The Orkney Islands had teased me for a long time. They aren’t as popular or well known as others in Scotland, but looking at the cluster of dots at the top of the map, I was intrigued.
The North Coast 500 in Scotland is a relatively new entry on the list of the world’s best road trips.
Edinburgh stole my heart years ago, so much so that’s now my favourite city in the world. There’s so much to love, and so much to miss, about this wonderful Scottish capital.
Here’s five great cafes to check out when visiting Edinburgh, Istanbul, Paris, Lisbon and Barcelona.
Deep, murky and surrounded by mountains, Loch Ness is the perfect hiding place for a mythical monster. I spent a weekend camping on its banks and while I won’t be adding my name to the number of sightings of “Nessie”, I had a great few days exploring the Scottish Highlands.
Ed Fringe has opened my eyes to the fascinating world of comedy. On the recommendation of a friend I went to see Phill Jupitus. I had no idea what to expect – if someone recommends a show to me, any more detail is irrelevant. If they think it’s worth telling me about, that’s good enough for me.
I’ve attended Fringe gigs in pubs, theatres, a circus tent, the top level of a double-decker bus, a football club, an inflatable up-side-down cow udder and a yurt nicknamed The Yurt Locker. And a dormant volcano. On Monday I climbed Arthur’s Seat to see the view of Edinburgh. On Tuesday I climbed it again for a comedy gig.
Every August Edinburgh hosts the Edinburgh International Festival. The Royal Mile, usually a peaceful tourist strip lined with kilt shops and overpriced restaurants, is mayhem. It’s closed to cars and full of buskers and performers promoting their shows, either by doing small skits in the street or handing out flyers. It’s crazy and I love it.
Just a couple of turns from the student-riddled streets near The University of Glasgow sit three second-hand bookshops to excite any bibliophile. Edinburgh might be the literary centre and Wigtown in the south-west has the title of Scotland’s National Book Town, but Glasgow has a few gems of its own.
Europe has a fabulous cafe culture. Just think of Paris where sitting at small table, sipping an espresso and watching the world go by is a thing! I love discovering great cafes when I travel. Here are some of my favourite finds.