First Impressions from Scotland

Don’t you love it when a place completely surprises you? We’ve just returned from our trip to Scotland (maybe you’ve seen my photos on Instagram), and the contrast between there and here is a shock to the system. I have a lot to share from the trip — hiking tips, things to do with kids, the good and bad of the Isle of Skye, and more — but for now, in my jetlagged state, I want to share a few impressions of the country.

What impressed me the most was the strong connection to nature that you can immediately feel once you get away from the city/airport. We rented a car upon arrival and drove into the countryside and then spent the next two weeks in nature every single day, even with mostly cloudy and chilly weather. Of course, we did some touristy stuff, too — we visited plenty of castles, graveyards, lakes, parks, and cathedrals and stayed in Edinburgh for a couple of days. Yet the stark beauty of the country and the availability of nature really struck me on a deep level. Add to that the fact that we never saw anyone on their cell phones!

I expect that my experience there will affect me for a while. What places have struck you in unexpected ways?

The basalt columns of Kilt Rock on the Trotternish Peninsula, Isle of Skye

Our vacation rental on the main square in the town of Falkland (where “Outlander” was filmed). Endless walks awaited just outside the door.

The ruined castle in St. Andrews & the North Sea in the background


My kids running from the water to the house we rented on the Isle of Skye

The gardens of Falkland Palace

The view to one of many bays while hiking on the Trotternish peninsula on the Isle of Skye

The rocks of the Storr, what remains of ancient landslips on the Isle of Skye

Horses in the open expanse of “back yard” of our vacation rental

Descending from the top of East Lomond through sheep fields

The countryside of Fife, north of Edinburgh, seen from the top of East Lomond

A very unexpected view after taking an unplanned turn to a dead end on the Isle of Skye

The historic Fairy Bridge on the Waternish Peninsula of Skye

The strange shapes of the Quiraing in the distance–a typical view while driving on Skye

The wild beauty of the Isle of Skye on our last day there


  • Jenna – WOW your pictures are absolutely stunning. Scotland is near the top of my list of places that I want to visit and your post just furthered that want. I look forward to reading the remainder of your posts from the trip.

    • Jenna says:

      Thank you, Elizabeth! Scotland was wonderful–just as beautiful as I’d expected but also very friendly and peaceful, and the amount of history available to discover blew me away.

  • Can’t wait for your updates. The Isle of Skye is on my wish list for my next return to Scotland. Didn’t you love the primal, unexplored feeling of Scotland, despite its long history? And I find Scots to be surprisingly friendly and easygoing. Your pictures make me “home”sick!

  • Julies Roy says:

    I am really surprise looking for your post and beautiful picture. I had never gone there before and I had no idea about Scotland natural beauty. Thanks for your great shared with us. I will try to go there my lifetime. I appreciate your good work. Keep it up and continue your blogging.

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