A question that I’m often asked is ‘Where is your favourite location in Scotland?
It’s a simple question, but it’s not that straightforward to answer. It reminds me a bit of the answer to another question when I was travelling overseas, extensively; ‘How did you find that location when you were in, say, Kenya?’ The answer was ‘I went to Kenya because I knew that location was there – had it been in Tanzania or Zimbabwe, I would have gone there.’ It was the uniqueness of the locations I sought, rather than a specific country.
In Scotland, the same holds true and generally speaking Wester Ross in the North West Highlands has, what I consider, to have some of the best locations in Scotland. It’s the combination of remoteness, distance from population centres and importantly, the character of the landscape. Diverse, angular mountains with deep glens and fjords run out to sea. Above Ullapool, the landscapes of Coigach and Assynt present smaller but enigmatic mountains which are defined as much by the space between them as by their diverse shapes.
Beyond Wester Ross, there a few other ‘soft-spots’ I have – the Knoydart Peninsula and the Small Isles of the Inner Hebrides would be one – the islands of Muck, Eigg, Rum and Canna, each unique in their own charming way. On the mainland, the deep defile of Loch Hourn which cuts its way deeply between Beinn Sgritheall on its north side and Ladhar Beinn on its south. And finally, there’s the mountain landscapes of the Isle of Skye and the wild Hebridean seascapes of Lewis and Harris.
So, here’s a short summary of some of my favourites spots.