UK Trip: Scotland Road Trip (Part 2)

Our time in Scotland was quickly coming to a close. Even though we had seen so much in the short time we were there, it only made us want to see even more. We hope to be able to get back to Scotland one day to take in its beauty again.

The first stop on our last full day in Scotland was Eilean Donan Castle. Scotland — and all of the UK and Ireland, really — is full of castles, but this was one castle that I REALLY wanted to be sure to see. Eilean Donan Castle is one of the most photographed castles in Scotland, and I can definitely see why! This castle was only 10 minutes away from our B&B in Balmacara which made it a super easy stop on our way out. Funny story, we actually stopped by on our way in to Balmacara to try and knock out seeing the castle before our trip to Skye, but we happened to get a windy, rainy evening to see the castle. We still stopped to take some pictures, but as you can see in the side-by-side shots, the sun a few days later made a BIG difference!

Eilean Donan

Our last day was one of the longest legs of our road trip through Scotland. We knew we would be spending the majority of the day in the car, but thankfully we got a beautiful sunny day to drive. We both agree that Glencoe was by far the most beautiful stretch of our drive. As we drove through Glencoe, we were a little regretful that we didn’t plan out more time to spend there. (There is always the next trip, right? 😉 )

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Even though our day was set aside mainly for driving, we did have a goal to make it to our B&B in Stirling early enough to see the Wallace Monument before the sun went down. We were pushing it a little bit but made it to the monument just before sunset. I definitely couldn’t think of a better way to end our last night in Scotland than watching the sunset outside of the Wallace Monument looking out over the city of Stirling.

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Our flight to Ireland was scheduled for later in the afternoon which meant that we had time for one more stop in Scotland — Stirling Castle. We got to the castle soon after it opened and took the 30-minute complimentary tour which gave us a lot of info about the history of the castle. (We cannot recommend taking those complimentary tours enough!) We explored the castle for about 2 hours then decided to head to Glasgow to return the rental car and get on our plane to Ireland!

As sad as we were to leave Scotland, we were SUPER excited to meet up with some of our good friends in Ireland for a few days. More about our time in Ireland in a few weeks!

Central Park Is Always a Good Idea

After letting the idea of moving to and living in NYC sink in, there were different aspects that really excited me. One in particular was having the chance to explore the city a little at a time. NYC is such a huge place with so many things to see and do, and we were going to have the chance to explore more than we ever could have on a vacation! Central Park was on the top of my list of places I was itching to take my time to explore.

Central Park is more than just an iconic NYC site; it helps you escape the noise of the city, even for just a few hours, which is probably why Ryan and I have found ourselves visiting the park often. One of the items on our NYC bucket list is to explore the whole park. We have been slowly making our way through the park, but still have a little bit left that we haven’t even seen yet (mainly the northern sections of the park)!

With each month that passes, we adjust more and more to city life. But no matter how long we live here, we will always crave to find those places where we can escape for just a little bit and enjoy some peace and quiet. I guess it is safe to say that we won’t stop visiting Central Park anytime soon.

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Central Park through the seasons

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UK Trip: Isle of Skye

Ryan and I had spent most of our time in Scotland on the move from one place to the other exploring as much of the beautiful countryside as we could, but we decided that Isle of Skye deserved a day of its own. This was one place that kept popping up on lists of places to see in Scotland, and I now know why! This area of Scotland is absolutely breathtaking and is full of beautiful scenery and hiking trails.

Our day started off with a hearty breakfast at our Bed & Breakfast. We knew we needed to fuel up since our day would be packed!

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A traditional Scottish breakfast with a view

One of our favorite parts of the day was the unexpected sighting of a hairy coo (cow). Highland cattle (yes, I did look it up, and if you are curious and want to read about them, I linked the wikipedia article ;)) is the technical name, but they are more commonly referred to as hairy coo. Ryan and I had stopped on the side of the road to take a picture when all of a sudden we heard this very loud mooing. We looked around and saw the hairy coo in the distance and had to get closer to snap a few pictures.

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Isle of Skye has many different hiking trails available for all levels of hikers, but from this vast list of hikes, there was one that really piqued my interest — Brother’s Point. This was a hike that wasn’t as popular as others, but from everything I read it was just as beautiful as the more popular hikes with the added bonus of fewer tourists! With the detailed directions of this blog post, we had no trouble finding our way there. Ryan is usually the navigator on any adventure we take, but this time I decided to surprise him and led the way. This just goes to show you how detailed and accurate the instructions were from this blog post. The only thing the blog post did not warn you about was all of the sheep poo that you would have to dodge on your hike. (Fair warning to all of you looking to hike Brother’s Point) It took about 2 hours to get there and back, but it was definitely worth it. We both don’t regret taking the time for this hike!

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We saw so many rainbows during our day in Skye thanks to the bursts of sunshine throughout the overcast day.
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The rocky beach we traversed on our way to Brother’s Point
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Brother’s Point (and yes, we did climb to the top!)
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The view from the top of Brother’s Point – Ryan described it as something from a fairy tale

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After our hike (half in the rain, half in the sunshine), we got back in the car to check out some other famous points. Kilt Rock was next on the list and a favorite of mine! This waterfall was beautiful, and it even had a car park right next to the lookout point.

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Ryan decided to enjoy a local favorite, Irn Bru, while overlooking Kilt Rock. It tasted like carbonated bubblegum (let’s just say we were not huge fans lol).

For the rest of the daylight hours, we enjoyed driving through Isle of Skye, soaking up all of the beautiful scenery. The host at our Bed & Breakfast told us earlier that morning that we didn’t get a very good day to explore Skye, but we were still blown away by its beauty. We cannot imagine how beautiful Skye would be on a clear day!

There is so much more to see in Skye than what we could fit into a day during our trip. Most people spend multiple days there hiking and exploring, and we can understand why! We would love to go back one day to explore other areas of the isle; however, we are thankful for the day we were able to spend there. This was one of my favorite days of our whole trip!

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I could not get enough of all the sheep we saw in Scotland!
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Saying goodbye to Skye

Sadly, our time in Scotland was coming to a close. The majority of our last full day in Scotland was spent driving, but it was the most beautiful stretch of our road trip! We also managed to make time to see two other major sites before leaving Scotland. More on those in a few weeks!