If you are among the third-largest ethnic group in Canada, or if you just like all things UK, check out Scotland. This country of five million is home to historic figures like William Wallace (think Mel Gibson in Braveheart), and Mary Queen of Scots. It also gave us bagpipes, tartans and single malt scotch.
Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson once said, “Edinburgh is what Paris ought to be.”
It’s compact and walkable, with magnificent architecture, ancient alleyways, narrow closes, all of which is dominated by a 1,000-year-old castle that sits on a high hill overlooking the city. I fell in love with this city, its cobblestone streets, its pubs and its restaurants. One of my favourites was the Witchery, just down the street from Edinburgh castle (the oldest building in Scotland). Most of all, I loved the people. They made me feel that I had arrived home after a long journey.
In Edinburgh, I stayed at the new Mark Greenaway boutique hotel at No. 12 Picardy Place. It is centrally located, upscale and trendy. Its seven rooms feature luxurious and individually designed suites with exquisite bed linens, soaking tubs, rain shower heads, 3D HD TVs and, of course, WiFi. The hotel has Mark Greenway’s award-winning restaurant.
The hotel was the birthplace of Sir Conan Arthur Doyle, the author of the famous Sherlock Holmes series. How cool is that!
To get the spirit of Scotland, go north to the Highlands. I stayed at The Hilton Dunkeld in Perthshire (about an hour’s drive north of Edinburgh). It is located in the quaint town of Dunkeld and is steeped in history. Its 98 rooms are all different and its 280-acre woodland estate will make you feel truly Scottish.
Glasgow (an hour train ride from Edinburgh) is the largest city in Scotland and the third largest in the UK.
Edinburgh is the picturesque capital but Glasgow is the more modern city and the heart of commerce. The Hotel Du Vin (Rod Stewart stays here when he’s in town), is set in a tree-lined Victorian terrace in the fashionable West End. The West End is where you want to be – it hosts cafes, tearooms, bars and boutiques. I loved this hotel, which is quaint and old but with all the amenities. It has 49 stunning rooms and suites, each uniquely furnished, a bistro bar, cigar shack and whisky room. (Shouldn’t every hotel have a cigar shack and whisky room?)
Whether getting married in Scotland, honeymooning or just visiting, it is a country that does not disappoint. Haste Ye Back!
Getting Married in Scotland
You can get married or have a civil union pretty much anywhere in Scotland – on top of a mountain, at sea, on the beach or in the spiritual home of your ancestors. You can arrange most of it, including the legal requirements, via email or post.
For more, go to visitscotland.com.