Life on a roll

Winter in Scotland

Bernie Langs

Traveling off-season in Scotland allows for quieter access to tourist sites, such as castles and palaces, that are usually crowded and overrun in spring and summer (although some shutter for winter months but allow for strolls on their grounds). In December 2019, my wife and I lucked out with unusually mild weather for our entire stay in Ballater, a burgh in Aberdeenshire on the River Dee and close to Balmoral Castle. We also spent a few days in Edinburgh.

Stirling Castle

Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh, with ruins of Holyrood Abbey in the background; an after hours tour of the Palace was great fun

Doune Castle, a medieval stronghold near the village of Doune, in the Stirling district of central Scotland. Scenes of the movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and TV show “Outlander” were filmed here. The recently deceased Monty Python member, Terry Jones, narrates the amusing visitor audio guide.

Dunnottar Castle, Stonehaven, on the North Sea

Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness near Drumnadrochit; arriving by boat was an incredible experience.

Braemar Castle, near the village of Braemar in Aberdeenshire; constructed in 1628.

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