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Road Tripping the Western Stretch of the NC500

Campervan Travel Between the North Coast 500 Campsites Immediately on heading northwards from Plockton, the magnitude and scale of the far northwest bears its soul. Lurking clouds obscure the rugged peaks’ highest points, sullen waterways bring no warmth and limited, barely-there settlements offer no hearty welcome. No, there is an inescapable dread about dusk in these parts. A fear even, as the glowering mountains snooze with one angry eye ever-so-slightly ajar. Almost hoping to catch your gaze and glare you back from whence you came in Mordor-like fashion. Welcome to Sutherland. Compared to the downright jolly peaks of Perthshire and
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Scotland’s Spectacular North West and the Walks of Sutherland

Lochinver Walks - The Heart of Sutherland The truth is there’s something about our mountains. If Scotland was an animal, there's no doubt it’d be a lion. But not any old lion and not just because there's one in our unofficial flag. It’d be a wise, elderly beast, one carrying the weight of a lifetime of effort and relentless contemplation. And a big soul, Scotland’s all about soul. I don’t think this soul is embodied any more intensely than by our mountains. And, based on my recent trip to Lochinver, I'm starting to conclude that nowhere does them better than
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The Scotlanders Head to East Lothian!

Things to do in East Lothian I always find myself getting irritable and impatient over winter – especially such a hideously extended winter such as we’ve just had – as my desire to get out and take on the best of Scotland intensifies by the day. Our long-running Scotlanders campaigns are very much part of the itchy feetedness as I anticipate our blogger team shaking off the slumber to team up for another travel challenge. Our first of 2018 sees us head to unearth the best things to do in East Lothian. Welcoming back our friend Kim and new team
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The Spectacular North Uist Beaches

The Beaches of North Uist Glowing white sands stretching for miles, uninterrupted by anything that humankind has brought to the world. Fresh winds and crashing waves the only sounds. A mess of vibrant colours bouncing back at you. Distant peaks and islands standing proud on the horizon. It all sounds like something pulled out of a lullaby. But this is the reality of the coastlines of the Outer Hebrides, places that no-one could not love. Whether these thoughts creep in while staring glumly at the photocopier, plodding to work amidst a concrete jungle or it’s just Hawaii Five-O that’s giving
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Walking Holidays Scotland – Taking on the Uists

Walking Holidays Scotland - I'm off to the Uists! I’ve always enjoyed a very intense relationship with the Outer Hebrides. Since I was able to pull myself upright as a baby, I’ve never been able to get enough of these jaw-dropping coastlines and peaks – stretches of landscape that truly define raw, natural beauty. Since taking on my travel blogging work, I’ve found myself back here each year to remind myself that this is a part of the world that has no comparable rivals. This time, it’s the turn of the Uists to challenge my expectations and see if they
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Looking back on a long, cold winter with a dram in hand

Whisky 2018 – My Top Suggestions Coming off a seemingly endless winter, it’s fair to say the whisky cabinet has taken a bit of a battering in early 2018. Dark, cold and unwelcoming nights have seen the increasingly set-in-his-ways old grouch that I am spend much of my time slippered-up, dram in hand, mumbling cantankerously at the state of things. Aside from just sitting there getting increasingly inebriated though, there has been an undisputed positive. I’ve been sampling some new expressions, exploring new distilleries and trying hard to extend my knowledge of Scottish whisky. Every cloud and all that. I’m
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The Outlander Adventure Continues with the Season 3 Filming Locations

Outlander Season 3 Filming Locations While we all patiently awaited the release of Season 3 of Outlander, I have to admit to being concerned upon hearing that Jamie and Claire would spend much of the Season in far more exotic places than moody Scotland. Coconuts, snakes and rum seem a far cry from rough drams necked back from the saddle, sideyways rain and over-zealous redcoats. But although South Africa was to deputise as a location for much of the Caribbean locations as the tumultuous couple braved the Colonies, I’m delighted to say that Scotland still got its fair share of
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What to do in and around Aviemore

What to do in Aviemore and Around With the alarmingly cold burst of Siberian weather that has found its way to Scotland, early optimism towards spring has been postponed. Moping around the city is certainly not the answer to such changes in expectation and when it comes to embracing wintery Scotland, The Cairngorms has no equal. A favourite for skiers, winter hikers, wildlife spotters and landscape photographers amongst others, I’m currently exploring the best things to do near Aviemore. The go-to base for exploring the best of the Cairngorms National Park, I’m branching out a little to take on culture,
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The William Wallace Story

William Wallace, Scottish Patriot and Icon Whenever I’m feeling the need to be especially, and very heart-thumpingly, Scottish, I internalise the immortal quote from Braveheart that rallied the troops before they headed to their near-certain death at the Battle of Stirling. I like to think that if William Wallace could see this as being my definition of utter, awesome Scottishness, he might raise a smile. But this week I’ve been pondering it more often than most as I’ve been visiting some of the great remaining tributes to one of Scotland’s most famous sons. Wallace’s 'Sons of Scotland' speech from Braveheart,
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A Different Way to Experience the Highlands – Campervan Hire in Scotland

Campervan Hire Scotland My first road trip to the Highlands this year sees me breaking from the mould. I’m ditching the car and embracing an alternative means of travel – the motorhome. While very much a tentative campervan newbie here, it’s an area that I get a lot of enquiries about and it’s high time I developed some experience from which to give some useful advice. It’s all very well getting a guided tour of one of these things, but nothing puts it to the personal test like getting it out on the road and seeing how it measures up.
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Hidden Glasgow: A Visit to the GMRC

Surprising Scotland - Glasgow Museums Resource Centre Perhaps my favourite element within this strange job of mine is when I see something familiar from a completely different perspective. I spend a lot of time investigating what Scotland has to offer and, while I’m generally in a state of constant appreciation, it's a great feeling when I unearth a place that completely takes me aback. Especially when it’s been right under my nose the whole time. The Glasgow Museums Resource Centre is one such place. I’ve spent the last several weeks blazing a culture trail through my home town, which is
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The Cateran Trail with a Difference – Join me for a Yomp in the Highlands

The Cateran Yomp Muddy boots, damp socks, sweaty brows, trembling knees….and an ear to ear smile. Just some of the typical characteristics of a long-distance walker that has found the necessary inspiration to take on the Scottish Highlands. For lovers of the outdoors, endurance events are about as much fun as it gets and this year I’m working in support of the Cateran Yomp to get folk out for a good cause. Raising funds for soldiers, veterans and their families, the result of this inspired hike is an unmatched camaraderie, the achievement of personal and team milestones….and memories to last
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things to do in scotland 2018

Things to do in Scotland 2018

Activities to get up to in Scotland 2018 It’s that time of year again. When those best laid plans and resolutions seem more ominous by the day and the first shifts back at work trigger soul searching and an alarming amount of time spent on Google. But, unlike the overly optimistic gym membership, those fanciful cookbooks you intended to delve into or that bizarre amount of quinoa that's optimistically taken over the cupboard, making travel plans is much more straightforward. And much less painful. With a new year comes new objectives and, whether you’re coming from near or far, here
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What I Love Most About Glasgow’s West End

Living in the West End of Glasgow First of all, a very Happy New Year to you! Hopefully 2018 brings lots of great experiences and memories, even better still if they involve Scotland. I'm kicking off my year by staying close to base, with a look at my home turf of Glasgow and a reflective wander into my relationship with the city. For someone with such a wanderlust throughout my twenties I’ve not been able to make much sense of my overwhelming contentment to be home, and home to stay. Not just home in Scotland but home within a couple
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A Look Back at a Year of Scotland Travel Memories

My 2017 Year Summary It’s been another great year on the road for this traveller. From continuing to unearth local treasures close to my Glasgow base to stretching my travel limits to new geographies, my calendar for the year has thrown up a little bit of everything. My long-awaited trip to Shetland was a first for me – and the most northerly I’ve ever been. Proudly boasting its own micro-culture and a distinctly different travel experience, it’s always special when you learn something very new in this line of work. My annual jaunt to the Isle of Harris was a
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Cultural Scotland – A Look at our Best Museums

The Best Museums in Scotland - My Top Picks While I tend to focus almost obsessively on the outdoors, history and whisky in my travel blogging adventures, I have spent much of early winter consumed in the world of culture. One of the most fantastic places on the planet for this stuff, Scotland not only punches above its weight in the museums department but we have artwork, displays and exhibits that can leave visitors with lifelong memories. I’m going to ambitiously try and pick out those that have had the biggest impact on me over the course of my more
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A Review of the Best Glasgow West End Restaurants

Glasgow West End Restaurants – My Top Picks As a great and enthusiastic lover of food, it’s a little bit of a wonder to me why I don’t write about it more often. I suppose it’s because I don’t like the nature of restaurant reviews all that much, that I cook a lot myself therefore am pretty fussy and that finding consistency in even the best restaurants can be exceptionally tricky. So my look at the best Glasgow west end restaurants comes to you now because the guys on this list are big, big friends of mine. I live within
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Castles near Glasgow

Exploring the Castles Near Glasgow With the rain lashing off the windows, the heating creeping on and darkness storming in by 4pm, I’m going to spend the next several weeks fairly close to home. While that would throw most instinctive travellers into something of a tantrum, I couldn’t be happier. My home city of Glasgow is my favourite place in the world. Sure I’ll take it for granted from time to time, but it gives me an enormous sense of comfort to know that I’m where I belong in the world. It’s where life started for me and I love
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Scotland from a Different Perspective

Drone Photography in Scotland - My Highlights so Far 2017 has been the Year of the Drone for this travel blogger. I’ve taken to the skies in a bid to see a very different side to Scotland, with the odd moment of sheer awe and occasional terrifying gust of wind adding to the excitement along the way. But where have my highlights taken me in year one as a UAV pilot? Our spectacular coastlines present infinite possibilities, our moody and remote ruins beg for a flyover and our vast glens offer up all sorts of challenges to your far-sightedness. Drone
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The Shetland Isles – A Day Trip to Unst

Highlights of an Unst Day Trip The force of the wind is difficult to resist, the screeching of several thousand seabirds is a repetitive din in the background and the drama of the ocean surrounding me is all-consuming. I’ve spent the last couple of hours strolling between sheep, gawking at the vast spectacle of the Isle of Unst’s coastline. Human presence has long since been forgotten and on a grey and moody day in far-away Shetland, it’s just me and Mother Nature. I’m standing at pretty much the most northerly point of Scotland. And it feels good. Following on from
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