When you think about Scotland you undoubtedly think about the beautiful highland scenery, loch monsters, men in kilts and the romantic and magical castles. Well if you don’t then you should be thinking of all of the above. Kidding aside, Scotland truly is a great country with a fascinating history. This history has left it filled with magical castles all across its landscape. For me seeing them is like traveling through time and reliving part of the history through them. So if like me you are a castle lover you are in luck as you will have over 2000 to chose from when you visit Scotland. Here is a list of the lucky 13 I chose to explore in my recent 2 week road trip.
The month of September brings with it the Epcot Food and Wine festival and my birthday. Since I have never been to this festival before I decided I would be celebrating my birthday there this year. Nothing better than traveling the world all in one day while tasting different foods and drinks. The decision to attend the festival this year was easy but coming up with the right hotel to stay at is a different story. Orlando is not lacking in hotel options but this time we wanted to stay as close to Epcot as possible so we booked our stay at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel.
When I started planning my trip to Scotland I decided to add a stopover in London to give my family a taste of this fantastic city. Our stop in London was for less than 36 hrs. and to be fair that is not nearly enough time to see all this city has to offer. You can probably spend a full year in London and not see it all. However I needed to maximize my time and give my family a perfect London day. If like me you are short on time and find yourself in this incredible city here is a list of ideas to help you plan your perfect day in London.
I must confess I fell in love with Scotland before I ever set foot on its lands. My love affair began while reading the Outlander about 8 years ago and I have wanted to visit Scotland ever since. I thought about and romanticized it so much that quite frankly I did not know if my high expectations would be met. I was afraid that all the buildup in my head would just lead to disappointment. But regardless I embarked on my journey and arrived in Scotland via train (and not the standing stones) in June 2016. To my relief, this small country with its untamed dramatic beauty, majestic castles, turbulent history, fresh food and fantastic drink, not only met my expectations but surpassed them. So here is my list of top 10 reasons (in no particular order) why you should visit Scotland:
Sanibel and Captiva are barrier Islands just 30 min from Ft. Myers on the Gulf Coast of Florida. With only about 7,000 residents these sleepy Islands still have a small town feel. You will not find any big chain establishments or any high rises to impede your views. You will find 15 miles of pristine beaches world class shelling, great fishing and a myriad of restaurants and activities. So how do you pick a beach to spend the day in? Here is a quick guide to help you select the perfect spot for you and if you read to the end I will reward you with the best kept secret of the Island.
St. Louis was never on the top of my list of places to visit. However I was given the opportunity to attend a conference and spend some much needed girl time there this month. Therefore, I happily booked my ticket. Now I confess that St. Louis was so much more than pretty sights and fun with my girlfriends. This trip empowered me to be obsessively grateful and to become a defender of innocence. I write this not just to give you some tips on what to see and do when in St. Louis but to raise awareness on a topic that is difficult to talk about but that is so important.
The Isle of Skye which is located on the North West coast of Scotland is a mysterious and fascinating place. For many years it has topped my list of must see destinations. Not only because of its beauty and dramatic landscapes but because of its fabulous hikes and walks.
I love spending time outdoors and Skye is the perfect outdoor playground for anyone with adventure in their soul. So if like me, you have limited time on the Island and want to experience in that short time some of the best hikes and walks, then read on so you do not miss out on what I would consider five of the best hikes in Skye.
Where are all my Harry Potter fans? Based on the amount of fan-fiction and fan websites out there I know I am not the only one. I also know that my 2 girls join me in my love of Harry Potter. Therefore, when I started planning my Scotland adventure I decided some Harry Potter sites needed to be included – you know for the kids, wink, wink. So read along as we discover the hidden secrets of Harry Potter in the magical world of Edinburgh, Scotland.
If you are a nature lover and want to see the puffins there is no better place in Scotland than Lunga. The Isle of Lunga, which is the largest Island in the Treshnish Archipelago, combines a dramatic setting of green cliffs and ocean, with abundant wild life.
The large population of puffins are what draw the tourists (including myself) to Lunga, and they do so for good reason. Unlike other places in the British Isles, the puffin colonies in Lunga are thriving and extremely approachable. They have learned that having humans around keep their predators at bay. This means you get the opportunity to see them up close and personal. You can watch them fly in from the ocean with fish in their beaks to feed their young. You can see them interact with each other, clean their feathers, and simply be their adorable selves. It is an experience like no other I have had so far.
We (my husband, 2 girls and I) recently spent 14 days traveling around Scotland. In the 14 days we covered a lot of miles and many of them were on single track roads. The scenery is spectacular, you see mountains, valleys, lakes, forests, waterfalls, and wildlife everywhere. Scotland really is a country that is perfect for an epic road trip.
If you have never driven in this part of the world then just keep in mind that the roads are narrow (many times even single track roads) and winding. You will also be driving on the left side of the road. Let me tell you that getting used to this type of driving is not easy, especially when you come from the US where we have big open roads and highways. But I will leave the topic of driving in Scotland for another day and get back to our Epic Scotland Road Trip (Part 2).