Highland Explorer Part 1: The Road to Aberdeen

Monday, 28 April 2014

Hello my lovely readers! I hope you've all had a pleasant easter break. As we've been in Edinburgh for a couple of months now, Ed and I thought we should spend our Easter break exploring a bit more of Scotland. I've travelled around Scotland a number of times in the past ( including a phase where I was into mountain/munro bagging...!!) but it was always to do very specific things. This time, on the other hand, Ed drafted a very loose itinerary involving many hundred miles of driving, a few pit stops and a not a lot more. We planned to zoom through Highland roads, stopping whenever something took our fancy and with no rigidness to the itinerary whatsoever (other than getting to a certain place by bedtime). It was sunny day in Edinburgh as we set off and the glorious weather followed us all through the holiday.

The itinerary on day 1 was to drive for about 4-5 hours and get to Elgin by the evening. It had been a long week and I was feeling particularly rough and so Ed drove all the way to Aberdeen with only a quick lunch stop en-route. I wasn't sure of what to expect from Aberdeen. Its a very 'grey' coloured city due to the predominately stone architecture. And it was very very cold despite the sunshine. We drove around Aberdeen a few times, taking in the city and the harbour, before finding a place to park (a complete nightmare). We finally found a place at the Union Square car park ( attached to a big retail park and convenient location) and trundled to the Musa Art Cafe, one of the few places I was keen on checking out in the city.

The cafe is set in a converted church and is very arty, unsurprisingly. I loved the quirkiness of the place; retro prints, Russian propaganda beer bottles converted into vases, bottle cap decor on the tables, funky music and art on sale. We ordered some great coffee and shared a lovely croissant bread and butter pudding with cranachan ice cream...it was *delicious*!

Ed's a very un-englishly chatty chappie and we were soon making friends with the girls sat at the next table ( locals who now live away). They confirmed that Musa was a good place to be in Aberdeen and that there wasn't a whole lot more they'd recommend. Apparently, Jamie's Italian is what is considered haute cuisine locally. I took all this with a pinch of salt ( as you must whilst travelling) but we decided we wanted to crack on and get to Elgin by nighttime.

We did spend a little time walking around Aberdeen city centre, purchased a pack of tennis balls at a local sports shop ( because we like doing random things and we needed them, obviously), checked out the Italian food market inside the Union Square shopping centre, a quick nosey around the local TK Maxx ( who stocked a number of Kate Spade goodies, surprisingly) before motoring off.

I know I haven't done justice to Aberdeen and there is always more to a place but there is always a 'next time' to explore deeper. If you do want some Scotland itinerary ideas or would like to share your, do drop me a line. Ann x

Wearing: Zara cropped shirt; Gap khakis (now further reduced); Dune kitten heels, Michael Kors bag, Moschino scarves, Christin Dior Madrague sunglasses.

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  1. Ah Elgin is my hometown!! Can't believe you are heading up that way. The east coast of Scotland can definitely be a tad grey and gloomy at times but when you get further up it's beautiful. I always advise people to drive the west coast from edinburgh as the scenery is so beautiful so you are one of the first I've known to head straight to Aberdeen instead of up through the glens! If you are up by Elgin, head to Baxters in Speyside for a pancake as large as your head - amazing! There isn't a whole lot of exciting things to do in Elgin itself but if you get the chance to drive out to Lossie or Findhorn definitely do - lovely beaches and great seasidey feel! Also Inverness is a lovely little town if you go further up (much nicer than Aberdeen). Have fun!

  2. I didn't realise you were an Elgin girl! We did spend time around Lossie etc ( I loved the beaches!!) and also did the west coast but on our way back. We wanted to check out Aberdeen on the way up north and take a different route back to Edinburgh. I've got three more blog posts to follow on the Highlands trip and love to get your view any other itineraries! Me xxx


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