Pathfinder pics: wild about the Scottish Highlands
Lonely Planet Pathfinder Yasmine Awwad of peekingduck.co recently explored the windswept wilds of the Scottish Highlands. As well as hiking, road tripping and drinking in the spectacular scenery, she discovered a unique culture and spirit that stretches from Glasgow to Glen Coe and beyond...
The Scottish Highlands, with their glens, lochs and wild coastline, have some of the most remote landscapes in the UK. We spent 10 days driving around the northern two-thirds of Scotland, camping by the sea and getting lost down country lanes surrounded by scenery so beautiful that we didn’t even mind. We often had the white sand beaches to ourselves, spent afternoons walking in the hills, and evenings eating fresh local seafood or sitting around a campfire.
On the road
A road trip is, in my opinion, the best way to explore this part of Scotland. The roads are winding and sometimes single track, but the views are just spectacular. There are so many places to stop along the way – however long you think you need here it won’t be enough, I can promise you that! We’re already thinking about our next trip...
The beautiful Glen Coe
If you’re short on time and want to visit somewhere that’s easily accessible, but still feels wild and remote, Glen Coe is perfect. A two-hour drive from Glasgow and you’ll be surrounded by mountains as breathtaking as this one!
Keeping warm by the fireside
Each evening we’d set up our tent, cook dinner on our stove or campfire, and look up the places we’d be driving through the next day (using our trusty Lonely Planet guide of course). You can wild camp in most of Scotland or spend the night in one of the many campsites, but sleeping beneath the stars amongst the glorious landscapes will be an unforgettable experience for sure.
Highland cattle taking it easy
The most iconic animal of any Scottish trip – the Highland cow. These gentle, hardy creatures can be found roaming around the countryside and sometimes even at the side of the road if you're lucky!
Deserted Sandwood Bay
A four-mile walk from the nearest road, Sandwood Bay is a huge expanse of golden sand, topped off by a backdrop of sand dunes and grazing sheep. It looks almost tropical, but even on a sunny day you'd have to be pretty brave to get in the water!
Little loch house
This is typical of the scenery we drove past during our road trip. It’s most dramatic along the northwest coast I think. This little cottage in the middle of a loch may just be my dream house!
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