Scotland in the fall: crisp weather, warm whisky, and all of the colors. I recently got offered a chance to visit Scotland for the first time, thanks to my new friends over at William Grant & Sons. Although I only had about a week of time to explore, I tried to pack in as much as possible.
Although Aberdeen doesn't get a lot of love as a must-visit city in Scotland, it's a great embarking point to visit Speyside and Northern Scotland. The city itself has a charm to it as well, reminding me of an old port city you'd find in the NE of the US. I teamed up with my buddy Kyle who happened to be in town for a few hours of exploring.
If you don't know what Speyside is, well, I didn't either. It's a region in Scotland that's well-known among whisky lovers for the scotch it produces. A lot of the big names are here, (including many of WG&S's whiskies!), but it also has many small distilleries that dot it's picturesque landscape. After spending a couple nights at the Grant's Distillery and Balvenie Castle, I visited a few other distilleries with some new friends and spent the night in the small town of Craigellachie.
After just a few hours in Inverness, it completely stole my heart. This beautiful little city is in a prime location for exploring Loch Ness (which I didn't get a chance to do this trip!) and was also a great rest stop for my journey northward. Witnessing the sunset in this little town, walking along the river and watching the colorful leaves flutter in the breeze, was enough to convince me to come back soon.
The Northern Lights
As a total novice when it comes to shooting the Northern Lights, I found out that it's relatively rare to see them from anywhere in the UK. I'd been reading up and found some websites to follow that tracked the likelihood of the lights being seen and thought there might be a chance if I just got as far north as I could. Heading north, we decided to stop in the small town of Castletown, which had a beach area you could walk out too. Incredibly, luck was on our side - bucket list item, check!
...and a castle.
It just wouldn't be a visit to Scotland without visiting a castle, so on the final trip back to Aberdeen and my flight home, I stopped in to visit the "small" castle of Dunrobin. Looking forward to seeing more castles, drinking more whisky, and seeing MUCH more of Scotland on my next visit!