I’ve always wanted to go to Scotland and considering it’s not that far away, I’m surprised that I just haven’t made it there before.
The Isle of Skye caught my eye on Pinterest a few years ago because of the absolutely stunning Fairy Pools and I was determined to get there one day.
My boyfriend (well, fiance now! ;)) is just as fanatical as me about exploring new places so for our one year anniversary, he organised a trip up to Skye for the two of us.
The journey to Skye
We decided to drive up to Skye so we could really make the most of the views on the way up and also because we just love a road trip.
To break the journey up, we stopped in the Lake District for one night which was so cosy – I absolutely loved it.
We stayed at a lovely B&B – Jericho’s – in Windermere. Our room was beautiful (we stayed in a Cosy Double Room) and it had everything we needed for a perfect stay. The breakfast was delicious too!
While we were in Windermere, we visited The World of Beatrix Potter which was very obviously for children but we loved it! They have little scenes from the Peter Rabbit books set out as you walk around & there’s also a sweet little garden to see too.
If you visit, be sure to take some spending money to the gift shop – we picked up some really cute Peter Rabbit baubles for our Christmas tree this year.
In the evening, we wanted a bite to eat so we headed out to a tapas place called Tapios which is just a short walk from Jericho’s. The food was so tasty here that we stopped there on the way back home too! Their paella is divine.
After a restful sleep & gorgeous breakfast at Jericho’s, we set off for Skye.
On our way up to Windermere, we’d been listening to Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone read by Stephen Fry so we put it straight back on when we got in the car. I was so cosy wrapped up in my blanket, listening to Harry Potter. Living the dream.
My boss had actually recommended we stop at Tebay Services on the way up as it’s such a luxury service station!
You’ll find a farm shop, deli counter, butchers, kitchen and more in there. We didn’t have time to stop for a warm meal (although the food looked absolutely amazing!) so we grabbed some salads & fresh brownies which we ate on the way – the brownies were dreamy!
Definitely make a stop here if you’re passing 🙂
We passed Loch Lomond on our way up – I didn’t realise quite how big it is!
After finding a place to stop, we spent some time on the banks of Loch Lomond, enjoying the stillness of the place. It really was so beautiful.
The journey from Windermere to Skye was a long one (nearly eight hours) but oh my gosh, the scenery was ab-so-lute-ly breathtaking.
Every corner we turned, we were mesmerised. The Scottish Highlands are truly wonderful. I can’t even describe it, you have to go and see it for yourself.
Where we stayed
We stayed at the Toravaig House Hotel in Skye which was the cosiest hotel ever – we would definitely return here.
It has an award winning restaurant downstairs where we ate most nights – the food is mainly local produce and is out of this world.
We had such a great time here – the staff couldn’t do enough to make sure we had everything we needed & I’d recommend the hotel to anyone.
Where we went
The first place we went the morning after we arrived was the Fairy Glen.
We went there at sunrise (it was actually still pitch black when we got there) and there was no one else around, apart from a few sheep.
It was raining, muddy and very grey but it was such a magical, mystical place. The clouds were still low over the hills and it felt like there was no one else in the universe except us.
Yan encouraged me to climb to the top of the ‘fairy castle’ which is the little hill beside the fairy stones. It was such a precarious climb and I ended up covered in mud as I slipped multiple times!
Once we got to the top, Yan said he’d written a little poem for me – he’s a fab writer! – and reduced me to tears with the sweet words he’d written.
Then he got down on one knee & asked if I’d marry him & of course, I said yes!
We were soaking, muddy and I had no make up on but it was perfect and I can’t wait to start wedding planning.
We’ve actually known each other for years and grown up with each other – he’s my best friend’s brother so I first met Yan when I was 3!
We finally got together last year & I can’t wait to be his wife.
After the excitement of the morning, we took some time to get some food & text all our family & friends to let them know we were engaged – it made me so happy to see how happy everyone was for us!
Once I’d put a face on & we’d spruced ourselves up a bit, we headed back out to explore the Fairy Pools.
It was still raining so we were bundled up in coats & hats and it was such a surreal experience as you could just about see the huge mountains through the clouds.
The Fairy Pools were absolutely beautiful – the water is a gorgeous shade of blue & they’re truly magical.
One of Yan’s friends recommended the Oyster Shed to us and as we both love seafood, we were really keen to visit it.
It was rainy & wet (a theme of the holiday!) when we first went there & the food was such a welcome treat.
We went for half a lobster cooked in garlic butter and chips each and it was divine.
The food is sourced locally & it’s all so fresh – we adored it. The views from here are gorgeous too – we stopped here again when the weather was a bit brighter & it was beautiful.
There’s also a shop where you can buy some little treats to take home.
If you love seafood, go here & get the lobster, scallops & langoustines.
Eilean Donan Castle
Yan absolutely loves castles – we’ve been to some in West Wales, North Wales & Mid Wales so far this year – so Eilean Donan was obviously high up on our list.
I really enjoy learning about history so I was also keen to see this picturesque site. We tried to go to Dunvegan Castle too but we didn’t realise it was closed until March 2020!
Eilean Donan is a really interesting place to see – it dates from the 13th Century and the Macrae family still live there.
You get an audio guide included with your ticket so you learn a lot as you’re walking around & again, the views are stunning from here.
This was definitely one of my favourite places to visit.
Armandale Castle & Gardens
Armandale Castle & Gardens was just down the road from our hotel so we moseyed on down one sunny-ish morning.
The gardens are absolutely stunning – autumn is my favourite season & the colours were just glorious.
Although you can’t walk inside the castle ruins here, there’s a museum which is so rich with history.
We spent a lovely morning here, taking it all in & enjoying some tea & cake in the cafe.
I had no idea these existed but Yan was keen to see some of the brochs that are dotted around the island.
These are Iron Age homes that are amazingly still standing!
It was so interesting to walk around these & look at what they would have looked when people lived inside them.
Dun Beag was a particular treat but we also visited one that was off the beaten track & right by the sea.
We also went to see two more on our way home which were fantastic.
The journey home
Chocolates of Glenshiel
As we drove back home, we saw a sign for a chocolate shop so we made a little detour to find it.
It was a tiny little shop called Chocolates of Glenshiel that sells handmade chocolate with local ingredients.
They were so unique & tasty – we munched on them as we made the long journey back to the Lake District.
Make a stop off here if you’re a chocoholic like me 🙂
We also drove around Loch Ness on our way back which was beautiful and we stopped off to have a delicious meal at the Fiddlers Inn.
After all of the rich food we’d been eating, I decided to go for a chicken caesar salad which I can definitely recommend – the portions were huge!
We stayed in the Lake District again on our way home, this time at the Wheatlands Lodge which was such a lovely place to finish our trip.
After another glorious breakfast, we made the journey back to Wales with all the memories of an amazing trip with us.
Where have you been in Scotland?