Category Archives: Scotland

What to do in Scotland; attractions in Scotland and the best places to visit in Scotland.

The Boat Shed at the Ardanaiseig Hotel, Scotland

We stayed for two nights at the Ardanaiseig Hotel near Oban in the north west of Scotland in mid September 2011, on a complimentary basis. The hotel is reached by a ten mile drive down a single track road from the village of Taynault. I was excited about staying at the Ardanaiseig Hotel after seeing photos of our accommodation in the Boat Shed.


Exterior of main building at the Ardanaiseig Hotel

The Boat Shed is a few hundred metres from the main hotel with a parking area outside. This accommodation really does have the wow factor. As soon as you walk in you are transfixed by the views over Loch Awe.


The living/dining area at the Boat Shed

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25 Fun Things to Do in the UK

The United Kingdom (UK) comprises of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.  If you’re looking for ideas for what to do in the UK, here are some great travel tips from the Europe a la Carte team.


Cool Off at the Diana Memorial Fountain, Hyde Park

You may dangle your feet in the refreshing stream at the Diana Memorial Fountain in London’s Hyde Park after a hard days sightseeing but you’re not allowed to walk through the structure.

What to do in UK

Diana Memorial Fountain, Hyde Park

Walk Along the Meridian Line in Greenwich, London

You can walk on Longtitude Zero line at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. This is the home of time dividing the globe into the eastern and western hemispheres.

What to do in UK

Greenwich Meridian Line by markhealey

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Budget UK Summer Break: Helensburgh, Scotland for £80 per person for 3 nights

We’re stayed in Helensburgh on the west coast of Scotland on a three night budget Summer UK staycation at the end of July 2011. I managed to book a Travelodge room for £19 a night in early March 2011 by following one of my money saving travel tips of signing up to receive travel companies’ email alerts about promotions.  This allowed me to quickly bag the bargain Travelodge rate.  In this case, you could also follow another one of my tips and use a UK cashback site. If you book Travelodge UK rooms through TopCashBack you can receive a 1% cashback.

summer break uk

Helensburgh poster at Riverside Museum, Glasgow

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Photo & Video Tour of Riverside Museum in Glasgow

We visited the Riverside Museum in Glasgow, designed by the architect Zaha Hadid, in July 2011. The museum, which opened in June 2011, is the new home of Scotland’s Museum of Transport and Travel. It continues Glasgow’s ongoing regeneration as a European cultural capital. It’s a great day out, even if you’re not a great transport buff and, like all UK state museums, it’s free to enter. Enjoy my photo and video tour of Glasgow’s Riverside Museum.

Riverside Museum

Sign at entrance to Riverside Museum

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Photo Tour of Crieff, Perthshire, Scotland

We spent a couple of nights in Crieff, Scotland, in late June 2011, staying a the Crieff Hydro Hotel. Here’s my photo tour of this beautiful Scottish town.

Famous Grouse Experience

Just outside Crieff is the Famous Grouse Experience at the Glenturret Distillery.  Tours around the distillery cost from £7.95 for an adult which includes some tastings. You can book a tour online before your visit.

Crieff Scotland

Giant grouse sculpture at the Famous Grouse Experience

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Win a 2 Night Stay at Crieff Hydro in Scotland

Update 25 July 2011 – The winner of the 2 night stay at Crieff Hydro is Gill Jennison with her entry:

“I would like to win because whenever I mention having a holiday, my husband always says “Good Crieff” and “hydoventilates”.

The Competition

One lucky Europe a la Carte reader will win a two night stay for two guests, on a bed and breakfast basis, at the Crieff Hydro Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland. To enter, you need to leave a comment telling me why you’d like to win this fab prize. The person whom I judge to have given the most original and entertaining answer, will win the prize. So get your creative juices flowing and enter our competition.

The exterior of Crieff Hydro

Terms & Conditions

  1. Entries must be left as a blog comment.
  2. The closing date for entries is midnight on Sunday 24 July 2011.
  3. The Editor will judge the entry which gives the most original and entertaining answer to be the winner.
  4. The prize is subject to availability and not valid during school holidays and public holidays.
  5. The winner will be notified by email by Friday 29th July 2011.
  6. The winning comment will be published in this blog post, along with some of other best entries.

Enjoying Scotland in the Spring

Scotland is so beautiful in Spring.  In early May we drove through the Scottish Borders up to Perthshire in central Scotland. Instead of driving the main route up the A1 from Berwick upon Tweed to Edinburgh, we took the scenic country road through the Lammermuir Hills.

Scotland in Spring

River Whiteadder in the Scottish Borders

We stopped at the picnic area close to the Whiteadder Reservoir and walked along the river, equipped with flask, to find a coffee spot.

Scotland in Spring

View from our coffee spot

After a stop in Edinburgh for lunch, we headed north to Perth for a walk along the banks of the River Tay.

Scotland in Spring

River Tay in Perth

The next day we visited the Hermitage near Dunkeld, where we admired the Falls of Braan from balcony of the Ossian’s Hall folly.

Then we did a circular walk past the other Hermitage folly Ossian’s Cave.

Scotland in Spring

Ossian’s Cave at the Hermitage

We had a picnic lunch near Loch Faskally in Pitlochry, north of Dukeld.

Scotland in Spring

View from our picnic spot over Loch Faskally in Pitlochry

We’ll be back in Perthshire again in late June as guests of Crieff Hydro, as we do believe in making the most of the UK.

Walking Along Water of Leith to Edinburgh Botanic Garden

When I was staying at the Travelodge Edinburgh West End (on a £19 a night Saver rate) in March 2011, I walked along the Water of Leith from Belford Bridge (next to the hotel) to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

Belford Bridge with Travelodge Edinburgh West End on left

A few minutes later I arrived at a weir.

Weir near Dean Village on the Water of Leith

I thought it must be wonderful to live in one of the turreted flats overlooking the Water of Leith in Dean village.

Waterside flats at Dean Village

There’s a statue at St Bernard’s Well as you approach Stockbridge.

St Bernard’s Well

Looking back towards St Bernard’s Well (on left)

You’ll find public toilets in Stockbridge as you have to come up from the Water of Leith Walkway there. After crossing the road at the traffic lights, head right and then left immediately and the toilets are after the bus stop on your left. There’s a pizza restaurant just by the bridge where you rejoin the walkway.

Pizza restaurant on Water of Leith in Stockbridge

I was very fortunate as I arrived at the Botanic Gardens as a heavy shower started. The John Hope Gateway was ideal for shelter and there was even free wifi for me to upload some of my photos to Flickr.

View from terrace of John Hope Gateway

The sun was soon shining for a walk around the garden. You’ve to pay to get into the some of the Glasshouses.

Rhododendrons at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Then I had a look at the two exhibitions at Inverleith House in the Garden.  One was work by the French artist Claude Cahun.

Exhibition poster using Cahun self portrait from 1927

The other exhibition featured pieces by Sue Tompkins.

Untitled 2011, Typewritten text on newspaper, fabric

I even made it back along the Water of Leith to my hotel without any further rain, after a very enjoyable, free day out in Edinburgh.

You can get more ideas for free days out in Edinburgh my “Edinburgh Off the Beaten Track” article. You can see all my Water of Leith and Botanic Gardens photos on Flickr.

Find Budget Hotels for Your Stay in Edinburgh

My favourite Edinburgh budget hotel is Travelodge Edinburgh West End due to its location close to the Water of Leith, the Dean Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art and the fact that you can walk to the city centre in 15 minutes.

View over Water of Leith from my room at Travelodge Edinburgh West End

If you don’t mind being further away from the city centre the Premier Inn Edinburgh Leith and Holiday Inn Express Edinburgh Waterfront are good options.

Tips for Things to Do in Edinburgh

We’ve lots of Edinburgh tips on Europe a la Carte.

Click here for the lowest prices on Edinburgh hotels