great scottish drives

The amazing Highland drive from Durness to Ullapool

Great Scottish Drives: Durness to Ullapool One of my most common occurrences in helping people decide on the details of their trip to Scotland is the issue of whether or not to drive. All of this wrong side of the road caper that discourages a lot of people from other shores is an unfortunate deterrent for many drivers. Don’t be put off is my response. It may be a worry at first but the chance to find your Scottish freedom and explore off the beaten coach-tour track is an opportunity that would be tragic to miss. The drive from Durness
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things to do near glasgow

The David Livingstone Centre and Bothwell Castle

Things to do near Glasgow Why do I love Glasgow so much? It’s a question that I get asked quite frequently, usually by people who have visited on one of our many rainy days. There’s a long roundabout way of answering this question but to put it succinctly, it’s about the people more than anything else. There’s a hospitality and a humour here that’s unmatched. While I’m gushing praise, another traditional trait is the desire to explore, to be entrepreneurs and pioneers. History is full of great Glaswegians. Not many though have led such an impressive, challenging and absolutely spectacular
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applecross inn

The long and winding road to the Applecross Inn

The Applecross Inn - Scottish dining at its best The journey is nothing short of petrifying. I don't recall ever facing a road like it, not even in rural China. Twists and turns, sheer drops, crumbling roads, a constant ascent in second gear at best, sheer babbling terror at the sight of an oncoming vehicle half a mile away.....My definition of hairpin bend stretched to new limits with the Bealach na Ba. If you attempt this drive at night you will very likely die, I'm quite sure of that. Even in daylight I'm astonished its legal. Damn good fun though.
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loch ness castle

Highlights of a drive around Loch Ness

Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle There are few more Scottish sights than that of Urquhart Castle on the banks of Loch Ness on a misty day. Involuntary bagpipes fill your ears and your mind’s eye is consumed with thoughts of kilts, shortbread and a bloody big monster that lurks beneath the waves waiting for his moment. Well, no, that last bit’s nonsense but it’s still a powerful image. Loch Ness has long been a major pull for the tourist masses desperate to see the largest of Scotland’s lochs and get caught up in the fanfare and occasional hysteria re the
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glenlivet distillery tour

Going on a whisky distillery tour

Glenlivet Distillery Tour - dropping by on a Speyside giant Whisky. Oh, whisky. One of life’s good bits. And what do you know, Scotland does it best. Whether you just enjoy an occasional sip or have whisky top of your list of reasons not to die, there’s a good chance your needs will be more than satisfied with a visit to Scotchland. I receive a lot of enquiries about whisky distillery tours and my whisky guide will give you the key facts and the best options of where to find yourself a tour. Here though is a closer look at
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cape wrath coastline

Hanging over the edge of Britain at Cape Wrath

Cape Wrath: Scotland's dramatic north western tip How many times have you travelled as a tourist to an existing bombing site? As in, you pay money willingly and with a smile to go somewhere that is so remote that the military still use it for regular target practice? It’s certainly a first for me. Cape Wrath, at the very north western tip of the British mainland, is where I’m all too thrilled to be on the receiving end of Her Majesty’s Air Force. The west coast of Scotland is a specialist in rugged and dramatic scenery. People come from everywhere
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craigievar castle

Craigievar Castle – have you ever visited a pink castle?

Craigievar Castle, Aberdeenshire A pink castle. You don't see one of them every day. Aberdeenshire is castle country in Scotland, they're everywhere. Overall I feel that Craigievar is my favourite. A lot of its local rivals are that grand, modernish type of affair that you find less of in the Central region. They are not the kind of castles that have me scrambling for my nearest iDevice for note-taking I must admit. I'm generally more of the 'barely even there due to years of perpetual conflict' type of castle lover. Ruins, basically. The more dramatic the better. But that's just
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things to do in fife

The East Neuk of Fife

Things to do in Fife - driving the East Neuk While I've been waiting out the winter in my urban hideaway, I feel that I have been deprived of a really amazing fish supper for far too long.  A good chippy is almost taken for granted in Scotland but nothing beats one on the coast. So off I go for a tour of the East Neuk of Fife to reacquaint myself with Scottish coastal magnificence. The route takes in the charming fishing villages of Crail, Anstruther, Pittenweem, St Monans, Elie and Earlsferry. Each has that guaranteed quaintness you might expect
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best of scotland

My top 10 reasons to love Scotland

The Best of Scotland If you have been following me or Locomotion for any length of time you will know that I love Scotland. I can't get enough of the place. I could talk all day about why it's the best country in the world but for those travellers who need a quick list of reasons to make it your next destination here's my run-through of the best of Scotland in my eyes. Cities Edinburgh is long-established as one of the top cities in Europe for tourists to visit. No wonder with such a stunning setting and Edinburgh Castle looming
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edinburgh castle scotland travel blog

A day out at one of Scotland’s top tourist attractions

Edinburgh Castle blog You can spend endless days, weeks, months scouring the globe looking for the best, most spectacular sights in the world. But sometimes it is wonderful not to have to travel far to see something really special. Being Scottish, it's great to have world class attractions right on my doorstep and they don't come much finer than Edinburgh Castle. Castle Rock has had an action-packed history. Earliest inhabitants go all the way back to around 900BC. The castle's role as a military stronghold began during the time of Robert the Bruce and the Wars of Independence with England
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isle of skye

Isle of Skye: Why it belongs on your Scotland itinerary

Isle of Skye, does scenery get better than this? I've often being asked to name the absolute number one thing to see in Scotland. An impossible question of course, but one that gets the mind and the pulse racing. There's Glen Coe, an area of simply sublime beauty. Or Edinburgh, one of the most evocative cities in the world. There's Loch Lomond, nature at its most...... I'd be here all day and you can see where this is going. Yes, without doubt, the Isle of Skye is one of the most amazingly beautiful parts of my country. More than anything
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battle of bannockburn

The new visitor centre for the Battle of Bannockburn

The Battle of Bannockburn Scotland's history is rife with conflict as battles over land, religion and politics have left their mark all over the country. Most famous of all is the Battle of Bannockburn. Well, we won this one so of course we'd say that! 2014 is the 700th anniversary of the battle and the area has been given an impressive lift with the opening of a new visitor centre that is sure to become one of central Scotland's leading attractions. Here's a super quick run-through of this epic 1314 standoff. Before Scotland vs England. King Robert the Bruce vs
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dirleton castle

Exploring the ruins of Dirleton Castle

Dirleton Castle - the classic Scottish fortress The photogenic Tantallon Castle nearby gets most of the castle publicity in this part of Scotland but Dirleton Castle is still one of my favourites. The structure of it alone takes me back to being a kid playing with my medieval lego. High unassailable walls, the remains of a moat, rugged foundations and more. Legoland designers had this place in mind I think. Internally too the castle holds a labyrinth of passages and staircases within. What I wouldn't have given to have lived near this place when I was a boy.... We love
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Great Scottish Drives: Glasgow to Oban

The drive from Glasgow to Oban is one of the best in Scotland Road trips are often the name of the game when it comes to the Highlands of Scotland. Very difficult to adequately experience without a car, there's an obvious temptation to head north and just see where the road takes you. There have been much worse ideas. The Cairngorms, the North Coast 500, Lochaber et al make for a mouthwatering collection of options. Trying to identify the best routes is no easy task but Glasgow to Oban is one of the most straightforward and accessible, even for first
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isle of colonsay

Exploring the islands: Isle of Colonsay

The Isle of Colonsay and its unassuming charms So often the biggest challenge when it comes to visiting Scotland's Isles is knowing which ones to squeeze into your Scotland itinerary. The simple fact is that everyone I know who has experienced the islands of Scotland has their own favourites. Their are obvious unmissables such as Skye and Mull, and there are those a little further off the beaten track that offer more subtle delights. The Isle of Colonsay falls into the latter category. Like so much of this part of the world, it's all about the beaches. Kiloran Beach is
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rosslyn chapel scotland

One of Scotland’s treasures, Rosslyn Chapel

Rosslyn Chapel Scotland In a country full of amazing buildings and architecture it is not always easy to pick out some favourites. Rosslyn Chapel, though, is a highlight that cannot be disputed. This has to be the most beautiful church in Scotland. Small and compact but with a lot of personality, Rosslyn Chapel has become one of Scotland's top attractions. It was built in the 15th Century and every part of the structure is incredibly intricate and detailed. There are a lot of stories within these walls. My favourite is the one of the Green Man. This is the Spiderman-villain
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glencoe scotland

Arguably Scotland at its most perfect – Glencoe

The search for breathtaking in Glencoe Scotland Ask almost any Scot to name the most beautiful parts of their country and Glen Coe will be on their list. It pretty much encapsulates most people's vision of the Scottish Highlands. No surprise then that films such as Monty Python, Harry Potter and the newest James Bond movie have used Glen Coe for filming. Aside from the widely-held view that it is amongst the most beautiful parts of the world, Glen Coe is also famous for its gruesome history. It's Scotland after all and there's not a patch of grass here that
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tantallon castle

A room with a view? Try Tantallon Castle

Tantallon Castle - one of Scotland's most dramatic Scotland's cliff-top castles are hard to match for thrills and Tantallon Castle is up there with the very best in the country. Situated close to the town of North Berwick near Edinburgh it dramatically overlooks Scotland's east coastline. As a result it has become one of the most photograhed castles in the country, not to mention making my list of top clifftop castles! The history of Tantallon Castle is predictably noteworthy. Here is a brief run through. Built mid-14th Century it was the base for the Douglas Earls of Angus. This lot
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top restaurants in glasgow

Glasgow’s best restaurants: Where to eat in Glasgow

Top restaurants in Glasgow: The best food in the city I'm always talking up Glasgow these days. From the wonderful locals to the superb architecture it is a city that keeps getting better and better. But in my past scribbles I've ommitted Glasgow's cuisine from my gushing praise. Well, no more! Here's the run-through of my top restaurants in Glasgow.   The Indian influence Indian cusine has had a huge impact on Scotland and it's most prominent in Glasgow. Indian restaurants are to be found throughout the city but my favourites (and it's hard to narrow this shortlist down) are:
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callanish standing stones

The Callanish Standing Stones on the Isle of Lewis

Callanish Standing Stones - A Scottish Treasure The incredible highlight of the Isle of Lewis is one of Scotland's most photographed attractions. It is an area steeped in history with an atmosphere to rival any of the world's great archaeological sites. For many it is better than Stonehenge. Within a short drive of Stornoway, the main site is principally 13 powerful pillars surrounding a monolith. It is thought that this site was constructed between 2900 and 2600 BC. It is suitably placed on a high ridge that overlooks Loch Roag with this location adding hugely to the mood of the
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