Today's the day - we're off to Scotland for a week of adventures! I'm going to be pretty absent from my blog and social media while I'm gone. We want to spend our time in the UK enjoying every moment and not stressing about posts; we're completely disconnecting. When I get back I plan to write exclusively on Scotland until I'm out of material. ;) I've decided to post our tentative itinerary to hold you over for our adventures, and so you'll know what to expect when we get back! Our Scotland travels are mostly fast-paced roadtripping, so we're cramming a lot of space into a small amount of time, but I think it'll be well worth it.
Saturday, August 6: This is a total travel day. We bought our tickets for red-eyes out of Chicago so we are driving to the Windy City. (We saved a ton of money by doing this so definitely consider nearby airports during your search for flights!) One of my friends from college lives in Chicago so we're meeting her for some food & chats in the city before we head to O'Hare. From then on, it's an overnight flight to our layover in Dublin.
Sunday, August 7: We have around a seven hour layover in Dublin, so we're leaving the airport (if timing cooperates!) and heading to the fishing village of Malahide to eat lunch and venture around a bit. We were a bit bummed at first after learning that our layover had extended from two hours to seven, but the eternal optimist that I am decided that it would be pretty sweet to be able to see a little bit of Ireland as well. The flight to Edinburgh from Dublin is at 2:30, so we still have a good bit of the afternoon to venture through Scotland's capital. In Edinburgh that evening, we plan to venture through the Royal Mile and climb to the tip-top of Arthur's Seat after walking through Holyrood Park.
Monday, August 8: Our one full day in Edinburgh is going to be jam-packed. We are going to Edinburgh Castle first thing in the morning to beat the rush. We also want to visit the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the ruins of Holyrood Abbey, Dean Village, Elephant House Coffee Shop (where JK Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book), and Circus Lane. We're spending the evening venturing through Victoria Street (the street that Diagon Alley was based off of in the Harry Potter series!) as well as shopping in Princes Street. We're pretty ambitious with this one day, so we're going to have to prioritize and see what we can, even if it's not everything.
Tuesday, August 9: On the road! Today begins our road trip through the Highlands, the part of our trip I'm most excited for. We're leaving Edinburgh fairly early to head to Cairnpapple Hill, an ancient burial mound created in around 3500 BC. Next we head to Falkirk for a brief visit to Castle Campbell & the Kelpies then we're moving on to Stirling. In Stirling, we're visiting the Wallace Monument and Stirling Castle before venturing on to our final destination: the Isle of Skye. Upon arrival to Skye, we plan to visit Portree (the largest village on the island) for dinner and walks along the streets.
Wednesday, August 10: Skye, Skye, Skye! I'm hyping the Isle of Skye up to be the best part of the trip. I've been looking forward to visiting this wild isle since I read about it in my British history class in college. This is another full day of driving the island to see its most famous landmarks. The one I'm most looking forward to seeing is Faerie Glen, a so-called magical hidden glen that is a natural marvel. We're also taking a hike to the fairy pools which are supposed to be one of the most magical places on the island. We also plan to visit Neist Point, Old Man of Storr, and the Quiraing, as well as Kilt Rock and Bride's Veil Waterfall.
Thursday, August 11: Sadly, we're leaving Skye but heading to my secondmost excitement inducing place - Inverness! We're actually staying a little outside of the city in Culloden but plan to spend plenty of time in Inverness. Before we reach the city, however, we plan to check out Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland's most iconic & most photographed castle. I doubt we'll go in, but I definitely want to see this Scottish icon. From then, we'll head to Culloden to drop off our bags at our Airbnb then venture out to Culloden Moor, home of the last battle fought on British soil. The battle was fought between the Jacobites of Scotland, who wanted a Scottish Catholic king on the throne of England, and the British army in 1745. It was a devastating battle with an immense loss of life, and still holds weight today. Imagine the world we would live in had the Jacobites won this important battle - the US and Britain, as well as all British territories, could potentially be completely different. Nearby are the Clava Cairns, standing stones and burial grounds from the Bronze Age, that we plan to visit after Culloden Moor.
Friday, August 12: Loch Ness! We're starting the day by heading out to Loch Ness to visit Urquhart Castle and take a cruise on the infamous loch - maybe we'll see Nessie! ;) There are apparently some neat hiking areas near the loch that we'll venture through, then it's off to Inverness for some time in the city. potentially taking a tour of Tomatin Distillery for some scotch whiskey tasting! We've had a busy itinerary thus far so we plan to take it easy this evening to venture around the city and relax with a beer or wine before heading back to our cottage in Culloden.
Saturday, August 13: Another roadtripping day! Sadly, this is our last full day in Scotland and we plan to take advantage of it. We're leaving the Inverness region to venture to the eastern side of the country. Our first stop is Dunnottar Castle and a small venture through Aberdeen then on to St. Andrew's. Michael is super excited to be visiting St. Andrew's to walk the Old Course. While in St. Andrew's, we're going to be visiting St. Andrew's Cathedral as well. After these visits, we're heading back to Edinburgh for our last night in Scotland. Depending on what time we get to the city and what we saw while we were in Edinburgh initially, we might see some additional sights Saturday night.
Sunday, August 14: Another travel day. We're flying out of Edinburgh to our short layover in London. From there we fly back to Chicago to make the drive back to Cincinnati.
Hi, I'm Madeline
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