Ballindalloch Castle: Scotland’s “Pearl of the North”

It’s cold. It’s gloomy. It’s the time of year when cabin fever starts to become a very real thing; although, I just realized the official start to spring is only 31 days away! Woop! Anyway, to cheer myself up on this gray Monday (well, this, and maybe watching a few episodes of “The Great British Baking Show”), I am going to take you guys to Scotland’s “Pearl of the North”; the BEAUTIFUL, the GORGEOUS, the OH-SO-STUNNING Ballindalloch Castle.

A tree lined gravel path leading to Ballindalloch Castle.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Nostalgic

Hello, all! I hope you are having a terrific Tuesday.

This week’s photo challenge comes from Tina. She has encouraged us to depict something that evokes nostalgia. For my offering, I have chosen to highlight a few photos taken at Lauriston Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Exterior view of Lauriston Castle in sepia.

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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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