Gianluca and I landed late Sunday evening in Edinburgh. A beautiful city, everyone says, but we were in the mood for natural landscapes and Scotland is up there among the very best for this. So, sorry about that, Edinburgh, but we drove straight out and away to the north west, heading towards the highlands and eventually the Isle of Skye.

Monday 7th May was a bank holiday, we learned soon enough, and the hottest May bank holiday in history, according to the evening news: the entire population of Scotland took out their cars for an outing, with inevitable consequent traffic congestion.

First stop on our way to the highlands was Linlithgow, whose claim to fame is that it hosts the castle where Mary Queen of Scots was born. Here, in the picture, she is gazing at her birthplace, the view now, alas, partly obstructed by cars driven right up to the doorstep.


We had to give various castles a miss because of the crowds, traffic and the long distance we still needed to travel to our first overnight stop at a farm- guesthouse at Spean Bridge, close to Fort William in the Scottish highlands.

You could see it was a warm bank holiday as the locals were wading into the water…

The ‘problem’ with driving in Scotland is that, rather like Iceland, there are so many pretty views along the way that you miss many of them, especially if you’re driving. You could stop every now and then to take a picture, but very often you notice breathtaking views and there’s nowhere to stop. You could of course hike or bike instead.


A peaceful end to the day at Spean Bridge