While in Edinburgh, I was lucky enough to fit in Alnwick Castle, Stirling Castle, and Loch Lomond. Alnwick Castle is not in Scotland. It’s in England, but is so close to the border that it’s easier to visit from Edinburgh than London.
Alnwick Castle is beautiful and has been home to the Percy family for 700 years. If you’ve seen the first two Harry Potter movies, then you’ve seen this castle. Alnwick Castle is where the students of Hogwarts learned to fly on their brooms and where the Ford Anglia crashed. If you’re a fan of Downton Abbey, then you saw the gorgeous State Rooms and parklands in the 2014 Christmas Special.
Stirling Castle is most popularly know as the home of James V and Mary de Guise, the parents of Mary, Queen of Scots. In fact, it was James V who had the palace built on the Stirling Castle property. But its history dates back to 1110 during Alexander I’s reign. It is where William Wallace beat Edward I at Stirling Bridge in 1297, Robert the Bruce fought Edward II at Bannockburn in 1314, and Mary, Queen of Scots, was crowned at this castle in 1543.
Both castles offer plenty to see and do, even if you have children. There are dress up areas and Alnwick Castle provides broom lessons and a Knight’s Quest. I enjoyed the Downton Abbey exhibition that Alnwick Castle is currently offering.
While I saw plenty of castles on this trip, I took time out to for hiking and went to Loch Lomond. It is the most beautiful lake I have ever seen. If you have the chance to visit Loch Lomond, I highly recommend it and make sure to stop in the cafe and get an ice cream. It was delicious.
Have you been to Scotland? What did you like about it?
Next week, I’m back in England for the last stop on my trip.