Anyone who knows me will tell you that I love nothing better than being surrounded by remote Scottish scenery. I'm an Edinburgher to the core though, which means I'm lucky enough to have some of Scotland's best visitor attractions right on my doorstep.
This comes in handy on the very rare occasion that the Scottish weather clips my wings and sends me out looking for somewhere to stay amused and dry!
So here are a few of my favourite local attractions:
Britannia probably won't turn out to be anything like you expect, but in a good way. You don't need to love boats or be a fan of the royal family to visit and enjoy it.
I spent a morning exploring Britannia's 5 decks recently and had a great time - there's so much to see, and some unexpected surprises too. I wasn't prepared for how much space the naval crew took up on board, or how modest the royal sleeping quarters would be. I didn't expect to see an operating theatre, or a wee pub where I could dress up in natty hats and pull pretend pints!
I loved the Royal Tea Deck best of all, and felt 'gey posh' enjoying a scone and coffee there. I'm a wee bit partial to a cheese scone, and the one I had on Britannia was delicious.
Britannia really surprised me. If truth be told I wasn't sure it would be quite my thing - it turned out to be absolutely my thing, and I'd recommend it without hesitation to anyone visiting Edinburgh.
I visited Camera Obscura last weekend, after a very long absence - 29 years to be precise! I remember loving it back then, but it was even better this time round.
It's a fantastic interactive experience for all ages. I charged about like a 5-year old who'd just swallowed a handful of blue smarties. I frequently shouted 'look', 'try this', 'come and see this' to my Husband who was every bit as hyper as I was. We danced up and down musical stairs in top hats, stumbled around in the disorientating mirror maze and felt queasy in the vortex tunnel.
The Camera Obscura itself is an Edinburgh attraction which has drawn visitors since 1853. Despite the simple concept behind it, and its age, it's still fascinating in this era of cutting edge technology.
A great place to while away a few rainy hours.
This is probably my favourite visitor attraction in Scotland. I visited last weekend and took the silver tour which lasts 50 minutes. You don't need to be a whisky buff, or even like whisky to enjoy the tour.
The tour started with a ride in a whisky barrel, which took us through the process of making whisky. It was great fun and our ghostly guide was a hoot.
Afterwards we watched a lovely short film to find out about about the different whisky regions of Scotland, and the regional characteristics of their whiskies. I could feel my eyes welling up as I watched the stunning scenery on the film. It made me feel so privileged to be able to explore such a beautiful country. It also made me long to return to Islay.
Next, we were taken through the process for making blended whiskies in a room that wouldn't have looked out of place in Hogwarts. We got to choose a whisky from one of the 5 Scottish whisky regions. I chose a peaty Ardbeg from Islay.
Then came the icing on the cake, the tasting which took place inside the most amazing shrine to Scotch whisky ever. The Diageo Claive Vidiz Whisky Collection - almost 3,500 bottles glowing like amber in a beautifully lit room - amazing.
Definitely a not to be missed visitor attraction.
Have you been to any visitor attractions in Scotland, and if so what are your favourites?