Flying in and out of London’s Heathrow airport, our group snagged a train up to Edinburgh for a few days before jumping a flight over to Islay (it’s pronounced “eye-la”) – an island in the southernmost end of Scotland’s Inner Hebrides. The island’s famed distilleries are primarily known for peatier scotch varieties – we visited Lagavulin first for a private tasting and bottling and rushed off to make it to nearby Laphroaig before they closed. The following day led us to Bruichladdich (pronounced similar to “brook laddie”) for an excellent distillery tour and warehouse tasting but not before we stopped into the Islay Woolen Mill – whose owner Gordon Covell is responsible for tweed designs featured in numerous movies including Braveheart, Rob Roy, and many more. Well worth the visit for the personal tour and we were more than happy to pick up a few items at the shop afterward.
On our arrival back on the mainland, we grabbed a rental car and made our way through the Loch Lomond area of the lower Scottish Highlands up to Oban where we arrived on the wrong side of closing time. While I am certainly a fan of Oban whisky and was some amount of heartbroken, I would not trade it at all for the detour that had delayed us – a stop at some (lesser known) standing stones that I had found on the way.
After a night in Oban it was back to Edinburgh (which included the obligatory ghost tour and slightly-less-obligatory tattoo appointment) before a night’s stop in north Wales at Conwy followed by a route back to London that took us by some slightly better-known standing stones: Stonehenge. While we were also a tad too late to make the last tour of the day at the famous site a bit of internet sleuthing and patience for mapping apps (thanks Waze!) led us to backroads that not only spoke to our sense of adventure but also allowed us to completely avoid the hefty entrance fee (while we couldn’t get quite as close as the paid tourists it was definitely worth it)!
One note on these pictures – yes, the sky was actually this color pink-purple during sunset at Stonehenge (and the pictures don’t quite do it justice). Never seen anything like it anywhere in the world. I’m sure I could’ve ran around for the few minutes it looked this way trying to capture it better but I had already driven my friends nuts by taking too many shots. Sorry guys – I guess it’s just kinda my thing 🙂
Nikkor Z 14-30 f/4 S
Nikkor Z 24-70 f/4 S
Nikkor Z 35 f/1.8 S
AF-S Nikkor 28-300 3.5-5.6G ED VR