For me Scotland is a truly magical place, full of intriguing history and landscapes like no other place on earth, I don’t have the Hollywood picture of Scotland in my mind of Mel Gibson and warriors running around in kilts with blue paint on their faces, I have images in my head of flowing rivers, mountains, culture, and forest together with fascinating wildlife and a magnificent history. The whole idea of setting off to stay in a cottage in Scotland fills me with excitement, even the long drive to my destination that would put many people off is one of the best parts of the holiday, and if you plan correctly you can have a fascinating journey heading up North.
Don’t get me wrong we all like a sun soaked holiday by the beach in a foreign country, and I often do, but having a holiday in Scotland fills me with more joy than any package holiday abroad can give me. No waiting in airport lounges and queuing at passport control with heavy luggage and stressed families on the brink of tearing each other apart, give me the smell of forest pine and a brisk fresh mountain breeze any day.
So why do I Come to Scotland
When you live in a built up urban area like myself just getting away from the hectic lifestyle cities can bring propels me up north of the border at any chance I can get, Booking the correct cottage is always a big challenge for myself and I trawl through the internet like a man possessed looking for the perfect cottage. The perfect holiday cottage in Scotland for me is remote, I want to open the door and see nothing but landscapes, I don’t want to see parked cars or a row of terraced houses I want to see natural life and I also love to hear wildlife, the sounds of different birds I don’t usually hear at home, the sound of the wind through the trees or the most relaxing sound for me a flowing river, I don’t know what it is about rivers I could just sit there all day, maybe I should take up fishing as a new hobby?
The location of the cottage is also important, each year I want to try somewhere new, and I have to admit this is getting more difficult each year; I have different ideas of what I want to see each time I am planning my holiday. Do I want to head to the Cairngorm national Park and enjoy the forests and rivers and the splendid plateau of the Cairngorm Mountains or do I feel like the rugged mountainous area of the Western coast with its scenic sea lochs and marine wildlife, I could go on forever naming different areas, and this is the great problem I have when planning my trip to Scotland, there are so many options you are spoilt for choice.
There are so many things that I enjoy in Scotland and apart from the peace and tranquillity of the countryside I also like the food and tourist shops, to some the shops would seem tacky and targeted towards tourist, and I suppose you are correct as they defiantly attract me. I just adore the atmosphere; the sounds of traditional Scottish folk music usually playing in the background, and all the miniature whiskies you can purchase and try, tacky Loch Ness monsters on a key ring and packets of Shortbread stacked in neat rows, I can actually spend hours looking around them, some can also have restaurants attached to them or visitor centres, this adds to the occasion with the small of fresh coffee and freshly printed information leaflets, you may think I am mad, and you are probably correct. Within the restaurants you can find such delights of Cullen Skink and a Scottish breakfast with Square sausage lovely, I find it great to discover things like haggis pie and smokies, for me this can make a great holiday and adds to the whole experience Scotland can give.
There are lots of visitor attractions to visit in Scotland and I visit as many as I can, but the one thing I love to do is just drive, I can drive hundreds of miles a day just sight seeing, driving through quaint villages with flowering hanging baskets proudly displayed by their doors, stopping by at the local village shop and having a nice chat with the friendly locals, its amazing what you can see around each corner, one minute you can be driving through a green valley with purple heather and next minute you are passing an expanse loch with a mountain backdrop, the roads are so good as well, I always wonder who keeps these roads in such good condition? From single track roads with passing places to long A roads with over taking places, I could really drive forever in this area of the UK.
After a long day travelling along and stopping at interesting places, there is nothing better than sitting back in your lovely cottage you have booked with an open fire, and sampling that miniature whisky you bought from the shop with a bowl of Cullen Skink, even better if you are lucky enough to have a clear sky, is sitting outside just looking at the bright stars with no light pollution to spoil the view, listening to the nocturnal wildlife. Its heaven on earth for me and no matter how many times I visit Scotland I always want to go back.