London and Edinburgh and Why I Am Heading Back

Edinburgh and London travel ideas and why I'm heading back. Click for photos, castle and hotel tips, travel tips and bucket a list of new ideas. Travel Europe, Travel Advice, Scotland, England, Uk, #Travel #traveltips #travelideas #edinburgh

We traveled through Europe on a whirlwind trip last summer. As soon as I returned to Boulder and the room stopped spinning, I wanted to go back. Two locations touched my soul, imagination, and heart. I will return to London and Edinburgh in October. Read on for travel ideas, castle hotel recommendations, a new bucket list, and lots of photos.

Why I chose London and Edinburgh

This is a last-minute trip. Norwegian Air flies direct to many locations from Denver and the prices are cheaper than a flight to Wisconsin. I want to take my time and enjoy these amazing locations.

English speaking countries are less taxing and stressful for me.

Although I have run into people of Scotland and England whose dialect was so heavy or sentences so laden with slang, I had to say, “What?”

First stop, London.

London and Edinburgh travel ideas! Classic red phone booths. Click for travel tips!

Last summer, revisited:

London is full of history, amazing architecture, restaurants, bakeries, pubs, shopping, and theater. I find the monarchy truly fascinating.

I’m aware of the Tube aka, subway, but I bring comfortable shoes or “trainers” and put in lots of miles. There are amazing things to see on every block.

My husband and I did the Buckingham Palace thing.

London and Edinburgh travel ideas! #travel #Scotland #England

Taking a walk with Charles Dickens:

Then we walked in the shoes of Chuck Dickens to his favorite pub crawl. Then we took a tour of his first home. I would highly recommend it.

The official desk of Charles Dickens

Ready to cool our heels, we enjoyed a splendid tea time at Covent Garden’s Ladurée.


According to my app, we walked 12 miles.  Note to self: Buy new “trainers.”

Hotel recommendation in London:

I drew this for a contest last year. It’s the lobby of the Grange Wellington Hotel.

Design ideas for the future including this interior illustration to inspire work station layouts.

I recommend The Grange Wellington for your next visit. It’s quite reasonable and the location is hard to beat being near Victoria’s Station, Kensington, and Buckingham Palaces. We stayed there last year for the Bloggers Bash where I met the most fantastic people!

Bloggers Bash Attendees

One day of touring wasn’t enough to see all of London. This time, we’re planning ahead.

The tower of london

Plans for London:

October should be a lot quieter than June, so I want to tour the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, see a play, indulge in some amazing restaurants, tea time, and hit Selfridges. Their displays alone are worth a trip. I’ve also researched some secret places and will report my findings…

Onward to Scotland

Having less than a week to tour the whole country last year made traveling a blur. Its pristine beauty, amazing castles, and historic sites, along with being a huge Outlander fan, drew me back. And the best part? It was a lot less touristy than other parts of Europe. I would imagine it’s what Ireland was like fifty years ago.

London and Edinburgh travel ideas! Bagpiping on the Royal Mile. Click for travel tips! tips, Travel Europe, Scotland #travel #traveltips #Traveleurope #

Some tips if you travel to Scotland I learned from the school of hard knocks:

Last year’s trip began with soggy suitcases in Glasgow. (Their luggage conveyor glides in and out of the terminal, even if it’s a deluge. Expect a long line for checking passports, like everywhere else. Bag your clothes if your suitcase is fabric.

From there we drove to Edinburgh. I immediately drove into head-on traffic even though I discovered a great way to learn how to drive. In my defense, it was a wide boulevard street with a median and a slight slope. Do I sound defensive, much?

I would highly recommend staying in Dalhousie Castle outside of Edinburgh. So authentic, I half expected to see knights jousting on the lawn.

Dalhousie Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland dramatic outside view

We toured Rosslyn Church, Melville Castle, and Edinburgh Castle, and walked a block or two on the Royal Mile, but didn’t spend much time exploring the city at all. We didn’t even sit on Arthur’s Seat! Too many things.


From there we hit a breakneck pace driving north to Inverness via Perth.

Make sure to stay at the historic, Culloden House of Outlander fame. The service is amazing.

Our waiter, Danny and me in selfie mode at Culloden House

After shopping in Inverness, we drove along Loch Ness. I didn’t see the point in taking a boat ride since the views from shore were amazing.

Loch Ness under cloudy skies

We took a tour of the Loch Ness Museum. Yes. Nessy caused quite a stir back in the day. Then I spied TWO little Loch Ness Monsters!!

Edinburgh and London travel tips! Click for photos and ideas! #bucketlist #Scotland #England #travel #Lochness

We woke at the crack of dawn and made the ferry to Arran Island. After a wonderful meetup with Barb Taub, we flew out.





This time I’d like to relax and enjoy the charming Scottish people, so much like the friendly Midwesterners of my youth. Wow, that sounded so Dickensian. Being Outlander fans, there are quite a few castles, standing stones, quaint villages, and historical locations to check out. Some secret places too… We’re staying at another castle hotel. I can’t wait.

I’ll keep you posted!

Live in the UK and want to meet up? Let me know in the comments and we’ll make a plan.

Have you been to England or Scotland? Do you have any recommendations? Where would you like to go next?

Related posts:

Culloden House, Loch Ness, and Arran Island in Scotland: Photo Essay

Crossing Paths with Mary, Queen of Scots in Scotland: Photo Essay

A Day in London with Charles Dickens: Photo Essay

All photos are copyright protected.

25 Helpful Travel Tips for Historic London and Edinburgh and why you should go! Travel Europe Destinations, Travel tips, Travel Scotland, England, and Ireland, Outlander, Things to do, Travel Uk bucket list #travel #TravelTips #London #Edinburgh #TravelEuropeDestinations #Thingstodo

64 thoughts on “London and Edinburgh and Why I Am Heading Back

Add yours

  1. You are probably all set, but if you ever needed a recommendation for a hotel in Edinburgh – The Holyrood Hotel was A-MAZ-ING with the best breakfast I have ever seen in my life.

    And don’t miss Liberty in London, it’s my spiritual home lol 😂I wish!


          1. Wait till you see their haberdashery it is the ‘trim’ capital of the world, and when you are finished there, wander downstairs to the perfumery to create your very on perfume.


  2. I was in Edinburgh last summer and would recommend a hop on and off ticket for 24 hours on the tour bus. You can see the entire city and get on and off at your leisure. They have a recorded narrative as well.


  3. Sounds like an amazing trip. Every time I visit London I see something different. I love to stop in at Harrods of course and Fortnum and Masons. I have yet to visit Edinburgh but it’s on the list!


  4. Sounds like a great trip upcoming, Susie. I’ve been to London twice, 50 years apart! The first time with the U.S. Navy and the second time with my wife and some friends. No sooner had we left that we talked about coming back just like you. Covent Garden was one of our favorites. We were serenaded there by a handsome young man, which Patty loved! I also met blogging friends while there. I went to Edinburgh (also with the Navy) and enjoyed it immensely, although as a young single man at the time, most of my attention was devoted to night life. Your helpful hints are just like you, always thinking of other folks!

    Loved your hotel sketch. You are sooooo talented!


    1. Thanks so much, Al! Sounds like you had a great time on your vacation too! I’m not sure how long cheap airfare will last, so I’m taking advantage while I can. I just hope I can slow down this time and avoid the whiplash! Moving at a brisk pace is in my nature. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. That will be a great holiday, especially since you’ve been there before and can now do what you wish you had been able to do last time. And you’ll have all that prior knowledge now, so it will be easier for you in so many ways. Have a wonderful time! Can’t wait for your blog posts about it.


  6. In Scotland, I’d recommend you spend some time in Dumfries & Galloway. Our mountains may not be as high as those in the Highlands but we have stunning scenery from fantastic beaches to rugged hillsides and so much history. And, Sam Heughan comes from here. Let me know if you are likely to make it this way – would be delighted to be your personal tour guide!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for the offer, Mary!
      Sorry it took so long to get back to you. My mom is in town!
      We were thinking about sticking around Edinburgh and going a bit west and north, but you never know. Nothing is set so I’ll let you know if there’s a chance we may head that way. 🙂 Love Sam Heughan!


  7. My daughter, Emily, and her boyfriend are taking their study abroad semester at Edinburgh University and are both totally blown away by the experiences they are having. Emily is writing a blog about their trip which is how I spotted yours. I very much enjoyed reading it. (I used to live in London and worked in Buckingham Palace Road) I really enjoyed your photos and comments. Hope you enjoy your return trip in October.


    1. That is so cool! My daughter did a semester abroad in Barcelona and has become a very confident traveler through the experience.

      ‘m so glad they are loving Edinburgh. What’s her blog url? I’d love to check it out before the trip!

      Thanks so much, J! Nice to meet you!


  8. Give my regards to London. I’ll be back there next June for the next Bloggers Bash (to be confirmed very soon). Don’t forget to visit the Christmas department in Selfridges and Harrods. I’d also recommend a wide ride on the London Eye (daytime and nighttime) and go and check out The Kings Road, South Kensington, for a shopping spree you’ll never forget.
    Have a great trip, Susie.


    1. I will definitely add your suggestions to my list, Hugh! I really enjoyed the Bloggers Bash and wish I lived closer. Although $350 for a direct flight including seats, luggage and a meal is insane! I might be back again!!
      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. That’s so great!!! I’m super happy that you’ll be able to return to the places that inspired you so much! Plus you’re going in October! Wow! Twice in a year … I want more of these awesome pictures and can’t wait to hear about your blogging buddy hangout sessions and WildRider adventures with Danny. Have an awesome trip!!!


    1. Thanks so much, Guat!

      Yep, going last summer really resonated with me. I’m haunted by Dalhousie Castle and will stay in another one this time. I’ve been in revision mode for such a long time and really need to carve out time to write these new stories. It’s exciting to go some place with so much history!

      Note to self: Must find editor!!!

      Are you an Outlander fan?


  10. We live Just outside BuryStEdmunds in Suffolk and a few miles from many historic places including Lavenham. I won’t tell you more for Google does it more justice than I ever could. Though Lavenham If on my instagram, shots taken this Easter. I would love to catch up.


    1. I would too! At this point, we’re heading in the other direction, but I’ll let you know if something changes!
      Looks like a fabulous part of the country!!
      Thanks so much, Ellen!


  11. Sounds like a real whistlestop tour Susie. We spent 3 months in Scotland this summer and still hardly saw any of it at all. So much to see and do there and in London though, you could arrange a handful of trips.


    1. It really is magical so I’m looking forward to the trip! I’m always in awe of the architecture since everything in the western US is relatively new.
      I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it too!
      Thanks, Bill!


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