Scotland is a wild country with so much to offer any traveler. Here is my list of eclectic things to do in Scotland, for the traveler that wants to wander off the beaten path.
- Enter an enchanted world by visiting the Fairy Glen on the Isle of Skye. The Fairy Glen, a natural wonder, consists of cone shaped earth mounds, a small lake, a few daring sheep and a ‘peak’ dubbed Castle Ewen.
This was arguably my favorite place in all of Scotland. Let it be known, the Fairy Glen is very secluded and does not have clear signs marking the site…. I think the fairies like it that way (they are known to be mischievous). But in all seriousness, I would suggest using a GPS to find this place.
2. Have a cup of tea at the Elephant House, where JK Rowling dreamed up parts of the Harry Potter series. Located downtown Edinburgh.
3. Explore the really really old graveyards. Graveyards can be found all around the country and most allow visitors. We even found some graves of people from my boyfriend’s clan.
4. Look out over the city. You can do this two different ways. The first is to climb Arthur’s seat. The second (and my personal favorite) is to walk up Calton Hill….pictured below.
5. Visit abandoned buildings. These were two of my favorite abandoned buildings as they are well off the beaten path and not huge tourist destinations. We did our research to locate these particular sites as I do not think we would have found them otherwise. However, we did stumble across quite a few castle ruins by chance on our drive across Scotland that were marked by small signs along the road. The abandoned buildings and ruins appealed most to me as they did not charge to enter and we were the only ones exploring the sites most of the time.
6. Find your clan’s castle. We found many castle ruins by chance while driving from place to place in Scotland. However, before travelling to Scotland, we made special arrangements to find Moy Castle on the Isle of Mull. This castle was especially important to us as it was built by my boyfriend’s ancestors, the MacLaine Clan, in the 15th Century.
7. Visit the Fairy Pools, one of the most majestic places I have ever been! I was literally giddy the whole time we were here. The Fairy Pools are located at the foot of the Black Cullins on the Isle of Skye near the village Carbost. The pools are crystal clear and a beautiful blue. There is a short hike from the parking area up to the pools. Although the hike is relatively easy and not long, I would recommend leaving a few hours for this excursion as there are many pools and waterfalls to explore… and even swim in if you dare!
8. Check out the Kelpies in Falkirk–23 miles north west of Edinburgh. The Kelpies are a spectacular sight, especially at night. I would not recommend staying over night in Falkirk as there was not much to do (we went to the movies), but if you are driving through the area, the Kelpies should not be missed.
9. Camp out on a remote Isle. We camped out on the Isle of Mull. Be warned–we were freezing!
10. Check out an old book store. I found Armchair Books by wandering around the city of Edinburgh looking for interesting shops.