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Trip Report Scotland trip report

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Who we were: Four lifelong friends of a certain age.
When we went: We arrived in early September
Where we stayed:
Edinburgh: We rented a two bedroom/ two bathroom apartment at Knight's residence. It was conveniently located, well equipped, had free parking and was very comfortable. Review on TA under the same screen name.
Inverness: The Steadings located outside the city in a very bucolic setting. We loved it. It was very intimate and comfortable. The restaurant, the Grouse and Trout, is excellent. Full review on TA.
Edinburgh airport, Queensferry: The Dakota. Thank you unclegus and Gardyloo, this was a terrific recommendation. We got rid of our rental car and used the free shuttle. The staff is charming, very personable. The rooms are very nicely done and the restaurant is quite good. They packed lunches for us ( after flying AA we concluded bringing your own food was absolutely essential). Full review on TA.
Where we ate:
The Witchery on the Royal Mile. Yep, right dead center of the tourist area. Our meals were exceptional and service was first class.
Tea at the Balmoral: Fantastic. Very sweet, not much savory, but off the charts delicious. Service was very good.
The Grouse and Trout in Inverness. The restaurant was at our hotel and we ate there several times. The hotel was remote and it was easiest for us to eat there. But our real reason was the food was terrific. We loved the atmosphere and enjoyed sitting with the other guests before meals.
One of my group connected with a cousin in Glamis and we had a very special meal visiting the family. It was a highlight of our trip. They were second cousins who had never met.
We also hit several pubs in Grassmarket. While the food was forgettable, the beer was great.
What we did: In Edinburgh we arranged for an airport pickup and four hour tour with the Edinburgh Cab Tours. It is a one man operation run by Andy Majorbanks and proved to be a great orientation for the ones for whom this was a first visit. We spent three days walking and visiting most of the tourist attractions. The weather was great.
Once we got to Inverness we did a lot of day excursions and walks. A highlight was the Black Watch Highland Tattoo. It was splendid.

It was a wonderful trip. We were treated with warmth and kindness by everyone we met. It was great fun to meet the locals, including members of my clan.

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