Today, we took a day trip to Edinburgh. Hit the M9 and in an hour we were in Edinburgh. We parked at the car park in the Waverley station and strolled through town’s historic centre. Edinburgh is an easily walk able town with beautiful parks, lots of monuments, Thistle street for its many cafes, bars and restaurants and the looming Edinburgh castle. The old town is majestic. The views of old town at sunset from princess street is beyond words.
Late evening, we took out car and drove up to the Stirling castle, it was shut by the time we got there but we were just interested in the drive and the views from the roads leading to the castle. Dinner in Edinburgh and back to Stirling
After breakfast, we drove for three hours via the A82 to Fort William. As you approach Fort William, you go through the beautiful Glencoe valley. Its one of the famed drives of the Scottish Highlands. Super roads through the massive mountains and the Glen running by the side, stunning
We arrived in Fort William, the town known as the gateway to Ben Nevis, UK’s highest peak. It is known for its forest hikes, ski runs at the Nevis Mountain range and the Steal falls. It is a hillwalker’s paradise and is in close proximity to a very popular downhill mountain bike track . It is also the home to the Ben Nevis Distillery
The town centre was beautiful, had many nice restaurants and a beautiful waterfront. The walls of the fort dates back to the 1600’s; the fort’s boundaries mark the outlines of the waterfront. After lunch we decided to do some forest walking and just explore the beautiful fort waterfront area
The town is also home to the “Jacobite”, a steam train made famous from the Harry Porter series. The steam train features in the movie series as the Hogwarts Express. The journey from Fort William to the sea side town of Mallaig is regarded as one of world’s best train journeys. Always a good idea to book tickets in advance as the seats fill up real fast (https://www.westcoastrailways.co.uk/jacobite/jacobite-steam-train-details.cfm)
Enroute to Inverness, we stopped at Fort Augustus and took a ferry ride across the Loch Ness. My older son spotted something in the water with a long tail, a long arched neck and looked like a Mosasaurus. My younger son was soon to spot the same. We all shared a laugh. As for my wife and I, we were just too happy to take in the views of the gorgeous lake and the surrounding lush green mountains. We could, however, spot a lone stag atop a mountain.
The cruise of Loch Ness, while it was extremely enjoyable for us, the children also loved it. Inspired by Peter Rabbit, our older one keeps a journal where he document his travels. He made a map of the lake and pinned the location of his sighting of Nessie. Soon after, our younger one also got his crayons out and sketched up a Picasso. Next two days all our talks revolved around Nessie and there was no inclination from the kids towards any gadgets. We were glad that we took the cruise. Apart from the cruise, there is the Neptune staircase of the five lochs and a beautiful turn table bridge that makes way for traffic to and from the Caledonian canal.
We had our lunch by the loch, bough some Nessie toys and were Inverness bound. It was really late in the evening by the time we reached Inverness, we went straight to the hotel and called it a day
There was nothing really on our plate today, more off an off day. Explored the town, went to a nearby shopping complex to get outdoor gear and be Skye ready. We explored the beautiful parks by Inverness river and drove around the beautiful town. We also discovered a super local brewery called Black Isle Bar and Rooms, a must visit while in Inverness