Navigation Menu
Isle of Mull, Scotland
August 62013

The small Isle of Mull is hilly and lush. It is easy to drive around and explore this island on the few roads (mostly single-track). The island is also a good location for a day trip to the islands of Staffa & Iona.

More Information»
Isle of Skye, Scotland
August 22013

A pristine landscape of green hills and mountains with great hiking and lots of roads to explore.

More Information»
Inverness, Scotland

Inverness, Scotland

Day 44 - 45

August 12013

As the capital of the Scottish Highlands and very near Loch Ness, this larger city in northern Scotland is a good hub for exploring castles, lochs and scenery in the Highlands.

More Information»
St Andrews, Scotland

St Andrews, Scotland

Day 41 - 43

July 282013

A charming city on the eastern coast of Scotland, which is home to the oldest and most prestigious University in Scotland. The city is best known as the home of golf. The Royal & Ancient Golf Club was founded in 1754, and the famed Old Course and Club has been host to many British Open Golf Championships.

St Andrews was named for Saint Andrew the Apostle, and the cities history is filled with religious strife and turmoil.

Be sure to visit the fantastic St Andrews city website for additional details and links to the top things to do and see on your visit.

Things To See & Do:

1) St Andrews Castle*

The castle was originally built in the 12th century and rebuilt in the 14th century.  The castle was home to the bishops (and archbishops) and was the location of many historical events that shaped Scottish history.

2) St Andrews Cathedral & St Rules Tower*

The impressive remains of the St Andrews Cathedral stand out on the coastal point of the town. Set amongst a vast graveyard, the Cathedral was built / re-built on 3 different occasions. During the Scottish Reformation, the impressive church was destroyed and appeared much as it does today. Free admission to explore the church grounds. Worth the price of admission to climb to the top of St Rules Tower for the great views over St Andrews. St Rules Tower, pre-dates the cathedral as the first church built in town.

3) British Golf Museum

A couple hour detour that provides the detailed history and evolution of golf. Outlines the initiation of golf in Scotland in the 16th century, the evolution of clubs/balls, and the spread of golf beyond Scotland in the late 19th century. Be sure to print a 2 for 1 admissions coupon from the museum’s website.

4) West Sands Beach

A three mile sandy beach near the Old Course that is best know as the filming location of the running on the beach scene in Chariots of Fire.

5) West Port Gate

The surviving city gate that was rebuilt in 1589. The gate is at the entrance of the city on South Street (at Bridge Street).

6) Blackfriars Chapel

Located on South Street, this is a small bit of remains of a chapel from the 16th century.

7) Fife Coastal Path

A paved path that stretches the length of the Fife coast. Exploration can be made from St Andrews via the path. The path follows along the coast, and within the city limits will take you from the West Sands Beach on the north (across from the Old Course), by the British Golf Museum, St Andrews University, The Castle, and The Cathedral.

8) Himalayas Putting Green

For a nominal fee (~2 GBP) one can play a round of miniature golf on the St Andrews Ladies Putting Green, which is located next to the Old Course. Unfortunately, due to the Women’s British Open being hosted at the Old Course during our stay, the greens were closed.

9) St Andrews Botanical Gardens

*Be sure to check out the Scotland Explorer Pass. Covers admission costs to a number of sights across Scotland. Comes in 3 day pass (within 5 days) and a 7 day (within 14 days). Might save you a few GBP!



1) Glass House

Serves up a two course lunch (until 5p) and early dinner (5-7) for a fixed price.  Lovely location on North Street, featuring modern Italian fare.

2) Doll House

Serves up a two course lunch (until 5p) and early dinner (5-7) for a fixed price.  Located on Church Street, the restaurant specializes in Scottish and French fare.  We had a delicious meal followed by a sticky toffee pudding (with vanilla ice cream) that was absolutely scrumptious.

Lodging Options

St Andrews is home to a host of different bed and breakfasts. Visit the St Andrews B&B website to view local B&Bs.

Strathkennis B&Bs
Approximately 3 miles outside of St Andrews, makes a good location exploring the area as long as you have a car. The town has a handful of B&Bs and is home to the Strathkennis Tavern. We had a nice 3 night stay at the Hawthorne House on Main Street.

More Information»
Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh, Scotland

Day 38 - 40 & Day 52 - 56

July 252013

Edinburgh is home to the Royal Mile. The city center is best explored on foot. It is a popular tourist destination and offers a lot of different options including: hiking, gardens, castles, palaces, monuments, cathedrals, whiskey, and restaurants.

Things To Do & See

1) Edinburgh Castle

Any trip to Edinburgh should include a walk along the royal mile. Situated at one end is the Edinburgh Castle. One of the top tourist attractions, the castle is swarming with people. Purchase the Scotland Explorer Pass or alternatively purchase tickets online, to avoid the queue. (It is one of the priciest attractions in Scotland.) We would recommend an audio guide to help provide additional history and detail on the castle.

2) Holyrood Palace

A well done audio guide is included in the entrance fee. The audio guide will take you on an hour and a half tour of the palace (room by room), and provide you with some details on Scottish history and the royalty. Be sure to visit the gardens.

3) Holyrood Park

Wonderful hikes with views back on the city center. One of the most popular is the hike to Arthur’s Seat. The hiking paths can be crowded on weekends when the weather is favorable. If headed towards Arthur’s Seat, follow the path to the left that curves up around the mountain (much easier ascend than the one that goes right towards Salisbury Crags). Pick up a map from the little hut across the street from the Holyrood Palace. For a less crowded experience, hike along the top of Salisbury Crags.

4) The Whiskey Experience

Scotland and scotch are synonymous. No trip is complete without a scotch tasting. If your time in Scotland is limited to Edinburgh city center, this might be a good option for you. Reservations can be made in advance online. (Must be booked at least 24 hours in advance.) Or just stop by to take the tour. We did not have a chance to do while in town, due to the line, but it was recommended by a friend (and on TripAdvisor).

5) Princess Street Gardens

Located right off of Princess Street, these gardens are beautifully maintained and offer some great views back up on the Edinburgh Castle. Enjoy a picnic or just a moments rest.

6) National Gallery

The National Gallery is located off of Princess Street (next to the Princess Street Gardens). The Gallery features paintings by Scottish artist, along with some impressive more well known European artists. Entrance to the gallery is free.

Day Trips From Edinburgh

There are many day trip options from Edinburgh. We elected to stay in the city center for a few nights to explore the sites on foot. We then rented a car to explore the country-side, but found that we could make a base in Edinburgh (outside the city center where parking was available and free) and explore some of the nearby sights and towns as day trips. Note: We purchased the 7 day Explore Scotland Pass, and thus we utilized it as a basis to determine which sights to see (There may be other sights worth seeing that are not included in our list.) We saved a lot of money (and saw more sights that we would have) by purchasing the pass. It covers sights such as the Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle, Melrose Abby, Iona Abbey and the St. Andrews Castle & Catherdral. Visit the Historic Scotland website for additional details.

1) St Andrews

The home of golf is located about an hour Northeast of Edinburgh. Although we elected to stay in the area for a couple of days, this sights could be easily be done on a day trip from Edinburgh. See the St Andrews destination summary for additional details.

Stirling & Doune

Located about an hour northwest of Edinburgh are the cities of Stirling & Doune. Both cities are home to a historic castle that is worth the a visit. The cities are also between Glencoe & Edinburgh, and can be paired with the scenic drive down A82 into Glencoe. Or alternatively, can be visited on the return (to Glasgow or Edinburgh) from the western islands of Skye and Mull.

  • Stirling Castle: Set up on the hill from Stirling, this castle is considered the entry point to the highlands. The military assumed use of this castle and modified many of the historical buildings. Restoration has been in progress since the 90s to try and restore some of the buildings to their glory days. Take one of the free guided tours to provide you background and history of the castle. Home of King James V, check out the wood carvings. Also, visit the tapestry shop (until 2014) to see the creation of a tapestry in progress.
  • Doune Castle: The location where the Monty Python & the Holy Grail was filmed. The free audio guide provides details on the history as well as what scenes were filmed at the castle.

3) The Scottish Boarder Towns – Melrose, Dryburgh, Smailholm, & Jedburgh

Located about an hour southeast of Edinburgh are the towns of Melrose, Dryburgh, & Jedburgh. Each is home to a historic Abbey. Entrance and a free audio guide is covered by the Scotland Explorer Pass.

  • Melrose Abbey: One of the most well know Abbeys, Melrose was home to the White Canons (follows St Benedict) for a few hundred years. Like most Abbeys (and Cathedrals) in Scotland, the historical battles between England and Scotland cause much damage to the historical structure. By far, one of the busiest Abbeys.
  • Jedburgh Abbey: An impressive Abbey that was home to the Augustinian Black Canons. This Abbey is worth the trip to see the impressive remains. Jedburgh is also a nice town for a afternoon refreshment or meal. (The Queen Mary Scott home is also located in town.)
  • Dryburgh Abbey Sir Walter Scott was buried at this Abbey. It is near a river just on the outskirts of town. Our visit on a summer Saturday afternoon coincided with a wedding. We were able to observe the wedding party (and bag-pipper) but not all the Abbey had to offer.
  • Smailholm Tower: On a clear day this tower boast beautiful views across the country-side. Sir Walter Scott spent his childhood on a farm nearby. If a fan of Sir Walter Scott, then the exhibit (and hour long audio-guide) is good. Otherwise, if you are in the area, have the Explorer Pass, and it is a nice day then make it a quick visit for the views.



There are countless pubs and restaurants in Edinburgh. The Grass Market area has a wide selection of options. Here are a few other options we encountered during our stay.

1) The Southern

A specialty burger place located just outside of city center. (Located halfway between city center in the Alba House B&B.) We tried the Pioneer burger (rosemary mushrooms, bacon, and Swiss cheese) and the Bohemian burger(chili Gouda, sliced turkey, rocket and prosciutto). Served some of the tastiest burgers we had while in the UK (and Ireland), and sweet potato fries!  Also offer up a good selection of Scottish beers on tap.

2) Amber

This restaurant is located downstairs from the Whiskey Experience on the royal mile. We enjoyed a late (light) lunch here one afternoon…and watched a rain shower pass.

Lodging Options

1) Alba House

A terrific bed and breakfast located near the center of Edinburgh.  The rooms were spacious, clean, and had a dependable wireless internet connection.  Our host was wonderful and very helpful.  We also enjoyed the morning feasts.  We would definitely recommend!

2) Dalmahoy (by Marriott)

Located outside of the city center, the Dalmahoy has a fantastic fitness center and free parking.  It was the perfect location to base ourselves in order to do day trips around Edinburgh.  There is also a park and ride a few miles away, which offers service into the Edinburgh city center. Outside of the hotel, golf course/fitness center, and couple of onsite restaurants, there is not a lot of other services located close by.

More Information»
All Listing Types All Locations Any Rating

Listing Results

  • Isle of Mull, Scotland

    Isle of Mull, Scotland

    2013 Around the World Trip

    Read more
  • Isle of Skye, Scotland

    Isle of Skye, Scotland

    2013 Around the World Trip

    Read more
  • Inverness, Scotland

    Inverness, Scotland

    2013 Around the World Trip

    Read more
  • St Andrews, Scotland

    St Andrews, Scotland

    2013 Around the World Trip

    Read more
  • Edinburgh, Scotland

    Edinburgh, Scotland

    2013 Around the World Trip

    Read more