STA Travel - #WildCardUK Part 3 – THE HEART OF SCOTLAND
And so we come to the third part of my whirlwind #WildCardUK adventure with thanks to the wise travel guys at STA Travel and Visit Britain!
This video (click here to watch the full version) takes me through the heart of Scotland, first by bus on the Haggis Tour then to a real live Scottish castle before I hop on a bike and check out picturesque Pitlochry all the while looking sexy with a Go-Pro attached to my head.
I think one of the best things about this trip was that it got me doing things I would never normally sign up for, but ended up loving and feeling really excited to get involved with the next activity. Bike riding was definitely one of those things.
See below for all the gory details!
Haggis Adventure Tour: After quite a lot of dancing and whiskey the night before, my Aussie friends and I were all up bright and early to hop on the Haggis bus tour which would take us through stunning countryside all the way from Loch Ness to Eilean Donan. The tour guide- who looked a little like Shaggy from the Scooby Doo series - was very charming and full of hilarious stories that kept us all forgetting about our hangovers. My favourite part was the story about the 5 sisters (or mountains as they appear these days), which included different voices and accents for different characters and spooky sound effects. To be honest, I really didn’t want to get off the bus, I was having way too much fun!
Trees For Life, Fort Augustus: The guys at Haggis Adventure tours also encourage their visitors to spend some time carrying our practical conservation action on the depleted forests of Dundreggan as part of their tour. This meant we got to spend an hour or so with the guys at Trees For Life who gave us a really interesting history on the Scottish forests and fauna- before allowing us a chance to get our hands dirty by planting some trees of our own. With the help of my new BFF Jacqui- we planted a baby juniper bush (which I felt was fitting, considering how much gin I drink. Give and take you know?) In all seriousness, there was something very rewarding and special about helping replenish the forest and I walked away feeling as if I had made at least a small difference. Trees for Life are always after volunteers so make sure to pop in for a visit if you’re ever in the area!
Eilean Donan Castle: Look, I’m not going to pretend I wasn’t one of those little girls who obsessed over princesses and castles. Because I was. Am. Still am. So visiting my very first real life castle was a little exciting but I tried to play it cool. Eilean Donan Castle even had a little footbridge I had to walk across to get to the castle itself! The exteriors were old and beautiful but it was the interiors that really blew me away. Inside was like a life-size diorama, with mannequins and prosthetic food etc all in place to paint a pretty amazing picture at how ‘castle life’ would have worked back in the thirteenth century. Unfortunately for us- no photos were allowed. I did however go up to the highest tower and attempt to let down my golden hair, Rapunzel style. Surprise, surprise- no prince charming came to my aid. Not even Laurence, my videographer. Screw you Laurence.
Pitlochry: Perhaps the most traditional/storybook looking town we’d stopped in so far, Pitlochry brought out the goods in the form of sunshine and warm weather- perfect for a spot of bike riding. For those playing at home, bike riding or exercise in general isn’t really my thing, but I was excited to get out of the car and experience Scotland in a different way. We rode all the way up to Blair Atholl which was a really beautiful and scenic ride with lots of cool spots to check out and stop at for photo op’s. Found my own secret hidden spot down by the lakes and under a bridge with stacks of wild flowers and ducks- it was a pretty nice way to spend a warm afternoon.
To see me look super sexy in a helmet and Go-Pro, click HERE for the full video.