From its emerald green rolling hills to its treasured crumbling castles, Scotland is a photographer’s dream. Local Alistair Horne takes us on a visual journey of his homeland, and tells us why Scotland should be next on your travel list.
Travel to: Scotland
1. Autumn colours
Fall is a glorious time to be out and about in the wild, exploring what mother nature has to offer. Scotland comes alive around October time with colours of red and yellow and this completely changes typical views into masterpieces. The Perthshire area of Scotland is one that should be seen in autumn and is a prime example of why this season is one of the best and always eagerly anticipated on these shores.
2. The wildlife
The depth and variety of animals on show in Scotland is astounding, albeit you have to be in the right place at the right time. If you are looking for deer or highland cows, take a trip to Glencoe or Mugdock Country Park respectively and you will not be disappointed! Both varieties are tame, so be careful beside them as they are more scared than you are.
See Also: Ireland Vs Scotland: Where Will You Go?
3. Castles and the Scottish history
Scotland is world famous for its castles, not just because so many are in pristine condition but also because many are set against some of the most breath-taking views in Britain. With hundreds to choose from, you will be spoilt for choice to learn about the bloody Scottish history and what happened in their walls. Kilchurn Castle, first built in 1450, is a prime example of that. Overlooking Loch Awe from the top of the castle is a sight to behold and a great reminder of the tough times in the past.
4. The best driving roads
Whether you want to explore the highlands and the rolling valleys, the craggy Atlantic coastline or dreamy islands, a drive through Scotland’s scenery is as diverse as it gets. Hours of driving can get you tired, but not when you have views and vistas like here. Glencoe, a tourist haven being only 2 hours from Glasgow is a prime example. The A82 that runs through the Glencoe valley has jaw dropping views a plenty. Give yourself a few hours to wander and explore all that is has to offer, including Glen Etive, the road used for filming in James Bond’s Skyfall.
See Also: The Iceland Ring Road
5. The Isle of Skye
In my opinion, this is the little gem of Scotland. The largest of the Inner Hebrides islands, this place typifies the beauty of our country. Dominated by the Cuillin mountain range, this is my favourite place to explore. The dramatic Quiraing picture was formed by one of Britain’s largest landslides and still moves to this day with annual road repairs needed. The view from the top after the drive is not bad, don’t you think? Not many tourists know of this spot, so when you get there, you can thank me later!
6. Famous movie scenes
Scotland is brimming with scenery, architecture, roads and places used by Hollywood over the years. Pictured is the Glenfinnan Viaduct, used in four of the Harry Potter films and is a huge draw for tourists to the country. The Jacobite steam train, running from Fort William to Mallaig, which I fortunately was on last year, gives a great perspective of the Scottish west coast. The 21 arched bridge is visually stunning and is well worth a visit for any Hogwarts fanatic. You can even buy wands and glasses on board!
7. Adventure around every corner
From the mainland to the best kept secrets on the coast, every day spent here will be worthwhile. The feeling of excitement seeing views constantly appear on the horizon will be remembered for a long time in your memory. Loch Achtriochtan and the Old Man of Storr typify adventure for me: from still mornings watching the reflection to challenging walks amongst giant pillars of ancient stone, these areas should definitely be on your list if you are an adrenaline junkie.
After the bright colours of autumn, our landscape dramatically changes with the harsh white winter and cold conditions. The days are short so you need to make the most of the sunlight and experience the country in its new flesh. Wrap up well and embrace the conditions as every view completely alters, bringing a new feel about Scotland. Road-trips are even more memorable added with a touch of snow.