This was my mom’s first time in Scotland, and I wanted to take her up to the Highlands to experience its beauty for herself. After my first adventure to the Highlands last October, I have been dreaming about the sparkling lochs (lakes), intimidating mountains, and breathtaking sights.
However, on my first Highlands trip, I was unable to stop in Fort William and see the Jacobite Steam Train (let’s be honest: it really should just be renamed the Hogwarts Express). I figured my mom’s visit would be the perfect excuse I needed.
We left Waverley Station in Edinburgh about 5pm and traveled by Scotrail. The train ride took us a little over five hours, but we were anything but bored! My mom and I had both brought along books to read, but instead had our noses pressed against the window soaking in the views.
Even though we were so far north, I was so surprised that it stayed light outside for so long. This picture was taken at about 9pm. It wasn’t until about 10pm that it really started getting dark outside. If it was always this light out this late, I definitely would be more of a night person!
We finally arrived to our hotel about 10:30pm and we were exhausted! It was nice to just take a hot shower and relax in a comfy bed after a long day of traveling.
We were up bright and early the next morning to catch THE HOGWARTS EXPRESS, which you can read all about here.
When I booked the tickets for the Jacobite Train (aka the Hogwarts Express), the return tickets had already sold out, so unfortunately I had to book us on a different train back. This meant that we had four hours to kill in Mallaig.
Mallaig is a (very) tiny fishing port on the west coast of the Scottish Highlands, and has a population of less than 800 people. Turns out, there isn’t a lot to do for four hours, except eat, go for a walk, or take the ferry or train somewhere else. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to take the half hour ferry ride over to Skye, so I didn’t get to show my mom how beautiful that place is.
We were starving, so after wandering around town (which took less than ten minutes), we stopped to have lunch at the Tea Garden Restaurant.
This place had the best shrimp I have ever eaten in my life (and I’ve had a lot of shrimp). It was phenomenal, and my mom and I could’t get enough! Mallaig is worth going to simply for this treat.
After lunch, we decided to go on one of the nature walks the tourist information center recommended.
Even though it rained through most of it (and despite my umbrella I got soaked!), it was a nice trek with lovely views. At least the rain brought plenty of waterfalls for me to take pictures of.
We walked by a lone house on a hill, and I had to wonder who lived here, what they did for a living, and if they liked or disliked their lack of neighbors?
The path we walked on was wonderful. The longer I live in London, the more I miss views like these.
As always, we were on the look out for fairies. I’m sure someone has a nice little home in there.
From the road, we could make out a few of the islands in the distance, such as Skye and Rum.
We were soaking wet by the time we finished our walk, so we headed back to the Tea Garden Restaurant (again) for some tea and scones to warm us up.
Then it was back on the train for a two and a half hour ride to Fort William.
Back in Fort William, we wandered around town in search of gifts to send home to people. Turns out, regardless of the fact that it was a Friday night, stores and restaurants tend to close by 7:00, so we didn’t stay in town long.
At least the candy store was open as an option, even though we didn’t get anything.
We ended up eating a marvelous meal back at the hotel and had a lazy evening reading books and watching bad television.
The next morning it was time to take the train back to Edinburgh and catch our flight home to London!