Scotland! One of those countries that is probably on your bucket list. But, every time you are about to book your next holiday you look for the warm and sunny places in the world to get your well-deserved vitamin D.
Why on earth would you go on holiday to a country where it always rains cats and dogs. The idea to turn voluntarily into a drowned cat while you could have been sipping cocktails on a beach in the sun always made me shiver. But wait, I have just visited Scotland and it was great! Yes yes yes, we have had some rain, but hey I prepared myself pretty well. With my super hiking boots (no pictures), a few jumpers, rain coat and a Delft umbrella I managed to keep warm and dry 99% of the time. My boyfriend Reinier and I had the illuminous idea to bring our dog Chap along as well.
We were quite surprised how easy it is to travel through Scotland with a dog. Chap was allowed to stay in the Airbnb and log cabins we booked and we had plenty of choice. Likewise for restaurants and pubs. In 10 days we visited Loch Lomond in the middle, Edinburgh and the Rosslyn Chapel (yes, the location of Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code finale). We also stayed a few days on the Isle of Skye in the north. And on the way back we visited the south west of Schotland.
The Rosslyn Chapel
The road from Loch Lomond to the Isle of Skye passing Glencoe and Fort William is very impressive. Majestic and peaceful at the same time. Keep in mind that the further north and/or remote you go, your 4G network doesn’t work very well or not at all. In the beginning you are desperately holding your phone towards the sky or the window of the car, but after two days you give up. The spectacular scenery everywhere in this country deserve attentive audience. However, make sure your navigation isn’t based on your network.
We discovered that most lodges do provide plasticised descriptions for hiking trails from easy 1-2 hour walks to 6-8 hour walks for the experienced hiker. Our dog Chap was used to climbing rocks, so he enjoyed the long walks we picked as much as we did.
Isle of Sky
I realise there will be little chance you will bring your dog to Scotland. Just in case, it is important to check whether there might be livestock grazing along the trial you pick. Especially if you bring your Australian Cattle Dog with you, like we did. Chap is specifically bred to chase sheep and cows. Farmers in the UK are allowed to shoot your dog in case your dog is disturbing their livestock, oeps! Luckily that did not happen, but we kept an extra eye on our Chappie.
Falls of Dochart, Killin
At the Isle of Skye we stayed in a romantic little lodge close to the sea, where they did welcome us with the finest whiskey instead of coffee or tea. We ended up having dinner at a local pub in Edinbane, the Edinbane Inn. The food and whiskey was exquisite! After our dinner the local band performed typical Scottish music, including the bagpipe, yeah!
So, be brave(heart) and visit Scotland if you fancy a holiday combining hiking and drinking whiskey. Oh and beautiful sceneries, the coolest castles, outdoor activities, traditional food and yes….. a bit of rain.
Click on Lonely Planet Scotland to buy on The Bookdepository. Or click on the book below to buy on Amazon.
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