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Planning a July trip

My fiance and I are eloping to the Isle of Lewis in July and I'm wondering about the weather, will the Aurora Borealis be visible during the summer, where are good spots for wedding photos (in addition to the Callanish Stones), what are some good local places to eat in Stornoway (and all over the Isle)?  
Also, we'll be getting his kilt in his ancestral tartan and I'm curious if that will be a simple process - do you have to special order the tartan since there are so many?  Is a fitting an ordeal or is it mostly easy to shop for one - can we secure one in one day? Our time frame is only so long so I want to be able to get it easily before the ceremony.
We are hoping to spend time in Edinburgh and Inverness (Loch Ness day trip) and trying to find time to tour some of his favorite distilleries as well.
Any good restaurants and tours you can suggest will be greatly appreciated! We can't wait!


  • HorizonsHorizons Member, VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    @Gillmore717 First off, congratulations on your wedding! :) Scotland is an incredibly romantic place to elope. I can try to answer a subset of questions.

    - You should get yourself photographed a short drive away at the beaches of Isle of Harris (Luskentye/Huishnish). They'll make for some exquisite wedding photos (and I've read of people getting wedding photoshoots there).

    - This recommendation is a bit nerdy but if any of you are avid chess players, get some shots at the Lewis chessmen statues near Uig on Lewis. If nothing else, the statues are unique!

    - Aurora Borealis in the summer is an unlikely phenomena. However, install the AuroraWatch app by Uni of Lancaster / follow them on twitter to be notified about strong geomagnetic activity (higher chance of Aurora).

    - Are you planning to drive / fly to Isle of Lewis? I would highly recommend driving if you have the time because the "Highland day trips" from Edinburgh/Glasgow are like a teaser trailer to the multi-part epic Lord of the Rings that is Scottish scenery.

    If you can drive to Lewis, take the NW highlands route on the way up via Ullapool visiting Torridon / Shieldag / Assynt and come back via Isle of Skye with an overnight stay each. It is a lot of driving but you'll be in for a treat!
    I'm Anirudh, an Indian travel blogger who has explored a lot of Scotland by public transport. My blog. Find me on Facebook | Instagram

    Best of Scotland in 1 week itinerary (fully by public transport)

    My Scotland travels (includes EdinburghSkye, HarrisMullArranOrkneyLoch Lomond, Islay, Oban, DunoonSpeyside)

  • YourScotlandTourYourScotlandTour Member ✭✭✭
    With regards to having a kilt made; I still wear mine which was made for me, for my 21st birthday. The measuring process takes a few minutes... the making took a few weeks. My kilt is made with fairly ordinary 'ancient gordon' but there is still many hours work to make a kilt properly.

    I guess you may be hiring a kilt; in which case you will be able to hire the tartan the shop has in stock, often nowadays something like a 'black watch' or 'flower of Scotland' 

    You don't mention what tartan you're looking for - there are some kiltmakers which offer an online service which may be a good fit for your need. I'd recommend having your kilt made in the lightest summerweight tartan rather than the heavier and thicker options, 8 yards or more of wool is heavy and keeps you warm enough. I've worn mine in winter on cold nights in Scotland many a time and used it as a blanket at parties too and never felt cold (I do have my own insulation though!). 

    Aurora is a winter treat, normally. July is likely to be too close to the summer solstice for it to be dark enough out to see the Aurora. 
    Bespoke tours.
    Whisky, Castles and Food a speciality.
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