A Trip to the Highlands

August 5, 2014

In June this year we went on a trip to the Highlands of Scotland. The trip served two purposes. First we were going to attend my brother’s wedding in Dornoch, beyond Inverness in the Highlands. Secondly we intended to stop in Inverness, to seek out the Loch Ness monster and also to make a side trip to the archive centre to track down my husband’s family. My husband was born in Inverness but left as a child. As a result a lot of his family history got lost in the mists of time. We have visited Scotland many times, staying in a castle and visiting Dumfries and Galloway where we went to Traquair House but I have never ventured to the Highlands. Scotland is a lovely place for a holiday, there is plenty to see and do, the scenery is breathtaking and it is the perfect place to go for a romantic getaway or even a wedding. There is always something to surprise you and the people are friendly and welcoming, although the pace of life is different. It is much slower and you soon find yourself relaxing. The sky at night is amazing as well, the stars look so much bigger without interference from street lights.

It is a long drive to Dornoch from Newcastle, it took us most of the day with only a very short stop for the toilet. The scenery changes as you leave Northumberland, enter the borders and head to the Highlands. There is always something new to look at. We were staying in a large house in Scotland, Opisdale House. Scotland is full of these large houses which are great holiday homes. The whole family was able to stay here which was ideal for the wedding.

Opisdale houseThe house was set in immense gardens with gorgeous views across the hills. You could wander around the gardens and meet a new surprise in every corner.  Rhododendrons in full bloom added colour to the paths contrasting with the white stone of the house.

Ospidale houseStately gravelled walks hid a trampoline where the kids had fun and a sundial told the time in the centre of the path. My son was really interested in how it knew what the time was and we had great fun explaining that.

Opisdale houseSteps took you up to a greenhouse and stunning views across the hills. An archway led to a hidden pond, where you could wander unseen by others. The perfect setting for a romantic tryst.

Ospisdale houseInside the house was amazing as well, there were lots of rooms including a snooker room and a fabulous library. There was plenty of space for the family to spend time together or be apart as needed. The house was full of bustle and excitement as everyone got ready for the wedding and we soon all made our way to Dornoch cathedral.  This is me and my son just before we left.

Opisdale-houseThe wedding itself went really well and the reception afterwards was lovely as well. Traditional Scottish food was served and it was delicious. The happy couple really enjoyed the day and will have plenty of memories to look back on. Scotland is the perfect place for a wedding, beautiful scenery, gorgeous food and fabulous tradition.

The next day we set off for Inverness, we wanted to spend the day there searching the family archives. We had to stop and see the loch, which we scanned for Nessie.

loch nessloch nessLoch Ness

Sadly we didn’t see her but looking at the loch you can see how it would be the perfect place for a monster to lurk, undiscovered for years. Looking out over it you can feel a sense of wonder and mystery. After leaving the loch we had a look around Inverness before making our way to the Thistle Hotel where we were staying the night. My son was very taken with the towels in the rooms which were in the shape of elephants.
Thistle hotel

We spent the next morning at the archives where we got a lot of help in trying to find things out. We have a few leads to follow up in the search for long lost family. We plan to go back to the Highlands again and stay for a longer time. It is a lovely place and the scenery is breathtaking.

I am entering this post into the Romantic Scotland competition run by Sykes Cottages

8 responses to “A Trip to the Highlands”

  1. Galina V says:

    Good luck with the competition, Alison! Glorious photos! I’ve never been to Scotland, it is on my wish list of places to visit.

  2. Sue Tyler says:

    I’d love to visit Scotland. It’s a long way for us down here in South Wales!
    Opisdale House looks fabulous, lovely gardens too.
    A pity you didn’t catch Nessie.. 🙂

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