With it looking hopeful that we may be able to enjoy some stay-cations this summer I have compiled a short list of places which I personally believe are well-worth a visit.
A personal favourite, I have been visiting Rosemarkie annually for the past 10 years. A beautiful little town on the Black Isle, it is a location that you would likely want to stay for a day or two to fully enjoy. The local campsite sits right above the beach and tents pitched near the front of the campsite are close enough to enjoy the calming sounds of the ocean at night. At one end of the beach you can find the beginning of beautiful walk up to a waterfall called ‘Fairy Glen Falls’. At the other, you will reach Chanonry point where wild dolphins can often be seen feeding very close to the shore. This is especially amazing depending on timing, I remember one particular instance a couple of years ago when the dolphins put on an especially spectacular display at sunset. Rosemarkie is full of good local cafes and restaurants which I can confirm all have particularly impressive hot chocolates, fully garnished with marshmallows, cream and additional chocolate (of course).
The Isle of Mull
Honestly, you really can’t go wrong with any of the Scottish Islands but Mull has always stood out to me. It’s certainly a must-see destination, home to beautiful sandy beaches that look like they couldn’t possibly exist in Scotland, gorgeous scenery and wildlife. In terms of accommodation, there are plenty of B&B options. Although, if you’re feeling more adventurous, many of Mull’s campsites are nested around the beaches, however, you’ll need to be well-prepared with a pretty sturdy tent to battle against the wind as it can be quite extreme.
A specific spot to visit on Mull would be Tobermory. The setting of many Scottish children’s favourite childhood programme ‘What’s the Story in Balamory’, this picturesque harbour town is renowned for the colourful buildings on its waterfront and is definitely worth a visit. Dolphins have been known to swim in the harbour although if you’re not so lucky as to see them there, there are various wildlife-spotting boat trips which depart from Tobermory.
The Cairngorms National Park is a stunning area, either to stop at or even just to drive through. The mountains, waterfalls and lochs make it a popular spot amongst hikers with walks to suit every level of fitness. Home to over a quarter of Scotland’s native pine forest, the Cairngorms is an environment that really captures the essence of the natural Scottish landscape. There is an abundance of options for accommodation in the area, ranging from luxurious hotels and B&Bs to charming loch-side campsites. Additionally, the Cairngorms National Park is also a very easy spot to incorporate into a bigger trip around the rest of the Scottish Highlands.