Invergarry Castle-An Atmospheric Ruin

I am so glad it’s finally fall. My favorite season! Although we are still in the throes of what has been a long, hot, dry summer here in Virginia, there is promise on the horizon. There is a perceptible change in the light as the days begin to shorten. Mornings are cooler, and the trees are beginning to show a little color. I have to remind myself that it won’t be long before the heat finally yields, giving way to those beautiful, crisp, sweater-wearing days of autumn.

Anyway, I have been on a short two-week break from blogging, but today I am back and excited to share with you a very cool castle ruin.

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Finlarig Castle-An Intriguing Ruin near Loch Tay

At the western end of Loch Tay, roughly a half-mile northeast of the village of Killin, Scotland, lies the precarious, overgrown, atmospheric, and seriously cool ruins of Finlarig Castle.

Finlarig Castle ruins.

It is unlikely that you will find this one in your guide books, as Finlarig sits on private property. However, it’s worth a stop if you happen to be in that neck of the woods. If you are a serious castle seeker, then I think Finlarig is worth going out of your way to see.

Parking is available across from the cemetery, about a minute’s walk to the castle. When Mr. C and I were there a few years ago, we were approached by a local who requested we move our car to the lot rather than park directly at the site. I don’t think we were hurting anything, but alas, it is private property, so it’s best to respect the property owner’s wishes.

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Atholl Palace-A Suprise at Every Turn

Atholl Palace surrounded by trees, smaller houses, green grass, and snow-capped mountains.

Whether you’re traveling through Scotland on a dual carriageway (divided highway) or a single track road – yes, they really are only wide enough for a single car – you will discover that there is no shortage of beautiful, interesting, and unique surprises.

I snapped this photo the morning that Mr. C and I arrived in Scotland a few weeks ago. We were heading north on the A9 (on our way from Glasgow Airport to our rental near Inverness) when I suddenly spotted this beautiful castle on the right. Mr. C quickly rolled down his window, and I somehow managed to capture the shot from my side of the car, at some 70 mph – a testament to the quality of my camera!

After doing some sleuthing, I finally figured out that this is Atholl Palace Hotel in Pitlochry, a 19th-century hotel set against the gorgeous slopes of Ben Vrackie.

See? A surprise at every turn.

Auchindoun Castle-A 15th Century Treasure

Hi, friends. What’s new in your corner of the world? It’s hard to believe that a week ago yesterday, I was sitting on a crappy, cramped Boeing 757, heading home from two amazing weeks in Scotland. Why we would ever get into a metal tube that shoots us through the air at 500 miles per hour and at some 34,000 feet above the ground is beyond me. Ohhhh, I know why. It’s because our love for the people and places that await us far outweigh any of the risks. And for Scotland (in the words of Adele), I’m willing to take the risk.

Today I would like to share with you one of my favorites castles on my ever-expanding list. This is Auchindoun Castle, a 15th-century treasure that lies near Dufftown, in Moray.

Yellow gorse in the foreground and Auchindoun Castle in the background.

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Tantallon Castle-A Formidable Fortress

Tantallon Castle in a word: Badass.

Seriously. Mr. C and I didn’t realize just how imposing a structure Tantallon was until we had parked the car and made the walk toward the castle grounds. The closer we got, the more Tantallon grew. And grew. And grew! By the time we had reached the building, it’s safe to say we were both quite dumbfounded by the formidable fortress staring back at us.

Tantallon Castle in Scotland.
That little black line is me standing in front of Tantallon Castle’s Mid Tower and massive curtain wall. The ruined tower on the left is the Douglas Tower. Originally seven stories high, it served as the earl’s private residence. The East Tower sits to the far right and served as lodging for household staff and guests.
Castle signage.
Tantallon Castle and a doocot.
Though a large, open space today, the area in front of the castle would have been a place of much activity. There would have been all manner of structures essential to life in the castle, such as bakehouses, brewhouses, workshops, and stables.
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My Plaid Heart In England-A Visit to Lindisfarne Castle

Hey guys! Happy Wednesday to you. And happy first day of spring!

Today’s trip is going to take us through beautiful southeast Scotland and across the border into neighboring England. We won’t be going too far away from Scotland mind you, only about seventeen miles. We will be leaving the mainland, however. Don’t worry, you won’t need a lifejacket. A long causeway will lead us to our destination.

Intrigued? Grab your things because today we are headed to Holy Island of Lindisfarne (or simply Holy Island) to see Lindisfarne Castle.

A blue car on the causeway.
It is essential to check the tide schedule before you visit Holy Island. Twice daily, the North Sea tide comes in, making the causeway to the island inaccessible.
Welcome sign to Holy Island.
Lindisfarne Castle perched atop Beblowe Crag.

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Dinner at Dalhousie Castle-A Perfect Night Out

Hi, friends, I have missed you! I’ve been on a little blogging break, and now I feel refreshed and ready to get back into the groove. I think it’s important to do that every once in a while. Do you feel that way too?

Reader, today I would like to take you to Dalhousie Castle, a 13th/15th century castle that sits about eight miles to the southeast of Edinburgh, Scotland, near the town of Bonnyrigg.

Front of Dalhousie Castle.

Mr. C and I had the pleasure of visiting Dalhousie in the spring of 2014. While we did not spend the night in this beautiful castle hotel/spa, we did dine in The Dungeon Restaurant.  What a marvelous experience!

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St. Margaret’s Chapel-Edinburgh’s Oldest Surviving Building

Hello, friends. Do you ever feel like the gears in your brain get stuck? Seriously, I have been trying to put words to paper for four solid days, and I haven’t been able to get past ‘hello’! Maybe it has something to do with the elephant sitting on my left sinus cavity. Anyway, if today’s post stinks, you’ll know why. 😀

Theater scene from the movie An Affair to Remember.
“And all I could say was, “hello.” -An Affair to Remember, 1957

Today we’re going to take a quick look at the oldest surviving building in Edinburgh. This is St. Margaret’s Chapel, located at Edinburgh Castle.

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