Scotland - my secret passion?
Who hasn't yearned to visit Scotland, and discover the mystique that surrounds this remarkable country. There are castles, stately homes, lochs, monsters(?), wildlife parks, hills to climb and new tastes and flavours to experience.
A part of Scotland that I know particularly well, having spend many wonderful holidays there, is the Black Isle on North East Scotland. A bit of a misnomer as it's not actually an isle, but a peninsula. No-one really knows why it is called the Black Isle, the explanations range from the fact the soil on the isle is very dark, to there used to be so many trees on the isle that it looked black in the wintertime, to the fact black arts may have been practiced there. It is up to you to decide which romantic connotation suits you.
From the Black Isle it is easy to travel north west to Ullapool or north to Wick. You can travel easily into Inverness and have a day exploring along by the River Ness, wandering up to Inverness Castle (now the Sheriff Court), or admiring the wonderful churches and cathedral.
Choose your time of year you visit with care and you may be lucky enough to visit during the Northern Meeting of bagpipe players and lovers in September, or the annual City of Inverness Highland Games which last for two days in July.
If you want to see wildlife that you are in a great place. You can take a boat trip from Cromarty to see the wonderful Moray Firth dolphins. I haven't done this as I'm not a great sailor, but I have stood on the shore at Channing Point by Rosemarkie and been moved and thrilled to see the dolphins. The first couple of times you can't believe that dolphins are in Scotland and think perhaps it's just been a wave that you've seen, but the camera doesn't lie.
If it's a beach you wish to visit they are there in abundance. You will find lovely sandy beaches at Rosemarkie, or for those willing to travel further afield try Lossiemouth East Beach. It is not called the Jewel of the Moray Firth for nothing. Miles and miles of wonderful soft sand. Take a picnic and enjoy the day.
Of course what would a day at the seaside be without fish and chips for dinner? That is exactly what we enjoyed and nothing tastes quite like eating fish and chips on a seawall watching the changing colors of the Moray Firth. Followed of course by an ice-cream. A feast indeed.
All the photographs in this lens are from my own stock.
Scotland The Black Isle - Scotland - The Black Isle
Scotland- Looking north towards Dingwall, taken from the Black Isle
Taken with my NIKON D90
Please take a look at these great Scottish items of interest
You'll be surpised by Scotlands history and facts
Loch Ness - Urquhart Castle - My Own Photograph
Urquhart Castle is located on the shores of the famous Loch Ness. A visit here is an ideal spot to search for the Loch Ness Monster...
Dolphins at Moray Coast (my own photo)
Yes! Dolphins in Scottish waters! Very common in Morayshire
If you don't wish to take a boat trip out into the Moray Firth, I'm not very good on boats so I didn't want to do this option, visit Chanonry Point, you can see the dolphins very clearly from the shore. Try to get there when the tide is changing and you have a really good chance of seeing the dolphins feeding.
Idyllic Lossiemouth Beach
Don't get lost in the Scottish Highlands...
Inverness In The Fall
Have you ever visited Scotland?
Loch Ness Monster
My children are positive they have seen Nessie.
Travelling South to Edinburgh
Another place not to be missed is of course Edinburgh. A cosmpolitan city with a love of life. It may be a city but it isn't a sprawling hard to negotiate city. It's a joy to walk around. Spend your days walking from Edinburgh down the Royal Mile to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, past Camera Obscura and St Giles Cathedral. From Holyroodhouse glance over at the Scottish Parliament building. It may seem a bit modern for your tastes, it was mine, but the architecture of it is stunning.
Take a picnic and enjoy wandering around The Queen's Park. There are some wonderful delicatessens to pick up some special treats. The Queen's Park is a circular shaped park approximately 5 miles in diameter. Take some stale bread and feed some of the ducks in one of the three Lochs. A lovely tranquil oasis in the middle of a city. On a Sunday it is a no through-fare to traffic, so it's very peaceful. Even during midweek the traffic isn't busy and it has strict speed limits that must be adhered to as you will often see The Queen's swans walking in the road.
There are lots of eateries for different budgets within Edinburgh, go on try something new. From snacks and fast foods, to gourmet meals. Don't forget to try the Scottish treat of tablet. It's very sweet and like a crispy, crumbly fudge. A unique taste but very moreish.
Edinburgh is so wonderful, the way the architecture blends from old to contemporary is breathtaking. Around every corner is another photo opportunity. Remember to take plenty of spare batteries and memory cards. You will need them as you won't stop clicking your camera.
One other piece of advice, remember sturdy walking shoes or be prepared to buy a pair. You will need them.
Edinburgh Castle at Dusk (my own picture)
Edinburgh Castle from the Grassmarket. My own Picture from a Nikon D90
Find your way around Edinburgh with a guidebook
St Giles Catherdal, High Street, Edinburgh (my own picture)
The Border Town Of Peebles in the Spring
Scotland is beautiful at all times of the year for a variety of reasons.. Visitors don't visit Scotland for reliable weather. Why would you visit and at which time of the year?
What do you think is the best time to visit Scotland?
Edinburgh at Christmas - My picture in Edinburgh
Princes Street Gardens with the Scotts Monument in the background next to the seasonal German Market. A real winter wonderland.
Links to My Related Lenses
SCOTLAND - Map Of Scotland