The Collegian
Monday, February 26, 2024

Tales from abroad: mini cities in Scotland

<p>One of the many castles KyungSun has seen while studying in Scotland.</p>

One of the many castles KyungSun has seen while studying in Scotland.

Tales From Abroad is a weekly series where The Collegian publishes a blog post from a UR student currently abroad, with permission from the office of international education. This week we feature KyungSun, who is studying at University of Edinburgh in Scotland. 

I absolutely love weekends because that’s when I usually take trips around Scotland. I’m very thankful to UR for our cultural reimbursements and to the University of Edinburgh Residence Life for hosting these trips. So far I’ve visited Stirling, St. Andrews, Newcastle (which is in England), Perth, and I’m off on my long awaited trip to the Highlands next week! With the exception of Newcastle, I’ve visited a castle/palace in every city. The pictures of each castle are below.

Stirling Castle       

My favorite is the last building with the plain walls and nice trees surrounding it. It has by far the most beautiful interior. But then again, I guess you can’t really compare the palace with the other castles since the palace is still used as a home by the current Earl of Manchester. Most of the castles, however, don’t have very much left to them.

At first I was growing dejected because Scotland’s castles were not what I had imagined them to be. Stirling Castle was the first castle I went to and it didn’t feel authentic. I know they tried their best to re-create what it formerly looked like prior to the wars. Most of it is re-modeled well, but the replicas still felt out of place. I had mixed feelings throughout my visit. On one hand, I was amazed at the grand, ancient feel of the castle exterior, but then immediately hit with the emptiness of the touristy, makeshift feel in the interior. Let me know what you think.


Scone Palace was my favorite because we had a great tour guide (in most of the other ones, we unfortunately did not have a guide) and was treated to shortbread and tea afterward! The palace also gave me a better insight on what the castle interiors would have looked like many, many years ago. Check it out.


The interesting thing about the cities I’ve visited so far is that they’re not like Edinburgh at all. Most of them are pretty quiet compared to Edinburgh (but then again I’ve visited most of these on a Sunday), much more open and scenic, and not as compact (again, Newcastle was an exception). Even though I was only given about 3-4 hours, I thought I got a pretty good feel of the cities in the time span I was given.

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Which of these places do you think has the best view?


My vote is all of them! Every corner, especially near the coasts, is a Kodak moment. As someone who loves to take pictures, it’s very hard for me to contain my excitement. These five photos do not fully capture the extent of how beautiful each of these places is, but I hope they give you a snapshot of how beautiful they can be. I currently have over 900 photos in the five weeks I’ve been here (that’s about 180 pictures per week, 25 pictures a day), but I’m trying my best to weed out the best ones just for you guys! Look forward to more pictures and I’ll talk to you all soon!

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