Our third and final day in Scotland was a whirlwind. We started by exploring Dunrobin Castle. The property was immense, complete with beautiful gardens where we saw a live falconry show. The birds were flying right overhead, close enough to reach up and touch! They even had a Peregrine Falcon, the fastest bird in the world.
One of my favorite things in Scotland was the architecture. The inside decor actually reminded me a lot of the mansions in Newport. The castles and manors, however, looked their age- in a good way! It’s so interesting when visiting abroad to consider that some of these locations are 500+ years old. Dunrobin Castle is a bit more modern, coming in at 174 years old.
From Sutherland, we traveled back South a ways to the small town of Dornoch. We stopped for a delicious lunch at Dornoch Castle and sipped a few handcrafted gin cocktails. Dornoch Castle has a small distillery attached where they make the most wonderful organic gin. I added a few pounds to my suitcase, bringing a bottle home for myself.
When people ask me what my favorite part of our trip was, I keep coming back to, “seeing my cousins.” Being a teacher, I’m well aware of how quickly children grow up. However, when it’s family and you’re apart for so long between visits, the years seem to fly by. One of the best moments of our trip is pictured above, spending lunch playing an intense game of go-fish.
From Dornoch, we re-boarded the bus and made our way to Loch Ness, the major attraction of the day. Spoiler alert- as hard as we tried, we didn’t find Nessie.
The best way to see Loch Ness and access its shore is by visiting Urquhart Castle. The original structure is in ruins, but you can still climb to the top for a magnificent view of the Loch. There is plenty of open space to explore, however, it is quite the tourist attraction. Best to get their early if you’d like the place more to yourself.
The kids were do excited about putting their feet in the water “where Nessie lives,” and it was nice after a long day to cool off our toes. While the water is dark and murky, the scale of the Loch and the landscapes surrounding are beautiful.
A part of me wishing we had more time in Scotland, however, as my grandma kept explaining, this trip was a “taste” of all sorts of different things. If we want to go back and spend more time, we definitely can. Plus, we had Ireland waiting for us, just a short plane ride away.