This post was most recently updated on December 14th, 2021
Scotland was never on my list of top destinations. In fact, it was a trip to London that finally convinced me to visit this nearby country. I had seen beautiful photos online of castles in ruin, green valleys, and lakes of glass; I decided since I’d already made the long journey across the pond, I might as well hop on over to Scotland. Who knew I would fall in love with it so quickly?! The vast landscapes, deep history, and warm culture engulfed me as I explored the wonderful Highlands of Scotland!
I started my trip by visiting the Isle of Skye, one of the many isles off the north-west coast of Scotland. Green grass covered almost every inch of terrain, with crystal blue lochs and rugged sea cliffs adding interest to the view! Add in miles of endless skylines, cloudy horizons, and dramatic sunsets and you are well on your way to imagining a Scottish vista.
The history of Scotland can easily be traced back through the many castles that dot the countryside! From century-old ruins to majestic castles restored to their former glory, there is always something to explore. The two working castles we toured included Dunvegan (on the Isle of Skye) and Eilean Donan (on mainland Scotland); both were well worth the time and money to tour! We learned so much about the history of the clans that lived in the nearby communities, heard stories about war and honor, and saw what life might have looked like for the nobles living there. Even the castle ruins held secrets of power, war, and mystery within their stone walls.
One of the first pit stops we made while in Scotland was to Strome Castle, a two hundred year old castle ruin near the Isle of Skye. My husband and I stepped out of our car and were immediately greeted by a large black dog who we figured must belong to one of the nearby residents. But, the dog was much more than a neighborhood pet; he proceeded to run ahead a bit at a time, guiding us along the path towards the ruins. We enjoyed exploring the castle under the careful watch of this dog, and then when we were through, he very courteously led us back to our car. This animal encounter became one of our favorite memories from our time in Scotland.
Along with this experience, we saw many other animals: rams, horses, sheep, and highland cows. It was always fun to see little lambs scampering around on the green hills, or make way for the sheep crossing the roads as we drove along. And, the highland cows were quite a sight, although their size was a bit intimidating!
Delicious Comfort Food
All the food we had in Scotland was scrumptious! We gorged on tender meat and creamy mashed potatoes, hearty English breakfasts, and homemade desserts that warmed my soul! Our most notable meals were the homemade meat pies we bought from Skye Pie Cafe (on the eastern side of the Isle of Skye), as well as Lamb Rump from Glenorchy Lodge & Restaurant (in Dalmally, Scotland). Delicious!
Of course, visiting Scotland wouldn’t be complete without learning to drive on the wrong side of the road! My husband and I both took our turn behind the wheel as we meandered through valleys, over mountains, and around herds of sheep. In spite of driving on the left side of the road and giving way to oncoming traffic during passing zones, it was not difficult to navigate this beautiful country; we quickly became pros! Plus, the road signs we found along our journey provided us with plenty of good laughs.
The Most Beautiful Place on Earth
Even though I only spent four days in the Scottish Highlands, I saw and explored so much! The memories I made during that time will stay with me always. And, thanks to one of our fellow travelers and Drone Cinematographer, Chris Newman, many of those memories are featured in his epic video, Majestic Scotland; now I don’t have to leave the comfort of my home to relive my time in Scotland.
Chris is the owner of CineChopper, providing professional drone footage and instruction. You can subscribe to his YouTube channel to see even more beautiful drone content in the future! Or, if you are looking to get fantastic instruction on drone cinematography, check out his courses at Cine Chopper University.
Can’t wait to go back…
After my time spent in the Scottish Highlands, I truly believe it is the most beautiful place on earth. While we’re not able to jump on a plane and head back right away, we’re already looking ahead to the next time we can explore this wonderful country! I think my husband said it best, “I can sum up Scotland in three words: Go. Back. Now”. So, do yourself a favor and book a flight, plan a trip, and get to the Scottish Highlands…the sooner the better!
What about Scotland makes you want to go visit?
Written by guest blogger Heather Young (my lovely daughter!), whose photography is featured on her blog, Heather Hiding Photography.
Interested in Heather’s post on how to take great photos? Check it out at:
Tips for Terrific Travel Photography
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I’m sold on Scotland! Thanks!
I cannot believe I haven’t already been there with my love of Scottish History! I’m going to get there.
Beautiful! Thanks for sharing.
I’m glad you enjoyed it!
This truly does look like a magical place with the sea, the green, and the castles history and beauty mixed together .
No experience of Haggis? Now you have a reason to go back! I have gone twice and will not tire of the natural beauty or of the people.
You’re right! I wasn’t brave enough to try haggis while there, but I did enjoy some very tasty meals.
Absolutely stunning photos! I love Scotland! I’ve been twice and it’s just beautiful. Definitely would love to do a hike there soon!
Scotland has been on my bucket list for years. Seeing this post makes me really wanna finally get my trip planned!
I loved visiting Scotland. Such fabulous sites plus all those historic castles. Oh yeah! I was there for 10 days with 7 friends and our guide was going insane from us asking to stop to photograph sheep 10 times a day. LOL
Did you get any good shots of the sheep! That IS funny!
Amazing drone footage. It has reminded how much I want to see Scotland. The driving on the other side didn’t even occur to me though. Glad to hear you didn’t have issues adjusting. Can’t wait to see this beautiful country in person.
I really like how you laid out your post. I can’t believe Scotland wasn’t high on your list. I’ve wanted to visit Scotland since I can remember! Driving on the wrong side of the road is such a trip. When we were in Ireland we decided to remind the other, every so often, just to ensure we stayed int he correct lane.
Oh, Lara, I DO want to go to Scotland! But for some reason it wasn’t high on my daughter’s list! I’m so jealous she got to go before me!
I think Ireland was higher up on my list than Scotland, but once I started seeing pictures of the Scottish Highlands I knew I had to make it up there. I’m glad a trip to London finally got me close enough to visit Scotland…
Scotland is on my long long list and was planning to club it with London. But I guess, it needs a trip dedicated to Scotland only.
It’s funny I’m from England and I’ve been all over the world but Scotland for me has never really been on my list either not till I actually started to travel and thought I would like to visit Scotland sometime. A friend of mine is from the Isle of Sky and she’s told and shown me just how gorgeous it is. I must try and visit soon while I’m back in England. This post has just prompted me to go 😀
I hope you are able to find an excuse to visit soon!
I just got back from Scotland and I agree— it’s super stunning. I loved Isle of Skye and Edinburgh. We also did the castle.
Stunning images Tami, or should I say Heather 😉 You must be very proud. I also never thought of visiting Scotland until I moved to London, then I went 3 times! It’s such a gorgeous country, you’ve captured it well. Thanks for posting!
Thanks, Kim! Scotland was an absolute dream destination for me as a photographer.
Great photos! I did a road trip to Scotland 2 years ago and loved it. Unfortunately I missed Eilean Donan.
Thanks! Where did your Scottish road trip take you? Eilean Donan and the Isle of Skye were some of my highlights!
My husband has been to Scotland, but I have never been and I so want to. I’m all about the castles, but we both love the gorgeous landscapes. I’d also love to explore the Isle of Skye. I can picture a road trip in our future, for sure! Pinned!
Gorgeous. Scotland is my favorite country in the world. I went in June (for the second time), and the Highlands blew me away. It’s seriously paradise if you’re a photographer.
I agree! I loved capturing the beauty of the Scottish Highlands because now I have some wonderful photos to look back on and enjoy.
I’ve been sold on visiting Scotland for some time, and your lovely article solidifies why I must arrange a trip soon! The vast natural landscapes and wide spaces appeal to me on every level.
Thanks, Claudia! Scotland really is a spectacular place, and it wasn’t as costly as other international destinations I’ve visited!
I’m so very desperate to get to Scotland. I have this unspoken vow to not go without my mother, but I’m going to be SO CLOSE in May and I may break that vow… It’ just looks absolutely incredible!
I have never been there, but Scotland is very high on my list! I think the nature is just amazing there, and your pictures tell me so 🙂 Very complete article, full of good information by the way!
Love this post! Scotland is in the plans for us in 2019 we think. The landscapes and castles sound and look amazing. Will have to check out Isle of Sky like you did. By the way, is that orange furry animal a cow? It’s beautiful.
Yes, it’s a cow!
My dad’s side of the family comes from Skye and Mull. I know the latter well – though I’ve never been to Skye. I really do need to do so! It’s on my list – especially now after seeing your stunning photos!
Scotland is fantastic and I hope to get there one day, especially to the Isle of Sky. Your photos are fantastic, you have captured the essence of Scotland so well: castles, green and stunning landscapes! Who knew that Scotland was such a great foodie destination as well!
Is that a ram with all that hair? It is so beautiful. Now I want to visit Scotland
These pictures of Scotland are really beautiful! Your daughter certainly has a good eye! 🙂 I’ve never been to Scotland, mainly because of the weather. But my wife had a similar road trip through the Highlands in 2002, and didn’t like the awful weather, nor the food. Now seeing what you ate there, I must say that it looks rather delicious! Thank you for sharing this!
Ohh this post made me so excited as I am visiting Scotland for the first time at the end of the year! Cannot wait to see what Scotland has to offer as I have heard its very similar to NZ (where I’m from) so I’m sure I would love it automatically! Great post, I really enjoyed reading.
Scotland has never been high up on my list (even though my mum was a Macdonald). Seeing these pictures and reading about it has definitely sparked up the urge to visit. We were in irleand earlier this year and I suppose it has its similarities. How cute are those big highland cows!
Hey! I think Scotland is still less visited compared to other places in UK and it is a pity: the landscape that you depicted is truly amazing. I make sure to visit Isle of Skye when I am in the region.
Scotland was on the list but never that high. And now your pictures have definitely changed its position. The vast green landscapes; ruined castles; furry friends; amazing food; endless skyline everything is attractive there. Would love to explore it soon. Thanks for sharing