For those who have explored Scotlands former attractions, there is a whole new world opening up — a segment engaging nature, open spaces and wildlife and bringing top class experiences to the forefront.
A few hours north of Edinburgh, famed national park - Cairngorms has become an iconic destination for photography, nature and explorations. Now offering a great diversity of accommodations, hiking trails and modest hospitality from the corner shop to the top end photography guides. Its easily accessible, and provides a dynamic landscape of wooded hills, big skies and ever changing scenery. It's a great spot for immersing yourself in nature, filled with creature comforts and a variety of things to see and do, all within a few hours drive of Edinburgh.
The Isle of Skye is a hustle and bustle of activity, travellers, hikers and trail runners, whiskey connoisseurs and pretty much everything in between. It's a dramatic change of scenery with the Cuillin mountains towering from waters edge into the cloud above — it is vast and truly breathtaking, regardless of the weather in my case. Skye is filled with great accommodations, super dining and a vast network of hiking trails to explore. Access onto Skye is traditionally by car, but can also be enjoyed by ferry from a few different areas. Skye is the gateway to the islands.
Heading out onto the open waters, with Uist as my final stop was a great way to switch off while searching for dolphin and other marine life. The two hour ferry ride raced by, and once out of the small port harbour of Lochmaddy I had my sights set on Uist Forest Retreat, recently opened and already seemingly popular. The island of Uist, is another scenic change with open landscapes, bare sand beaches and long tidal landscapes, I was fascinated.
Uist Forest Retreat, is true to its name and set amongst a 500 hectare forest which was re-planted in the 1980s. It offers beautiful long views down onto the shoreline, is remote and very peaceful and is superbly designed, equipped and managed. Hosts Kathryn & Angus built and opened Uist Forest Retreat in August 2018 and what a great job they’ve done — super design, amazing views, facilities and settings — its by far one of the best self catering units I've stayed in. Fresh eggs from the farm, cheeses and other local produce await you and a host of local nature based experiences area offered by likeminded small businesses on the island. From dolphin watching, to birding tours or even hiking and exploring. There is a great network of experiences and people working together to create a unique visit to this island and commands a minimum visit of four nights — you won’t be sorry!
We are now putting together a range of exciting new opportunities in Scotland, with a core focus on three different areas, and some amazing nature based experiences. Keep you eyes peeled in the coming month.