I’m pleased to share my top 5 epic Scottish landscapes after many years of enjoying them. Scotland is one of those few countries whose landscapes look like they must have been touched up on a computer or reworked in a glitzy Hollywood studio.
Surely the craggy mountains just cannot be so utterly dramatic, the mist-shrouded lochs just cannot shimmer so poetically in a glint of sunshine and those wild Atlantic waters just cannot be so cobalt blue? I make 20-30 trips around Scotland a year as a travel writer and I can reassure you they are and they do.
Scotland’s epic landscapes never cease to amaze me. Many people think of Scotland as a small country. It may only be home to five million people, but it is certainly not small. Scotland boasts over 10% of Europe’s total coastline, over 800 islands and even when you take away those myriad islands the nation’s littoral is still vaster than that of either England, France or Germany.
Then there are the mountains, which come in all shapes and sizes, hewn from an array of rocks from Torridian Sandstone through to the exotic sounding Lewisian Gneiss. Some 282 of them are classified as Munros, which are, of course, mountains that vault up over 3,000ft (a touch over 914m). There are, though, myriad more mountains, hills and mounds worth rambling up and around.
I’ve been lucky over the years to get to experience so many different landscapes, often on trips with Wilderness Scotland. Their guides have had me awestruck seeing the Paps of Jura from a yacht, appreciating Speyside whisky country in a totally different way on a mountain bike and up more mountains than my knees care to remember. Wilderness Scotland offer direct access into some of the most dramatic, remote and utterly wild corners of Europe, corners that I never tire of discovering and corners that they seem to have an never-ending treasure trove of to offer.