Travel Blog: Exploring Scotland in 72 hours

Gifted Accommodation


Scotland has been the top of my UK travel list for a few years now. Since back in the day working at The Lady Boys of Bangkok and seeing all the fun they have at the annual Edinburgh Fringe Festival, I knew it would be a welcoming place for travellers old and new.

Shortly before Christmas, I asked Twitter where they would go for a Scottish getaway. The replies were more than I could have expected, with people recommending everywhere from Glasgow to Aberdeenshire and Inverness.

edinburgh

With this in mind, I knew I needed to see much more than just Edinburgh when we were in Scotland.

It seems that for my Scottish adventure the stars somehow aligned.

Coinciding with my Twitter question, I was also contacted by a beautiful Scottish hotel called The Four Seasons in St Fillans. As a pet-friendly hotel in Scotland, they were looking for bloggers to pop along with their fluffy friends and have a stay!

Unfortunately, my cats are not the travelling type. So The Four Seasons were kind enough to host us without the little angels in tow.

As we were travelling up from Staffordshire, which is a good 5-hour trek, we were also kindly offered a night at The Elphinstone in Bigger. This was perfect as it not only split up our journey but also allowed us to plan a fantastic road trip and see as much of Scotland as we could within the time we were there!

For our final stop in Edinburgh, I used an app called Hotel Tonight. Hotel Tonight is a handy app for those one-off nights in different cities and you can now book up to 3 months in advance and they have daily price drops. We managed to book a lovely little hotel on by the Murrayfield Stadium for only £40 for the night.

Day One: Getting to Scotland from Staffordshire.

We set off as early as humanly possible on the Saturday morning. Knowing that we had a massive drive ahead of us, we decided to make a stop off in Windemere.

Usually, Windemere is a picturesque location with plenty of exploring and walking to be done. However, the recent weather has made it a little more dicey around any water-based location! We wandered down to the lake, but unfortunately couldn’t walk around it as the perimeter was completely flooded.

Cutting our loses on this leg of the journey, we had a fantastic breakfast at a placed called The Pig. I highly recommend their Eggy Bread…

I can’t wait to go back in the summer to experience the full beauty of Windemere and the surrounding areas.

We continued our journey up to the small market town of Biggar, where The Elphinstone is located.

As a traditional establishment with roots spanning over 400 years, The Elphinstone is a welcoming coaching inn. Today it consists of a hotel with 11 rooms that sit above the pub and dining area. The rooms are spacious and simple with everything you need under one roof. Which was perfect for us during our stay, as it soon started to snow! We spent some time in the restaurant eating our delicious haggis and steak dinner, alongside going to the bar room and having a night cap before retreated to our room for the night.


A royal burgh since 1451, Biggar still retains its medieval layout. The main street is lined with centuries-old houses and Biggar Kirk dates from the 16th century.  Biggar has associations with various historical figures, including William Wallace and Bonnie Prince Charlie.


The accommodation itself was fairly basic and what you would expect, but the food was next level home cooking. A taste of authentic Scottish cuisine all served in the restaurant downstairs. Safe to say this was one of the best breakfast buffets I’ve had in a long time.

I mean, haggis, black pudding and square sausage on one plate? Perfect fuel for the day ahead. Where we were heading to Glasgow before our next stop at The Four Seasons Hotel in St Fillans.

Explore more about The Elphinstone in Bigger online here.

A brief visit to Glasgow

We travelled from Biggar to Glasgow for a few hours before heading to St Fillans. To be honest, we planned our day in Glasgow really badly and didn’t make the most of our time at all! But we did get a lovely flavour of the city alongside some lovely flavours at Bloc+.

I mean, check out this burger…

We also saw some really nice street art. But the weather overall was just terrible so we soon retreated to car and headed to our next location…

The Four Seasons Hotel in St Fillans

As soon as we drove into St Fillans, it felt like we were in an episode of Twin Peaks. Picturesque views as far as you could see. Beautiful scenery to walk around and as the snow started to fall it all felt quite surreal to be there.

The Four Seasons Hotel, where we were staying for the evening, is located directly in view of Loch Earn in St Fillans. Our room was facing the loch and through our massive window… Where we got to soak up the sunset before we went for our evening meal.

The communal areas of the hotel were fantastic, with the dining area, bar area and private room. Open fires were burning during the evening, with the warmth and glow adding a lovely atmosphere to our rustic setting. They also had their very own cosy little library room.

library room at the four seasons

The “Seasons View” restaurant offers sumptuous rosette cuisine with the most stunning and breath-taking views imaginable throughout the four seasons of the year.


A fun fact about The Four Seasons is that The Beatles stayed there way back when in the 60s! George, Ringo, Paul and John all shared the chalets behind the hotel itself when touring Scotland. There’s even a little blue plaque on each of the ones they used.

The Four Seasons St Fillans is also pet friendly. They welcome both dogs and cats! And have their own resident pooch Finn to welcome you on the reception. Don’t worry if you’re one of those strange people who don’t like animals though. They have a full wing of the hotel dedicated to being a pet-free zone. It was a shame that the hotel was so far away though. I think Stevie the cat would have loved a little adventure around the loch.

Alongside the fantastic view from our bedroom, the dining areas had beautiful views over the loch. It felt so special to be able to enjoy breakfast in a private room with snowy scenes visible outside. Like some kind of magical dream.

Find out more about The Four Seasons St Fillans on their website here.

After a few glorious walks around St Fillans, we departed on our trip to Edinburgh!

Each leg of our adventure was only about an hour or so inbetween. Both Biggar and St Fillans were an hour each way from Glasgow and Edinburgh. They acted as great destinations to break-up the massive trip up from Staffordshire.

As mentioned, our hotel was found on Hotel Tonight for a cool £40. Despite being out of the city centre, we were in a great spot for catching a bus. In fact, the bus was literally a 10-minute journey down one road. We would have walked the 40minutes it would have taken, but Scotland was… Pretty blimming cold.

We already know we need to go back to Edinburgh to explore more of the city.

It really reminded me of Prague, Which may sound odd. But there was something about the city that felt really familiar to when I’d been over there.

edinburgh castle

One thing we did manage to do is explore Edinburgh castle. It was a little more expensive than we’d like (approx £20 each) but did spend a good amount of time there. So long in fact, we cut it short and still struggled to fit everything else in that we wanted!

edinburgh castle

Apart from the token places such as the Whisky Experience and rubbing the nose of the Bobby dog for luck, we didn’t see much more during out whistlestop tour of Edinburgh. Not to mention the fact we were pretty pooped from all of the adventuring over the previous days. We ended up heading back to the hotel at about 7pm and having an early night.

The next morning I did the old trick of looking on Google Maps for brunch. I literally type in brunch and order by distance and ratings. It never fails! We found the most amazing Turkish Breakfast at a placed called Troy Cafe, just down the road from where we were staying. All washed down with a Turkish coffee. Yum.

turkish breakfast cafe troy

As you can see, our trip to Scotland certainly included a lot of locations…

But they were a little brief! Which is a shame, but the weather and the time limits played a massive part. We already have a list of things we need to go back and do and we’re dying to go back to St Fillans and Edinburgh later in the year and spend two nights at each location.

There are so many more pictures I took that I’ll be posting on instagram over the next few weeks so keep a lil’ eye out over there if you want to see more of our Scottish adventure!

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