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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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. 😀
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.
Hello, my friends. How are you guys today? I’ve missed you. I have been away on holiday with Mr. C and his parents, off the grid, and making memories. I’m excited to catch up on all the things you’ve been up to and eager to share some of the best moments from our trip. For today, though, I’d like to show you a tiny island located in the outer part of Scotland’s Firth of Forth. This island is called Bass Rock, and it is a beast of a thing!
Rising to a height of more than 300 ft., the rocky island is a steep-sided volcanic plug that dates to the Carboniferous Age – arising a whopping 300+ million years ago. From a distance, the rock surface can appear white, almost as if covered in a dusting of snow. That is because of the presence of the world’s largest colony of Northern gannets. In fact, in the peak of their nesting season, it is estimated that more than 150,000 of these sea birds call Bass Rock home!
Back in May, I took you guys on a photo tour of the spectacularly beautiful grounds at Lauriston Castle. I want to revisit Lauriston with you today. Only this time, we are going to explore the beautiful Edwardian interior, decorated and designed by the Lauriston’s final owners, Mr. William Robert Reid, his wife Mrs. Margaret Johnstone Reid, and Mrs. Reid’s brother, Mr. William Barton.
Mr. C and I visited Lauriston for the second time in March 2017. It is one of our favorites, so no trip to Edinburgh will now ever be complete without paying a visit to this lovely place. We were thrilled to be able to take a guided tour of several of the castle’s main rooms. Our docent was excellent and was a wealth of knowledge of the castle’s history, from the first construction in the sixteenth century until the passing of Mrs. Reid in 1926. I think that if I lived in Edinburgh, I would want that job!
To recap a little of Lauriston’s history…
Lauriston’s tower house was built by Sir Archibald Napier sometime around 1593 and the pretty Jacobean-style extension was added in 1827. Over the centuries, the castle passed through numerous hands until it came into the possession of its final owners – William and Margaret Reid. The Reids acquired the property in 1902 and lived there until Mrs. Reid’s death in 1926. Because the couple had no children, they left the castle to the city of Edinburgh under the condition that it be preserved unchanged. And so the promise was kept. The remarkable Edwardian interior, filled to the brim with their fine furniture and artwork, is now a museum maintained by the city. For a nominal fee, you can take a guided tour of this home (uh, castle) which remains exactly as it was at the time of the Reids. The manicured grounds, which boast a view of the sea and a stunning Japanese garden are a real bargain – free! Lauriston truly is a gem in Edinburgh. –from my previous post on Lauriston Castle
Well, are you ready to step inside and see what a 425-year-old castle clothed in 100-year-old decor looks like? Great. Follow me, friends.
Castles are amazing. I don’t care if it has been renovated into a luxury hotel, if it’s a well-preserved ruin, or if all that remains is a crumbling mess. Every castle has a tale to tell, and I love them all.
Today I would like to take you to Dunnottar Castle, which sits on the North Sea, about two miles from the town of Stonehaven, Scotland. I can still remember my reaction the first time I rounded the path, and Dunnottar came into full view. Hmmm, how do I describe it? Okay, got it. Do you remember the romcom “Notting Hill” starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts? (Where have all the romantic comedies gone, by the way?) Do you remember the scene where William (Grant) takes the famous actress Anna Scott (Roberts) as his date to his sister Honey’s birthday party? And do you remember what Honey said when she came face to face with Anna for the first time? Hahaha! Yeah. That pretty much sums it up.
Perched atop a massive flat rock with sheer cliffs on three sides and connected to the mainland by only a narrow stretch of earth, Dunnottar Castle and its surrounding landscape is an extraordinary sight to behold. Honestly, photos cannot do justice to the magnitude of the rock upon which the castle resides.