Sunday: Walk through Kirkhill Forest to stretch legs after the plane ride. Dinner at my house.
Monday: Slains Castle and the Bullers of Buchan walk in Cruden Bay. Dinner at Nargile in Aberdeen.
Tuesday: To Stonehaven to see Dunnottar Castle (Allow a couple of hours to explore). Then, we ate a late lunch at The Bay Fish and Chips followed by ice cream at Auntie Betty's next door. We took our ice cream with us as we walked around the harbour. We stopped for a beer at The Marine Hotel and took it outside to enjoy.
Wednesday: The Victorian Heritage Trail - We followed in Queen Victoria's footsteps in Royal Deeside and explored Scotland's crowning glory! Our stops included (some weren't part of the trail but were on the way to the next landmark so we stopped!):
- Crathes Castle
- Drum Castle (although it was under repair)
- Queens View
- Tomnaverie Stone Circle
- Cambus O'May
- Ballater for lunch
- Balmoral Castle
- Loch Muick
Thursday: We went shopping around Aberdeen, and then went out to The Globe and the Triple Kirks pub.
Friday: Mah-jongg with the ladies. Then we drove down the A96 past The Pitstop (closed.. boo) to see the Brandsbutt Pictish stone and then to Daviot for the Loanhead of Daviot stone circle. Coffee and cake at Touched by Scotland. Went to The Grill for a taste of whiskey that night.
Saturday: Drove to Edinburgh and parked at a park and ride lot for free. We paid £1.50 each to ride the bus into town. Allow an hour for this if you are arriving during peak hours. It was worth it though to not have to drive down town and pay excessive prices for hard-to-find parking. In Edinburgh we saw:
- The Elephant Cafe (Where JK Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book)
- Edinburgh Castle (Give yourself about 4 hours for this if you plan to spend time in the museums in the castle)
- Walked around looking at street vendors
- Dinner at Under the Stairs
Monday: Flew to London. GET AN OYSTER CARD for the tube. We walked around looking at shops and to Trafalgar Square. We stayed at The Ampersand Hotel, which was amazing. That night we ate dinner at Wahaca! Finally, some good Mexican food in the UK.
Tuesday: We saw:
- The British Museum
- Tower Bridge (and went on the tour)
- Tower of London (the tour was really expensive so we didn't go inside)
- Met Debbie and explored Harrods! They have a chocolate shop and entire grocery store in there that is complete with bars to sit at where they will cook you a steak or lobster!
- Ate dinner at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese and sat at a table that had written on the wall that Charles Dickens sat there often.
- The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben
- Westminster Abbey (tour was worth the cost)
- The London Eye (although we didn't ride because it's expensive, and I was told it's not worth it, especially on cloudy days)
- Went to the Royal Opera House to see Mayerling. If you go, do it right and book a table for dinner. You can come back to your table (and treats and drinks) during each intermission!
Now you can see why I needed almost a week to recover. We were busy! I had such a wonderful time! Here is the slideshow.