Come See Scotland With Me! – Part One

Posted July 26, 2023 by Lisa Mandina in Uncategorized / 18 Comments

So, I might have taken over 1000 photos. I had so much I wanted to remember. Probably took way more pictures than I needed. But these days with digital cameras in our phones, and not having to worry about how much film we have, it’s easy to get carried away. So once I got home, I uploaded most of the pictures on my phone to the Shutterfly app, because then they are in my account. They have a good deal on printing any you want that way, plus then I could make a photo album with all the pictures already printed in it with captions and the like. For this post I tried to narrow down to maybe a picture or two or three for each place I visited, or else it would have been crazy long! But I didn’t quite make that few. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the pictures I’ve chosen for you. This is going to be a long post!!! And I’ve decided to split the whole trip into two posts because there is so much to share!

First Day in Scotland

I arrived on a Saturday afternoon and went straight to the hotel I had booked for my two nights before the tour started. I had booked a tour to see Edinburgh Castle, but I went to the wrong place to meet them, and so missed out on that. So I did not get to see the castle while I was there other than from the outside and a distance. I did walk around Edinburgh most of the day on Saturday and saw lots of cool things! Here are some pictures of my hotel room and cool sights I saw that first day.

Second Day in Scotland

My second day I slept in, had breakfast at my hotel, then took a train from Edinburgh to Glasgow where my sister now lives. We met for lunch. Went to a few places for drinks (her idea, not mine, lol) then walked to the University of Glasgow where they filmed some of the Harvard scenes for Outlander. We had dinner at a Thai place, and I actually had my first taste of haggis there. I liked it!

Third day in Scotland and First Day of the Tour!

I got up and packed my belongings and took a cab over to the hotel where we were to meet. Here is the bus we used, or one like it, for the whole tour.

The Royal Mile Tour

The first part of our tour started with the Royal Mile, where we had a tour guide named Sam who walked us down the mile and showed us several filming spots. HERE is a link to my post earlier this year so you can see some of the views of this from the show. And if you want more info about the Royal Mile, HERE is a link to the Visit Scotland web page for that. HERE’s the webpage for the Holyroodhouse Palace as well.

After this first spot we drove to Linlithgow for lunch before the next part of the tour. We ate at a restaurant named The Four Marys, after Mary Queen of Scots four ladies in waiting who were all named Mary as well. I had my first fish and chips meal in Scotland. Inside the restaurant there were lots of cool pictures of letters having to do with Mary Queen of Scots as well as even a photo of her desk mask. It was pretty cool. And as you see the sign in the first picture, dogs were pretty much allowed every where, and in almost every restaurant I went to I saw a dog at someone’s table.


After lunch we walked around Linlithgow and up to the Linlithgow Palace. I talked about how it was used HERE, for Outlander it was Wentworth Prison, where Jamie was at the end of season 1 when his horrible experience with Black Jack Randall happened. In real life it was the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots and had many other historical aspects. HERE is the website for Linlithgow Palace.

Midhope Castle

Now this was one of the most exciting places to visit, as it is used as Lallybroch, Jamie’s family home in Outlander. You can read my original post about it HERE. We were all so excited, and all of us on the tour who were mega-Outlander fans had to have our pictures taken in the archway as well as on the steps. HERE is some info on Midhope Castle.

Blackness Castle

If you remember I posted about this location HERE. On Outlander it was used as Fort William, even though there is an actual Fort William elsewhere in Scotland. HERE is the actual history of Blackness Castle.

Our home for the next 4 nights

After going to all the places on the first day, we went back to the cabins/cottages we would be staying in while on the tour. We did make a quick stop at a grocery store before, and then went back to have a buffet dinner. Or “boofay” as they pronounced it. The cottages were so beautiful, not that we spent much time other than occasionally dinner or a bit of time before bed, sleeping, and breakfast, before leaving each day. I had my own room and bathroom, and one of the couples in the group had the upstairs of our cottage to themselves. Our cottage was connected by a door to the tour guides’ cottage, and it was there everyone would congregate for any group meals or breakfast, or to meet the tour bus in the mornings.

Fourth Day in Scotland and Second Day of the Tour

Our second day started with a longer drive as we were going to be visiting some sights a little farther than our normal radius from the cottages. Everyone gathered for breakfast at their own pace in the cottage attached to mine. We got on the road at about 8:45 am. Stopping to pick up lunches we could take on the bus with us as we weren’t really going to be near anywhere to eat at lunch time. The long drive to our first stop was beautiful and I have tons of pictures of the beautiful Scottish countryside, but alas, I don’t want to make this post anymore ridiculously long!

Highland Folk Museum

Our first stop of the day was a location that showed older buildings from older days in Scotland. Including one area that had been used in the Outlander show for a village where they had to go collect rents. Seeing this compared to the castles and other homes we visited just showed the crazy differences between how people lived based on their wealth and status back then. Something I’m sure is similar in other parts of the world today even. HERE is my original post with info about this. And if you’re interested in learning more about this site, HERE is their website.

Clava Cairns

While the stone circle that Claire goes through in the show Outlander is based on a circle on another small island off the coast of Scotland, this is the closest area of standing stones near our tour stops. It has a lot of history and was still very neat to visit. As we were finishing up there was even someone setting up to play the bagpipes. My original post about this sight is HERE. And the website with more of its history is HERE.


Our next stop was in Inverness, the farthest part of our drive. We visited the Culloden battleground historic site. We had a little bit of time to walk around the museum, not near enough as would have been needed to really read all the signs and displays. And then we had a guided tour around the battlefield. During the tour it began raining pretty heavy several times. Our tour guide had nothing other than a rain coat, no hood or umbrella. But he kept going! I would like to have gone around more of the battlefield, but maybe some day I’ll go back. I had to get my pictures I’m sharing of the Fraser clan grave from a couple in our group who had gone when they came up two weeks before our tour started. My post about this site is HERE. If you want to know more about the battle of Culloden and the actual history, you can visit their website HERE.

At that point we had a bit of a drive back to the cabins, although we stopped for dinner at a little restaurant in Dunkeld. This was a meal we had chosen what we’d eat before we came, and unfortunately I was a little disappointed in the food, it wasn’t my favorite meal of the trip. But the company of my tour group, as well as our tour guide and bus driver, for dinner, was good enough to make up for that. And then we walked across a bridge right by the place we had dinner for a beautiful scenic view.

Final Thoughts For This Post

So, that’s what happened the first few days of my tour. Emma, the tour guide who had been with us the first two days had the next two days off, and Anne, who ate dinner with us the first night at the cabins would be our guide for the next two days. Check back either later this week, or maybe next week, depending how much time I have to get the next half of the tour pictures sorted and posted!

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18 responses to “Come See Scotland With Me! – Part One

    • Lisa Mandina

      So much history, and so many more things I didn’t get to see. I loved all the houses there too. I kept taking pictures of houses because I loved the character they all had compared to homes in the US.

    • Lisa Mandina

      Yeah, it’s so weird about the unicorn! I had discussions with a couple different Scottish people about the whole weird pudding name and things that are not pudding, at least not based on what I think of as pudding. The haggis was tasty, but the texture would probably have been too weird for me if it hadn’t been in the breading and just by itself.

  1. Ohh very nice! I love busting new places & taking in historic sites! I never watched Outlander so a lot of this would’ve been lost on me! Lol. But it’d still be fun! Can’t wait to see more pictures!

    • Lisa Mandina

      The history was enough for those who hadn’t watched Outlander, we had two husbands and a daughter on the trip who hadn’t really watched or read the books, so you would still probably enjoy it!

    • Lisa Mandina

      I loved seeing all the dogs everywhere! I even saw three dachshunds that I of course had to stop and pet.

    • Lisa Mandina

      It was so much fun! Don’t know that I’ll ever be able to afford to do something like that again, so glad I did it!

  2. I love that you’re blogging about your trip as I’m really enjoying reading about it. Sunday roast has always been a thing in my family too (except in summer). Thanks for sharing.

    • Lisa Mandina

      We have always done a Sunday dinner at my mom’s, but it’s not always roast. I do love when it is though!

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