Frequently asked questions

As I share more of my weekend adventures over on Instagram, I’m getting more messages asking for advice. Whether that’s about Scotland, Edinburgh or Instagram even, I thought I’d start collating them in one place. If there’s anything that isn’t here, you know what to do! DM me or leave a comment below.

Where are Edinburgh’s prettiest photo spots?

I should really do a whole article on this, eh? Until I get a blog post written, here’s a quick list of where you need to go to snap Edinburgh at its Instagram best: Calton Hill at sunset (take a tripod and a zoom lens, then train your camera on the Balmoral). Circus Lane (that cute-yet-cliché street, lined with cottages, in the bourgeois Stockbridge area; more info). Salisbury Crags (Arthur’s Seat’s quieter sister; more info). Dean Village (a calm oasis not far from the city centre; more info).

I’m visiting Scotland. What places should be on my list?

Oooh, tough one. How do you sum up a whole country in a few sentences? I’ll give it a go… If you’re planning a short stay, I think Edinburgh may well have it all: culture, castles and a European city atmosphere wrapped up in a oner. If you’re more outdoorsy though, I’d suggest going to Glasgow for your stay. Not only does Scotland’s biggest city have some fantastic museums and a great social scene, but iconic landscapes like Loch Lomond and Glen Coe are easily accessible.

Want something a bit more magical? Head north. Places like the Isle of Skye, road tripping around the North Coast 500 or holiday like a local in Arisaig… The list is endless. Ping me a message if you have specific tastes and I’ll give you some ideas!

Where are your favourite Edinburgh cafés?

A list like this couldn’t start without Söderberg. I’m obsessed with this place. When we lived in the city centre, we were just 15 minutes’ walk from this Swedish bakery and it was our weekend haunt for coffee and cake. There are numerous cafés across the city but if cinnamon buns aren’t your thing here are some more eateries for your list: Lovecrumbs (five minutes from the Grassmarket), Burr & Co (to-die-for brownies in the city centre), Milk (at the Fruitmarket Gallery by Waverley station) and Relish (a stone’s throw from the Shore area of Leith).

What font do you use for your Instagram stories?

Believe it or not, but the cursive ‘font’ you see on my stories is actually just my handwriting. I have a very small iPhone on which I use my finger to scrawl words across my stories photos; I know others use an app called Unfold — which has a handwritten font included, for a price — but I prefer the personal touch of attempting to scrawl on a tiny screen!

What editing software do you use?

I use a free, basic editor to alter simple things like contrast and white balance for my blog photos and then VSCO for my Instagram grid and stories (my favourite filter is HB1).

What clothes should I pack for travel in Scotland?

In the Highlands especially, the weather can change quickly in Scotland — so even if it’s the height of summer, plan for all seasons! Waterproof clothing, primarily a jacket, and comfortable walking shoes never go amiss — so even if it does rain, you can continue wandering without catching a chill.

Have you got any recommendations for Inverness?

Yes! My partner’s family still live up there so we visit at least one a year. Here’s a non-exhaustible list: Velocity for coffee and cake. Ness Islands for a wander in the centre of town. The Botanic Gardens for a small but oasis-like escape in the city. For a day trip, Dores Beach on Loch Ness. And if you want to go further, Plodda Falls in Glen Affric is beautiful.

Any other questions?

Drop me a message on social media or email me at hello[at]laretour.com and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!