As all good stories do, this one started with a road trip. I personally love hitting the road. Give me a Spotify playlist and a flask of tea, and I’m good to go. The road north from Edinburgh to Inverness is one I know very well. It’s a long stretch, sometimes bleak, sometimes beautiful – and it always feels exciting. Why? Because I’m going home. As much as I love Edinburgh (which is a lot) the Highlands is my home. It’s where I grew up and it holds a very special place in my heart.
“Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.” – Jack Kerouac
This particular journey was broken up with an overnight stop-off in Pitlochry – we were celebrating, and it seemed like a great excuse to explore the area. We stayed in the very beautiful Fonab Castle Hotel (below) and whiled away a few happy hours strolling around Loch Faskally, a place I’ve always wanted to visit – and which I’m already desperate to see again.
Give me the Highlands on a cold, moody winter’s day and I’m a happy girl. And with views like this, can you blame me? I would really love to see this part of Perthshire on a crisp autumn day when the trees are golden and the leaves crunch underfoot. I’m already planning an autumnal escape!
Several hours later, we arrived in my hometown – a tiny village in the north-east Highlands. I won’t bore you with a full run-down of my entire Christmas hibernation (it mainly involved reading the Northern Lights by Philip Pullman, eating far too much of everything, drinking copious amounts of hot chocolate, and snuggling with my pup in front of the fire) but we did manage to venture out on a little adventure which I thought I’d share with you all.
“Snow flurries began to fall and they swirled around people’s legs like house cats. It was magical, this snow globe world.” – Sarah Addison Allen
My village is home to Dunrobin Castle, one of Scotland’s most beautiful castles and, in my opinion, the most fairytale castle you’ll find outside of Disneyland. If you’ve followed my Instagram for a while, you’ll know that I love taking photos of it. I can’t help myself. Whenever I visit, I feel like I’ve stumbled straight into the pages of an old storybook, full of towering turrets, sweeping staircases, valiant knights, and beautiful princesses. Overactive imagination, me? Never.
When I woke up to a winter wonderland, I knew I had to explore Dunrobin in the snow. The gardens are open year-round, so we snuck in and had the place to ourselves. The snow was thick and completely undisturbed, except for the tiny prints of a robin and other furry/feathered residents. A stunning castle covered in snow and ice? It really was fairytale heaven.