sea, sand... and Scotland

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

I've sunbathed on white Cypriot sands; stared up at the most incredible African starry skies and heck I've even spent hours of fun getting covered in raspberry ripple and riding donkeys up and down the Blackpool front. (The latter when I was only wee).

But I'd trade them all in to be sat back on the Solway coast with my first true love, looking out from the edge of the Scottish border across the most beautiful, tranquil powdery bay full of glittering little rock pools.

The Solway Coast / image: http://visitsolway.co.uk

I love my country.  I love that I can spend my day-to-day in a buzzy, cosmopolitan city and escape within an hour to luscious scenery - all hills, lochs and rugged coastal walks.

And while sun worshippers might prefer a kit-off, cocktails-in kinda holiday I'd happily give up the plains of Spain for a home-grown adventure of the coastal kind - and the wilder the weather, the better as far as I'm concerned.

2013 commemorates Year of Natural Scotland and what better way to celebrate than by visiting any one of Scotland's stunning and diverse natural landscapes including mountainous peaks, national parks, nature reserves and thousands of miles of coastline packed with romantic little beaches and breath-of-fresh-air getaway retreats.

The Moray Firth / image: http://www.visitscotland.com/

Voted one of the world's top coastlines, the Moray Firth offers opportunity for whale and dolphin watching, while the Orkney Islands northern hemisphere locale means that the summer days are deliciously long with around 18 hours of daylight.  Even after the sun has set around 10.30pm, it is hidden just out of sight so the islands are never truly dark and experience an extended twilight known locally as the 'simmer dim.'

The Faerie Pools of Glenbrittle / image: http://m.tapiture.com/
Those who fancy a tipple in Scotland's most remote pub should take the route of Bonnie Prince Charlie and head to the fjord-like sea lochs of Knoydart; while those looking for a little Celtic magic should visit the Isle of Sky's Faerie Pools - a range of crystal clear, aqua blue pools and waterfalls complete with trickling streams and stepping stones.

And what could be more romantic than a kaleidoscopic glimpse of nature at it's most beautiful - head to Caithness in January where you're most likely to spot the Northern Lights as they dance across the dark Scottish night sky.  It's where I plan to spend my hogmanay this year - think little log cabin, roaring open fire and a bottle of frozen whisky... I just need to find my man-in-a-kilt to spend it with.

6 comments:

  1. lovely post. i moved to scotland, from england, just over two years ago and i'm a keen hiker so i try to get out and about on walks every weekend. some of the views are just incredible and i love how you can go from busy town to remote countryside in a matter of miles. it really is amazing.

    Carry x
    shockwavesupernova.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks Carry, we really are very lucky up here aren't we? My boss is a marathon runner in his spare time and quite often does the same for his training runs. I'm so looking forward to exploring more of Scotland x

      Delete
  2. Such a lovely post, I honestly have not explored my country a great deal which is kind of sad really as there is so much beautiful scenery around. The northern lights is something i have always wanted to see i think a wee trip there is needed! xx

    Claire does beauty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Clare, I'm the same - definitely need to see more of Scotland - and oooh, how amazing would it be to see the northern lights

      Delete
  3. I love the Solway Coast, I normally go to Wickerman Festival every year which is down there and its amazing, I love exploring the wee caves on the beach, its a lovely place x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ah, I've never been to Wickerman - it's definitely on the bucket list though! x

      Delete