7 Places You Won’t Believe Are in Scotland!

Scotland is known for its beautiful lochs, rolling hills and imposing mountains but there may well be some other sights that are surprising to come across on a visit here but should definitely be on your ‘must see’ list.

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1. Clachtoll beach near Lochinver

This gorgeous beach wouldn’t look out of place in the Mediterranean so visitors may well be surprised to find it on the west coast of Scotland! Set in a secluded spot on Sutherland’s Assynt peninsula that juts out into the sea, it takes about 40 minutes to walk to but is definitely well worth the effort.

As the area benefits from the warming effects of the Gulf Stream a mild microclimate is created that is ideal for spending time exploring the sands. The local sheep can often be seen wandering on the beach and they seem to like it just as much as the human sightseers!

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Taigh Na Fraoch near Clashnessie, Sutherland

At Taigh Na Fraoch all the home comforts you can wish for can be found. Its enclosed grassed garden is great for children and pets to run and play in freely. As well as being in easy reach of Clachtoll (only 5 minutes’ drive away), the house is just a short walk from another beautiful beach at Clashnessie Bay so there is a choice of places to enjoy the seaside.

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2. Quiraing on The Isle of Skye

The Quiraing is an unusual land rock formation that lies on the Trotternish peninsula of Skye, one of four peninsulas radiating out from the centre of the island that are said to look like fingers. A walk up to see it in all its glory is an absolute must, although a good view of some of it can be seen from the road.

Its grassy landscape looks like something from a different planet and in fact it has been used as a filming location in several box office hits. In the partly animated BFG film it was used to represent Giant’s Land and it appeared again in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword that was directed by Guy Ritchie. The Bealach Na Ba pass on the Applecross peninsula was also used in the film, as was the imposing Old Man of Storr.

Two Bay Cottage near Dunvegan, Isle of Skye

Two Bay Cottage is set on the Waternish peninsula of Skye so it is roughly an hour’s drive over to the Trotternish ridge where the Quiraing sits. Inside the accommodation is comfortable and homely, sleeping up to 4 people in two double bedrooms (making it ideal for couples looking to holiday together). The garden looks out towards Loch Bay and on a good day you can even see as far over as the Western Isles.

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3. Goat Fell on the Isle of Arran

The Isle of Arran, off the west coast of Scotland, is known as ‘Scotland in miniature’ due to its varied landscape that is reminiscent of many parts of mainland Scotland. Ferries run over to the island from Ardrossan on the North Ayrshire coast, taking approximately 45 minutes, and on arrival into Brodick it is hard not to notice Goat Fell rising up to the north.

Goat Fell is the highest peak on Arran that dominates the landscape of the island and will surely entice hill climbers to give it a go. A walking route leads up the mountain from Brodick Castle and it takes about 5 hours to climb up and back with sturdy footwear and appropriate clothing being definite requirements.

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Waverley at Whiting Bay, Isle of Arran

Looking out over Whiting Bay near Lamlash, 8 miles from where the ferry docks, is Waverley. This spacious house sleeps up to 5 people and is bright and airy throughout with a conservatory to the front where the sea view can be enjoyed whatever the weather. The shore is just across the road from the house and, when the tide goes out, a lovely sandy beach is revealed.

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4. Falls of Clyde near Lanark

Set on the River Clyde near Lanark are the Falls of Clyde, the collective name for a set of four remarkable waterfalls. A pleasant riverside walk from New Lanark leads up to the falls that are particularly impressive after heavy rainfall and various viewing platforms have been set up at the points with the best views.

The area around the falls is actually a wildlife reserve where badger watching evenings are held, giving visitors the chance to spot these elusive creatures in their natural habitat. Bats and peregrines can also be seen and if you time your visit right (aiming for May and early June) you may even manage to see some badger cubs that are incredibly cute.

Windgill Cottage near Biggar, Lanarkshire

Pretty Windgill Cottage is set in the rolling countryside just on the edge of the Clyde Valley, just over half an hour’s drive from the falls. There is excellent walking straight from the front door and fishing can be arranged on the River Clyde itself.

Sleeping up to 4 people in a double and a twin bedroom and welcoming up to 2 dogs it offers great peace and seclusion and is yet in easy reach of Glasgow for day trips to the city.

5. Luskentyre Beach on the Isle of Harris

With its charming white sands and sparkling turquoise waters it is not surprising that Luskentyre beach has been named as the ‘best beach in Scotland’ by several different publications. Situated to the west of South Harris it is just one of the many stunning beaches that can be found in the Outer Hebrides.

Harris and Lewis are not separate islands but are actually parts of the same island. It is reached by ferry in under 2 hours from Uig on Skye so it is easier to access than one might first think when hearing the words Outer Hebrides.

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Sgeir a’Chais at Loch Grosebay, Isle of Harris

Sgeir a’Chais is the perfect base from which to visit the beach and explore the rest of the island, safe in the knowledge that you have a cosy, welcoming retreat to return to at the end of the day. This traditional bothy has a solid fuel stove at its heart and even has an added extra in the form of a superb sauna with pretty loch views to admire as you relax.

6. Kilt Rock on the Isle of Skye

This attraction on the Trotternish peninsula of the Isle of Skye gets its name from its columns of basalt that tower from the water and are said to resemble the pattern of a kilt. The Mealt Falls flow down the rock and it is all a pretty impressive sight to see. It can really be appreciated best from the water and there are various boat trips that run out to allow visitors a much closer look.

Mealt Falls from Afar…

If you choose to visit by car there is car park just by the viewpoint and the cliffs have been fenced off for safety and peace of mind. To really set the scene there is often a bagpiper there which makes for the ideal photo opportunity.

7. Skara Brae on mainland Orkney

This prehistoric village, that sits on the coast just off the Bay of Skaill on the mainland of the Orkney Isles, dates all the way back to the Neolithic era. It lay covered by sand for an estimated 4,000 years before being partly exposed by storms and then later excavated.

It is fascinating to picture the people who once lived in the village’s dwellings that have been remarkably well preserved since their discovery. It is easy to tell why it was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status as part of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney group of monuments back in 1999.

Bay Cottage near Stromness, Orkney

Bay Cottage at Skara Brae is just down the road from this wonderful historic sight and is actually in easy walking distance of it. The cottage sleeps up to 4 people in a double and a twin bedroom (that can be converted to a king-size bed for extra flexibility. It is also only a short stroll from a gorgeous sandy beach where time can be spent exploring or just enjoying the picturesque surroundings.

These are merely a tiny selection of the amazing sights that Scotland has to offer. Visit our website or call our friendly booking team on 01835 822277 to book your perfect stay.

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