Mountains and see along Scotland's northwest Sutherland coast

Sutherland lies to the north, beyond the tourist trail stretching from Inverness to Skye, beyond even Ross-shire’s emerald sweep. It occupies three different coastlines with only a small slice of the northeast given to Caithness, with countless folds, glens, and lochs waiting quietly in the interior to be discovered by the transient visitor. The natural beauty of Sutherland is one of variety where the mountains of the south slide down to level pastureland in the northeast, and while the beauty is undeniable Sutherland’s history follows it like a shadow. The Highland Clearances struck this part of Scotland hardest, and as you make your way along the coasts and upon the narrow inland roads you will see little of man’s presence… Read more...


The mountains of Wester Ross, Scotland

I’m returning to a series of articles that has become the most popular source of information on Traveling Savage. These Itinerary Ideas highlight different regions of Scotland and provide a handy batch of activities, sights, and experiences I’ve drummed up during my explorations. It always feels good to craft another entry in this series. I look at it as an homage to the area, one I plan to make for every corner of Scotland. Today I’m highlighting Wester Ross, a region whose landscapes are the dreams of gods and whose very name sounds like something out of a fantasy novel. If you’ve read George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, you’d know Westeros sounds damningly similar. Read more...

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A gorgeous highland loch

Northern Scotland has many names: the northern highlands, the northwest highlands, the “real” highlands, the North Coast 500. Such a large swath of land is not easily defined. Here you’ll find moor and mountain, coastline and cliffside, beach and bush. Red deer outnumber the inhabitants, and villages humbly huddle beneath the mountains. There is true wilderness here, the kind where mankind’s mark feels like a distant thing. In that way, northern Scotland casts our vision beyond our collective selves, and that can be a scary or exhilarating feeling depending on your point of view. For my part, I found it to be an invigorating place that carried away the stress of modern life on its crisp winds. Read more...

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A packing list for Scotland

Once upon a time I wrote a post about what I packed for five weeks in Argentina. As you will see over the course of this post, while individual items have changed, my overarching philosophy has remained the same: Travel light and check no bags. It might seem like this can be tricky when Scotland, which has a much cooler climate than Argentina, is the destination, but I’ve done it for the past five years and soon you will too.

First, let’s talk about Scotland’s weather. You’ve probably heard it rains everyday — sometimes with sleet that pelts down from low clouds — and that the wind will blow a car clean off the cliff tops if you anger the old gods. Read more...

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Understanding which adapters to take to Scotland

In the last month I’ve written a couple of posts aimed at preparing first-time travelers to Scotland for a wonderful trip. I’ve tackled Scotland’s incredible right-to-roam policy and renting a car, and today I continue this so-called “Know Before You Go” series with another practical topic: Voltage, adapters, and things electrical. This is far from the sexiest thing to write about, but, since I can’t seem to travel without lugging around at least four devices, getting it wrong hurts.

There are two main areas you need to consider when ensuring your devices will work in other countries: Voltage and outlet adapters… Read more...

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