Touring the beautiful land.
A Scotland Touring Blog – 10th February 2021
As snow falls all over Scotland this February, the country is putting on yet another show of stunning natural beauty in our winter landscape. Our private guided tours of Scotland are always designed to go to the most beautiful and natural places. We know all the best viewpoints and short walks, so you can enjoy the wonders of Scotland’s famous natural beauty, with an experienced local guide. We also offer low season tours from late October to March, where you can experience and immerse yourself in unique landscapes when there are no tourist crowds. Mountains and wild landscape are made for winter, and Scotland has this in abundance. We believe that mountains and rivers should be on the cool side! There is nothing like putting your hand in or taking a drink of a cold fresh mountain stream. Or simply listening to the sound of running water as it works its way tirelessly through the landscape, and it seems more beautiful when you know it is extremely cold!
Did you know that Scotland has over 30,000 lochs? They are all natural too. There are the famous ones such as Loch Ness, Loch Lomond, Loch Tay and a few others. But what about Loch Torridon, Loch Creran or Loch Shin? All worthy of a mention, and well worth the journey to see and escape into nature. When we are out touring, we always include stops by the unknown gem, the place we have researched when putting an itinerary together so to give you a locals view of the country. We love back roads and side roads and roads less travelled and, thankfully, there are many undiscovered places that we can still enjoy.
The rugged and wild landscape of the Scottish Highlands is one huge area of natural beauty. 10,000 square miles of beauty to be precise. And it is displayed in mountains, islands, lochs, rivers, hills and endless flat moorlands. Imagine living in a country where 33% of the land could be a national park, include the areas of picturesque Aberdeenshire, Perthshire, the Borders and Fife and we are closing in on 90% of natural beauty in our landscape. We are incredibly lucky here in Scotland then! Travel out of Edinburgh going north, south or east and within an hour, or sometimes less, you will be in a beautiful landscape. Heading north out of Glasgow and within the same amount of time, you will be in one of the world’s most picturesque national parks, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. An area of outstanding beauty. The park offers amazing touring opportunities from walking, hiking up hills and mountains, lochside walks, including the West Highland Way, cycling, mountain biking, water sports or simply driving around and stopping off to enjoy the views. We love Loch Voil and the walking and views around this corner of the park. There is a wonderful hotel with amazing food here too, Monachyle Mhor Monachyle Mhor When you leave the national park driving north, the landscape continues in its stunning form as you travel through Glen Ogle, Glen Dochart and Loch Lubhair. You are now entering remote mountain country and this is exemplified as you journey over the Black Mount to Rannoch Moor and then into one of the worlds greatest natural valleys – Glencoe. This landscape will take your breathe away, and it will stay with you forever. It is almost as if the purpose of the glacier that ripped through here around 12,000 years ago, was for our pleasure! It gouged away into the landscape just to show us what it can do, as if to say, “I have sculpted you an amazing natural playground, now come and enjoy it”. And we do, every year come rain or shine, winter or summer, Glencoe will always get you, and once visited you will always have a piece of it in your heart.
I have made many friends across Scotland since we started doing our tours of Scotland in 2005, and one such person was a gentleman who originated from the Lake District in England, Grieg Hall. Grieg was an artist and mountain man and lived the last twenty years of his life in the beautiful highland village of Torridon. The mountains and landscapes of Torridon and Wester Ross provided plenty of subject matter for his painting and he walked the the mountains and land on a weekly basis. He used to say, “the best air up here is when it blows down from the north, it comes from Greenland you know”. I just love the fact that fresh, unpolluted air makes its way from a frozen land and over the seas to arrive on Scotland’s shores. It adds to the experience of being in a natural and sparsely populated environment.
One of my favourite walks in the Scottish Highlands is in Torridon. The walk around Loch Coulin and Loch Clair situated about halfway down Glen Torridon, is a half day excursion I have enjoyed with many clients and I look forward to getting up there again. It is a flat and easy walk and takes a half a day at a relaxing pace. You wouldn’t want to hurry it anyway! The views of Ben Eighe and Liathach are both outstanding and unique such is the colour and shape of these beautiful mountains. It is also a walk where you have a high chance enjoying it without many others such is its remote location.
As we tour around the Scottish Highlands in our luxury vehicles, we enjoy amazing views of this unique landscape. We get out and experience it, even if it is just for a 20-minute walk, or a shorter photo stop or a view. We do longer walks too, which are suitable for all levels of fitness. Stopping to get out the vehicle is an absolute must, even if the weather is not cooperating. Because when you are outside, breathing the fresh air and standing against such a dramatic backdrop, you fully appreciate where you are.
We are planning new and favourite old routes to put into our tours, so that when travel is open to all again, you will have the opportunity to see, and enjoy, the absolute best of one of the most amazing places on earth – Scotland!
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