Loch Lomond, the Trossachs & Stirling Castle

Most of our friends had an early class Monday morning, so they left to go back to Dublin on Sunday.  However, Kate and I had Mondays off, so we decided to stay an extra day and do a little day tour. It was bloody brilliant!

We left Edinburgh, and made our first stop in Glasgow.

Next up was Loch Lomond, where we took a very chilly cruise. Thankfully the beautiful scenery more than made up for the breezy ride. Loch Lomond is the largest expanse of fresh water in Great Britain.

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This is Cameron House. It was built in the 18th century by the Smollett family but was bought in 1998 by the De Vere Hotel Group for 16 million pounds. Some famous guests who have stayed there are Pavarotti, Cher, Michael Jackson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Clint Eastwood and Sean Connery to name a few.

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Auchendennan House. Built in 1866 to be King Robert the Bruce’s hunting lodge, it now belongs to the Scottish Hostel Association who use it as a Youth Hostel.

As we warmed up on the bus, we drove through the Trossachs National Park, stopping for a few perfect photo breaks.

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We were eventually forced to get back in the bus, and made our way to Callander to meet Hamish.

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Hamish the Highland Cow

We drove by the castle from Monty Python (the French castle with the cows)!

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And finally arrive at our last stop, Stirling Castle. Stirling Castle is one of the most strategically significant locations in the Scottish kingdom.  Throughout the middle ages and the period of the renaissance, Stirling was one of the most important royal castles.  But the core of what is now to be seen is a group of buildings that provided a setting for the royal court of Stewart Scotland at its most brilliant period, in the reigns of James IV, James V, Mary Queen of Scots and James VI.

And we also enjoyed the spectacular views from the castle, where you can actually see the Wallace Monument in the distance.

We flew back to Dublin Tuesday morning, as we did unfortunately, have class.  But it was a fantastic day.  I love Edinburgh, but I more definitely recommend getting out of the city; it’s just gorgeous.