*This post is a paid partnership with Visit Scotland. All views are my own but I am labelling with AD for transparency*
With the anticipated news that the restrictions will be easing over the next few months, people all over the country are dreaming of the places they want to visit as soon as possible.
This month marks an entire year of lockdown here in Scotland and we have a list as long as my arm of the places we can’t wait to get back to. Not a single one is a trip abroad, but all are right here in Scotland.
The beauty of this country is quite unbelievable and we want to spend as much time travelling around it as we can. Here are our top 5 places we want to visit as soon as we can:
We continued with our Historic Scotland monthly pass over lockdown, there was a brief moment when locations were open for just a minute and we managed to squeeze in a castle visit before the second lockdown began.
Craigmillar Castle is one of our family favourites of the Historic Scotland locations and is our go to stop for a quiet morning. It’s as beautiful inside as it is outside, and one of my favourite things, other than the stunning view of Edinburgh from the rooftop is the large tree in the middle of the courtyard within the grounds. Built in the 14th century and was home to Mary Queen of Scots back in 1563. It’s one of Scotlands best preserved medieval castles with an outer courtyard, doocot and chapel within the grounds.
Top Tip: It’s a hidden gem and a must visit for any Outlander fan, heavily featured in Season 3, you can walk some of the same steps as Jamie and Murtagh within the grounds of the ruin.
National Museums Scotland
National Museums Scotland
This is one of those places when I step inside it takes me right back to my childhood, I spent so many rainy weekends running around looking at my favourite things and going straight to the Egyptian section. The whale hanging from the ceiling, though no longer there was one thing that will always stick in my mind along with the fish ponds that once sat in the hallway entrance. There is so much history spread over 5 floors, with a rooftop terrace that overlooks Edinburgh Castle and has amazing 360º views of the city.
Top Tip: Get there early. The museum is at its quietest for the first hour and becomes busier throughout the day.
Harry Potter Tour
The Potter Trail
We have huge Harry Potter fans in this house. It’s the go to movie for film night and everyone is always collecting really cool sticks on our walks to turn into wands at home. We had booked into a Harry Potter tour around Edinburgh right before lockdown. So, this is one of Ruby’s top picks post lockdown. There’s a number of tours available in Edinburgh, including one with The Potter Trail, which is a free public tour, with the option of a donation at the end.
Don’t worry, you can also book a virtual tour online for those who currently can’t visit and we’ll be making sure we take full advantage until we can get back on one!
Top Tip: Book in advance. This tour has become increasingly popular from 1 tour a week to TWO a day. Book your space early.
A day in Culross
Culross is a beautiful wee village in Fife, it’s steeped in history and is like taking a step back in time. Little rows of squint cottages and cobbled streets, it’s no wonder it was the backdrop for season 1 of Outlander. You can visit the Palace & it’s beautiful medicinal gardens, stop by Bessies for a hot chocolate or visit the West Kirk – a 12th century church, if you fancy a wander a little further out of the village.
Top Tip: Bring your camera! It’s a beautiful town and has so many little nooks and details that you’ll regret leaving it at home.
Little Parlour South Queensferry
Rain or shine, and no matter the time of year – we LOVE ice cream! We’ve tried a lot of ice cream places over the years and one wee gem we’ve found and loved was The Little Parlour, South Queensferry. They have over 40 different flavours (Jammy Dodger is my favourite of theirs) and have some of the sweetest gifts in store too.
You get to enjoy your ice cream while you wander around the pastel coloured town with a beautiful view of the forth bridges. An ice cream trip you can make an entire day out of.
Top Tip: Always say yes to the little ice cream toppings! The handmade meringues are delicious!
Gorsebank Glamping Pods
Our first clamping experience last year gave us the bug for it. Gorsebank glamping pods in Dumfries & Galloway was an amazing trip! We walked with alpacas,
We planned a heap of trips over the summer in glamping pods and looked at a long weekend in a camper van with all the kids around the coast. Visiting more of Scotland over the next few years is the top of our list and sharing our heritage with the kids has become a top priority with us after lockdown.
Warm nights in front of a camp fire, toasting marshmallows, and sharing our favourite thing from the day over hot chocolate. What could sound better after a year at home?
Top Tip: Research the surrounding areas and book into a fun class or historic building to get the most in from your visit.
Where is the first place you want to visit post lockdown?