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Winter Visit to Edinburgh and the Highlands

Winter may seem like a strange time to visit Scotland, but actually, we are learning that Scotland makes an excellent travel destination at any time of year. Recently, my daughter and I spent a weekend being tourists in our home country by heading off to Edinburgh and going on a day tour of the Highlands with Haggis Adventures.

We hopped a train on Friday afternoon, so it was late by the time we fell asleep in our room at Smart City Hostels in Edinburgh. We got up early to make the bus that left from the Haggis Adventures office. Luckily for us, the office is just up the street from Smart City Hostels. We pulled away from Edinburgh while it was just beginning to get light. Our guide and driver told us stories about Scotland while we drove through the gorgeous Scottish Highlands.

We made a few stops before arriving at the famous Loch Ness, where we ate a picnic lunch on the lakeshore before boarding a boat to go on our own hunt for the monster.

Both Glencoe and Loch Ness were opportunities to see the beauty of Scotland that you always hear about, but getting to visit in the winter also meant that we had them largely to ourselves. This made up for the fact that it was dark on the ride home, so we could no longer see the mountains. However, Edinburgh was still wide awake when we got back to our hostel. The bar was hopping and the city was full of activity.

We walked around and made several different stops to eat and drink before calling it a night, and then on Sunday we got up early and visited the castle and spent some time walking up and down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.

We love visiting Edinburgh and the Highlands in short spurts on the weekends, no matter what the season is!

(We managed to win our weekend break on a twitter contest, but both Smart City Hostels and Haggis Adventures are great options for budget travel.)

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Alison Chino wants to live in a world where the adventures are new every day, the soups feed a crowd and the kids still play outside. She comes from Arkansas, but is currently living in Scotland with her husband and four kids. Her travel musings, stories about expat life in Aberdeen and yummy recipes can be found several times a week at

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