Cuil-an-Duin Country House, Pitlochry, Perthshire, Scotland

In the heart of Perthshire, directly in the center of a triangle formed by the wonderful towns of Dunkeld, Pitlochry, and Aberfeldy, stands one of the region’s finest accommodations. I had the chance spend a trio of nights at Cuil-an-Duin Country House at the beginning of this past November, and as you will see it’s hard to ask for a better base from which to explore the glory of forested Perthshire.

This part of Scotland, being just north of the cities and on the main route deeper into the highlands, is filled with all types of excellent accommodations, from B&Bs to hotels to castles. It seems to me to be a difficult place to start… Read more...


The Brochs of Coigach, Achiltibuie, Wester Ross, Scotland

The beauty of Scotland’s northern highlands is a beauty largely untrammeled by mankind: Hills slope into the sea, mountains rear up from the moor, and islands heave across the horizon. Humans have lived in these parts for millennia, however, and seeing their remarkable stewardship of the land in person fills one with a desire to honor their stunning landscape and history. Out here you won’t find strip malls, Wal-Marts, parking structures, or hideous billboards. You’ll find small homes, farmsteads, and even a surprise or two.

I’m certainly not the only person inspired by this gorgeous stretch of highland coastline. Read more...

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Corriness House, Poolewe, Wester Ross, Scotland

The beauty of Wester Ross cannot be shackled by language. It must be viewed. And in that great Scottish wilderness of mountain and sea loch you gather a sense of what the most northerly parts of this island must have looked like in days of yore. There is much to explore here, many narrow roads to follow, empty beaches to kick across, and heather-shrouded hills to ascend. All you need is some time and a decent base from which to venture out. The towns of Gairloch and Poolewe serve admirably in this regard. I spent a pair of nights at the homey Corriness House on the edge of Poolewe this past summer, and it was a great location from which to explore the heart of Wester Ross. Read more...


The Torridon Inn, Wester Ross, Scotland

Over the last few weeks I’ve written about the high-end Torridon Hotel and its magnificent 1887 Restaurant, but there’s a lot more to the Torridon Estate. In fact, there’s an Inn that caters to the budget-conscious traveler just a hundred yards from the hotel. The inn used to be the stables for the old hunting lodge that became the hotel, and it comprises 12 recently refurbished, contemporary, ensuite rooms. The attractive, stone buildings are arranged like an upscale motel, and just around the corner stands the Torridon Inn’s convivial pub. What’s more, the Torridon arranges loads of activities from the inn including everything from mountain biking to shooting to pony trekking. What’s more… Read more...

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The Torridon Hotel, Wester Ross, Scotland

In the far northern highlands, where you base yourself is more about specific accommodations and less about particular towns since so much of the region is empty, beautiful wilderness. The Torridon Hotel was one of the first places I bookmarked when I began planning my trip around Scotland’s North Coast 500. The enchanting Victorian facade, luxury amenities and activities, and glittering reputation were enough to snag my interest, but its position in the heart of Wester Ross made it an ideal base for exploring many of the area’s natural treasures.

My journey led from Kinlochewe west to Torridon, and that single-track road winding… Read more...