be home to the oldest tennis court in the world.
8. July – Orkney Islands: These are loads of islands to visit in Scotland and I couldn’t leave Orkney off the list as there is so much to see there. Among the many attractions is Skara Brae, one of the oldest and best preserved neolithic sites in Europe it is actually older than the Pyramids at Giza! I will also be visiting the amazing white Italian chapel, the mysterious Ring of Brodar and Highland Park whisky distillery for a few drams before flying home to Edinburgh.
9. August – Oban and Tiree: My final offshore trip of the year will to Tiree which is home to some of the best beaches in Britain along with some of the most breathtaking views. I will start off in Oban which is a picturesque little village and yes I will be visiting a whisky distillery (there is a theme building here i know!) before setting sail for Tiree where i am going to hire a bicycle to explore the whole 12 miles of the island before catching a flight off the island.
10 September – Speyside Whisky Trail: As you might have guessed I love whisky, especially a speyside single malt so this trip is something i am really looking forward to as I plan to visit 4 different whisky distilleries at Glen Grant, Macallan, Glenfiddich and Aberlour while staying overnight in the whisky capital of the world at Dufftown where I will probably find some more whisky to drink!
11. September – Mallaig: In my second trip in September I am heading to The Old Forge which is most remote bar in Britain for a pint of beer, this will involves a bus, train(s), ferry and walking to get there but I get to pass through some great scenery along the way. I will be spending the night in Mallaig afterwards then heading on a cruise around the Islands of Rum and Canna before returning to Edinburgh.
11. October – Dundee: I spent 4 years studying in Dundee and now I will be heading back as a tourist, the plan is to visit the new V&A museum which has just opened as well as the RSS Discovery, Verdant Works and Dundee Law before finishing with a pint of beer in the Nether Inn bar where I spent most of my 4 years at university!
I will be posting updates all the way through the trip next year on this blog and on social media, there is even the possibility of some vlogging going on too! It should be a great trip but if you have any suggestion for other places to visit, your favourite places in Scotland or any recommendation for must see attractions in the places i am visit then please let me know in the comments, on social media or carrier pigeon!