Scotland Highlights & Edinburgh: What to see

I recently found some time to go over my trip to Scotland, and give you all the tips and local places I visited. Scotland is the northern part of the United Kingdom, surrounded by natural treasures and has a Gothic feeling. Definitely, if you have the option, take time to explore the country by driving all around. That would be the perfect way, as there is a lot to see around Edinburgh and on the outside.

But when is the right time to travel to Scotland? It always depends on what activity you would like to do. Overall, it is cold most of the season, so the average temperature is very low, making it less enjoyable to walk around. I went toOctober. They were 2C to 10C (30F to 50F), and the rain made it quite difficult to walk around. If you are willing to visit the countryside, take a road trip around late spring, or in the summer. You can enjoy some sunlight, longer and warmer days.

Visit Edinburgh.

view of the Castle
The Ross Fountain

Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful cities in the country. The mix of old and new architecture characterizes the beauty of the city, locking you in a lifetime experience. The best way to explore the city is by doing a free guided tour of the city, departing along Lawnmarket. It is impossible to miss the guides who are in the middle of the street looking for people to join. You will definitely find it. 

Useful tip — When I arrived in Edinburgh, I had to go around with my backpack as my Check-in for Airbnb was at 3 pm, and I arrived in the city at 9 am! I discovered an app called “Radical storage” where you can deposit your bag, paying based on the time you decide to, leave it and come and collect it when you want. I will definitely use it in the next city Igo to for sure.

Edinburgh It has many beautiful views, especially of the city: Ceylon Hill, this historic hilltop, is a memorial dedicated to Scottish soldiers and sailors who died in the Napoleonic Wars, and you get, in my opinion, the best view of the city. If you are up for a hike? Only 30 min hiking to Arthur’s Seat, in Holyrood Park. The easiest of the two ways to reach it is from the north, where the Saint Anthony’s Chapel ruins is. 

And unmissable is the view from Edinburgh CastleTo visit the castle, you can buy your ticket online. Right now a few areas are closed, so you can get a discounted ticket. I paid around 16£. You will be able to visit the Great hall room and see the oldest Crown jewels in Britain (is not allowed to take pictures there).  The Laich Hall and Antechamber are open (The Mary Room and The Birthing Room remain closed), The Scottish National War memorials and The Half Moon Battery. Among the highlight of the city, definitely worth the Ross Fountain– A beautiful example of 19th-century sculpture. At the base of the fountain, there are mermaids, walrus and lion heads and cherubs. Perfect also for some classic photos of the castle! 

Dean Village
Dean Village

A place that is not that common is Dean Village. It’sabout 30 min distance from the Castle of Edinburgh. A beautiful oasis right by the Water of Faith. The name comes fromdene, meaning ‘deep valley’. It was known as the “Water of Leith Village” and was a successful grain milling area for more than 800 years. At one time, there were no fewer than eleven working mills there, driven by the strong currents of the Water of Leith.

Highlights of Scotland.

Somewhere in Scotland

This was also a big surprise for me, so much beauty in this country! As I had limited time to explore the country, I did a daily tour from Edinburgh (around 50£ each) and went to visit some main spots like Loch Ness and the Highlands.

We went from Edinburgh to Rannoch Moor and through the Loch Lomond and Transacts National Park. See Ben Nevis before visiting Glen Coe and its centuries of gripping history. After climbing through the Grampians, walking through the Cairngorms National Park, Loch Ness, with a chance to do a cruise trip on the loch (for extra pay, of course) and see Urquhart Castle. For then discovering Perthshire, and the cute city of Pitlochry, concluding with forth Bridges view.

Loch Ness
Glen Nevis waterfall (really bad weather for shooting)

Overall a great experience, but I’ll definitely say it, It’s too quick! So if you have the time and you drive, rent a car and do the same path, it’s simply so beautiful. The national park around you, but carefully as the road is quite narrow with not much lightening, so make sure to plan yourself. There are a lot of small villages and hotels along the way, so you can rest when the sun goes down. It’s such a beautiful experience in nature that goes perfectly with the country Celtic vibe.

Wandering around the Highlands, you will often come across Scottish sheep: sheep are, in fact, like parsley in Scotland. They are almost everywhere and are now an integral part of the landscape: you need to know that there are more sheep than people in all. Can you believe it?

What to eat.

And every place you travel to, local food is a must! What to try in Scotland? Here are some suggestions.

Haggis — (is a savoury pudding containing: sheep (heart, liver, and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and cooked while traditionally encased in the animal’s stomach). Do not panic! Today you can find a vegan and vegetarian option that recreates the same taste. Which is what I tried. 

Stornoway black pudding — pudding is made with pig’s blood, sausage meat, onion, spices, and oatmeal to provide texture. I do not eat meat, but I decided to share what I found during my research. 

Porridge — traditional Scottish breakfast. Made from locally grown oats and milk (or water), this simple and healthy dish is the perfect way to start your morning. 

Cullen skink— With smoked haddock onions and potatoes. Another classic. 

Smoked salmon.

Partan breech— broth with rice and cream.

Cranachan — And this is my favorite sweet. Cranachan is a layered dish made from whipped cream, honey, whiskey, fresh raspberries, and toasted oatmeal.

Tunnock’s — teacakes Caramel logs and wafer cream are the perfect companions to tea or coffee. (sold in the supermarket).

Whisky– is Scotland’s national drink. A lot of places do Wisky testing, worth trying!

If you don’t want to be disappointed, go to wiski rooms in Edinburgh, with fantastic local food and a cozy location with live music. This was definitely a highlight of the trip for me. So I hope you will love it too.

Haggis Vegeterian

I hope you enjoy this small guide and Scotland. Feel free to drop me an email or DM on Insta for any other tips or more specific questions. Travel safe.

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