Scotland has recently been voted ‘The World’s Most Beautiful Country’ and I can definitely see why. From beautiful mountains, waterfalls, rivers and forests, to deserted golden beaches and crystal clear waters, Scotland truly is a beautiful country. My family has visited Scotland for as long as I can remember and there are so many places that hold fond memories. This summer we headed North once again to celebrate my Mum’s birthday in one of her favourite places.
Big Sky Lodges near Muir of Ord was our base, but we had plenty of opportunities to travel around Scotland travelling to and from the Black Isle and during our stay.
We crossed the border into Scotland at Gretna Green and made our way up to Glasgow for the evening, where Pete and I wandered the city, enjoyed a Mexican meal then stayed up into the night enjoying cocktails at a jazz bar called Blue Dog. The next day we woke up to drive towards the Black Isle, stopping off on the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond – a beautiful scenic Loch, which shimmered in the summer sun!
From Loch Lomond we wound our way around the roads of Loch Lomond and The Trossochs National Park then headed towards Glencoe, which in wintertime is deep in snow as a ski resort. From there we looked out across to my Dad’s favourite mountain, Buachaille Etive Mor before heading on to Fort William.
Continuing on to the Black Isle, we drove through Banavie spotting Neptune’s staircase; definitely one to stop off at if you are interested in canals, with an impressive chain of 8 successive locks on the Caledonian Canal.
Further along our drive, we came to Fort Augustus then headed along the West side of famous Loch Ness (sadly there was no monster to be seen that day!) before arriving at Inverness and the nearby Black Isle.
Highlights from the Black Isle have to be Channonray Point; the perfect spot to see dolphins in the wild and Cromarty, a small village at the tip of the Isle with beautiful views out to sea!
One of our days in Scotland we went across the country, driving down Glen Doherty and getting that Lonely Planet shot along the North Coast 500 route, admiring the beautiful scenery on both sides.
We drove across to harbour town Gairloch and enjoyed coffee and cake at the Mountain Coffee Company, known for its giant, homemade scones before going on to what has to be one of my favourite places in Scotland; Mellon Udrigle.
A hidden-gem to many tourists, this golden sandy beach sits deserted for many months of the year keeping the crystal clear waters, beautiful rock formations and Highland mountain views to itself.
Walking along the pristine beach on a sunny day you could almost be anywhere in the world (although the winds and cold chill in the air are a bit of a give away).
Scotland, you are truly beautiful and it, once again, was a privilege to visit.