A couple of weeks ago I travelled to Scotland for the first time in my life. It's a great weekend getaway destination for New Englanders, especially thanks to Norwegian Air's new direct flights from Providence, RI to Edinburgh, which are super affordable.
We started our journey in Edinburgh (you can read more about it here). And after that, we drove to Glasgow, which is just over an hour away. We stayed in there for two nights. The first day we spent exploring the city, and the second touring the Scottish Highlands.
I noticed right away that Glasgow is quite different from Edinburgh - bigger and busier. Considered the cultural capital of Scotland, Glasgow is home to many art schools and boasts both beautiful street art and a thriving music scene. Though our visit was brief, we still managed to do and see many things. We walked around the West End, did some shopping on Buchanan Street, took the Mackintosh at the GSA (Glasgow School of Art) tour, strolled through Kelvingrove Park, and also snapped a few pictures of Ashton Lane and before popping into one of the restaurants there for dinner.
WHERE TO STAY
We stayed at The Principal Blythswood Square Hotel - it's a luxury hotel located within walking distance of most of Glasgow's main attractions. The hotel has a restaurant and a bar overlooking the Square, as well as a full fitness facility and a spa.
WHERE TO EAT
“My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here;
My heart's in the Highlands a-chasing the deer;
A-chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe,
My heart's in the Highlands wherever I go.”
― Robert Burns
Glasgow is the perfect base for exploring the West Highlands. We took a day trip with Mini Kilt Tours, and it turned out to be an amazing day! Andy, our tour guide, was the loveliest person I've ever met. She took us to all the most beautiful places, made sure to stop the car whenever we needed to take a photo, told us lots of fun and interesting facts about the area we were in, and made us laugh through the entire journey!
The first thing on our itinerary was quad biking with Quadmania. I don't usually go for outdoorsy adventures, and I wasn't sure if I'd like quad biking, but it was one of the most exciting things I’ve ever done! The Quadmania instructors will teach you how to use the bikes even if you've never ridden one, and will guide you safely through the hills of Cowal Peninsula in Argyll. It's such a great way to explore the highlands!
We experienced all kinds of weather in the Highlands. It rained, it snowed, and then the sun came out - all within a 2-hour time window!
After our quad biking adventure, we made our way to the village of Luss and had lunch at Luss Seafood. Their menu features fresh oysters, crab, mussels, and smoked salmon produced locally in the village. Our delicious meal was followed by souvenir shopping in Luss General store (they have a lot of cute stuff!) and a much needed relaxing afternoon at the spa at Cameron House. I really enjoyed all the facilities there, but the best part was chilling at the rooftop pool overlooking Loch Lomond. It doesn't get any better than that!
We spent the rest of the day strolling through Luss. It's a village that sits in the heart of the Loch Lomond area. This settlement has been there since medieval times and it's quite small. Currently, there are only 120 people living there. It's the most adorable place with beautiful tiny cottages lining the streets and a lovely pier from which you can take a cruise around Loch Lomond and enjoy the magnificent views. I can only imagine how charming Luss looks in the summertime!
I visited Scotland with Norwegian Air and Visit Britain, however, I have only included things that I personally enjoyed on the trip. All opinions are 100% my own.