Scotland: Greeting Nature and History
Overview: Expecting a not so rainy weekend, we decided to head towards Scotland from London. The drive through the motorways made us reach Glasgow before sundown.
Though we did not have any plans to visit Glasgow city as such due to time constraints, we managed to see the Glasgow Cathedral glowing in the evening lights.
The next morning we headed north towards Loch Ness, a fresh water lake known for the interesting stories of the monster which has been spotted in these waters.
Its a very scenic drive along the Loch Ness on one side and the Scottish highlands on the other.
We then stopped at Glen Coe, a beautiful U-shaped valley with volcanic history. This place has several trekking trails and also several camping sites which is a heaven for adventurists. At the nearby Black Mount Estate we had a chance to listen to some Scottish music.Glen Coe is also known for the massacre of 1692.
Next we headed towards Inverlochy Castle, which is in ruins currently but has survived the battles. The 13th century Castle, even though in ruins, has been standing unaltered ever since it was built by Comyn family in 1280. Inverlochy Castle is built on a site where River Lochy meets Loch Linnhe, linking the Great Glen and the northern highlands with the sea and the west.
We then stopped at Inverness for lunch and went towards the 13th century Urquhart Castle. Built on the banks of Loch Ness, this Castle is set in a beautiful location. Even though the outer structure is in ruins, the inner part of the castle has been renovated and maintained by Scottish Heritage.
From Urquhart we headed towards Glenfeddich Distillery, founded in 1886, in the Glen of River Fiddich. We had a chance to see the whiskey producing unit and how they stock it. We also had a chance to taste different versions of the whiskey.
We decided to call it a day and proceeded to our hotel in Edinburgh where we stayed overnight.
We started our next day with a visit to the historic Edinburgh Castle. This is a huge Castle built originally in the 12th century and is built upon the plug of an extinct volcano. The Castle overlooks the historic city of Edinburgh and the river Forth.
From the Castle we explored the other attractions in the city including the Cathedrals, the city centre and the aquarium.
At the end we visited the Forth Bridge, known as the icon of Scotland. Built over the Firth of Forth in 1890, this was then the longest single cantilever bridge span.
How to reach: Scotland has direct road/rail links from England and Wales. From Northern Ireland, Scotland is connected through ferry links.
Food/Accommodation: Glasgow and Edinburgh cater to visitors from all communities and has all kinds of restaurants.