Camping on the River Dee, Scotland, Highland Getaway

Highland Getaway

Camping on the River Dee, Scotland, Highland Getaway

30 Hour Midweek Highland Getaway

I can already tell that one of the most wonderful things about living in Scotland is going to be that it takes almost no time at all to get out into the country.

Just a few miles outside of the city, the Scottish Highlands are already beckoning to us!

Camping on the River Dee, Scotland, Highland Getaway

While waiting to move into our new flat last week, Taido and I had the opportunity to escape alone for a night.  My mother is in town and volunteered to stay with the kids while we did a bit of exploring.

Beautiful weather + Moss covered ground + The River Dee = Magical!Camping on the River Dee, Scotland, Highland Getaway

We bought food at the market and had picnics for lunch and dinner by The River Dee.

Before our walk into the woods, we made a couple of stops in the small villages of Ballatar and Braemar.  We toured The Royal Lochnagar Distillery and collected information about the area from visitor centers.

Having done very little research prior to setting out, we asked for and received helpful information about where we could hike in and camp (called wild camping in the UK) for the night.

Camping on the River Dee, Scotland, Highland Getaway

After walking through this beautiful country for about 4 miles, we pitched our tent right by the river.

Camping in the Highlands has been one of those moments we’ve dreamed about ever since we first started planning our move to Scotland, and it did not disappoint.

Camping on the River Dee, Scotland, Highland Getaway

We had shockingly good weather, as everyone we met pointed out, It’s such a perfect day for a walk!

The whole outing was impossibly idyllic.  Truly.  Following the river over heather covered hills and such.

Camping on the River Dee, Scotland, Highland Getaway

The days are still long, so after we pitched our tent, we were able to read until late, enjoying our little corner of lovely.

The next morning, we hiked out in the most beautiful light.

I love morning in the mountains.  The way the sun comes up and the hills gradually turn golden in the light is dreamy to me.  We hiked from shadow to sunlight and back into shadow again.

I never get tired of it.

Camping on the River Dee, Scotland, Highland Getaway

We didn’t bring anything for cooking, since it was such a short trip, so we searched out coffee in Ballatar.  We were glad to find it at this little place called The Bothy, which we quite enjoyed.

Camping on the River Dee, Scotland, Highland Getaway

We took our time drinking coffee and eating scones.  We planned our drive home to make a couple more stops, one at Crathes Castle, which we loved!

And now that we’ve got our camping gear used to the Scottish soil, I hope it won’t be too long before we venture back out again.  This time with the kids!

Highland Getaway, Camping in Scotland

They were not happy when I said, Hey look, kids, Dad and I slept by this river last night!

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  1. That looks absolutely like an amazing camping trip and so cool you got to do it just two of you 😉

    1. I know! SUCH a special treat to get away alone! Who knows when it will happen again, eh? I’m treasuring it for sures!

  2. What a beautiful area to camp. And how lucky you got to go so soon after moving there.

    1. I was so thrilled to discover that it’s as beautiful as I had dreamed! And of course I would always rather escape and camp than face the headaches of settling in. 🙂

  3. Beautiful and appreciating that you are so appreciating! Splendor (splendor) in obvious and perhaps no-so obvious ways! Thanks for continuing to share your part of the world…

    1. It always feels good that you notice! We both know that being grateful is a daily discipline! Some days it is easier than others, but I never regret taking the time to find the good. Thank you friend! XO

  4. That is so great you got to camp. What a great trip! I loved the picture of morning in the mountains. The light is so amazing. Light is so varied in different parts of the world and different times of the day. Thank you for sharing. And the coffee looked delicious!

    1. You are so right about light! And in different seasons too! How perfectly wonderful it is that there is so much lovely to be discovered just in the way the world is lit!

  5. Hiking through heather covered fields, having picnics by the river, going to sleep by running water…it all sounds so wonderfully romantic! AND you can go back again and again!!!

    1. So dreamy, June! You’re absolutely right!

  6. I LOOOVE the Scottish HIghlands and your images do well to capture the magic and beauty. Ah, I want to be there NOW!

    1. So fun to begin to see why so many others love it here!

  7. I cannot express how jealous I am of you! In a very friendly way, of course, but still. My husband and I have conversations all the time that end with, “Let’s just move to Scotland!” I’ve just discovered you, but I will be dropping back in often to stalk… er, keep up with your adventures! 🙂

    1. Thanks so, so much for dropping by! It makes it twice as much fun to have others sharing in our journey! Be sure and drop me a line if you ever decide to move to Scotland! 🙂

    1. Thanks friend! We miss you all! And the kids still pine for eStem! 🙂

  8. I adore the shot with the coffee and scones. Wonderful.

    1. Such. Yummy. Coffee. And I’m already having to cut back on my pastry intake! I am surrounded by deliciousness!

  9. We were in the West Highlands last week and it was simply magical. I’d move to Scotland in a heartbeat if I could figure out the whole emigration thing. How’d you guys settle there as expats?

    1. It was definitely a challenge, Becky! My husband is doing post-doctoral work at the University of Aberdeen, so he has a student visa and the rest of us got tagalong visas. LOTS of paperwork and LOTS of money…

  10. These images are stunning, I especially loved the 2nd one with the “enchanted forest”. 🙂 And this kind of reminds me of “microadventures” I wrote about little while ago: escaping to outdoors for short, almost local adventures. And yeah, I’m kind of jealous too, I think it’s going to be sometime yet that me and my husband get to do something just the two of us!!

    1. I am all about the “microadventures!” Two days away is much more doable right now than several in a row. And I so remember those days with little ones! I love how much you get around with your little guys though!

  11. Looks so peaceful and calm there, must have been a nice break. Love the photos!!

    1. Thanks so much, Reeta! I’m ready to go again!

  12. I *really* want to go to Scotland! Love mountain views (and good coffee) and your photo essay reminds me that I need to look into the trip…

    1. Oh yes! It is worth a visit for SURES! We still have so much to discover!! Hoping to get to Edinburgh soon. 🙂

  13. […] at all we’ve seen already and think it must be longer.  We’ve seen castles and and forests and we even rode a train to […]

  14. […] Taido and I get to escape from our kids, we usually run away to a cabin in the woods. Or a tent in the […]

  15. […] For committed outdoor enthusiasts, wild camping offers stunning views and peaceful isolation at zero cost. Alison Chino enjoyed the beauty of wild camping by the River Dee. […]

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