What an experience and great choice it was to do a road trip through Scotland. The nature, views and food that it has to offer are hard to beat.
Last week I finished off the blog by climbing down from Ben Nevis and making my way over to Inverness to grab some dinner, lets continue the story there.While driving over to Inverness I altered my plans for the first time. The weather was not looking good for the next couple days so I decided to go over to Isle of Skye rather than climbing Ben Macdui (the second highest peak in the U.K). I still went over to Cairngorm national park but I ended up doing a walk around a Loch instead.
Isle of Skye
Because it was a last-minute call, Isle of Skye was a little bit further away than it could have been but I was okay with that. Before starting my road trip, I had done some research on it but eventually decided that it would take up too much time. From my research I remembered reading about ”Old man Storr”, a little ”hike” up to a cool looking rock formation that offers some of the most incredible views. The drive there was totally worth it, just so I was able to experience that amazing piece of nature here (pictures below). I would recommend going to Isle of Skye even if it’s just for this. The hike, if you can call it that, is pretty short but obviously offers a lot in return.
After this I made my way back over to the main land and I was on my way to Cairngorm National park to do some walking around. I had to drive through Inverness to get there, so I stopped at Scotch and Rye again, because I liked their food so much.
Cairngorm National park & Glenfiddich
After my second dinner at Scotch & Rye I made my way over to Loch Morlich, a Loch in Cairngorm National park. I had already booked my whiskey tasting at glenfiddich so I only had time for a walk around the Loch rather than a full hike. I chose to do Loch Morlich because it has a walk that goes all the way around the Loch. It took me about an hour / 90 minutes to go all the way around.
Once I finished my little walk, I had to make my way over to the Glenfiddich distiliry for my whiskey tasting. Now, I have to tell you that I am not a big whiskey drinker, so I probably did not appreciate the experience as much as a whiskey drinker would have done. Having said that, I am definitely glad to have gone through the experience. By then I had slept in my car for a week, when I got there I felt out of place, because it looked so fancy. Even though I am not that into drinking whiskey, these once were definitely amongst the best I have tried. I tried the 12, 15, 18, 21 year old whiskeys, the 18 year old was my favorite.
Once my alcohol levels settled themselves, I started my 4-hour long drive down to my final stop of the trip: The beautiful city of Edinburgh. I spent most of the 48 hours in Edinburg either walking around, drinking a wide variety of beers and eating food. I definitely had my fair share of beers on this trip but my favorite one’s were definitely in Edinburgh. So, I am not big whiskey drinker but I do love my beers (and a wide variety of it). My favorite beers came from this place called Innis & Gunn, A Scottish brewery that offer some really solid beers. Some of the other bars and pubs I visited and would highly recommend:
- The hanging bat
- Cold town house
- Salt horse
- Finnegan’s wake
Besides the beers, I did a lot of walking around as well. Everything worth seeing and visiting in Edinburgh is at walk distance from each other (if you don’t mind walking 30-60 minutes for some). The one thing you have/ need to do while in Edinburgh is go over to Arthurs peak and enjoy the views at the top. It’s a fairly easy walk (not even a hike), the effort versus reward ratio is really good. It will probably take you somewhere between 15-30 minutes to get up there. Check out the pictures down below for some of the views you will get to experience while you’re up there. After making my way down from Arthurs seat I walked over to the world-famous Edinburgh castle. I would recommend checking out the castle from the park nearby rather than walking up to the castle, in my opinion the view is not that good while being up close.
Whenever I visit big cities like this, I like to try out some of the foods people like to rave about online. During this trip I made my way over to a place called ”Bens cookies” and ”oink”, I don’t think it shocks anyone that the first place sells cookies and the seconds place sells pulled pork. I would highly recommend going to one or both of these places if you enjoy one or the other. If you make your way over to Bens cookies, make sure to try the triple chocolate, you can thank me later.
While I was in Edinburgh, I stayed at the Kickass Greyfriars hostel. There service and facilities were good. They offer discounts on food and drinks in their own little bar, I unfortunately did not take advantage of it because I was busy visiting other pubs and bars.
Right before leaving Edinburg I had some breakfast at this place called Pappi, which does a really good breakfast for a fairly reasonable price, go check them out if you are there.
My trip back to London involved a full day of climbing with a camp friend out in the Peak District. It has been a while since I have climbed outside rather than a climbing wall. The weather that day was beautiful, climbing was good and the day/trip finished off with a trip to my favorite fast-food place: 5 Guys(a side note, my go to 5-guys order: a bacon cheeseburger with grilled onions and ketchup, a peanut butter milkshake with Oreo pieces)
*The one thing I wish I had skipped
To finish off this blog, I will leave you with the one and only ”regret” I have looking back on this trip. The fairy pools on the Isle of Skye are not worth the visit in my opinion. It’s about a 30-40-minute drive away no matter where you are on the Island, the parking is way too expensive for how long you’re there for and what the fairy pools have to offer.
I would recommend doing your own road trip through Scotland, if you can 10/10!
I really like the Hanging Bat and Oink too! Interesting that you felt that way about the Fairy Pools given how hyped up they are – but I’ve actually heard the same thing a few times and I skipped it when I was there. I do kind of want to go next time just to form my own opinion. Looks like a fab trip!
If you have been to countries like Iceland where the waterfalls are much bigger, this will definitely be underwhelming (speaking from my experience). But I would highly recommend going to Isle of Skye regardless, check out Old man of Storr.
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Yeah, to be fair I find a lot of Scottish waterfalls underwhelming but there are a few good ones! Old Man Of Storr is amazing! 🙂
Nice post and great moody photos of Skye (but, in general, I think it’s whisky for Scotland and whiskey for Ireland!)