Our Airbnb was on the Leith Walk, just a little bit outside the core of Edinburgh. This proved a good choice, far enough outside the Royal Mile area to avoid tourist traps, but gentrified enough to provide good options for visitors.
Edinburgh is home to a seemingly endless number of pubs. Most of them are nondescript neighbourhood corner spots serving mainly locals. Others are more touristy and claim long, elaborate histories. In every one we visited we found a warm welcome and unexpectedly good food.
Right next to Holyrood Palace, in Holyrood Park, is a volcanic mountain formation known as Arthur’s Seat. The distinctive crags are visible from many places around Edinburgh, including from our apartment window.
The highest peak is 251m and it can be climbed in under an hour with a modest amount of exertion and proper footwear.
On our day tour of the Western Highlands, we stopped at several scenic lochs.
Another stop on our Highland tour was the Rest and Be Thankful pass, which provides beautiful views of Glen Croe.
The adjoining road (now the A83) was built by the General George Wade in the 1700’s, after the subjugation of Scotland by the British. As his soldiers marched the many miles to Western Scotland, they would rest here.
On our day tour of the Western Highlands we stopped at numerous lochs and castles.
Doune Castle was a medieval stronghold near the village of Doune. It was constructed in the 1300’s by Robert Stewart, the Duke of Albany. Various movies and TV shows have filmed here including Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Game of Thrones and Outlander.
Much of what remains of the town today was laid out in the late 1700’s as the first planned Georgian town in Scotland