After a gorgeous time on the Isle of Skye, it was time to head back to the mainland before heading back down South to Edinburgh. The drive from Skye to Edinburgh is quite the haul – around 7-8 hours, mainly because of all the little windy roads. We decided to stop on the way to break up the trip and because we wanted to explore a bit of the Cairngorms National Park. The Cairngorms is the largest National Park in the UK, and even though we only got to explore a little part of it, I can’t wait to go back!
When we left Skye, we had a few routes we could take but we decided to head North and go via Inverness. Google maps seemed to have a mind of its own though and took us on the route through the wildnerness, with most of the drive being one lane cutting through the mountains and forests. Luckily it was a very quiet road so we didn’t get stuck but it was a gorgeous drive! It reminded me so much of New Zealand with the lush greenery and tiny houses dotted about the hills.
We stopped for lunch in Inverness, the largest town in the Highlands. It’s quite an industrial area, being the hub for a lot of things in Scotland. It wasn’t my favourite place in Scotland, especially with all the beauty in the surrounding areas but do drop in if you are in the area. We continued down from Inverness to Coylumbridge where we were staying.
After dropping into the hotel – the Hilton Coylumbridge which was very pleasant, we went out walking! We didn’t have a set route in mind but unsurprisingly, google maps had some routes which it gave us. We headed out from the main road and into the forest. It is a stunning area, rolling hills, thick bush and as we were in September, a whole lot of heather! I think the heather in the North is so lovely and it was nice to go walking through it all.
The hotel offered a great deal in that we also got a 3 course meal with our stay! I think it was only around £80 for both of us including the meal so I was very happy with that. The restaurant itself was very nice, initially it was full of children but they walked us off to a separate room with adult seating which was very appreciated! We got a great choice of food, I went for the haloumi and sweet potato for starters, followed by beef and rounded up with some coconut cheesecake. Ideal!
We had a good sleep then woke up early and headed off on the road down to Edinburgh. We were doing a food tour later that day (post coming soon!) so didn’t have chance to hang around. The Cairngorms is a gorgeous part of the country though, and I’m very excited to return and do some more hikes in the area!
Have you been to the Cairngorms?