Scotland ~ 1997

Loch Garry


We traveled to Scotland in September 1997. I recall we had a bed & breakfast book as well as an AAA book specifically for Scotland (it was a great resource). I assume we also had an AAA map. We had a reservation for our first night (arrived in Glasgow), but we winged it after the first night. Not having any accommodations planned was very unlike us in later years of travel! For this trip, the play-it-by-ear approach worked out fine; each of our B&Bs or guest houses was comfortable; I remember only one had the smell of stale smoke. 

Our travel dates were September 2 - 11. One of our two cats, Tori, had been playing fetch with the fuzzy balls at bedtime. After we took this trip, she never played fetch again -- like she was mad at us for being gone so long!

Tuesday, September 2, 1997

We stayed at the Sandyford Hotel on Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow for one night. Kevin is in front of the hotel. Note the back-in-the-day phone booths on the right. His blue rain jacket will be in a lot of these photos!

Wednesday, September 3, 1997

We traveled from Glasgow to Inveraray. Shary is in front of Loch Fyne in a red rain jacket that will appear in many photos.

Inveraray Castle

Inveraray Castle is on Loch Fyne and dates to 1743, home of the Campbell Dukes of Argyll. The highland cattle were in a pasture next to the castle.

Kilchurn Castle on Loch Awe

Kilchurn Castle on Loch Awe was built by Sir Colin Campbell of Glenorchy in the 15th century and rebuilt in the 17th century. Note the two photos of Shary next to the fireplace, which give a sense of scale. This was the original power base of the Campbells. 

The panoramic image is Loch Awe, Scotland's longest, viewed from Kilchurn Castle.


We arrived in Oban the evening of September 3 and stayed for one night. As we were looking at Oban Bay from our window at Ardblair Guest House, a storm rolled in; the images are taken only three minutes apart.

Thursday, September 4, 1997

We drove from Oban to Glen Coe. We probably visited lochs in this order (same as photos):  Etive, Creran, Linnhe.

Loch Linnhe

Glen Coe

The rain jackets were needed at Glen Coe. I remember watching a wall of rain move in as we were standing in the Glen. I don't recall the rain being heavy or cold. Shary's adviser in college, Dr. J. D. Faires, first told her about the massacre at Glen Coe and the unfortunate role of Archibald Campbell (first duke of Argyll).

Fort William

We stayed at Guisachan Guest House in Fort William the evening of September 4. We ate dinner at The Crofter. One photo shows the rental car.

Friday, September 5, 1997

We drove from Fort William to Isle of Skye. On the way, we stopped at Loch Garry (opening panoramic photo) and then at Eilean Donan Castle.

Eilean Donan Castle


Eilean Donan Castle is at Dornie, on an islet on Loch Duich. The seat of Clan Macrae, it was wrecked in 1719 and rebuilt 1913-1932.

Saturday, September 6, 1997

This must have been a busy day. We woke up at the Shielings Guest House on Isle of Skye (Broadford), drove up to and around the northeast section of the island (Uig to Staffin), and made our way back off of the island to Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness (over two hours away).

Isle of Skye

Shielings Guest House

Sights between Uig and Staffin

Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness

Urquhart Castle was begun in the 13th century and was destroyed in 1692 to prevent use by the Jacobites. At one time, it was one of the largest castles in Scotland.

Castle Urquhart is on the west side of Loch Ness, the largest body of fresh water in Europe.

Ravenscraig Guest House, Aviemore

I think this is the guest house with the stale smoke smell in the room. Thankfully it was only a single night here. We were on our way from Inverness to Edinburgh.

Sunday, September 7, 1997

We visited Loch an Eilein (Loch of the Island) Castle, near Aviemore; it was a stronghold of the Anglo-Norman Comyn family.

Then we stopped at Ruthven Barracks in Kingussie, on our way to Edinburgh. The barracks, built in 1718 to help subdue the Highlands, were set on fire by the Jacobite army.

Our favorite accommodation was the Ayres Bed and Breakfast, in Edinburgh. We stayed three nights (September 7 - 9).

Loch an Eilein

Ruthven Barracks

Ayres Bed & Breakfast, Edinburgh

Monday, September 8, 1997

This was our first day in Edinburgh, most of which we spent at Edinburgh Castle.

Victoria Street in Old Town

Edinburgh Castle viewed from Princes Street

Shary at Half Moon Battery in the Castle. The Great Hall. Kevin with Mons Meg (1457), a wedding gift to King James II; it moved only three miles per day.

Kevin seated with the Scottish National War Memorial behind him, Foog's Gate to his right.

Kevin standing at Foog's Gate, the main gate to the Upper Ward. 

The Middle Ward:  the approach road aided the transport of heavy guns. Looking toward Argyle Battery, Cartshed to the left.

The panoramic photos are of the city of Edinburgh and Blackness Bay, viewed from the Castle.

Shary at Portcullis Gate in the Lower Ward, the principal gateway into the Castle.  Kevin in the Lower Ward with the Old Guardhouse on the right.

Tuesday, September 9, 1997

As two economists who met at UVA, we had to visit Adam Smith's house and gravesite. Panmare House is 17th century; Smith's grave is at the Graveyard of Canongate Kirk.

We also walked all or part of The Royal Mile, which runs between Holyrood Palace and Edinburgh Castle. 

Holyroodhouse (rebuilt 1660) is the official residence of Queen Elizabeth when she is in Scotland; it is at the end of Canongate, part of the Royal Mile. Note the flowers on the left in memory of Princess Diana, who died August 31, 1997.

Adam Smith sites ~ Holyroodhouse

Royal Mile

St. Giles' Cathedral ~ walking tours ~ Edinburgh

At some point, we thoroughly enjoyed Robin's Royal Mile walking tour. I remember we started a tour with another group, but we left it after stopping at several sites (the tour guide just didn't seem very engaging to us). We were happy to join Robin's tour later!

The photo of Shary exiting a Royal Mile shop has a sign for Trunk's Close on the right. A close is private property, gated and closed to the public. We enjoyed a second walking tour of Mary King's Close.


We purchased four of these Mackintosh mugs, two for the Campbell parents and two for the O'Brien parents. I don't think Mom & Dad Campbell ever used their mugs, which were always on display in the kitchen. Shary enjoys using them now that she has them. The hot plate has been used regularly since 1997. We also purchased a red and green plaid wool blanket with fringe. I don't remember exactly where the items were purchased, but I am pretty sure all were purchased in Edinburgh.

Wednesday, September 10, 1997

Another busy day, the last of our vacation. We started out visiting Arthur's Seat in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh's mini-mountain. We had not yet embraced hiking and found it quite challenging. A woman in her 60s passed right by us; we imagined she must climb it regularly. The views of Edinburgh were amazing.

Arthur's Seat

Rosslyn Chapel

Rosslyn Chapel is near Bilston. It was dedicated in 1450. When The Da Vinci Code was published in 2003 (film in 2006), the Chapel attracted many more visitors. The increase in  visitors allowed the Trust to complete its major conservation project.

Crichton Castle

Crichton Castle, near Borthwick, was built in the late 14th and late 16th centuries in the Lothians countryside. It is associated with the Earls of Bothwell. Mary, Queen of Scots, attended a wedding here in January 1562.

There was a sign warning you not to disturb the cows and bull in the pasture that you had to pass through to reach the castle. 

The diamond-faceted facade of the north range was unique in Scotland. The photo of the Lothians countryside includes the stables (a separate building from the castle).

Dryburgh Abbey

The first image is a side chapel, the burial place of Sir Walter Scott.

Dryburgh Abbey, outside of Newton St. Boswells on the River Tweed, was abandoned in 1544.

Garth House B&B in Bridge of Weir was our final stop, the evening of September 10. 

Garth House B&B

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