Incase you haven’t guessed from the last 10 months of blogging, I love Scotland. There are so many reasons I have fallen in love with Scotland and none of them I expected before setting out to explore. However the biggest reason is because Scotland taught me to travel in my home country. It has shown me that it is worth exploring parts of your home country because you never know what you will find. If you drive an hour north of Glasgow/Edinburgh you will be amazed at the landscape you find. So although this post is mostly about why I love Scotland and what you can expect from your visit. I also want to remind you that, you can travel in your home country and still have an amazing time. Being on a tight budget doesn’t mean you can’t go ‘travelling’ it just means you have to look closer to home for those incredible experiences.
Scotland is covered in amazing beaches the problem is a lot of them are also well hidden beaches. Take Sandwood Bay for instance, I would never have known about that beach if it wasn’t for a local recommendation. Plus even when I did know about it, it was still a four mile hike to find it. Other beaches like Bettyhill and Durness are easy to find but located away from any main town or city. This had me thinking all these amazing beaches were only located in the north of Scotland and not easily accessible from Glasgow/Edinburgh, then I went to the Isle of Mull. I found the same kind of beautiful beaches much closer to home and soon realised you can find them all over Scotland.
These monroes appear on the horizon around 20 minutes outside of Glasgow, from there north they never disappear. There are so many small and large monroes covering the country you will not know where to look half the time. Come winter they will be covered head to foot in snow but once summer rolls around the snow will mostly clear. This is the perfect time for climbing these famous mountains especially Ben Nevis. If you’re not quite that energetic then there are much small monroes to climb like Ben A’an. The other great thing about Scotland being covered in monroes is the snowsports they offer at budgeted prices.
I feel like a bit of a fraud saying this as I’ve only been to two islands but I’m confident the rest are just the same. Stunning landscapes and more of those amazing beaches. Some islands are easier to get to than others: Skye has a road connecting it and Mull is only a 45 minute ferry ride compared to the 12 hour ride to Shetland. It isn’t just being on the islands that make them beautiful, on a clear day looking over the bay at Dunnet Head gives you beautiful vistas of the Orkney Islands.
I loved the north of Scotland because there was nothing there. Now this may sound like a silly statement but nothing beats being fully surrounded by an empty landscape. You would meet no one for miles and it would feel like you were the only ones on earth exploring the land. It meant being able to go down to the beach and have it all to yourself, which sounds perfect if you ask me. (Please note I travelled in the north during March before peak season started)
Scotland is world famous for lochs with the famous Loch Lomond and Loch Ness as well as some more beautiful and lesser known lochs. On a clear day a loch will give you a perfect mirror reflection and you will struggle to take your eyes off of it. Typically no matter how big a loch you will find yourself driving the entire way around it just to get somewhere, these Scots didn’t like building bridges across their precious lochs.
I love a good roadtrip as we all know and seem to have done a lot of them since landing in Scotland last year. It has helped that I’ve owned my own car this year but with so much on my doorstep to see I’d be silly to not have gone out driving. Some times it wasn’t easy with single lane tracks dominating half of Scotland, a lack of petrol stations as you drive north, and some crazy steep roads. Still what made it hardest was the stunning views distracting my eyes from the road. There are so many places to visit via car in Scotland and you won’t realise the distances until you start driving.
I’ve touched on this briefly above but Scotland really does have something to offer everyone. With monroes for my favourite winter sport of snowboarding, week long trails for a spot of hiking, lochs full of water perfect for a kayak and decent waves up north for those brave enough to get in the cold water. It isn’t just these crazy adventure sports that Scotland offer they are also the home of golf with gold courses in every town basically and of course the Scots favourite sport of drinking…..
Don’t forget to try some whisky when you visit.