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5 Moments Not To Miss When You Travel To Scotland

Ahh, Scotland! Land of the thick brogue, whiskey, and the most infuriating sport ever to be invented: golf. (If you don’t believe me, take Robin Williams’ word for it! language warning) Scotland is high on the list for most travelers and I don’t blame them. There is SO much to do! From industrial Glasgow with its AMAZING murals to the Isle of Orkney at the tip top of the country, Scotland is full of fun. Here are my 5 musts for your first trip to this incredible destination. Let’s travel to Scotland!

The Scott Monument in Edinburgh
The Scott Monument in Edinburgh

There’s more about Scotland on our podcast as we meet with Jennifer Narkevicious, Scottish Harper and enthusiast of all the things you need to know when you travel Scotland! Click here to listen!

The Highlands

The glorious and storied Highlands of Scotland will never disappoint. Whether you are interested in in driving through the history in Glencoe, playing a round of gold at St. Andrews, or searching for that elusive Nessie, the majesty of the Highlands surrounds your every move.

Travel to Scotland to see the Highlands

Among the very unique experiences to be found all over this northern part of the island, one of the best is rafting on the loch system. Rapids range from grades 1-5 depending on your comfort level. However, the most Scottish of these experiences has to be the weekly rapids raft. As the loch dams are released weekly in the Summer, they create a series of rapids that can only be found here. Check out Active Highs for more information.

Loch Ness, travel to Scotland
Loch Ness with the castle Urqhuart

Inverness and the mysterious, yet kitchy, Loch Ness await you for some Highland fun toward the East. After searching for the elusive Nessie, there are plenty of other options to keep you busy. Search out a local Highland games to truly enjoy your stay. If you can’t seem to work in a true competition, the Braemar Center has all kinds of events to get you in the spirit and try your own caber toss.

Edinburgh’s Lowlands

Edinburgh is an amazing city to explore. With great neighborhoods, mysterious closes, fabulous festivals, castles and palaces, this cultural capital packs it all in with an easy to walk city.

Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle

Central to that easy walk is the classic European Royal Mile. The Mile is a bit longer than it’s name and it is full of pubs, shops, mini museums, historical sites and more book ended by the big castle at the top and Holyrood Palace at the bottom. The famous closes, small alleyways, along the Mile reach out past the big main artery and are full of various hidden treasures that are just waiting to be explored. Some are simply entrances to apartments and hotels others are historical museums like The Real King Mary’s Close.

Meeting this fine fellow in one of the closes as the SSPCA educates the public

Part of the spirit of Edinburgh is in its festivals from alt culture like the Fringe to all the pomp and circumstance of the Royal Military Tattoo. Edinburgh does a great job hosting all kinds of events throughout the year and kicks it off each time with Hogmany at the New Year. Literature festivals and music competitions invade the Royal Mile throughout the year and only add to the fun of visiting. In short, this town can really throw a party!

Outside The Royal Mile

Beyond the Royal Mile, Edinburgh has a ton to offer. Between visiting Roselyn Chapel, The HMS Brittania, and the newer area of town delineated by the lovely Princes Street Gardens, you can’t go wrong! Looking for an our of the box activity? Try sea kayaking right under the famous Firth of Forth Bridge.

HMS Britannia Travel to Scotland
The queen’s corgis on the HMS Britannia

Stirling splits the difference.

This college town right in the center of the lowlands, is a great jumping off point for several Scottish icons. In town, check out stunning Stirling Castle in all its glory. Keep count of the national animal: the unicorn. While you are there get a peak of the William Wallace Monument in the distance which is well worth the drive out. In the opposite direction look for Falkirk. There, you’ll find the Falkirk Wheel and The Kelpies. Both worth the stop on the way to either Glasgow or Edinburgh.

Travel to Scotland, Stirling Castle
Stirling and its unicorns
Looking toward the highlands, travel to Scotland
Looking out from the Wallace Monument

Connect By Ferry

If you are looking to extend your Gaelic journey, there is a great way to hop over to Ireland! Check out the Stena Ferry Line that sails from Cairnryan in the south to Belfast daily. Simply turn in your car rental and hop on board. We REALLY enjoyed this two hours of down time and totally felt that the first class upgrade was well worth it. It was so simple to get our Irish rental and we were off!

Using the ferry to travel to Scotland
The view from the lounge on the ferry crossing.
10 Books In 10 Minutes Series

Ten Books In Ten Minutes: Washington, D.C.

Thanks for joining us for our 10 Books in 10 Minutes Facebook Live Event! Sharing stories from around the world is an amazing gift to give any child. That includes these great books about Washington, D.C. Putting the world in a young mind’s hands is one of the best ways to create productive, understanding adults. Books like this allow readers to develop life skills like empathy, cultural understanding, and a global sense of self.

Washington Monument
Photo by Samad Ismayilov on

TGC strives to connect travelers with quality literature and media that allows the curiosity in all of us to thrive. More importantly, the most powerful tool we have to be the best travelers we can be, regardless of our age, is gobal literacy. So, for more great reads and connections to travel and culture, click hereNote that some of the links below are affiliate links. I only recommend products & brands I love and that I think you would love, too!

Washington, D.C. City Trails

Straight from the publishers of some of the best travel guides for children comes WDC City Trails. This book, great for your older explorers, has over 15 walking tours themed for every interest a kid could dream up! From the Senate to the Supreme Court, this book covers the US capitol covered. The pages are designed to explore all aspects of culture and get your kids excited about visiting this slice of history.

Larry Gets Lost In Washington

Oh, Larry! Separated from his humans, Larry winds up seeing some of the best the capitol has to offer. In fact, he winds up having a bit more fun than most!

House Mouse, Senate Mouse

What does it take to make a law? Follow this quest to choose the nation’s perfect cheese in this witty book perfect for curious minds.

Woodrow, The White House Mouse

Meet Woodrow, a resident at the most famous house around. This mouse is only too happy to show you around and tell you all about the amazing things that happen here.

Curious About The White House

Read on for a few fascinating facts about the most famous house in town. Then find out the answers to your most curious question by exploring the pages. Perfect for your young grade schoolers.

Where Is The White House?

Another chapter book from the bobblehead series. Learn the ins and outs of the people’s house and how it changes hands from president to president. A really great read before you tour.

S is For Smithsonian

From the great global alphabet series comes a version about our capitol. Each letter does a great job of explaining all kinds of different moments you can find around the city. I happen to be partial to the letter “Z”!

Mount Vernon’s Magnificent Menagerie

It’s Christmas and there’s a camel at Mount Vernon! Learn what the holidays were like when our country was brand new.

America’s White Table

Read to discover this important lesson on respecting those who have served and those we have lost. Knowing what the POW MIA table is can be an enlightening moment before visiting Arlington.

Grace For President

Someone has made herself rather comfy in the Oval Office. And why not? Grace finds out all about what it takes to be president and then thinks she would surely be a great one! I agree!

10 Books In 10 Minutes Series

Ten Books In Ten Minutes: Ancient Greece and Modern Italy

A doric column typical of ancient Greek architecture.
Photo by Josiah Lewis on

Thanks for joining us today for our Facebook Live Book Review . I truly love these particular books and hope you will too! Each of them contributes to make us all better global citizens. So, let’s dive in to 10 books about Italy and Greece for kids! Here are the Amazon links to all of today’s picks! Note that some of the links below are affiliate links. I only recommend products & brands I love and that I think you would love, too!

Italy ABC’s

An adorable tour through Italy’s icons awaits in this ABC book. Don’t expect the biggies like the Colloseum and the Duomo. Instead, the smaller gems like scooters and ziti take kids on a journey of the people and places that Italians connect with.

Mission Rome

Get ready! Get Set! Va! It’s time to earn as many points as you can while touring the eternal city. Use this handy book to study up before your trip and as a great activity while you are there. This series, written by a military family, has easy to follow rules and is just the thing parents need when things get a little overwhelming.

Rome City Trails

With more than 15 city trails to follow, you can learn everything from ancient times through modern daily living. City guides are published by Lonely Planet and are a great addition to help kids take a little ownership over trip plans and feel super included. Adults will enjoy many of the themes and kids will have fun tracking down the next place.

Cooking Rocks! 30 Minute Meals For Kids

What would Italy be without the food? I mean, really. If you are looking to help your picky eater expand their palette before your big adventure, may I suggest letting them choose a few easy recipes from Rachael Ray. With easy to follow directions, this book lets kids start to see what good ingredients are all about.

Ancient Wonders: Then and Now

Even as an adult, I sometimes have a difficult time looking at ancient ruins and getting a clear image in my mind of what it must have looked like. This Lonely Planet read is perfect for helping young minds wrap themselves around the giant piles of rocks that they are looking at. So helpful in both Rome and Athens.

Oh My Gods! Trilogy

If you’re going to Greece with kids, you’re going to need to brush up on the world’s first soap opera, Greek Mythology. And, oh my gods, those characters are up to all kinds of shenanigans! This set of books is a great reference guide to figure out the who’s who in this never ending drama. Having a good grasp on these stories can help young visitors relate to many sites and customs that they will come across. These look and explore books are just perfect for that.

The Greek News: Alexander Victorious!

Extra! Extra! Get the latest ancient headlines about all of your favorite Greeks! Alexander takes center stage here but there are plenty of other headlines that start to put together life from so long ago. It can be hard to understand ancient times, but books like this can be a wealth of information.

Z is for Zeus

From the famous ABC series, get ready for 26 stops through ancient Greece. Zeus was in charge of a lot of dramatic, moody people who all seemed to think they either knew better than everyone else or simply didn’t care how anybody else felt! From monsters to Trojan horses, this jam packed book will get you started on your Greek mythology journey.

Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief

For older kids, although I’ve taught with this book as young as fourth grade, check out this epic adventure from Rick Riordan. Percy might just be another middle school fail but there are big forces at work around him. With Harry Potter like splendor (don’t rely on the movie here), Percy learns all about mythology as he discovers he is a demigod. One note of advice here: knowing the classic myths makes this adventure so much better. Consider dipping in to a few of those before reading chapter one.

Two Travel Bonus Books!

These are books that I bought while I was in Greece. Both are fantastic and I have used them in the classroom many times. The museum book is a great take on the actual construction while the Then and Now book is a more intricate look at ruins than the one listed above.

The New Acropolis Museum

Athens: Then and Now