A Wee Highland Guide
The Highlands and Islands of Scotland. An iconic area, overflowing with lore, history and magic. It’s no wonder this area has been used as inspiration for stories, films and music for centuries. It also happens to be my favourite place in the world.
Here is a small guide to my 5 must-see places when visiting the Highlands and Islands of Scotland:
1. The Glenfinnan Viaduct, Glenfinnan
Eagle-eyed Harry Potter fans will recognise this bridge as “The Harry Potter Bridge”, and if you’re lucky, you’ll see the Jacobite steam train (or Hogwarts Express!) chugging along over this beautiful structure. Nearby there is also the Glenfinnan monument, Loch Shiel, a cafe and a gift shop, so it has all the makings of a perfect afternoon out.
2. The Isle of Skye
The haunting echoes of the Skye Boat Song, a beautiful folk song most recently used in the hit show “Outlander”, is enough to make anyone want to make the trip to this magical island. Anywhere that has place names like “The Fairy Pools” and “The Fairy Glen” is instantly a hit with me, but there are also some other hidden gems on Skye if you know where to look. I especially recommend Neist Point Lighthouse, Talisker Bay (and Distillery) and The Old Man of Storr. I need to head back with my big camera, and finally see the Quiraing! (Although, I’d take any excuse to head back to this mystical place).
3. Gruinard Bay, Ross and Cromarty
I’ve visited this bay twice now, and both times it was completely accidental. Most recently, Arron and I had just returned from a night in a bothy after hiking An Teallach, and were looking for a quiet layby in which to park our van and rest for the afternoon. When we rounded the corner, we were treated to the most beautiful view of this azure bay, surrounded by shimmering grey cliffs and white sand. If you’re in need of a quiet day, everywhere in this area is stunning and unspoiled.
4. The Isle of Kerrera
This hidden gem is one of my all-time favourite discoveries. Days before my trip to Oban, Countryfile featured a piece about a tearoom and bunkhouse on a sleepy island just off to the West of Oban, an island that has no proper roads (but has a castle!). I knew this was going to be my kind of place, and I wasn’t disappointed. We spent a few hours walking the path that routes around the whole island, and stopped off at Kerrera Tea Garden and Bunkhouse for a spot of tea and lunch.
5. The Isle of Iona
Just a short ferry ride away from Mull lies the tiny and beautiful Iona, with its historic Iona Abbey (allegedly the location of the birth of Christianity in Scotland), white sandy beaches, aquamarine waters and incredible mussels. Also, if you’re lucky, you might be able to spot a pod of dolphins or pilot whales, a family of seals or otters and maybe even a basking shark or two.
I hope this guide has given you a little inspiration for your next visit to Scotland. If you have any favourite spots in this gorgeous place, comment below!
Have a lovely day,