Magic Made Real

Welcome to Scotland!

One of my favorite quotes is from A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, “Much of what qualified as magic was simply desire in action…Magic is desire made real.”

What I desire I can make real.  And so, after reading the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, the desire to travel to Scotland sparked.  I set my intention, started a special savings account, created and accepted opportunities to fill that account, and designed my own self-guided tour of Scotland.

And before long my daughter and I embarked on an amazing journey this summer to a land full of magic and awe.

We met up with my in-laws in Edinburgh and the four of us took in as much of this beautiful country as we could.  Together we explored Edinburgh, London, England’s Lake District, Inverness, Fort William, and the Isle of Sky.  In country, we traveled on trains, buses, and boats.  We rented a car for the majority the trip and bravely drove through England and Scotland.  We saw two stone circles, my daughter and in-laws watched Highland Games while I hiked the Great Glen Way from Inverness to Drumnadrochit (yep, I can pronounce that). We toured castles, Loch Ness, whiskey distilleries, Culloden Moor, rode the London Eye, learned to navigate the London Tube, and successfully adapted to drive on the left side of the road (it is helpful to have a navigator remind you that when you make a right turn to stay in the left lane!).  At one point in our travels, my daughter turned to me and said, “Mom, this is like driving through a postcard.” The countryside was amazing everywhere we went. (Please see pictures at the end of this post)

Our accommodations were fantastic.  I highly recommend:

  • Straven Guest House in Edinburgh along Portobello Beach.
  • Herdwick Inn in Pennruddock, England, located in the Lake District. This is a quaint 18th century Inn and Pub that has been sympathetically modernized with plumbing and electricity.
  • Tigh-na-Bruaich, with Eolas Holiday Cottages, was an amazing cottage just outside of Beauly, Scotland. It was a perfect get away after a busy day of touring, hiking, driving, and sight-seeing.
  • Hawes Inn, built in 1793, was our last stop in South Queensferry, a small town to the west of Edinburgh. This Inn is where Robert Louis Stevenson started his novel Kidnapped.

Everywhere we went the people were friendly and welcoming.  The food was always fresh, made to order, and served piping hot.  I learned that I like the local dishes of haggis and black pudding (I will let you look up the interesting ingredients).

But here is the thing…I made it happen.  I turned a desire into a reality and created a wonderful experience.  And once I told others my intention, I had help.  More opportunities to earn extra money started to flow in and friends shared their travel experiences so I could consider options and be more prepared.  The magic started with intention which was realized with deliberate steps toward my goal.  And before I knew it, I had enough saved up to pay cash for the entire trip, which made the trip even more relaxing and amazing.

Magic truly is desire made real and I have enough life experience to believe anyone can weave some magic into their lives.  You just must know what your heart really desires (think about Captain Jack Sparrow’s compass) instead of what you think it desires (authentic vs. superficial).  Once you understand that desire, you can set your course to make it a reality.

Scotland -Straven Guest House B&B on Portobello Beach

Scotland – Portobello Beach at sunset – 10:30 pm local time

Scotland – Edinburgh bagpiper

Scotland – Edinburgh – view from Holyrood Castle

Scotland – Edinburgh Royal Mile

London – Big Ben

London – view from The London Eye

The London Eye

London – Covent Square at night

London – Trafalgar Square

Pennruddock, England (Lake District) Herdwick Inn – 18th century and sympathetically modernized




Pennruddock, England (Lake District) Herdwick Inn patio

Countryside of Lake District

Pooley Bridge, England – Ullswater Lake

Outside Pooley Bridge, England – Cockpit Stone Circle

Outside Keswick, England – Castlerigg Stone Circle – people preparing for the Summer Solstice

Wee Roads to navigate in England

Hadrian’s Wall – original boundary between the Romans and the Pics

Beauly, Scotland Tigh-na-Bruaich Cottage

Beauly, Scotland – Tigh-na-Bruaich Cottage grounds

Scotland – Loch Ness

Scotland – Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness

Scotland – The A82 toward Drumnadrochit village

Scotland – The A87 to Eilean Donan Castle and the Isle of Skye

Scotland – Eilean Donan Castle

Scotland – Eilean Donan Castle looking out toward sea

Wee Scotland Roads

Scotland – Postcard Beauty

Queensferry, Scotland – Hases Inn 18th Century Inn

Queensferry, Scotland – Hawes Inn

Edingburgh, Scotland – Holyrood Castle

Our sighting of Nessie in Queensferry, Scotland

Queensferry, Scotland –  Firth of Forth Bridge


3 thoughts on “Magic Made Real

  1. Pingback: Strange Magic | Charlie's Wisdom

  2. Becky

    So happy you & Anna got such an adventure. Hope you have many more ahead. Making my own “Charlie” trip this Thurs to Cancun for my son Rich’s wedding. Leaving the caregiver behind for 4 days and thinking positive that all will be well. Send any Magic this way!


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