• Jessica Stough

Planning the Next Adventure, Pt. 3 - Scotland

Updated: Aug 22, 2021

Besides randomly finding Scotland through a quick internet search, listed as a good place to visit in September, I didn’t know much about it before I started my research. Really, most of what I knew surrounded the legend about the Loch Ness Monster. Let me tell you, though, I was blown away at what Scotland has to offer. The sights seem gorgeous, and there are tons of interesting things to do and see there.

Source: Scotland - Tourist Destinations (tourist-destinations.com)


The first website I opened showed this picture:








Source: Scotland: Tours and Tickets - Tripadvisor


As someone who was fairly obsessed with The Walking Dead for a short while, I immediately wondered if maybe it was a known filming location for a zombie show or movie. Then, I chose to actually read the caption for the picture, “The World Famous Underground Ghost Tour.” Obviously, the picture wasn’t a zombie like I originally thought, but it proved to be something even more interesting.

 

Let’s take a dive into everything Scotland.

  • As was the case with Germany, September is the start of the fall season for Scotland. Tourism is still pretty heavy in September, which may have to do with the fact that by November, a lot of places in Scotland start to close down for the winter.

  • The average temperature in September for Scotland is a beautiful 61℉, with a record high of 71℉ and record low of 30℉. It is just slightly cooler than their highest summer temperatures in July and August.

  • Prices for a trip to Scotland from Des Moines are nearly identical to the prices for trips to Germany. The flight and board for a trip from Des Moines to Scotland is $1,211 per person. From Chicago, prices are $1,046 per person.

  • A famous tourist attraction in Scotland is the “Hogwarts Express,” where people can take the train made famous by the Harry Potter movies along a beautiful, scenic route.

  • Mostly everyone knows Scotland is home to the legendary Loch Ness Monster, Nessie. Tourists can spend time hunting for Nessie in the water. A special bonus for us - there’s a drive available or a trail to bike or hike to the waters. There’s a castle mostly in ruins near Loch Ness that is a fun place to visit as well.

  • Anyone who knows me in any capacity knows that I am an animal lover, through and through. Scotland is home to an incredible wildlife refuge, Highland Wildlife Park.

  • Any place that has a beautiful view titled “Fairy Glen” has to be doing something right. Waterfalls have always been a weakness of mine, and Scotland does not appear to be a disappointment. It looks absolutely stunning.

Source: The Fairy Glen Photograph by Mal Bray

  • Scotland has a ton of walking tours, including underground walking tours and “dark side” walking tours about murders, mysteries, and legends. There are also numerous museums.

  • I don’t think we are quite ready to bring a dog overseas with us yet, but I also found some articles on multiple dog-friendly activities and places to go in Scotland.

  • Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland, and it has a ton of history (as does, I’m learning, all of Scotland). Glasgow goes way, way back.

  • Multiple other locations in Scotland, including the Orkney Islands, also date way back. The Orkney Islands actually had residents pre-dating the Romans.

  • Stirling is another great city to visit, that has a history around a legendary wolf, making it an honored animal in the city to this day.

  • Another beautiful place to visit is Niest Point, which has a lighthouse and wonderful views of the ocean.

  • There are multiple hikes in Scotland, including the Isle of Skye, which offers great views of multiple mountain ranges around it.

Source: Hiking in Scotland: 11 of the Best Hikes in the Country


  • Not only does the Isle of Skye have incredible hikes, but it also has multiple other things to do, such as sea kayaking, tasting Skye Whiskey, and even whale watching.


All of this research is really giving me the itch to get out and travel! We are almost exactly two months away from vacation so it’s getting down to the wire. I’ve got just one more comparison to do before Zac and I will sit down and make an official decision.


The good news is, now that I’ve done this, I have the research done for multiple locations already on our bucket list. The bad news is that we may still decide to go somewhere else entirely. I am absolutely loving everything I’ve seen so far, though. Let’s see how Alaska stacks up to the rest!


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