The Scottish Highlands: A Natural Beauty
By Brenda Pomponio
You can see images on your screen of the rolling hills, vast countryside, epic mountainous landscape and sweeping skies– but nothing will prepare you for just how incredible experiencing the Scottish Highlands are in person.
Whether you are an avid fan of Harry Potter, Outlander, Braveheart or Lord of the Rings, or even just love the outdoors then Scotland and in particular the Highlands will give you all the feels. Recently my husband and two children took a journey through the highlands. We ventured from the bustling streets of Glasgow, saying goodbye to all the creature comforts we had in our Airbnb apartments to pick up our six berth motorhome that would be our transportation and accommodation for the next ten days. Heading North West towards Glen Coe passing Loch Lomond our first day was a good indication of what was to come as we were immediately impressed with green pastures, mountains so close you believed you could touch from the car window as misty clouds descended up top them.
Our first night in the Highlands was at one of the most picturesque locations at Bunree. We set up our table and chairs, cooked dinner and enjoyed the scenery before us. It was a moment we all had to pinch ourselves to believe it to be real.
We kept our itinerary loose yet we were keen to visit certain parts of Scotland so had a plan to travel most mornings, explore in the afternoon and then set up base for the night. Our motorhome allowed the freedom to move around when we wanted and stop in the most remote locations when the desire hit for a mid morning coffee or to take up an opportunistic photo session.
I was adamant to capture the lush greenery in all its moody glory and even a highland cow! Heading further west, our drive took us to Invergarry and this day it did not stop raining so we were forced to bunk down in our cabin for the evening at Morvic Caravan Park, enjoying the sound of rain on the roof and playing Uno with the kids. Even with the unfavorable weather, these are moments we will cherish forever. The next morning, however, was promising so we visited Eileen Donan Castle – which is probably one of the most photographed castles in Scotland. Our time here was appreciated by all. The rooms are decorated to entice the imagination back in the life of Scottish Clans and wars between England and France.
One must see on our list was the Isle of Skye, so we scheduled in two days to explore this rugged island. I was tempted to stop every five minutes to take photographs as the scenery was making me so excited at every turn. We ventured north to Portree, Kilt Rock and Staffin which is where we stopped for our first night on the Island.
Staying at Staffin Caravan Park, we were treated to the most stunning vista overlooking the east coast of the Isle (which was just a short walk from the campsite). As we gazed over the cliff tops, you really felt as if you were at the end of the world. Twilight extends well into the night during summer in Scotland. The sun goes down at 9pm yet it is still light at 11pm. Taking advantage of this we would often enjoy a twilight stroll and and stumble across more magical surroundings. Whilst in Sligachan, we enjoyed time exploring hiking tracks, fossicking near creeks and watching the changing night sky. Quickly we fell into a peaceful routine that is offered when motorhoming.
Evenings were about being together, discussing the wonders of the day, what we loved and what amazed us.
Finding the beauty in nature is a wonderful skill and gift to offer to young children. To step back, marvel at the history the Scottish Highlands have to offer is life-altering. As we left the Highlands to venture into the East coast of Scotland we knew in our hearts that it had captured a very special place and we would return to explore more of its raw beauty.