Tag Archives: scottish

Isle of Skye South

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The south of Skye  and the Kyle of Lochalsh hove into sight as you descend the A87 from Invergarry and what could more iconic than Eilean Donan Castle coming into view on the shores of Loch Alsh.

The Skye Bridge has negated the need for a ferry ‘over the sea to Skye’ but the song still rings in your ears as you take the journey over from Kyle of Lochalsh to Kyleakin and on to Broadford, one of the main towns on Skye.

The south of Skye is home to the famous Cuillin hills and across the Cuillin Sound, the Small Isles are clearly visible with Rum the largest of them.

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Isle of Skye North

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Skye has close links with the Outer Hebrides with ferries leaving to the Western Isles from Uig.

It is also has some of the most stunning scenery in the West Highlands, with what seems like a castle at every turn .

wee boatAnd northern Skye has its fair share as well as ancient monuments, standing stones and cairns.

North Skye includes the town of Portree, which features in many a Scottish and Gaelic song, and is just a short hop from the Old Man of Storr and the island of Raasay.

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Arran Villages

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Brodick name

Three of the largest villages on Arran are on the east coast of the island, comprising Brodick, Lamlash and Whiting Bay.

Brodick, meaning ‘broad bay’ from its Norse roots Breiðvík, is the largest village, overlooked by Arran’s highest peak Goat Fell and the first place visitors see when the embark from the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry from Ardrossan. Like the rest of the island, Brodick is a popular holiday destination and a good base for hill-walking.

There are many family-owned and independent hotels, restaurants, shops, bed and breakfast establishments, guest houses and outdoor activities.

There is also a brewery, a sports and leisure complex and an 18-hole golf course. And of course there’s the National Trust for Scotland-owned Brodick Castle, the previous seat of the Duke of Hamilton where there has been a fortress of some sort or another since the fifth century. As well as the castle, there’s walled garden dating from 1710 which has been restored as a Victorian garden. The country park surrounding the castle has trails, woodlands, waterfalls, gorges, wildlife ponds and more.

Lamlash nameLamlash is Arran’s second largest village, just three miles from Brodick and looks out to the Holy Isle, owned by the Samye Ling Buddhist Community, who belong to the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. It has the bigger population as well as the only secondary school and hospital on Arran.

Lamlash also is home to a variety of hotels, restaurants and bed and breakfast establishments. Entertainment abounds all year round, including the arts festival, open studios, Santa’s Sparkle, musical festival and more. Lamlash Bay itself is popular with sailors and a haven for outdoor activities.

Whiting Bay signAnother three miles south from  Lamlash is the picturesque Whiting Bay, thought to have derived from ‘Viking Bay’. It is the third largest village on Arran, and a good place for some easy walking with everything from the Glenashdale Falls and the Giants Graves’ within easy walking distance – and a golf course too! While there are many more magical spots to discover on Arran, these three villages are a good place to start.

 

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The Glens of Antrim

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The Glens of Antrim are known locally in Northern Ireland simply as The Glens. A short hop from the Mull of Kintyre, there are nine glens of Antrim, all of outstanding natural beauty and all explorable from any of the main towns and villages in the Glens, including Ballycastle, Cushendun, Cushendell, Waterfoot and Carnlough.

The inhabitants of the Glens are said to be descended mainly from native Irish, Ulster Scots and Hebridean Scots.

The Lordship of the Glens, from the mid-13th century, first belonged to the Scot-Irish Norman Bissett family. In the mid-16th century it came into the ownership of the MacDonnells of Antrim.

The Causeway Coastal route runs through the Glens and showcases the  natural landscapes, from patchwork hills, mountain streams and waterfalls to a dazzling coastal road with majestic cliffs and golden sands.

The Glens of Antrim are famed in poetry, song, myth and magic and each is endowed with an evocative name and weaves its own special magic.

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The Causeway Coast

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Just a short hop from Kintyre is Ballycastle on the northern tip of Ireland in the county of Antrim, the prefect centre to explore the area from.

Ballycastle is a seaside town best known for its ‘Ould Lammas Fair’, with entertainment and more than 400 stalls.

It is the perfect central location from which to explore west to the Giants causeway and east through Glens of Antrim or head north over the sea to Rathlin Island for some wildlife searching, fishing or to explore the island.

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Western Isles

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The Western Isles or Outer Hebrides should be on everyone’s ‘100 places to visit in a lifetime’, with some of the most spectacular scenery in Scotland, beautiful deserted beaches, blue seas, a wealth of  history, amazing wildlife and a cultural heritage second to none.

Thanks to investment in road and ferry links it is possible to now travel from one end of the Western Isles to the other without having to go back to the mainland first.

From the tiny island of Vatersay, slow to the Western Isles pace of life as you journey over the causeway through Barra to catch the ferry to South Uist, amble through the Uists and Benbecula and sail to Bernary and there to Lewis and Harris.

On the way, take a boat trip to see the wildlife – dolphins, porpoises, seals, whales,  rare birds –   pick up some hand crafted luxurious gifts, explore the castles and ruins, photograph the stunning wildflowers of the machair, soak in the atmosphere, take in a ceilidh and sample some true hospitality.

For jobs in The Western Isles why not take a look at https://hijobs.net/jobs/western-isles

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Loch Lomond North

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Loch Lomond is part of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park and one of the most spectacular, best known and popular lochs in Scotland.

The main route into the West Highlands runs alongside the loch, where there are ample opportunities to stop and admire the views, have a cup of tea and drink in the scenery at Tarbet, Inveruglas, Ardlui or Inverarnan. To fully appreciate the many attractions, walks, glens and the cylce path stay a few days at the many hotels, caravan parks and bed and breakfasts in the area.

The loch narrows as it reaches its northern most point, and the road continues to Crainlarich.

Keeping to the main road through Tarbet leads you towards Mid Argyll but take time to stop in Arrochar, where the first taste of the pace of Highland life will strike you as you unwind along the shores of Loch Long.

For jobs in Loch Lomond why not take a look at https://hijobs.net/jobs/argyll

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The Moray Coast


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The Moray Coast includes the town of Buckie, pretty coastal fishing villages of Cullen, Portknockie and  Findochty.

At the height of the fishing industry in Scotland, Portknockie was a significant herring port with around 100 sailing boats in its harbour. Today it still has a fleet of around 10 fishing boats with five smaller creel boats landing creels and mackerel.

Cullen is a busy, popular village in the summer months and is the name-sake of the famous Cullen Skink soup, comprising smoked haddock, milk, potato and onion.

Inland is the popular tourist village of Fochabers, close to the River Spey and on the A96 as well as a number of popular peaks for walking including Bin Hill, Black Hill, and Hill of Maud.

Buckie is a burgh town on the Moray Firth and is the third largest town in the Moray area after Elgin and Forres.

It lies between Banff and Elgin on the north-east coast of Scotland and grew up either side of the Burn of Buckie which winds its way through the centre of the town.

Buckie is the amalgamation of a series of separate fishing villages.  A new town was laid out in the late 18th century and early 19th century above and behind the fishing villages and this area revolves around Cluny Square, with East Church Street and West Church Street leading from it and the North Kirk at one corner.

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Campbeltown

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Campbeltown

ONE of Argyll’s largest towns, Campbeltown, on the eastern tip of the Kintyre peninsula, is a natural port, set in deep water and sheltered from the prevailing south-westerly wind by Davaar Island.
Originally called Kinlochkilkerran back in the 1600s, the Chief of the Clan Campbell decided that, as one of the key towns in his domain, it should carry the name of Campbell and so it became Campbeltown.

The town itself if home to many structures of splendid architecture, a legacy of Victorian wealth and status that made Campbeltown the centre of thriving industry through fishing, boat building and whisky.

Surrounding the town are numerous sites of historical and cultural interest, wide sweeping beaches and breathtaking views out over the Atlantic Ocean. While, within the town itself, there is a new leisure complex which has attracted a host of awards.

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Danvaar Island

 

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Oban

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In days gone by when travel was mainly by rail and steamer Oban was called the Charing Cross of the north. It was where all routes seemed to meet.
The same still holds true today, if you’re going out to or coming from the islands chances are your ferry will berth here.
It’s a great place to sit and watch the world go by.

On the hill above the town stands McCaig’s Tower, an unfinished project which has gone on to become the town’s major landmark and a beautiful spot to look out over the sea to the islands.
Or you can pick your spot in the bay and watch the boats and people come and go. There’s the Lighthouse Pier, where the ships servicing the lighthouses and navigation buoys dock; the South Pier with the fishing boats; the Railway Pier with the Caledonian MacBrayne ferries and the North Pier with boats from the Royal Navy, visiting foreign navies, tall ships, Customs cutters and dive boats.

Not to mention the big cruise liners which anchor in the bay and send their tenders in to The Oban Times slip or Oban’s regular visiting small, luxury liners.

It’s enough to wear you out watching all that, so you’d best go to one of the town’s many excellent eating places, from award winning cuisine and famous fish and chip shops to friendly cafes and sea food stalls to keep your strength up.

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