Overview; We are a family of 4, two adults and two girls ages 11 and 14. This was my girls first trip to Europe. We spent a total of one month. We spent 10 nights in Norway, 12 nights in Scotland and 7 nights in Ireland in July and August, 2018.
This is my Scotland trip report, it was our first visit there. I planned everything and did all the driving, which was mostly easy. I had reserved a manual, but Hertz gave us an automatic at no extra charge. It had built in Sat Nav, which was great!
Itinerary; 3 nights Edinburgh, 3 nights Inverness, 2 nights Portree, 3 nights Oban, 1 night Edinburgh
Weather; Beautiful! Mostly sunny. We had two days with rain, but they were travel days getting from one location to another. A bit windy in places after we went to the highlands, but not entirely unexpected.
Food; In my perfect planning world, I envisioned us taking advantage of the breakfasts offered at all the places we stayed. Eat a large breakfast, a small snack or nothing for lunch, then an early dinner. Works for me! This was to help keep costs down. What really happened? My kids are not big breakfast eaters and my husband is a three squares a day guy. So, we did eat lunch out on occasion, but tried to eat cheaply. Sometimes, lunch was just snacks. Dinner out is usually a must for us, so since we skimped on lunch (but not always), we ate dinner early.
Day 1; We left Bergen, Norway in the am on KLM with a stop in Amsterdam. My youngest daughters backpack gave up the ghost and so we purchased her a new one. At the Edinburgh airport, we tried to use the ATM’s for local currency, but the machines would not take our debit cards. We eventually got local currency near our B&B. We took the Airlink bus from the airport to our B&B, Castleview. We got off at Waverly station and it was a long walk with luggage to our B&B. We found out later there was a stop that was closer and we used that when we left Edinburgh.
Our B&B was located on Castle street and was about 4 or 5 blocks to the Royal Mile. It was somewhat disappointing in that we were in a small family room on the 5th floor. This meant 8 flights of stairs to go up and down. Also, hot air rises. Yes, the room was warm, but it did have a fan (no AC) and with the old windows that only open a bit. It was barely sleepable for me and frankly, the beds were awful. We also had a problem with our shower head, which they did manage to fix for us. However, we thought the location was good. Close to the Royal Mile, but not too close. We did wish it had a lounge/sitting area for guests. There wasn’t one. We like having one to get some space from the kids and enjoy our adult happy hour. A balcony can also suffice, but it didn’t have one of those either. We would not stay here again, although, upon checking out, the manager did take 10% off for our troubles.
After our check-in, we headed to the Royal Mile. Wow, so many people! The street performers were fun. We walked around and then had dinner at The Royal Mile Tavern. I had to try the Haggis, Neeps and Tatties. I had read they were good here. It did not disappoint. My oldest ordered it too and loved it. Wow! (My kids are not adventurous eaters. Oldest is getting better!) Loved our meal here!