Lochs, Lakes,Waterfalls and Castles of Scotland

During our stay in Edinburgh we hired a car for two days to explore outside of the city.

Day 1 – Pittenweem, St. Andrew’s and Perth

We walked over to the Hertz Rental office and picked up a car after a very long wait!  It seems in this office if they see you are foreign or speak with an accent they go over every minute detail at least four times, I found it insulting and time-wasting and it did not give a very good impression of Scotland being tourist friendly.

So we got off to a bit of a late start but finally got on our way.  Our first step was going to be Anstruther, just over an hour’s drive from Edinburgh.  By the time lunchtime came though we were passing through Pittenweem.  It’s a tiny fishing village in Fife on the East coast of Scotland.  We found a cosy restaurant for lunch right on the harbour.

Queen's Ferry Bridge - www.travelswithali.com
Crossing over the Queen’s Ferry Bridge
Leven Beach, Scotland
Leven Beach

Pittenweem Harbour, Scotland
Pittenweem Harbour
The Promenade, Pittenweem
A memorial dedicated to the men and women who made their living from the sea and also to those who lost it at sea
Getting colder as the day wore on!

John Dory Bistro – where we had a delicious fish lunch

We ended up driving through Anstruther and went onto St. Andrew’s, the home of the famous golf course.  It really was only a short stop here as the weather was becoming worse.

The ruins of St. Andrew’s Cathedral

Back in the car and then it was off to our sister city Perth!  Just to see if there were any similarities really.  It sits on the River Tay and is a big university town.  We saw many students that day walking around with gowns and mortar boards, obviously having just graduated.  The architecture was impressive but could do with a good wash down with a power hose.

On our way we passed through Dundee and saw the RSS Discovery

River Tay Bridge
Looking towards the Court House
River Tay
The River Tay

End of Day One

Day Two – Loch Lomond and The Trossachs

After another hearty breakfast at the Apex we set off again this time in the other direction.  The weather was not looking good but dressed appropriately we hoped for the best!

Our first stop was Doune Castle, now famous again for being Winterfell in Game of Thrones.  Being a big fan I really wanted to take a look.  It was also used for the castles in Outlander and Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
On the way we passed by these 30 metre high steel horses on our way to Doune Castle.  They just appeared seemingly out of nowhere so I took the best photo I could in a moving car!

The Kelpies


Back in the car it was off to Callander, a small town near the River Leith and on the edge of The Trossachs National Park.


After a quick look on Google maps I saw there was a waterfall with an old bridge nearby. It was just a five minute drive away.  When we got there I realised we would have to do a bit of a hike!  But determined to see it we trudged on. It was called Bracklinn Falls and was actually a series of waterfalls with a wooden bridge crossing them.



Lake Menteith was our next stop and we found a beautiful spot for lunch right on the shores of the lake.



From Lake Menteith we drove onto Loch Lomond with a quick stop at Balloch Castle.  This castle dates back to 1238 and was the home for hundreds of years to the Earls of Lennox.  Now it is on the Buildings at Risk Register and the grounds officially  became a national park in 1980.


Loch Lomond

After many attempts by my dear hubby at taking my photo, I settled for the above photo which looks as if I’m climbing out of the Loch fully clothed.

Stirling Castle

Much to my disappointment by the time we arrived at Stirling Castle it was closing.  But the surrounding areas including the graveyard was full of interesting graves, monuments and statues.

Stirling Castle



Margaret and Agnes Wilson’s monument – Scottish Martyrs

Margaret Wilson 1667 – 11 May 1685, along with her 15 year old sister Agnes were both drowned to death for refusing to swear an oath declaring James VII of Scotland and II of England head of the Church.  They were tied to stakes in the sand to await the incoming tide to flow over them.  They were certainly cruel times back then!

We certainly enjoyed our week in Scotland.  It wasn’t long enough to get everywhere but I think we did our best!