A Highlands Holiday

Friday 19 March 2021
eilean donan castle, scottish highlands

Eilean Donan Castle, Western Scottish Highlands; Image credit - Lennie Furtado

The Scottish Highlands, this trip is close to my heart as this was the last international trip that I took before the lockdown. I had always heard about the Scottish highlands and 2019 gave me the opportunity to visit this region.

The moment I landed in Edinburgh, I was sure that this region is going to positively surprise me. While our main route was to visit the highlands, we could not avoid visiting Edinburgh - capital of Scotland.

As I walked along the Royal Mile which is a road that ends at Edinburgh Castle, I passed shops selling Kilts that is the traditional Scottish Uniform, Whisky and Scottish Shortbread. Scotland is known for Bagpipers and I saw a number of them during my trip. I went for the Scottish Whiskey Experience where you get a glimpse of whisky making in an animated way. Not to miss the 3000 bottle collection here towards the end of the tour. I would highly recommend this tour for ones taking the Whisky trails as you get a fair idea of what to select as per your taste buds.

Moving northwards from Edinburgh to Fort William, I thought I was part of a picture postcard with rolling hills, blue sky, serene locks and beautiful landscape - That's Scottish highlands.

We did stop for a quick photo at Glencoe and  Glenfinnan Viaduct - 21 arched viaduct made famous in the Harry Potter films. The highlight here is to view the Jacobite steam engine train pass over the Glenfinnan Viaduct, HP fans will be thrilled to get a glimpse of this sight.c

From here, our ideal way to explore the highlands was to take the Jacobite train towards Mallaig and then driving to the Isle of Sky but destiny had other plans for us and we drove down through this beautiful landscape. However, if you are in this region, I would recommend travelling across the Scottish Highlands by Jacobite train which is an excellent way to take in the region’s abundance of unforgettable views.

Dunvegan Castle and Gardens, Scottish Highlands

Dunvegan Castle and Gardens,Scottish Highlands; Image credit - Lennie Furtado

Rugged, dramatic landscapes, medieval castles, picturesque fishing villages, and stunning unspoilt views - here we were at the Isle of Skye, the largest and northernmost of the major islands in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. Visit to the Isle of Skye is incomplete without exploring the beautiful Dunvegan Castle and Gardens. The highlight of this trip was the sunset seal boat ride at the Castle. I must say that this is the Castle's best kept secret. While I got lucky to see the seals, the boat ride is weather permitting.

Glenfeddich Distillery, highlands

Glenfiddich Distillery,Scottish Highlands; Image credit - Lennie Furtado

While I saw many small towns during this visit, I cannot end this article without mentioning about my visit to the single malt Scotch whisky, Glenfiddich distillery. When we arrived at the entrance, my guide informed me that the tour will take anything between 1hr to 1hr 45 mins and my reaction was “ why such a long tour? Can't we just go directly to the tasting room?”  Luckily, I followed the guide; and I was not bored even for a minute. It was very informative, interesting and like one of the guides mentioned, they can try automating this process but they prefer to keep the human touch & keep it manual. I guess that makes the difference. Cheers!

Glenfiddich Distillery,Scottish Highlands;

Glenfiddich Distillery,Scottish Highlands; Image credit - Lennie Furtado

While this trip was short, Scotland is on my mind and I will definitely return with my family soon.

Blog contributed by Ms Lennie Furtado (Associate Vice President - GIT products), Thomas Cook.

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