One of the great things about volunteering with SYHA Hostelling Scotland is getting out and about to explore the country during our spare time.
Recently my family travelled from Germany to visit me and we planned to pack in as many of the sights as possible in one week including the Isle of Skye, Ullapool and Inverness.
Driving through the Isle of Skye
On our first day together we left Edinburgh and headed for Broadford on the Isle of Skye. It was really impressive to see the landscape change during the journey. After a couple of hours we left the lowlands behind us as we headed up along Loch Lomond before continuing up to Fort William.
Although separate from the mainland, it’s very easy to reach the Isle of Skye via the Skye Bridge which opened 20 years ago. The next day we set out to explore Portree - the capital of the Isle - the famous Old Man of Storr and the Kilt Rock. Unfortunately we were forced to enjoy most of the stunning scenery sitting in car as the weather was typically Scottish for the time of year.
On our third day, we left Skye for the mainland and continued on to Ullapool - a nice small Highland town next to the sea. It has a lot to offer tourists with restaurants, cafes, a museum and beautiful walks along the coast.
After two nights in Ullapool we drove to Inverness, passing Loch Ness on a beautiful road close to the water. And indeed, Inverness really lives up to its name as ‘Capital of the Highlands’.
On our way to Dundee we kept pausing to enjoy the nature. Firstly we stopped at Nairn. Not a big town, but a lovely long path next to the sea and a sandy beach. We passed Aberdeen and Stonehaven.
The next morning, in Dundee we just had the time to go into a museum before we had to set off again. Making the most of our journey back to Edinburgh, we stopped off in St. Andrews. The Castle is close to the sea and the Cathedral and Cemetery were very impressive even though just a ruin. St Andrews is characterised by its students and has the oldest university in Scotland!
We returned to Edinburgh late in the evening and it was time to say goodbye again to my family until Christmas when I’ll be heading home for the holidays.
During this week I’ve seen many fantastic sites from around Scotland - it is really impressive what the country can offer and how fast and dramatically the landscape can change. I would recommend to everyone to travel into the north - like a youth hostel guest told me before my journey "The further north you travel, the more spectacular it gets". And that's it. I'm very proud to have the chance to live in and to explore this beautiful country during my one year volunteer placement.
Thinking about volunteering with SYHA Hostelling Scotland? Find out more here.
Biography for Hostelling Scotland
Scotland's best known network of youth hostels in stunning city & rural locations. As a not-for-profit organisation, we encourage guests to join Hostelling Scotland. Members enjoy a range of exclusive benefits including dual membership of Hostelling International, providing access to more than 4,000 youth hostels in over 90 countries worldwide. Membership and guest overnight income supports our charitable youth programmes.