My trip to Scotland’s Outer Hebrides

Hello there!

This month I have returned from a great holiday to the Western Isles of Scotland! I spent 10 days with my family travelling around the Inner and Outer Hebrides at the end of July. First, we stayed in the beautiful Beachcombers cottage in South Glendale on South Uist in the Outer Hebrides. We found the property on http://www.lhhscotland.com/ and loved our time in the cosy cottage. We used the house as a base and spent the days exploring the surrounding islands.

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We had stunning views of the water and islands from our lounge and dining area!

 

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I enjoyed taking many photos on the beautiful beach by Eriskay pier.

On the Outer Hebrides we enjoyed visiting old ruins and churches, and it was great to see how the remains of buildings have survived until today. We walked along many stunning beaches and also had the chance to spot some wildlife- including short eared owls, otters and seals! We liked walking through RSPB and wildlife reserves, taking in the scenery whilst also on the lookout for interesting birds.

Whilst on the isle of Barra, we were lucky to have a hot, sunny day- complete with (almost!) clear skies. The water sparkled in various shades of blue, producing even more gorgeous beaches! On the island, we watched a plane take off from the airport’s beach runway- the only one of its kind in the world!

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Views of some small bays and fishing boats on Barra

 

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One of the island’s gorgeous beaches!

 

 

At the end of our week touring the Outer Hebrides, we took the ferry from Lochmaddy, North Uist to Uig, Skye. We saw many areas of the island, including the Old Man of Storr, the colourful town of Portree and the Black Cullin mountain range. After our visit to the isle of Skye, we drove back onto Scottish mainland and stayed in Plockton on the coast. We were lucky to have pre-booked accomodation in one of the town’s hotels as the area was busy with sailors visiting for the two-week long regatta. Whilst sitting in a beer garden in the sun overlooking the calm harbour, we simply had to think of how lucky we were to experience such great weather during our trip. We had prepared from poor weather, from waterproof jackets and walking boots to anti-mosquito hats- you name it! More often than not, the weather on the West of Scotland is colder and wetter than at our home in the North of England- but this time we were pleasantly surprised!

Following our night in Plockton, we caught a ferry from Kilchoan, Ardnamurchan to Tobermory, Mull. It was a fantastic experience to arrive onto the island via its bustling, picturesque town of Tobermory. Not only is the town known for its brightly coloured houses, but it also featuired on the UK Childrens TV show ‘Balamory’. Seeing the houses overlooking the harbour brought back some happy memories from my childhood!

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Tobermory harbour

 

We spent our time on Mull travelling along the island’s ‘main roads’, which happened to be the worst we experienced on our trip! The majority of these roads were reduced to a single lane, with few passing places and many of the visiting drivers appeared to be inexperienced with such roads. However, we finally reached the beach for some ice cream in the sun, and the following day took the ferry over to the isle of Iona. Here we visited the Abbey, which marks Iona as the site of the first monastry established by Gaelic monks in the British Isles.

Finally, I have to tell you about the amazing food we ate during our trip. From our rental cottage on South Uist, we were able to collect cockles from the nearby beach… After a short amount of time cooking, they were a very tasty snack in the evening! We ate lots of fish throughout our trip, and it was always freshly caught and prepared as we were on the coastline. Even though I don’t like all types of seafood, all of the restaurants provided plenty of options and I enjoyed all of our meals out. We also had some delicious Scottish breakfasts (like a full English but slightly different), and lots of coffee and cake!

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My favourite evening meal out at Cafe Fish, Tobermory (http://www.thecafefish.com/)

 

I would highly recommend a trip to Scotland’s Highlands and Islands- we had a fantastic holiday and my parents and I have all said that we would love to return. If you have any questions about our holiday or would like recommendations/ advice, then feel free to leave a message below!

With love,

Lucy

 

 

 

 

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Exploring incredible India

Hello there!

I have recently returned home from the trip of a lifetime to India. For three weeks, I travelled around the amazing South Asian country that is India with three friends from my University. We all had a fantastic time and wished that we could have stayed longer!

We travelled from the UK to Bangalore in South India and stayed with my friend at her family home for a week. We visited local Hindu temples, tried local Indian dishes, experienced the city party scene and became accustomed to a somewhat different culture. We also did some major shopping, making the most of the US-style malls and cheap prices- £29 Levi jeans- yes please! My friend’s lovely family made us feel most welcome in their gorgeous home and we instantly clicked with their family and friends out there.

After a week in the warm South, we flew to (a very hot!) New Delhi for our tour of the ‘Golden triangle’. We took a day trip to Agra to visit the Taj Mahal which was a wonderful experience. It is difficult to comprehend the grandeur of this amazing UNESCO World Heritage Site, which took Shah Jahan 10 years to build by  for his dying wife. On the day that we visited the Taj, the weather was scorching and reached 45°C!

The following day we visited New Delhi and saw some brilliant sights, including the Jama Masjid, Sikh Gurudwara Bala Sahib, Qutb Minar, Lotus temple and the tomb of Mahatma Gandhi. We even had the opportunity to take rickshaws into the spice markets and purchase spices to bring home. The food was always so tasty that I wanted to bring back anything that I could- my 4 mangos survived my flight home and were so worth it 🙂

After New Delhi, we took the train to Jaipur and spent three days touring this historic, cultural city. We loved the City palace, Amber Fort and palace, and the views of the Floating palace. We even took an elephant ride up to the Amber Fort, and one evening experienced a local Indian dinner served on banana leaves on the floor!

Following this, we flew back to Bangalore for a day of relaxation before taking a trip to the seaside city of Goa with some friends. We spend a few days lounging by the pool, splashing around on the beach and visiting the local town of Margao. It was interesting to see the Portuguese influence of Vasco da Gama on this beautiful Indian coastline.

Unfortunately, we were nearing the end of our trip. We definitely did not wish to say goodbye to our kind host family, lovely friends, eye-opening country nor our best friends. However, all good things must come to an end, and I know that it won’t be our last holiday together nor our last trip to this amazing country!