Entering the Scottish Highlands

Entering the Scottish Highlands

I have been wanting to visit Scotland for what feels like forever, but once I got hooked on the Outlander book series, I was exceptionally eager to go. So when we finally arrived, I was like a kid in a candy shop, though a bit worried that I had lofty expectations. Scotland didn’t let us down. Thinking back on our travels thus far, it was one of my favorite places we’ve been. The only thing I would change is to spend more time there.

Our first stop was Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. We had two nights at our B&B, on the shore of Lake Long, with a view of The Cobbler, a munro (these are mountains in Scotland over 1000m high). We settled in, had a tasty dinner at the local pub, and went to bed early for our first day out.

On the shore of Loch Long

After a yummy brekky, we headed to a local roll shop to pick up some sandwiches for our hike. We then headed out to climb Ben Donich. We loved this hike! What a great first hike for Scotland! We were basically on top of a mountain with 360° views.

Going up, up, up
Lochan Shamanda

On top to Ben Donich

That afternoon after our hike, we drove around the area, stopping by a waterfall and a lochan (small loch). Then we headed over to Loch Lomond to enjoy some tea and sit by the water. The weather was gorgeous, with few clouds, and warm enough that it was nice to be outside.


The following morning, we had another great breakfast, and said farewell to our lovely hosts. We headed north to Glencoe. We had originally wanted to stay in this area for a few days because of the beautiful views and great hiking, but it was very expensive and we wanted to make our way closer to Isle of Skye.

Driving towards Glencoe
The Three Sisters
Glencoe valley

We didn’t have tons of time for a long hike, so opted to do the Lost Valley hike, which goes up into an area that was supposedly where Clan MacDonald held their stolen cattle. This hike started near the Three Sisters, which are three large, dramatic peaks in the Glencoe valley and very iconic. We hiked up and through the area into this valley that is pretty well hidden from anywhere nearby. The Lost Valley is very beautiful and the area is filled with lots of giant boulders that were cool to check out. It was a short, quick hike, and in hindsight, we probably should have opted for a longer hike.

Giant boulder!

Ten seconds after I snapped this photo, Shawn realized a swarm of baby ticks had crawled onto his hand, so the next ten minutes were spent trying to get them off!

After the hike, we visited the Glencoe visitor centre for a pit stop and to check out the views, before making our way towards the Glencoe Lochan trails. We decided to stop for tea on the way and took a break at a little cafe. We then enjoyed a leisurely stroll around the loop at Glencoe Lochan, which was really beautiful.

View from the Visitor Centre
Glencoe Lochan

We made our way to Dornie, where we would be staying one night on our way to Isle of Skye. This town is home to the Eilean Donan Castle, one of the most famous and dramatic castles in Scotland. After checking in, we got dinner and wandered over towards the castle, where we caught magic hour and were able to get some incredible photos.

Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle

The next morning we were off to Isle of Skye, which you’ll hear about soon!

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