I’m going back to Scotland for a two-week vacation on 30 June. I’ll rent a car for 11 days and will venture up to the Highlands again. During my vacation on the Hebrides last year I drove car in the UK for the first time and it worked out fine, so I felt confident enough to do that as well this year. It’s makes travelling the Highlands so much easier for me. I don’t mind travelling on my own that much, especially if the alternative would have been to book a a commercial tour. Because these don’t go to all the places I want to see (again).
My plan always had been to re-visit some locations I’ve fallen in love with like Ardvreck Castle.
Travel the northern loop of the North Coast 500 and visit new places like Dunnet Head, the most northern point of Mainland Britain. I’m a nerd about special geographical locations like that. And there is a lighthouse! I’ll spend two nights in Inverness (and another one when I get back from way up North) and hope to meet up with some Outlander fans I’ve met on Twitter early on when the Outlander TV fandom started to come about. I’ll also spend two nights, i.e. one whole day of leisure, in Durness, the most north westernly village of Mainland Britain. There is an amazing beach and also Cocoa Mountain! How could I not stop there, I mean… chocoholic me, seriously?!?! ;-)
A few days ago I bought a new edition of the Lonely Planet Guide for Scotland, because they have detailed information on even the smallest village, it seems. So I might find some new interesting spots to visit or drop by as well, but I haven’t read through all the relevant chapters yet. So while my route is pretty fixed already, the stops along the way are still a work in progress.
Of course there are also a few Outlander filming locations on my itinerary, when I could fit those into my planned route and thought they was more worth visiting for than just the Outlander connection. So far these are “Castle Leoch” and the Gardens of “Versailles”. But I also plan to drop by “Lallybroch” and search for “Craigh na Dun”, because these are two essential locations and I’m a huge Outlander fan at heart after all. They both will also just mean a short detour from where I would have to go anyway, so that’ll work out fine, I hope.
I’ll end up with two days in Edinburgh and hope the city buzz won’t be too much for me after the solitude of the Highlands. On my first trip to Scotland in 2009 I felt a bit overwhelmed coming back to the city and I actually prefer to stay in the city first and travel the country later. But I’d also like to see the new galeries in the Museum of Scotland, which won’t open before the 2nd weekend in July so I wanted to schedule around that date.
Just 32 more days until I’m boarding my plane to Edinburgh for this year’s Scottish Adventure…