Scotland is not so far away. Only eight hours drive from London. Sometimes the places that are easiest to get to, take you the longest to finally go to. It was because of this that I demanded to go to Scotland this year. I often make demands of my partner (and of myself!), I find this has a better effect than mere suggestions or subtle wishes. The trip came together at the last minute and some of it just in time which is sometimes the best way to do things. Sponteniety is not my strong suit but I managed a bit of it on this roadtrip.

It took us 10 hours to get to our first location which was the Isle of Eriska. While it sounds very magestic and almost fantastical, it was actually nothing to write home about and I wouldn’t recommend it as a destination. Having said that, it served perfectly well as an outpost for us to do other things and I very much enjoyed our private little cabin in the hills. Speaking of outpost, these are my favourite stops of our trip.

Ben Nevis

After settling into accomodations, the first spot on our trip was Ben Nevis. We hiked up about halfway where we came to a lake. I know it seems silly to go all that way and not summit, but you know, sometimes you just have to give yourself a break and do what you feel like doing. We arrived at the site late after a leisurely morning and drive through Glencoe so we really only had about 4 hours total to hike as much as we could. And afterwards we had the most thirst quenching cider followed by a lovely scottish meal at the pub (shown at the foot of the Ben Nevis trail in the picture above).

The Isle of Mull

I can’t recommend it enough. I’m convinced that the only reason Skye is more popular is because of marketing. Mull sounds dull. But don’t be fooled! We took the ferry from Oban which needs to be booked a couple weeks in advance during peak season. But once you get on the island you’ll immediately forget all about peak season because there’s noone there. This is ideal because most of the roads are single track and even with no traffic, you’ll find yourself pulling over to give way ever few miles. But also it doesn’t matter because every second you spend is time you get to soak in the stunning views. Don’t think of the drive as a chore, it’s part of the whole experience.

We drove out to Fionnport to a secluded beach called Knockvologan. The beach did not disappoint. Beautiful, fine sand, turqoise waters, and basically private for us to enjoy. We really got our miles in that day as after a beach day, we drove all the way back up to a restaurant called Croft 3 -in the north part of the island. I recommend both of these places but not in the same day as the driving was a bit much. I would have loved to stay longer on Mull and visited Tobermory for a day.


Our last stop was back on english soil in the highly touted Lake District. Our choice of staying in Grasmere, as arbitrary as it was, turned out to be a good one. Picture perfect, and wonderfully quiet by comparison to the noisy and overcrowded nearby Ambleside. And don’t even think about Bowness-on-Windermere during the peak season.

We stayed at the Forest Side which I would highly recommend as a quiet, secluded, and luxurious hotel from which to enjoy Cumbria. The restaurant has a michelin star and is well worth trying the tasting menu for an evening. The decadent breakfasts are included in the rate. While nothing compared to the dinners and honestly a bit too heavy for my taste before heading out on a hike, it’s a lovely touch and helps you feel like you are truly being taken care of.

We took a nice hiking path called Easedale Tarn which included a lovely waterfall and views over Grasmere.

There isn’t a ton of food in Grasmere itself but there are a few gems. I would go back to Grasmere if only to spend a day in Mathilde’s Cafe and the attached Heaton Cooper Studio. This scandi style shop and cafe offers a scrumptious array of cakes and beautiful objects to browse. The Jumble Room is my choice for dinner. I only happened to stop here for dessert (which was delicious) but the eclectic menu made me wish we had booked dinner.

Final Thoughts

It can sometimes be difficult to choose to holiday in your own country when there are so many exciting and exotic options available. So for those living in the UK, I would say don’t let the beautiful places on your doorstop go unnoticed. For those not living here, I’m sure these places sound very exotic (except for Mull which really needs a rebrand) and I would urge you to plan your own adventure and make sure some of my top spots make it into the itinerary.