I literally can’t believe how fast the summer has flown by. Here I am in the middle of back to school madness, packing backpacks and labeling new uniforms. Why did it all have to end so quickly?
We had an incredible break, which included a trip to Provence with girlfriends and children, some time in California with the family, and then a 10 day Disney Cruise. I received so many direct messages on my instagram asking me all about it, so I will do a full post on that later. (Taking a Disney Cruise seems to be a very polarizing topic- some moms absolutely love the idea, and some of you thought I was completely nuts-ha!).
We ended up in Ivergordon, Scotland (the port for Inverness and the Scottish Highlands) after cruising from Copenhagen, through the Nordic Fjords and Iceland. This is an incredibly beautiful part of the world and although we enjoyed the stunning scenery as we passed through on our cruise, it left us wanting more. We had plenty of time to talk about it whilst we were cruising and, although we would love to visit all of the Scandinavian countries, we decided Iceland would be top of the list. There are so many things you can do there; hire a car and take a drive to this iceland waterfall, spend a day soaking in the renowned geothermal baths, or watch the northern lights dancing in the clear sky above. Words can’t describe the stunning nature Iceland has to offer.
The family and I had been to Scotland before, just not this far North, so we had the opportunity to explore some new places. I always do a TON of research before traveling with the family, and try my best to make sure that everyone is happy, but I wasn’t quite sure how to conquer Inverness. I found Stuart Mackinnon of Skye Luxury Tours and begin chatting with him over email about what to do during our time in port.
I explained to Stuart that I was a massive Outlander fan (if you haven’t watched it, start bingeing now), and that my husband loved his Whiskey and wanted to tour a distillery. My eight year old daughter had also recently learned about Loch Ness monster, and was sure that he had relocated to London in the Thames, so she wanted the chance to make sure he still wasn’t living in the Loch.
I had no idea how we were going to fit it all in in one day, without the children getting antsy in the car, and when/if ever we were going to get a chance to eat lunch and see all the sights. Well Stuart knocked it completely out of the park.
He picked us up in his comfortable Mercedes van and proceeded to give us the history of his family clan. He must have done a serious amount of genealogical research on a site like Genealogy Bank as he certainly knew his stuff. I was transfixed, immediately comparing his family history to that of Jamie Fraser’s (are you watching Outlander yet?). We took a beautiful drive around Loch Ness and the children couldn’t stop giggling and asking questions all about Nessie. They were determined to find her. We stopped to take photos by the beautiful Urquhart Castle ruins, and then headed into the adorable little village for lunch. We ate at Fiddler’s Restaurant a lovely restaurant with great food, ice cream served in Nessie dishes and of course, whiskeys from all around Scotland.
After the Loch, it was my turn. We headed to Culloden battlefield and then to the Clava Cairns, the stones that inspired Craigh Na Dun and Claire’s travel back in time. My Husband and Stuart started giggling as I placed my hands on the cold stones, and before I knew it Stuart was pouring him a dram of Whiskey made famous from his village.
Our final stop was at a Whiskey distillery, to be honest, I have no idea which one but it was not in the least bit busy or touristy so my Husband got a great tour and had a quick tasting while I hung out with the children. He did report that it was interesting though and even mentioned getting something like rum barrels to make our own. It was then time to return back to the Disney Magic.
We had such an incredible day with Stuart. He listened to everything that we wanted to see, and gave the tour so much colour and history that the driving didn’t seem too long. If you’re going to be in Skye, Inverness or anywhere in the Scottish Highlands I would definitely give him a call and have him create bespoke day for you in this gorgeous part of the UK.
For more information on Skye Luxury Tours, click here.