When you want your honeymoon to be fueled by passion and filled with memorable experiences, consider brilliant Scotland. There are lochs whose waters shimmer in the light, resplendent castles, and mystical standing stones that hold the promise of eternity. The cities are both historic and distinctly modern, with cuisine created by world-class chefs. Go north, and the Highlands are home to legendary whisky, golf, and wild nature. Following are seven reasons to put Scotland on your romantic honeymoon bucket list!
Isle of Skye
This island is a rhapsody of velvet hills, lovely lochs, and breathtaking sea cliffs. If you love to take walks together, an easy route is the Strath Mor. On the east end of Skye, this trail covers some of the island’s most beautiful spots. It is a fairly wide path with peaks and ridges above. Peace surrounds you.
Swim in Skye’s fairy pools. The deep blue water is crystal clear and tumbles down from the Cuillin mountains. You might also take a boat trip from Portree for the sea eagles, or go to the Portree Ace Skye activities center for archery. When near Struan, keep your eye out for broches, Pictish round towers. As evening rolls around, take in a cèilidh for live traditional Scottish music that includes pipes, whistles, and fiddles.
These magnificent mountains are filled with wild lochs, ancient forests, bird sanctuaries, and rare animals. This National Park also has a working castle, mystical ruins, and a Royal residency. Was your love written in the stars? The Cairngorms have very dark skies, and you can join a session of stargazing at Howe of Torbeg.
Blair Castle in Perthshire has been home to 19 generations of Stewarts and the Murrays of Atholl. Discover how Queen Victoria’s visit led to Europe’s only surviving private army, the Atholl Highlanders, and explore rooms filled with Scottish antiquities. Your own ancestors may have passed through here!
Are you wildly in love? Perfect. The Cairngorms are the best place in the UK to see wildlife. As a matter of fact, one-quarter of Britain’s endangered species call this home. Go to one of the nine national reserves for red deer, wildcats, red squirrels, osprey, pine martens, and golden eagles. In the evening, try the Pine Marten Bar or the signature Aspects Restaurant.
Loch Ness and the Great Glen
Back in the mists of time, a rift split Scotland. Glaciers ran through and created deep valleys. When the ice melted, atmospheric lochs were formed. The Great Glen is home to numerous castles and forts—this area was central to defense. Visit the city of Inverness, called the capital of the Highlands. This buzzing hub is situated at the base of a lovely pink Victorian castle.
Of course, you’ll want to see Loch Ness. Almost 750 feet deep and 23 miles long, she is Scotland’s largest loch. You may or may not decide to go monster hunting. No problem. The loch’s landscape and charming villages are enough on their own. While at Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle is a must. Situated on the banks of Loch Ness, this was one of Scotland’s largest castles. Dip into the visitor center for astonishing medieval artifacts.
Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny
Edinburgh Castle holds both of these Scottish gems. Walk inside the castle’s Crown Room and you’ll see the oldest crown jewels in Britain. Fashioned from precious metals and jewels, the crown, the scepter, and the sword are intrinsic to the story of Scotland. The crown was made for James V in 1540, and it was placed upon the head of Mary Queen of Scots in 1543. The Honours were taken from the castle and hidden from Cromwell’s invading army. In 1707 they were locked away to be rediscovered 100 years later.
The Stone of Destiny, also in the castle, has a strange past. Used for centuries in the ceremony to crown Scottish Kings, it was stolen by Edward I and taken to Westminster Abbey in 1296. In 1996, it was returned to Scotland. When Charles III was crowned, he sat upon a chair that housed the giant boulder. It was then returned to Edinburgh Castle. The Stone, reaching into Scotland’s fabled past, is a highly prized national symbol. Stand with your love and imagine the glorious characters who once kneeled upon this stone.
Scottish Storytelling Centre and Chocolate
Photo: © chocolatarium.co.uk
Live storytelling, a wonderful Celtic art form, is on display here. This venue not only has storytelling, there is also theater, music, workshops, events, and festivals. As soon as you walk inside, you’ll be welcomed as if you’re family. Their motto is the local phrase, “The story is told eye-to-eye, mind-to-mind, and heart-to-heart.”
After storytelling, head to the nearby Chocolatarium. Take their fully-guided Tour of Chocolate and then indulge. Chocolate, we know, is considered by many to be the taste of love. While here, you can each create a dreamy chocolate bar to take home, discover the magic that makes chocolate, see exactly how it’s made, and savor more than 40 flavors in the tasting room. Heaven!
There are more than 140 distilleries in Scotland. Each whisky has a personality of its own, reflecting the people and the environment that brings it to life. The Speyside region, part of the Highlands in northeast Scotland, has the most distilleries in Scotland. Macallan, a famous Speyside brand, has a beautiful visitor center. You can explore whisky-making using interactive technology.
Talisker is the only distillery on Skye; it’s a classy, classic brand. Glenlivet, one of the first to be legalized in 1824, is a favorite and an industry leader. Laphroaig comes from Islay. It has a heavy, peaty taste like no other. Their distillery has a gorgeous seaside location, and the tour is fun and intimate. Beautiful Cardhu is the only distillery pioneered by a woman. It is a refined single malt. That being said, any whisky tasting experience is light-hearted and romantic.
The first game of golf took place in Scotland 1,000 years ago but, officially, golf was born in the 15th century. The 18-hole round, as we know it, originated on the Old Course at St. Andrews in 1764. James IV was an enthusiastic golfer and Mary Queen of Scots played on Musselburgh Links in 1567. St. Andrews has seven courses, and each is a dream.
Just 36 miles from Glasgow, Troon is another golfer’s paradise and includes six courses, appropriate for beginners to pros. The Old Course is a favorite and a classic Open venue. With more than 587 courses, there’s a place to enjoy golf from the Highlands to the Lowlands, and from Glasgow to Edinburgh. But golf is not just about the game itself. The links take you through Scotland’s history and heritage.
Let your Destination Expert know the sort of honeymoon experiences that will touch your hearts and live in your memories forever. Then, let them create the Scottish honeymoon that is completely over the moon.