June 27th 2019

A Tour of Scotland – Part 1

Traveler: Alli Hora
Destination: Scotland

During the summer of 2016, Alli was invited to a friend’s destination wedding in Scotland. Being a lover of travel, history, architecture and planning, Alli appreciated her friend’s approach to the wedding details, creating an incredible itinerary for a small group of close family and friends to tour several notable cities, castles, including a quaint island off the coast of Scotland. Over the next three weeks, we’ll follow along on Alli’s Scottish adventure.

Day One

Upon arrival in Edinburg, my (now) husband and I boarded a bus full of loved ones and began our journey to the Isle of Mull. En route to Mull, we stopped at several castles and enjoyed views of the countryside.

Stops One & Two:
Linlithgow Palace, Cathedral of Saint Michael & 12th century Stirling Castle

Our approach was breathtaking. The castle sits high upon the fortified Stirling Sill plateau. Its strategic location gave it a strong defensive position. Before Scotland’s union with England, this Castle was used equally as a Scottish Royal residence as well as a fortress. Several Scottish Kings and Queens were crowned at Stirling Castle, including Mary, Queen of Scots.

(From left to right) View of Linlithgow Palace; Apse View of Cathedral of St. Michael

Stop Three:
Town of Oban

Oban is a seaside port town on the western coast of Scotland.  After 24 hours of travel and another 6 hours of Scotland touring, we were ready for a good meal and some sleep. Oban is known for its abundant seafood restaurants along the harbor. That night we strolled along the quaint harbor front streets of Oban and found a restaurant where most of us seized the opportunity to feast on an incredible meal of fish and chips.

View of the Harbor of Oban during dusk (which lasts several hours)

Being so far north, Scotland never sees true night during the spring and summer months. I awoke with the sun at 4 AM my first morning in Scotland. My body, accustomed to sun coming up around 7 AM, went into a panic that we had missed our ferry. Upon looking at my watch, I began to settle down but could not go back to bed after that jostle of adrenaline. I seized this time as an opportunity to sketch a view of Oban’s own “Colosseum,” better known as McCaig’s Tower, from our room at the bed and breakfast.

View of McCaig’s Tower and sketch done from our room at the Oban Bed and Breakfast


Quick history of McCaig’s Tower: Built of local granite in 1897, local banker and architect John Stuart McCaig constructed the tower as a legacy to his family. An admirer of Roman and Greek architecture, you can see the direct inspiration he took from the Colosseum in Rome. Full plans for a gallery and sculpture garden ended abruptly with McCaig’s sudden death. Today the tower is a local icon and houses a public garden with incredible views across harbor to the Islands of Kerrera, Lismore, and Mull.

Next week: Alli continues her tour on the Isle of Mull.