Gluten-Free in Wales and Scotland Highlights

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Me on the way down after hiking to the top of Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh

I spent a ten great days with my mother traveling around Wales and Scotland. I did my homework before the trip, connected with tons of very helpful people via social media, and navigated my way through half of the United Kingdom without any problems. I have lots of gluten-free friends to report back on but here are some of my highlights.

  • Being greeted with a complimentary box of gluten-free cupcakes, cakes, and even potato crisps (chips to us Americans) courtesy of The City Bakehouse, owned by The Allergy Free Bakery, in Cardiff, Wales . We connected via Twitter and when Jo, the owner, learned I would be in Cardiff on the day her shop was closed, she made sure to deliver a package to my hotel for me. If this isn’t an example of Welsh generosity and hospitality, I don’t know what is.
  • Cardiff. We had no idea what to expect since I don’t know anyone that’s been to Wales. My mom and I loved it there! I would definitely go back to Wales to see more of this beautiful country. Why people limit themselves to Ireland and England is beyond me. Go to Wales!!
  • Finding a gluten-free chocolate lava cake at My Home Bakery in Glasgow after sadly discovering Peter’s West End was closed for the day for a film shoot and I would not be able to eat any gluten-free onion rings. Peter’s, think you can send some to NYC? 🙂
  • Marks and Spencers Food Hall. My mom and I LOVED M&S so much that I think we went almost every day. Convenient pre-packaged food, “free from” line, pastries (for my mom), and pre-made gluten-free sandwiches. What’s not to love?
  • Gluten-free afternoon tea at the Scotsman Hotel in Edinburgh. Three delicious tiers of gluten-free amazingness
  • The weather. Ok, this might sound totally crazy but out of 10 days we only had 1 day of slight drizzle. Other than that the weather in both Wales and Scotland was great for us. I think this is a UK miracle. Thank you weather gods.
  • Gluten-free labeling laws in the United Kingdom made it very easy to find “free from” (gluten-free food) without worry. Let’s hope the US labeling laws are this good.
  • Climbing to the top of Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh for sweeping views of the city and water. Gorgeous. Do it!

It was great to travel with my mom. She is a very easy travel companion and is always on the hunt for gluten-free food for me. What more can you ask for in a travel buddy. We had a wonderful time and lots of great memories. I hope to have my gluten-free city guides up soon. Stay tuned!

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Mom and I at the Last Drop pub in Edinburgh. Me enjoying a Winter Pimm’s

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About Erin Smith

Living with celiac disease since 1981 and eating gluten-free long before it was "trendy", Erin Smith has a unique perspective of growing up in the gluten-free community; Founded Gluten-Free Fun in 2007; Founded Gluten-Free Globetrotter® in 2011; Founded GlutenFreelancer® in 2014. Erin was the lead organizer of the NYC Celiac Disease Meetup group, a social community of more than 2,000 members for over a decade and has recently started a support group in Northern California.
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5 Responses to Gluten-Free in Wales and Scotland Highlights

  1. Yay! Glad you and your mum had a great trip and that the weather behaved for you. 🙂

  2. Heidi Bayer says:

    FANTASTIC! I was just thinking about you as I was planning an oh so daunting trip to castles in Germany (and really they’re just too isolated for us). I’ve since turned my sights on Ireland or Scottand and look! You’ve already done 1% of the work for us! All 3 of us are gluten-free and 2 of us have multiple food allergies – just knowing that you had a great trip is a benefit to all of us! Hope to see you around soon. xo

  3. Brendan Mc Mackin says:

    Nice to see you both enjoyed Edinburgh, we had a great time in New York a few weeks ago.
    Love reading your blogs. The gluten free map was handy, most places were up on GF , but Heartland Brewery_Midtown West kind of let us down, it may have changed owners but the waiter had no clue about Gf.
    He was very helpful when I said what I could and could not eat.
    Anyway not to bore you, keep up the blogs and enjoy your travels .
    Regards Brendan.

    • Erin S. says:

      Hi Brendan. Thanks for your comments. Are you sure you went to the Heartland Brewery on 8th Avenue and 40th Street. They should have all of their GF menu items clearly marked and there is a separate prep station for GF in the kitchen. Then again, I haven’t been there in about 6 months. I will have to go in and check. Sorry you were disappointed. Hope you had some other great gluten-free finds in NYC!

  4. UsedToTravel says:

    Wow, sounds great. Do you have a feel how a gluten and casein free celiac could cope with the food in Wales? The gluten part seems do-able.

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