Honeymoon Inspiration: Breathtaking Landscapes in Scotland
Let us be the first to tell you: Scotland is one of the most magical places on this Earth. In a past Sparrow trip, we had the honor of visiting this incredibly charming place and will never forget it. When photographer Alicia Lacey sent us these photographs and a few bits about her recent trip with her husband, we kept reminiscing on our own adventures. "Scenic" hardly does Scotland justice and Alicia is right - it is truly one of the most breathtakingly beautiful places ever. Alicia shares such a great itinerary and the loveliest story of her trip.. read below!
From Alicia Lacey: "When my Husband and I first planned our trip to Scotland, I'll have to admit that I didn't much know what to expect. We knew we were going to France and Ireland and a stop in Scotland seemed to make sense to both of us so we figured there was no harm in staying a few days. What often comes to mind when thinking of Scotland is bagpipes and kilts; however when we arrived we both found it to be one of the most breathtakingly beautiful places that we had ever visited.
Our first destination was the city of Edinburgh. This city was such a joy to explore and was much more eclectic than we would have expected. The skyline of Edinburgh is dominated by Edinburgh Castle, which sits upon a hill that overlooks the entire city. Anywhere you are in town you can see this incredible medieval castle looking down on you from a massive rock perch. We ate at the Elephant House, which is famous for being the cafe where JK Rowling wrote the first book in the Harry Potter series. Her influence can be felt throughout city as many of the shops look to be straight out of the movies.
We then began to work our way north towards the Isle of Skye. We made stops at the Glenfinnan viaduct, which was used for shots of the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter films, the Eilean Donan castle, and several scenic viewpoints to take in a few of the truly epic landscapes the country had to offer. That night we ate at the Cuchullin Restaurant in Skye, which boasted some of the freshest seafood straight from the coast. The next day we hiked up to the famed Old Man of Storr rock formations, viewed the magnificent Mealt Falls, explored the Quiraing, and made a stop at the delightful Fairy Pools. This was by far our busiest day and my only regret about our visit is that we didn't spend more time in Skye to truly explore this incredible area of the country.
On our return from Skye knew we had to spend some time touring the infamous Scottish Highlands. It’s expanse views and towering mountains were truly breathtaking. Like much of the country, it felt as if we stepped into a painting or somewhere that would only be found in a fairy tale. Our favorite of the many hikes we did was called the Lost Valley. It was a strenuous hike up through a rock gorge up into a large open valley. When we arrived at the top of the trail leading into the valley, the wind was blowing so hard we could stand at a 45 degree angle by leaning forward into the wind; an experience (and view!) we will surely never forget.
One of the best things about Scotland is that most of the towns are in remote areas so you won't find many chain restaurants or hotels on your travels. Personally, I found this just adds to the charm of the country as the smaller B&B's allowed us time to connect with some of the locals and eat wonderful home cooked breakfasts each morning. This was especially true at the Loch Leven Hotel, which sat on the banks of a large river at the foot of a mountain range. As a bonus, the view from our room seemed to be taken straight from a post card. It was absolutely stunning and we could have stayed there for weeks.
Our time in Scotland wasn’t nearly long enough; though many destinations are close in distance, roads are few and far between so you need quite a bit of time to travel from spot to spot. I would certainly love to return to explore more of this magical country in the future!"